World-War Stories for kids, teens and young adults

In this list of well crafted and enduring stories of war, you will find age-appropriate recommendations that support school curriculum work. For the older readers, the books in this selection are a reminder to how war affects not only those on the battlefront and are relevant today considering the thousands of children and adults who have become refugees in recent years.

  • Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes – Age group 10-14 years.

A gripping and moving novel by one of the world’s best-loved writers for children. From much-loved author, Shirley Hughes comes a thrilling World War II novel for children aged 10 and up. It is 1944 and Florence, Italy, is occupied by Nazi German forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though – and neither have Paolo and his sister, Constanza. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings do against a whole army with only a bicycle to help them? In extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of extraordinary things.

 

 

 

  • Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden – Age group 9-11 years.

It is wartime and Carrie and her little brother Nick have been evacuated from their London home to the Welsh hills. In an unfamiliar place, among strangers, the children feel alone and find little comfort with the family they are billeted with: Mr Evans, a bullying shopkeeper and Auntie Lou, his kind but timid sister.

When Carrie and Nick visit Albert, another evacuee, they are welcomed into Hepzibah Green’s warm kitchen. Hepzibah is rumoured to be a witch, but her cooking is delicious, her stories are enthralling and the children cannot keep away. With Albert, Hepzibah and Mister Johnny, they begin to settle into their new surroundings. But before long, their loyalties are tested: will they be persuaded to betray their new friends?

  

  • Friend or Foe by Michael Morpurgo.  Age group 8-10 years.

Friend or Foe by [Morpurgo, Michael]Friend or Foe is a gripping World War 2 story from Britain’s best-loved children’s author, Michael Morpurgo.

Evacuated from London, David and Tucky feel like the war is a long way away from their new life in the countryside. Then one night the skyline of the moor is lit up with gun flashes, and the distant crump of bombing miles away brings the war back to them and shatters their new-found peace. When a German bomber crashes, the boys feel they should hate the airmen inside. But one of them saves David’s life.

  

  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.

“An engrossing and poignant story, with much sunlight to balance the darkness.” — “The New Yorker.

  

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Age group 12+.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Vintage Children's Classics) by [Boyne, John]‘Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone’

Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things on his mind. Who is the ‘Fury’? Why did he make them leave their nice home in Berlin to go to ‘Out-With’ ? And who are all the sad people in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence? The grown-ups won’t explain so Bruno decides there is only one thing for it – he will have to explore this place alone. What he discovers is a new friend. A boy with the very same birthday. A boy in striped pyjamas. But why can’t they ever play together?

  

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Age group 13+

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meagre existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbours during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

  


Get your hands on these unforgettable stories by much-loved authors. Books available now.               See you soon at Chapters!


If you like this list you might also like the following books which can be purchased on Amazon.  Thank you for shopping by clicking our Amazon links because it helps us to earn a commission from Amazon. It is only a small reward for the time we spent compiling this list and will cost you nothing extra.  

  • A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian – Age group – Older Teens

A classic young love story set in the middle of World War II

It is the summer of 1943, and war continues to rage. For Rose and her sister Diana, it’s a time of independence and self-discovery as they find first loves.  But when Rose uncovers an extraordinary love story from another war, she is forced to question that love.  Rose is about to discover a secret that will change everything. Michelle Magorian combines her rich style with a refreshing take on wartime women in this classic coming of age story.

True Stories of war

  • Voices from the second world war – Witnesses share their stories with the children of today.  Publishes in association with the award-winning children’s newspaper First News and The Silver Line. 

A powerful, moving collection of first-person accounts of the Second World War. Contributors include a rear gunner who took part in sixty bombing raids, a Jewish woman who played in the orchestra at Auschwitz, a Japanese man who survived Hiroshima and Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children by setting up the Kindertransport program from Czechoslovakia. Many of the interviews were conducted by children, and the book is being published in association with award-winning children’s newspaper First News.

Categories: Non-Fiction          For readers aged: 9+

The Diary of a young girl – Anne Frank

First published over sixty years ago, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl has reached millions of young people throughout the world.

In July 1942, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the occupation, went into hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse. Over the next two years Anne vividly describes in her diary the frustrations of living in such close quarters, and her thoughts, feelings and longings as she grows up. Her diary ends abruptly when, in August 1944, they were all betrayed.

  

Stories of animals in war

In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.

War Horse was adapted by Steven Spielberg as a major motion picture with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The National Theatre production opened in 2007 and has enjoyed successful runs in the West End and on Broadway.

A great way of introducing young readers to the realities of WWI. Look out for Morpurgo’s other war fiction including Friend or FoeWaiting for AnyaKing of the Cloud and An Eagle in the Snow.

War Horse is a story of universal suffering for a universal audience by a writer who ‘has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers’ (The Guardian).

   

You might be interested in this current bestseller.

