Books about World War II

When the Sky Falls

War can be a difficult subject for children to understand properly, especially the conflict of the Second World War.

From classic favourites to more recent titles, these books for children take a variety of different approaches to representing the events of World War II.

Read our list of children's books about the Holocaust

See our list of books on World War I

See books about WWII for teens

  • The Messenger Bird

    Author: Ruth Eastham

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • The Messenger Bird

    Author: Ruth Eastham

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    The Messenger Bird is an exciting adventure story with a twist, and will be particularly enjoyed by anyone who is interested in hi…

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  • Hitler's Canary

    Author: Sandi Toksvig

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Hitler's Canary

    Author: Sandi Toksvig

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Hitler's Canary, ultimately, is about the courage and heroism of ordinary citizens in a time of danger and strife.

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  • My Brother's Keeper

    Author: Tom and Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • My Brother's Keeper

    Author: Tom and Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Alfie's story has obvious subject appeal for boys and the length is enticing for reluctant readers, but this neat little story man…

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  • Tail-end Charlie

    Author: Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

    Interest level: 7-8

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Tail-end Charlie

    Author: Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

    Interest level: 7-8

    Reading age: 7+

    Mick Manning has carefully recreated the hair-raising tales his father told him about life as an RAF tail-gunner during the Second…

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  • Goodnight Mister Tom

    Author: Michelle Magorian

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Goodnight Mister Tom

    Author: Michelle Magorian

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    Willie Beech, a lonely and deprived child, is evacuated to a tiny English village just before the  Second World War, and find…

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  • Skyward

    Author: Sally Deng

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Skyward

    Author: Sally Deng

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7+

    This slightly fictionalised version of the experiences of female pilots in World War Two is a fascinating read in terms of untold …

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  • Anne Frank

    Author: Josephine Poole Illustrator: Angela Barrett

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Anne Frank

    Author: Josephine Poole Illustrator: Angela Barrett

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    This account of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and Anne Frank's family's hiding in a secret annexe to escape them, is sensitivel…

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  • Safe

    Author: Vanessa Harbour

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Safe

    Author: Vanessa Harbour

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

    In the middle of war-torn Europe, can Kizzy and Jakob save a group of lost children and abandoned horses? A dangerous journey awai…

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  • When We Were Warriors

    Author: Emma Carroll

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • When We Were Warriors

    Author: Emma Carroll

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    A trio of connected stories, set during the Second World War, that feature feisty children, ghosts and a potential Nazi invasion. …

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  • The Silver Sword

    Author: Ian Seraillier

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • The Silver Sword

    Author: Ian Seraillier

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    In the chaos of World War II, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are separated from their parents, and left alone to fend for themselves, hidin…

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  • The Midnight Guardians

    Author: Ross Montgomery

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • The Midnight Guardians

    Author: Ross Montgomery

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 8+

    When Col is evacuated, his sister Rose stays behind in London to help with the war effort. But when he learns Rose is in danger, C…

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  • The Swallows’ Flight

    Author: Hilary McKay

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 10+

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  • The Swallows’ Flight

    Author: Hilary McKay

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 10+

    Hilary McKay’s ultimately uplifting Second World War story is full of brilliant characterisation, reflecting the experiences of yo…

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  • Hitler's Canary

    Author: Sandi Toksvig

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • Hitler's Canary

    Author: Sandi Toksvig

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Hitler's Canary, ultimately, is about the courage and heroism of ordinary citizens in a time of danger and strife.

