What to Read: World War II Books for Kids

We’ve recently been studying World War II in our homeschool, so naturally that means we found some great World War II books for kids in the process.

What to Read: Children’s Books About World War II

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Having a list of great children’s books on hand is especially helpful when learning about heavy topics like World War II. Today I’m sharing the ones we came across in hopes that it will make your World War II study a bit easier.

World War II Books for Kids

1. World War II for Kids

World War II for Kids is a great place to start when studying World War II with your kids. From maps to timelines to personal anecdotes from those who experienced WWII firsthand, this title from the For Kids series is a well-rounded way to study the war, what led to it, and the aftermath.

2. What Was?/Who Was? Books

World War II books from the Who Was? series are a good choice for elementary kids who are comfortable reading chapter books. They explain the happenings of the war in great detail, but present the information in a manner that’s appropriate for children.

  • What Was D-Day?
  • What Was Pearl Harbor? 
  • What Was the Holocaust?
  • Who Was Anne Frank?

3. Nim and the War Effort

Nim and the War Effort was one of our favorite library finds when we were covering World War II in our homeschool. It follows the story of Nim, a Chinese American girl, as she seeks to contribute to the war effort by collecting newspapers for her school’s paper drive.

4. Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II

Always Remember Me was another one of our favorite World War II books we found through our local library. This poignant picture book views World War II from the perspective of a Jewish family who experienced the terror and heartbreak firsthand, but does so gently.

5. You Wouldn’t Want To Be Books

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a World War II Pilot and You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Secret Agent in World War II are good reading options if you need a relief from the usual heaviness that comes in studying World War II. In typical You Wouldn’t Want to Be stylethese two use a cartoonish and lighter approach in explaining the challenges experienced by pilots and secret agents during the war.

6. The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk

This one is a great World War II book to help kids learn about one of the lesser-known events from the war. The Little Ships is written from the perspective of a little girl and her determination to aid in the Dunkirk evacuation in May of 1940.

7. Simple History: A Simple Guide to World War II

If you’re familiar with the Simple History series on YouTube, you’ll love their World War II book: A Simple Guide to World War II. It’s a short fact-filled option that’s ideal for older elementary kids. 

8. The Butterfly

Inspired by true events and written by one of our favorite children’s authors, The Butterfly shares the story of a friendship between two girls during World War II: Sevrine, a Jewish girl on the run from the Nazis, and Monique, the French girl whose family provided her place of refuge.

9. Jars of Hope

Another World War II book inspired by true events, Jars of Hope tells the story of Irena Sendler, a war hero who’s never before appeared in our other WWII readings. In this book, we learn of Ms. Sendler and her selfless efforts to save 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

10. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot is a sweet picture book about a true story that happened during the Berlin Airlift. Although this event happened in 1948 — after World War II ended — it sheds light on the tension that existed between British, American, and Soviet forces during their post-war German occupation. I especially like this one because it’s a good way to highlight some hope and kindness during a bleak time in history. 

Do you have any favorite World War II books for kids? If so, share them in the comments below so that we can all check into them.

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