Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to World War I. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about World War I.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about World War I, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like A Scarf for Keiko to popular sellers like No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.
We hope this list of kids books about World War I can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Friendship, loyalty, and kindness stand the test of time in this heartwarming World War II-era picture book based on a true story from the beloved author-illustrator of <i>Pink and Say </i>and <i>The Keeping Quilt</i>. <p/>Tucky Jo was known as the “kid from Kentucky” when he enlisted in the army at age fifteen. Being the youngest recruit in the Pacific during World War II was tough. But he finds a friend in a little girl who helps him soothe his bug bites, and he gets to know her family and gives them some of his rations. Although the little girl doesn’t speak English, Tucky Jo and Little Heart share the language of kindness. Many years later, Tucky Jo and Little Heart meet again, and an act of kindness is returned when it’s needed the most in this touching picture book based on a true story.
Timothée de Fombelle and Isabelle Arsenault capture the heart-wrenching cost of war for one small girl in a delicately drawn, expertly told tale. While her father is at war, five-year-old Rosalie is a captain on her own secret mission. She wears the disguise of a little girl and tracks her progress in a secret notebook. Some evenings, Rosalie’s mother reads aloud Father’s letters from the front lines, so that Rosalie knows he is thinking of her and looking forward to the end of the war and to finally coming home. But one day a letter comes that her mother doesn’t read to her, and Rosalie knows her mission must soon come to an end. Author Timothée de Fombelle reveals the true consequence of war through the experiences of small, determined Rosalie, while acclaimed artist Isabelle Arsenault illustrates Rosalie’s story in muted grays marked with soft spots of color – the orange flame of Rosalie’s hair, the pale pink of a scarf, the deep blue ink of her father’s letters. All the more captivating for the simplicity with which it is drawn and told, this quiet tale will stay with the reader long after its last page is turned.
Ever since the Nazis marched into Monique’s small French village, terrorizing it, nothing surprises her, until the night Monique encounters ?the little ghost? sitting at the end of her bed. She turns out to be a girl named Sevrine, who has been hiding from the Nazis in Monique’s basement. Playing after dark, the two become friends, until, in a terrifying moment, they are discovered, sending both of their families into a nighttime flight.
Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to life the story of a Mexican-American war hero Jos. de la Luz S.enz (1888-1953)–or Luz–believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn’t receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz’s diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz’s later years, an author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.
Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story - This unforgettable tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Barbara Cooney, has become a seasonal classic-a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.
Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War - A delightful tale inspired by the true story of a brave goat war hero. Perfect for fans of Finding Winnie and Rescue and Jessica. During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort. Billy . . . • Trained with the soldiers • Was smuggled across the ocean • Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges • Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason • Got trench foot • Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell • Came back home a decorated war hero This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!
A Scarf for Keiko - It's 1942. Sam's class is knitting socks for soldiers and Sam is a terrible knitter. Keiko is a good knitter, but some kids at school don't want anything to do with her because the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and her family is Japanese American. When Keiko's family is forced to move to a camp for Japanese Americans, can Sam find a way to demonstrate his friendship?
During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog’s battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend’s side.
Anne’s children were almost grown up, except for pretty, high-spirited Rilla. No one could resist her bright hazel eyes and dazzling smile. Rilla, almost fifteen, can’t think any further ahead than going to her very first dance at the Four Winds lighthouse and getting her first kiss from handsome<P> Kenneth Ford. But undreamed-of challenges await the irrepressible Rilla when the world of Ingleside becomes endangered by a far-off war. Her brothers go off to fight, and Rilla brings home an orphaned newborn in a soup tureen. She is swept into a drama that tests her courage and leaves her changed forever.
Rediscover Anne Shirley and her adventures in this beautiful edition of L.M. Montgomery’s classic. <p/>The youngest daughter of Anne and Gilbert meets the trials of World War I with irrepressible spirit in this artfully packaged edition of the sixth book in the Anne of Green Gables series. <p/>Anne’s children are almost grown up, except for pretty, high-spirited Rilla. No one can resist her bright hazel eyes and dazzling smile. Rilla, nearly fifteen, can’t think any further ahead than going to her very first dance at the Four Winds lighthouse and getting her first kiss from handsome Kenneth Ford. But undreamed-of challenges await as the world of Ingleside becomes endangered by a faraway war. When her brothers go off to fight and Rilla brings home an orphaned newborn in a soup tureen, she is swept into a drama that tests her courage and leaves her changed forever.