The 11th installment of “Wimpy Kid” coming soon! Who’s excited?

 

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We’re excited for the latest release of the eleventh installment of Jeff Kinney’s internationally bestselling series The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: “Double Down”. We hope you are too! Make sure to grab your copy early; they fly off our shelves very fast.

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Source: www.wimpykidclub.co.uk

The pressure’s piling up on Greg Heffley. The only thing he’s good at is playing video games, but his parents want him to broaden his horizons by doing something—anything!—else.

When Greg finds an old video camera in his basement, he thinks he may have discovered just the thing to prove he’s got big-time talent. With the help of his best friend, Rowley, Greg hatches a plan to make a scary movie . . . and to become rich and famous in the process.

But is doubling down on movie-making a smart plan? Or is it just a recipe for increasing Greg’s troubles?

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2344-5
Hardcover

Double Down

Click here for an exclusive sneak peak of the opening chapter of Double Down!

 

Contact the store for inquiries or comment below.

Heart-warming reads for Tweens

We are constantly looking to fill our pre-teen shelves with literature that will inspire your kids to develop their love for books and more importantly, provide them with a rich reading experience. Here’s our latest hand-picked list which your kids can read to their heart’s content.

1. A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson

*For fans of “Wonder”!

“A boy called Hope” by Lara Williamson is a book about a boy, Dan Hope.

A story about his dreams and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamsonwishes, his fears and worries, and his search for hope. Because in life sometimes things are complicated and messy, not everyone is perfect, things can surprise us, they can make us laugh but they can also make us cry. This is Dan’s story, about what makes the world go round, what brings people and families together, and most of all, how hope helps you dream.

Sam Harper, age 10 – ‘This bitter-sweet book is fantastic, brilliant, funny and sad.  It made me laugh and cry and I’ve never read a book which could do that before.  You must read it.’

A Boy Called Hope is a joyous, heart-breaking and life-affirming story of one boy and his messy, muddled and madcap family. Dan Hope may be an ordinary boy, in an ordinary home, in an ordinary town but he has an extraordinary amount of hope in his heart particularly when it comes to his dad who has left the family home. Perfect for fans of Annabel Pitcher and Frank Cottrell Boyce.


2. How to Look for a Lost Dog by Ann M. Martin

11-year-old Rose is autistic and struggles to understand her classmates. How to Look for a Lost Dog by Ann M. MartinBut when her father gives her a stray dog, which she names Rain, the dog becomes her best friend, her anchor in a confusing world. So when Rain goes missing during a storm, Rose refuses to stop looking for him…A touching story from the bestselling author of The Babysitters Club.

Anastasia Abdian, age 11 – ‘How to Look for a Lost Dog is a truly amazing book. It gripped me the whole way and I could not put it down. Rose is a girl who likes these things: numbers, rules, words and her dog Rain. You will love it!’


3. A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin

*For fans of Michael Morpurgo

Best known for the Babysitters Club, Ann M Martin here tells the story of aA Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin dog, and with the warmth and understanding that made that series so popular. There’s nothing special about Squirrel, this isn’t a story of heroics, though she is brave when she has to be. Instead, it’s a story of finding your way, enjoying the good things and coping with the bad, and learning to trust and to love. Squirrel is a stray, and for most of the book has to manage alone; not till the very last chapters does she find somewhere safe to stay.

She tells her story calmly, without anger or bitterness when things go badly, and never asks for readers’ sympathy: she’s a dog, and she leads a dog’s life. It makes for a very touching story and one which will enthral readers.

“Heart-wrenching and heartwarming” – Kirkus


4. The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson

*One of our Books of the Year 2015 – Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2016

All Becket wants is for his family to be whole again. But standing in hisThe Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson way are two things: 1) his dad, his brother and him seem to have run away from home in the middle of the night and 2) Becket’s mum had died before he got the chance to say goodbye to her. Arming himself with an armchair of stories, a snail named Brian and one thousand paper cranes, Becket ploughs on, determined to make his wish come true.

With tears and laughter – often both at the same time – Lara Williamson deals with family drama with a poignancy and a lightness of touch that is incredibly moving.

The humour comes from Becket’s idiosyncratic view of life, and the things he gets up to with little brother Billy, but also from the gap that exists between adults’ and children’s understanding of the world. Becket does find the answers to his questions, and ends the book happier and a bit wiser – readers will too.


5. The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo

The story of a young boy who rescues an orphaned white lion cub from theThe Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo African bush. They remain inseparable until Bertie has to go away to boarding school and the lion is sold to a circus. Years later they are reunited until the lion gently dies of old age.

Amrit Bunet, age 15 – ‘Anyone will be able to read this heartwarming story and feel a smile creep across their face. This is one of Morpurgo’s great works and will always be one to remember.’


 

 

Quotable Quotes for Tween and Teen Readers

“It occurred to him that strength was quite different from toughness and that being vulnerable wasn’t quite the same as being weak.”

