World War II Books

Recommended Reads for 7th grade

Looking for some historical fiction set during WWII? Check out some of these books!

Remember that you can always search the library's catalog, Destiny Quest, to find books!

Find more World War II books in the Smith Library on this list in Destiny.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Find it in the Smith Library: FICTION Wein

Description from the publisher:

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.


My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve

Find it in the Smith Library: FICTION Voorhoeve

Description from the publisher:

Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl's life forever.

At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn't know when or if she'll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love, and these experiences shape her into a dauntless, charming young woman.

Originally published in Germany, Anne Voorhoeve's award-winning novel is filled with humor, danger, and romance.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Find it in the Smith Library: FICTION Sepetys

Description from the publisher:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.


Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn

Find it in the Smith Library: FICTION Hahn

Description from the publisher:

There's a blue star in Margaret's living room window, which means that her older brother Jimmy is overseas, fighting in the war Hitler started. There is one in Elizabeth's window, too, for her her brother Joe. But the girls' private war is with Gordy, the worst bully in sixth grade. After he and his friends tear down their tree house, Margaret and Elizabeth are determined to get even. They follow Gordy to his hideout in the woods, and stumble onto his alarming secret. It makes them more sympathetic toward the troubled boy. It also makes them question their feelings about war.

Mary Downing Hahn has drawn on her memories of her own childhood during World War II to create an authentic and thought-provoking novel.


Soldier X by Don Wulffson

Find it in the Smith Library: FICTION Wulffson

Description from the publisher:

Sixteen-year-old Erik Brandt barely knows what Germany is fighting for when he is drafted into Hitler's army in 1944. Sent to the killing fields of the Eastern Front, he is surrounded by unimaginable sights, more horrific than he ever thought possible. It's kill or be killed, and it seems clear that Erik's days are numbered. Until, covered in blood and seriously injured, he conceives of another way to survive. Filled with gritty and visceral detail, Soldier X will change the way every reader thinks about the reality of war.



Want more?

You can find a nearly complete list of World War II books in the Smith Library on this list in Destiny.

This list was created by Natalie Harvey, Teacher Librarian, at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill, NC. Yes, you may share it with others!