Books about war

In elementary fiction this month, we’re trying out a new featured section of historical fiction about war.  A lot of these are books you probably read when you were a bit younger – books like Number the Stars and The Little Riders – as well as books you’d probably enjoy now – books like The Green Glass Sea, which is about the Manhattan project, and Bull Run, a series of monologues from sixteen people at the Battle of Bull Run.  All of this got me thinking about good war fiction (and some nonfiction) for teens.  Here’s a list of some favorites.

First of all, my favorite discovery in looking for war books was Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell‘s collection of essays, articles, personal recollections, and even a one-act play: WAR IS…: Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War. Aronson and Campbell explore the topic of war in general in two introductions, then turn the stage over to people across time and around the world whose lives have been shaped and changed by war.

Purple Heart was one of our favorites of 2009.  Here’s Jory’s review:

Matt Duffy is not sure he deserves the PURPLE HEART (HarperCollins, $16.99) he is given in an Iraqi combat hospital while recovering from traumatic brain injury. Back in combat, with the floating memory of a young Iraqi boy’s death haunting him, Matt tries to figure out the consequences of split-second decisions made by young, inexperienced soldiers.  Patricia McCormick leaves the reader pondering the unintended consequences of current policy in Iraq and Afganistan.  -Jory Hearst

For more about modern wars, try Walter Dean Myers books: SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH, which tells the story of a young Army recruit in Iraq, and FALLEN ANGELS, which chronicles seventeen-year-old Richie Perry’s Army duty in Vietnam.

There is no dearth of historical fiction about World War II, but here are a couple not to miss:

In SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER by Bette Greene, Patty Bergen, a young Jewish girl, meets a German prisoner of war at the prison camp in her Arkansas town.

Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis‘ new graphic novel, RESISTANCE, is the first is a series about a young brother and sister who get involved in the French Resistance when they try to protect their Jewish friend and neighbor.

If you’re interested in World War I, try Michael Morpurgo‘s PRIVATE PEACEFUL, which follows the thoughts of Thomas Peaceful, a British prisoner of war, as he struggles through the night toward a morning that promises nothing but horror.  In nonfiction, Russell Freedman‘s fantastic THE WAR TO END ALL WARS gives a history of the war from Sarajevo to Versailles.


~ by Dana on September 15, 2010.

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