    ; Flip
  • Red Stars

    Author: Davide Morosinotto Translator: Denise Muir

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Red Stars

    Author: Davide Morosinotto Translator: Denise Muir

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Twins Viktor and Nadya are separated when Nazi forces attack the Soviet Union - but they'll risk everything to find each other aga…

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  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

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  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Jack’s favourite things are his dog, Finn, and playing war-themed videogames with his dad, who’s an army reservist. He’s excited a…

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  • Please Write Soon

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Please Write Soon

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    This important and moving book from an acclaimed author follows pen pals Solly, an English schoolboy, and his Polish cousin Bernie…

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  • Carrie's War

    Author: Nina Bawden

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Carrie's War

    Author: Nina Bawden

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    Inspired by Nina Bawden's own experiences of living as an evacuee in a Welsh mining valley as a child, Carrie's War is n…

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  • Nisha's War

    Author: Dan Smith

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Nisha's War

    Author: Dan Smith

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 9+

    During World War II, an Anglo-Indian refugee is offered a deal by a ghostly child: her mother’s life in exchange for three truths.…

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  • Code Name Kingfisher

    Author: Liz Kessler

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Code Name Kingfisher

    Author: Liz Kessler

    Interest level: 12-14

    Reading age: 9+

    In Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in 1942, Hannie joins the Resistance. In the modern day, Liv is trying to cope with bullies at school. …

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  • Safiyyah’s War

    Author: Hiba Noor Khan

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Safiyyah’s War

    Author: Hiba Noor Khan

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 10+

    Focussing on the experiences of a small group of individuals, Safiyyah’s story shines a spotlight on an under-recognised pocket of…

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  • When the Sky Falls

    Author: Phil Earle

    Interest level: 11-14

    Reading age: 10+

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  • When the Sky Falls

    Author: Phil Earle

    Interest level: 11-14

    Reading age: 10+

    It's the Second World War and while everyone else is evacuated to the countryside, 12-year-old Joseph ends up in the city with a w…

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  • The Swallows’ Flight

    Author: Hilary McKay

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • The Swallows’ Flight

    Author: Hilary McKay

    Interest level: 10-13

    Reading age: 10+

    Hilary McKay’s ultimately uplifting Second World War story is full of brilliant characterisation, reflecting the experiences of yo…

    ; Flip
  • The Silver Sword

    Author: Ian Seraillier

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • The Silver Sword

    Author: Ian Seraillier

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    In the chaos of World War II, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are separated from their parents, and left alone to fend for themselves, hidin…

    ; Flip
  • Anne Frank

    Author: Josephine Poole Illustrator: Angela Barrett

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Flip
  • Anne Frank

    Author: Josephine Poole Illustrator: Angela Barrett

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    This account of the Nazi persecution of the Jews and Anne Frank's family's hiding in a secret annexe to escape them, is sensitivel…

    ; Flip
  • Tail-end Charlie

    Author: Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

    Interest level: 7-8

    Reading age: 7+

    Flip
  • Tail-end Charlie

    Author: Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

    Interest level: 7-8

    Reading age: 7+

    Mick Manning has carefully recreated the hair-raising tales his father told him about life as an RAF tail-gunner during the Second…

    ; Flip
  • Goodnight Mister Tom

    Author: Michelle Magorian

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Goodnight Mister Tom

    Author: Michelle Magorian

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    Willie Beech, a lonely and deprived child, is evacuated to a tiny English village just before the  Second World War, and find…

    ; Flip
  • Skyward

    Author: Sally Deng

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7+

    Flip
  • Skyward

    Author: Sally Deng

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 7+

    This slightly fictionalised version of the experiences of female pilots in World War Two is a fascinating read in terms of untold …

    ; Flip
  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • D-Day Dog

    Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9+

    Jack’s favourite things are his dog, Finn, and playing war-themed videogames with his dad, who’s an army reservist. He’s excited a…

    ; Flip
  • The Messenger Bird

    Author: Ruth Eastham

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • The Messenger Bird

    Author: Ruth Eastham

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 9+

    The Messenger Bird is an exciting adventure story with a twist, and will be particularly enjoyed by anyone who is interested in hi…

    ; Flip
  • Hitler's Angel

    Author: William Osborne

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    Flip
  • Hitler's Angel

    Author: William Osborne

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    In the summer of 1941, two displaced teenagers, one German, one Austrian, are recruited by the British government for a secret mis…

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  • My Brother's Keeper

    Author: Tom and Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Flip
  • My Brother's Keeper

    Author: Tom and Tony Bradman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Alfie's story has obvious subject appeal for boys and the length is enticing for reluctant readers, but this neat little story man…

    ; Flip