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Holocaust/WWII Novels and a Movie - Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

It seems that once in a while, we imagine what it’s like to live during a war. By doing so, we realize how blessed we are to be living in a war-free country. It hasn’t even been a century since the most recent war has ended when our grandparents experienced the turmoil themselves. The most respectable thing we can do to honour those who served for the peace of this country is to remember their service and be grateful. I’ve sorted out some literature related to World War II and the Holocaust. There are hundreds of remarkable English books related to this topic, in other languages even more, but I’ll be introducing a few books that I have read.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key - book coverSarah’s Key was originally published in French in 2006. It’s a heartbreaking story of a French-Jewish girl named Sarah who was arrested in the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (mass arrest of Jews in Paris in 1942) with her parents. Following along with Sarah’s story in the book, there is a parallel plot of an American journalist’s story. This journalist is asked to write an article about the Roundup where she learns about this young girl’s life.

This novel had has been adapted into a movie with the same title but I recommend reading the book first! Here is the trailer of the movie:

Annexed - book cover

Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Annexed was inspired by the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, and adopts the same setting of the attic. When the Franks go into hiding in the sealed-off upper rooms of the annex at the back of Otto Frank's company building in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, they are joined by another family: Hermann van Pels (Otto's business partner), his wife Auguste, and their teenage son Peter. This fictional story is narrated by Peter van Pels, giving us a different aspect of the life in the annex that so many of us already know from Anne Frank's diary. It's certainly a good idea to read The Diary of Anne Frank first. Also, The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the bestselling books of all time with approximately 30 million sales worldwide in 60 different languages!

The Darkest Corner of the World - book cover

The Darkest Corner of the World by Urve Tamberg

This historical fiction takes place in Estonia (Northern Europe) during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1940, followed by Nazi Germany in 1941. Madli, 15-years-old, tells the story in first-person narration and in brief journal entries to guide the readers through both her personal distresses and the events caused by the country’s tragedy. Visit The Darkest Corner of the World.

The Thief - book cover

Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve already written a book review on this one. It’s absolutely one of my favorite novels.

If you’d like to read the review, here is the link:

The Book Thief

I would like to finish my blog post with a movie that I’ve enjoyed very much.

The Pianist - book cover

The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski

Directed by Roman Polanski, this beautiful movie was based on the autobiographical book, The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. It has received significant critical praise along with Academy Awards and many other awards. I strongly recommend this movie!


Teen Blogger

Editors Note: Some of these titles are aimed at an adult audience but to paraphrase Gina when I asked her about any disturbing content:

There are "some disturbing scenes and the [novels have] a few more. It might be shocking to some readers, but that’s what makes [it] even more realistic and truthful to the reality of war."


  • The Lie Tree
  • The way he lived
  • A drop of night
  • Thief of lies
  • Defender
  • Character, driven
  • Every young adult's break-up survival guide
  • Hidden gold
  • The heart of stone
  • The last boy and girl in the world
  • The epidemic
  • I see reality
  • Finding Hope
  • Under the Dusty Moon
  • Flawd
  • Dark energy
  • Hot pterodactyl boyfriend
  • Harmony House
  • Burning
  • See no color
  • One of us
  • A tangle of gold
  • It should have been a #GoodDay
  • Beautiful broken things
  • The radiant road
  • Speak a word for freedom
  • When we collided
  • Hit count
  • Fig
  • The beast of Cretacea
  • Essential maps for the lost
  • Queen
  • Exit, pursued by a bear
  • The Raven King
  • Breakaway
  • The forbidden orchid
  • The young adult's guide to public speaking