The books on this list all contains themes of war, death and the Holocaust. The recommended age is set by the publishers, but parent/carer discretion is recommended as every child is different.
The boy in the striped pyjamas
by John Boyne
A story of innocence existing within the most terrible evil, this is the fictional tale of two young boys caught up in events beyond their control.
by Morris Gleitzman
For three years and eight months Felix has lived in a convent orphanage high in the mountains in Poland. But Felix is different from the other orphans. He is convinced his parents are still alive and will come back to get him. Escaping from the orphanage, Felix embarks on a long and dangerous journey through Nazi occupied Poland.
This is the first in a series, try the others here.
When Hitler stole pink rabbit
by Judith Kerr
Partly autobiographical, this is first of the internationally acclaimed trilogy by Judith Kerr telling the unforgettable story of a Jewish family fleeing from Germany at the start of the Second World War.
The Mozart question
by Michael Morpurgo
When Lesley is sent to Venice to interview world-renowned violinist Paulo Levi on his fiftieth birthday, she cannot believe her luck. She is told that she can ask him anything at all – except the Mozart question. But it is Paulo himself who decides that it is time for the truth to be told. And so follows the story of his parents as Jewish prisoners of war, forced to play Mozart violin concerti for the enemy; how they watched fellow Jews being led off to their deaths and knew that they were playing for their lives. As the story unfolds, the journalist begins to understand the full horror of war, and how one group of musicians survived using the only weapon they had – music.
The dollmaker of Krakow
by R.M. Romero
One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939, and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. And when the darkness of the Nazi occupation sweeps over the city Karolina and the Dollmaker must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends from a terrible danger, no matter what the risks.
Anna and the Swallow Man
by Gavriel Savit
Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. But Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she’s alone. Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna’s missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous.
The silver sword
by Ian Serraillier
The night the Nazis come to take their mother away, three children escape in a terrifying scramble across the rooftops. Alone in the chaos of Warsaw, they have to learn to survive on their own.