Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Wildflowers of Terezin was one of my favorite reads of the year so far.  Stay tuned tomorrow for a short interview with Robert Elmer.  I would love to be able to sit down with Robert's family, as I'm sure they would have lots of fascinating stories to share.

In that vein, I've decided to dedicate this column to teaching World War II to children through literature.   As a former English major, assistant librarian, homeschool mom, bookworm, and aspiring author I naturally lean towards teaching through literature.  The second World War is one of my favorite eras to read about.  So I've decided to compile a World War II reading list.

Ages 9-12:

Dover Coloring Books Story of World War II: In my opinion the Dover coloring books are a fantastic way to teach history.  They're inexpensive and fun.

The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel: I remember reading this in elementary school and several scenes have planted themselves firmly in my memory.  It is a beautiful and painful story of two girls, one Jewish and one a member of the Hitler Youth, determined to maintain a friendship even as the country falls prey to the Third Reich.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: I read many books by Lois Lowry during my youth, and all were extraordinary.  Number the Stars is a favorite of mine and tells the story of a young girl's journey of maturation during the tumultuous Danish resistance.

World War II (DK Eyewitness): I have not read this particular volume, but Elizabeth really enjoys the DK Eyewitness books.  They are informative, colorful, and fantastic at answering all those "why" questions we usually end up "googling."

Young Adults and Adults:

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Although it seems cliche to add this quintessential World War II book I do feel it is one that every child and adult should read.  I suggest the abridged version for children as the unabridged version does have some more adult content.

The Zion Covenant series by Brock and Bodie Thoene: I enjoyed this series for its well-researched historical content and Christian perspective on the time period. 

Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer

Songs in the Night series by Jack Cavanaugh: This is a beautiful story of one pastor's heroic actions and a powerful story of restoring a marriage.

Winter Passing trilogy by Cindy Martinusen

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom: My all-time favorite World War II read.  If you have ever struggled with bitterness or forgiving someone spend a bit of time in Corrie's world.  This is a life-changing read with real characters who struggle through intense fiery trials, but ultimately triumph through their faith in the God who loves them.

I have some World War II books in the stack for which I've heard fantastic reviews: No Other by Shawna K. Williams and A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin.

Do you enjoy reading about the World War II era?  Do you have any favorite books set during this era?


Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


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