“I’d rather be happy and odd than miserable and ordinary,’ she said, sticking her chin in the air.”
Michelle Magorian, Goodnight Mister Tom

“The first thing he noticed was how quiet it was. This was nothing like the kind of quiet he heard when he woke up in the middle of the night after a bad dream. When that happened, there were always strange, unidentifiable sounds seeping into his room from the tiny gaps where the windowpanes weren’t sealed together correctly. At those moments he could always tell there was life outside, even if all that life was fast asleep. It was a silence that wasn’t silence at all.” — Noah Barleywater Runs Away, John Boyne

“This one isn’t just any old horse. There’s a nobility in his eye, a regal serenity about him. Does he not personify all that men try to be and never can be? I tell you, my friend, there’s divinity in a horse, and specially in a horse like this. God got it right the day he created them. And to find a horse like this in the middle of this filthy abomination of a war, is for me like finding a butterfly on a dung heap. We don’t belong in the same universe as a creature like this.”
Michael Morpurgo, War Horse

“..But the boys know better. They know thatelephants ask very little from life. Only Tumburlaine is ambitious to capture the stars and all the lands that lie beneath them.” –Tamburlaine’s Elephants,  Geraldine McCaughrean

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“Life is where you sleep and what you see when you wake up in the morning, and who you tell about your weird dream, and what you eat for breakfast and who you eat it with. Life isn’t something that happens to you. It’s something you make yourself, all the time.”

“Who’s the real you? The person who did something awful, or the one who’s horrified by the awful thing you did? Is one part of you allowed to forgive the other?”

Rebecca Stead, Goodbye Stranger

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.”

“But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

“Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there.”

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”


“I just…feel like I need to save everyone. To redeem myself.”

“sometimes you don’t look very hard for things you don’t believe will or can happen.”
James Dashner, The Maze Runner

SPIRIT ANIMALS Series

Set in the world of Erdas, the four child protagonists; Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan find their unique spirit animal bond which gives incredible powers to both, once linked. The Spirit Animals series explores the adventure of these four legends who set out on a quest with their animals with the aim of saving the world of Erdas before it falls apart.

All seven Spirit Animals books are high-quality hardcover books authored by award-winning writers. They are bound to be an all-time favourite for fans of Beast Quest and other adventure novels; the books also allow the readers to unlock a game and discover their own spirit animal online at scholastic.com/spiritanimals

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RICK RIORDAN’S LATEST BLOCKBUSTER!

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan re-emerges yet again with his new novel, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer.

This gripping mystery novel explores the adventures of Magnus Chase, a daring but cautious young boy who lives on the streets of Boston following his mother’s death. This changes when Magnus is finally tracked down by the one man his mother warned him about—Uncle Randolph. Not long after, Magnus discovers a bizarre truth; that he is the son of a Norse God- a secret he is forced to keep.

“The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.”

Magnus is torn between saving himself or the lives of hundreds more when the fire giants throw an attack on the city.

“Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE SWORD OF SUMMER is a part of our new collection at Chapters! Click below to browse more books by Rick Riordan.

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More than books for kids

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: OLD SCHOOL 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School is a children’s comic novel and is the tenth book of the Wimpy Kid Series written by Jeff Kinney. Greg Heffley, the book’s main character finds himself in a town that voluntarily chooses to stay away from electronics and modern technology. Greg becomes cynical towards this new trend that seems to be going around town. In the meantime, he begins to question if life truly is better without all these gadgets and gizmos. Will Greg learn to adapt to the ‘old school’ routine or is it just too hard for a little kid like him?

Find out with the latest Wimpy Kid book, available now at Chapters Bookstore! Jeff Kinney demonstrates a brilliantly comic narrative weaved with a compilation of creative doodles and an exclusive bonus of Wimpy Kid stickers on the last page.

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DORK DIARIES SERIES 

Image result for dork diaries booksThe Dork Diaries is a comic children’s series written by Rachel Renee Russell, suitable for children and pre-teens alike. The books are narrated by the novel’s main figure, a fourteen year old girl named Nikki Maxwell. Dork Diaries belongs to realistic fiction and was first published by Aladdin Paperbacks in June 2009. The tenth book of the series was released recently in October 2015.

The series revolves around the drama and happenings in Nikki’s life and includes an exclusive collection of comic strips, artsy doodles and drawings that bring every page to life. Some of the books also have space for the readers to write and draw on, together with Nikki’s helpful writing prompts.

“I’m so glad this series will be continuing for at least another couple of books, and I’m convinced it should be as popular as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Middle grade girls will love Nikki and her friends, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she gets herself into next. Love it!” -wondrousreads.com

This global best-seller is popular among the pre-teen age group and is certainly a thrilling read.

 

 

For more children’s books and best-sellers browse_now_button