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II - From the bestselling author of “The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys” and “Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream” comes a compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. Presenting an aspect of American history that has never been fully told, Doris Kearns Goodwin describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become, only five years later, the preeminent economic and military power in the world. <BR>Using diaries, interviews, and White House records of the president’s and first lady’s comings and goings, Goodwin paints a detailed, intimate portrait not only of the daily conduct of the presidency during wartime but of the Roosevelts themselves and their extraordinary constellation of friends, advisers, and family, many of whom lived with them in the White House. <BR>Bringing to bear the tools of both history and biography, “No Ordinary Time” relates the unique story of how Franklin Roosevelt led the nation to victory against seemingly insurmountable odds and, with Eleanor’s essential help, forever changed the fabric of American society.
Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II - More than 500,000 British and French soldiers were trapped in France in May of 1940. To their rescue came several men who sailed the “little ships” across the English Channel as part of a legendary armada. Many people wanted to be a part of the mission – including a girl who wanted more than anything to be part of a worthy cause.
Snow Treasure - In the bleak winter of 19 0, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lundstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated–until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country’s treasure–and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.
Hattie Big Sky - Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle’s homesteading claim.<BR>For years, sixteen-year-old Hattie’s been shuttled between relatives. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she courageously leaves Iowa to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim near Vida, Montana. With a stubborn stick-to-itiveness, Hattie faces frost, drought and blizzards. Despite many hardships, Hattie forges ahead, sharing her adventures with her friends–especially Charlie, fighting in France–through letters and articles for her hometown paper. <BR>Her backbreaking quest for a home is lightened by her neighbors, the Muellers. But she feels threatened by pressure to be a Loyal American, forbidding friendships with folks of German descent. Despite everything, Hattie’s determined to stay until a tragedy causes her to discover the true meaning of home. From the Hardcover edition.
Nine-year-old Anna and her sisters love to play with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop. But when World War I begins, an embargo on German-made goods-including the parts Papa needs to repair the dolls-threatens to put the family’s shop out of business. Fortunately, Anna has an idea that just might save the day. Inspired by the true story of Madame Alexander, this is a timeless tale of family and imagination. This beautiful gift edition of The Doll Shop Downstairs, featuring an eye-catching foil embossed cover, will make a perfect holiday present for dreamers and doll lovers everywhere.
They went by many names, but the world came to know them best as the Harlem Hellfighters. Two thousand strong, these black Americans from New York picked up brass instruments—under the leadership of famed bandleader and lieutenant James Reese Europe—to take the musical sound of Harlem into the heart of war. From the creators of the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book, And the Soldiers Sang, this remarkable narrative nonfiction rendering of WWI – and American – history uses free-verse poetry and captivating art to tell century-old story of hellish combat, racist times, rare courage, and inspired music.
Newbery Honor Book - ALA Notable Book - An SLJ Best Book - A Jane Addams Award Honor Book - Winner of the Jewish Book Council Children's Book Award
When Roberto sneaks off to see a movie in his Italian village, he has no idea that life as he knows it is over. German soldiers raid the theater, round up the boys in the audience, and pack them onto a train. After a terrifying journey, Roberto and his best friend Samuele find themselves in a brutal work camp, where food is scarce and horror is everywhere. The boys vow to stay together no matter what. But Samuele has a dangerous secret, which, if discovered, could get them both killed. Lovers of historical fiction will be captivated by this tragic, triumphant, and deeply moving novel.
The Summer We Found the Baby - Set during World War II, this poignant, briskly paced historical novel relays the events of one extraordinary summer from three engaging points of view.
Summer of My German Soldier (Puffin Modern Classics) - An emotional, thought-provoking book from multi-award-winning author Bette Greene.
Summer of My German Soldier - An emotional, thought-provoking book from multi-award-winning author Bette Greene.
Rip to the Rescue - It's 1940 and Nazi bombs are raining down on London, but 13-year-old bike messenger Jack has just discovered something unbelievable: a stray dog with a surprising talent.
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