I've decided to do the A to Z Blogger Challenge this year and I'm recommending five books all from the same alphabetical genre each day. If you've been reading since A is for Adventure, you may have noticed that I've been doubling up on a few of my favorite genres. It's hard to come up with 26 different genres that start with 26 different letters. So today we are going to return to H is for Historic but with a slightly narrower approach. Today, W is for WW2. I love historical fiction, and there are a lot of really great historical fiction pieces written about WW2. Here are five of my favorites.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - While this book is YA, I recommend it to adults all the time and everyone I know that has read it regardless of age agrees it's one of the best books they have ever read. So if you haven't read The Book Thief yet, do it. This WW2 tale is different than many of the other WW2 novels filling the shelves for a couple of reasons. First, it is narrated by death. During WW2, death witnessed a lot, why wouldn't he have a story to tell? Secondly, this story takes place in Germany and the main characters aren't Jewish. They also aren't evil. Instead, this death shows us how normal humans with feelings and emotions very similar to everyone else's somehow lost control of their lives and the world in the movement known as the Third Reich.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - This MG story is about a girl in Denmark who's best friend is Jewish. When the Nazi's invade her country, her best friend's parents flee and her friend suddenly becomes her sister, taking on the identity of a sister who died in infancy. While this story doesn't take place in a secret attic it has a very Anne Frank feel to it and beautifully shows the things that brave people did to protect the lives of Jewish children.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford - Most WW2 stories focus on the horror known as the Holocaust. But the interment of Japanese Americana's is another very important part of 1940's history. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a very touching story about a Chinese American boy's love for a Japanese American girl and the future that they both lost when she was taken away by US soldiers for the protection of the country.
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell - While Italy was technically an ally of Germany during WW2, Mussolini and his Italian forces were not anti-semitic. Priests issued fake baptism papers to most Italian Jews, but there were also a number of European Jewish refugees who crossed the Alps and hid from the German's behind Italian lines. A Thread of Grace is a touching story about the lives of many of those refugees.
Broken for You by Sephanie Kollos - This book isn't set in the 1940's but it is one of my favorite novels. Margaret is an elderly woman living in a Seattle house filled with treasures. Treasures that her Nazi sympathetic father stole from European Jews during WW2. Margaret wants to return the fine art and porcelain, but how do you return something to a person who was executed in a concentration camp? So Margaret does the next best thing, she takes in a young artist with a great ability to break things. Together they destroy the treasures collected by her Father and out of the ruble build something new and beautiful.
What about you? What's your favorite WW2 story?