Today on OOM we are celebrating Veterans Day, honoring those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. One way in which we can honor veterans is to read about different kinds of war and war experiences. See below for some of our newest books about war published this year for young readers.
Brave Like My Brother (Ages 7–10) by Marc Tyler Nobleman: When Joe is drafted to fight in World War II, he promises to write his younger brother Charlie lots and lots of letters. It won’t make up for not being there to help him with the neighborhood bullies, but it’s all Joe can do. Life is tough for a soldier, and Joe tells Charlie all about it—from training in endless rain and mud to the stray dog the soldiers adopt. When Joe is sent on a secret mission with a soldier he dislikes, they face risks that place their mission and their lives in danger. Charlie knew his older brother was strong, but through his letters he learns what Joe really is—a hero. Through Joe’s letters Charlie finds the courage to be brave and the strength to stand up for himself, just like his brother.
The Enemy Above (Ages 8–12) by Michael P. Spradlin: The Germans are closing in and 12-year old Anton and his family have nowhere to run. Ruthless and ambitious Colonel Karl Von Duesen of the Gestapo has made it his mission to round up every Jew in the Ukrainian countryside, and he’s getting close. If discovered, they will be sent off to work camps or worse. The only place they can hide from the Nazis is right beneath their feet and a web of underground caves seems like the perfect hiding place. But when a surprise invasion catches them off guard, and Anton’s grandmother is captured he is forced to make a radical decision. He won’t run. He won’t hide. He will follow the Gestapo and rescue his grandmother. He will stop being the hunted and start doing some hunting of his own.
The Bicycle Spy (Ages 8–12) by Yona Zeldis McDonough: Marcel dreams of someday competing in the Tour de France, the greatest bicycle race. But ever since Germany’s occupation of France began two years ago, in 1940, the race has been canceled. Now there are soldiers everywhere, interrupting Marcel’s rides with checkpoints and questioning. When he later discovers that his friend’s entire family is in imminent danger, Marcel knows he can help—but it will involve taking a risky bicycle ride to pass along covert information. And when nothing ends up going according to plan, it’s up to him to keep pedaling and to think quickly . . . because his friend, her family and his own future hang in the balance.
Liberty: Dogs of World War II (Ages 9—12) by Kirby Larson:Fish has a knack for inventing. His annoying neighbor, Olympia, has a knack for messing things up. But when his latest invention leads Fish to Liberty—a beautiful stray dog who needs a home, he and Olympia work together to rescue her. At the Higgins boatyard, where the boats that just might save the Allied forces during World War II are built, the wartime workforce is integrated and includes women and the disabled. However, a friendship that crosses racial lines is not the norm in 1940s New Orleans. Fish, who suffered from polio and whose dad is away fighting in Europe, looks up to Mr. Higgins, and he's thrilled when one of his inventions helps Mr. Higgins's engineers unlock the mechanics of the landing crafts. Mr. Higgins inspires him to be bold and brave. As Fish enlists the help of unexpected friends and allies to save Liberty, he finds his perceptions of the world -- of race and war, family and friendship -- transformed.
Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War 11 (Ages 9—12) by Alan Gratz: It’s the height of World War II. Michael O'Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany, lives with his family in Berlin. But Michael, like his parents, is a spy. He joins the Hitler Youth, taking part in their horrific games and book-burning, despising everything they stand for but using his insider knowledge to bring important information back to his parents and the British Secret Service. When Michael is tasked to find out more about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi mission, things get even more complicated. He must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs—even if it means risking the lives of his family . . . and himself.
Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific (Ages 10–14) by Deborah Hopkinson: Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941 with only 44 Naval submarines, many of them dating from the 1920s. With the Pacific battleship fleet decimated after Pearl Harbor, it was up to the feisty and heroic sailors aboard the U.S. submarines to stop the Japanese invasion across the Pacific. Hopkinson brings the voices and exploits of the brave U.S. submarine sailors to life using first-person accounts, archival materials, official Naval documents, and photographs.
Lost in the Pacific, 1942: Not a Drop to Drink (Lost #1) (Ages 10–14) by Tod Olson: World War II, October 1942: a plane carrying eight Americans crashes into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With only four oranges and no fresh water between them, the crew had to band together and rely on each other for survival. What they thought would be only a few hours or days before they were rescued turned into weeks lost at sea fighting off sharks, dehydration, hunger and extreme heat.
Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb (Ages 12 and up) by Neal Bascomb: Bestseller Neal Bascomb delivers another nail-biting work of nonfiction for young adults with Sabotage, an incredible true story set in Nazi occupied Norway during World War II. Sabotage follows a passionate cadre of Norwegian commandos, young men who longed to free their country from Hitler’s rule. Through their spy network, the group discovered the Nazis plans to manufacture a nuclear bomb. Armed with little more than parachutes, skis, and courage, these spies and soldiers survived frigid months in the wilderness before executing their desperate, dangerous missions. The result? The greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II.