Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Today's topic for Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, so I have decided to answer a question I get asked often: What is my favorite WWII book of all that I have read so far? Here, then, are my top favorites, in no particular order at all.
Aside from the fact that I am partial to black cats, I thought this novel was one of the most effective animal stories I have ever read. Westall really captured the nature of cat and never, ever anthropomorphized Lord Gort, the main character in this book, as she traveled the coast of southern England looking for her true human during WWII. (Her true human thought she was a male cat and named her after the guy who was blamed for the debacle at Dunkirk.)
This is one of the most effective Holocaust stories I have read. Once and Then are the stories Felix tells us about his life as a Jewish child on the run form the Nazis. A natural-born storyteller, Felix reminds us of the importance of remembering through his narration. Now completes Felix's story many years later and is narrated by a young girl named Zelda.
This is perhaps my favorite story about Dunkirk and still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. It is a story of love, healing and redemption between a lonely hunchback artist, a young girl and an injured snow goose. It is a short story and can be read online here, although it doesn't include any of the lovely illustrations in the picture book versions.
The novels offer the excitement of a nail-biting time-slip story and a vivid, well-researched picture of England in World War II. The are, quite simply, science/historical fiction at its best.
If you like I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, these are the books for you. The pre-war story about a royal family on a tiny Channel island and what happens when the Nazis come is told in journal for by young Sophie FitzOsborne. The third book in this trilogy is called The FitzOsbornes at War and will be out this coming fall.
This is a story about Japanese internment in early graphic novel form, and is based on the author's own experiences. It is done in 197 very simple pen and ink drawings with very little text, letting the illustrations tell the story for the most part. It is an extraordinarily powerful book about a shameful event in this country's history during a period of when we were fighting against this kind of oppression.
The story of a young girl who hides and takes care of an ill Russian soldier, an escaped POW, and the friendship that develops between them, even though neither speaks the other's language. Pausewang creates a mood of stark tension, fear but also kindness all at the same time, while never forgetting that if caught, the heroine would be executed for treason.
A picture book that is now out of print and hard if not impossible to find outside a library, it is another wonderful cat story depicting how easily life changes for ordinary people (and cats) during and after a war. The illustrations are exquisite and really enhance the cat's experiences from a kitten to an old cat. Another animal story that brings tears to my eyes.
Narrated by Death, it is the story of a girl determined to read even as books are being censored and even burned by the Nazis, and the power of language to influence people's thinking, sometimes for the good, sometimes not for the good.
This is the first published novel describing what life was life for a Jewish family living in Berlin in 1933, the same year it was published, and is based on stories Feuchtwanger heard from people fleeing Nazi Germany. It has a very definite feeling of immediacy to it, even now.
And one to grow on:
The story of a friendship between two young women, one a spy, the other a pilot, during WWII. This has one of the most wonderful unreliable narrators to come along since Salman Rushdie's Saleem in Midnight's Children.