Historical Novels for Children: World War II

The novels listed here take place during World War II (1939-1945) or in the time leading up to it, chronicling events during one of the most horrific time periods of world history. However, the list also includes a few novels that do not deal directly with the war but rather take place in America during that time.

The novels listed here take place during World War II (1939-1945) or in the time leading up to it, chronicling events during one of the most horrific time periods of world history. However, the list also includes a few novels that do not deal directly with the war but rather take place in America during that time.

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Klaus

Author: Hagen, Michael

Subjects: European History; Nazi Germany; World War II

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Order code: 0955

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 0955S

Klaus Cover

The setting is Munich, Germany, November 8, 1923. Fourteen-year-old Klaus is celebrating his birthday quietly with his father in their simple apartment. His father had been a captain in the German Army during World War I, and his heartfelt gift to his son is the pocketwatch that had saved his life in battle.

Now Germany is in a time of economic disaster and political turmoil, a time when a pound of bread costs billions of marks and revolution is more probable than not. Although Klaus is aware of the political instability and feels danger for his father, who works for the head of the Social Democratic Party, which is hated by the members of the Nazi Party, he naively hopes that his father’s past military service and record—his affirmation of nationalism—might be a buffer to danger.

For young Klaus, Germany’s problems are still external. He is learning English from watching American western movies and wants to go to America to become an actor. Wondrously, he has just watched a stage rehearsal of “Hedda Gabler.” But on the way home from the rehearsal, his life changes abruptly. Klaus is caught in a wild crossfire and is wounded during Hitler’s attempted putsch. Later, Hitler’s brown-shirted Storm Troopers break into the apartment looking for his father. With his life threatened, Klaus knows that he must lie to save his father, but he is afraid to open his mouth for fear of bungling the job. Innocence was left behind in yesterday’s youth.

Michael Hagen writes with a fluidity and beauty that makes Klaus an unforgettable story. He is also the author of the historical novels Sail to Caribee and The African Term, both of which are published by Royal Fireworks Press. He is an accomplished stage actor and screenplay writer.

The setting is Munich, Germany, November 8, 1923. Fourteen-year-old Klaus is celebrating his birthday quietly with his father in their simple apartment. His father had been a captain in the German Army during World War I, and his heartfelt gift to his son is the pocketwatch that had saved his life in battle.

Now Germany is in a time of economic disaster and political turmoil, a time when a pound of bread costs billions of marks and revolution is more probable than not. Although Klaus is aware of the political instability and feels danger for his father, who works for the head of the Social Democratic Party, which is hated by the members of the Nazi Party, he naively hopes that his father’s past military service and record—his affirmation of nationalism—might be a buffer to danger.

For young Klaus, Germany’s problems are still external. He is learning English from watching American western movies and wants to go to America to become an actor. Wondrously, he has just watched a stage rehearsal of “Hedda Gabler.” But on the way home from the rehearsal, his life changes abruptly. Klaus is caught in a wild crossfire and is wounded during Hitler’s attempted putsch. Later, Hitler’s brown-shirted Storm Troopers break into the apartment looking for his father. With his life threatened, Klaus knows that he must lie to save his father, but he is afraid to open his mouth for fear of bungling the job. Innocence was left behind in yesterday’s youth.

Michael Hagen writes with a fluidity and beauty that makes Klaus an unforgettable story. He is also the author of the historical novels Sail to Caribee and The African Term, both of which are published by Royal Fireworks Press. He is an accomplished stage actor and screenplay writer.

Klaus Cover

Gypsy Prince: War Horse

Author: Townsend, Tom

Subjects: Horses; European History; World War II; Historical Fiction; Animal Story

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Order code: 4349

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 4349S

Gypsy Prince: War Horse Cover

"Tom Townsend has written a compelling story of World War II...and has just the right touch." – JoAnn W. Martin in the Review of Texas Books

Gypsy Prince was born small, the last foal of an old German war horse who had survived World War I. The stablemaster expected that because of his small size, the horse would end up pulling a beer wagon. But it was the late 1930s, and the Reich needed every horse for the conflict to come. And it needed all the expertise it could find to care for the horses, so Gypsy Prince and Hans, the stable boy who had looked after the horse, ended up in the same unit of the German Army, paired for the duration of the conflict.

They go into battle on the Eastern Front as part of the invasion of the Soviet Union. Together they make it as far as Stalingrad, where, with the Russians encircling the Germans, Gypsy Prince is turned loose rather than be turned into a stew for the hungry troops. With extraordinary luck, he makes it through enemy lines back to the German forces, where he is once again pressed into service. This time he is shipped to the Western Front, where he is taken and used by the French Resistance after the invasion at Normandy. Eventually, the horse finds himself loose and travels through France to Germany. He crosses the Rhine at Remagen just ahead of the American troops and continues to make his way across the countryside until he reaches the farm where he was born.

Through the eyes of the horse and the perspective of his interaction with humans, both kind and unkind, Tom Townsend has provided a basic and comprehensible history of the second World War. This perspective is superb at allowing children to see the values of the participants in the war without being didactic or preachy.

Tom Townsend is a writer, a historian, and a film producer. He is one of the best-known authors of young adult fiction, and many of his books are used in school systems, particularly in the Southwest. He attended high school at the Munich American School in Germany, where his father was an Army officer. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Nadia of the Nightwitches, also set during World War II. In addition, he is the author of the Fairie Ring Series. He and his wife live on a cattle ranch in Texas.

"Tom Townsend has written a compelling story of World War II...and has just the right touch." – JoAnn W. Martin in the Review of Texas Books

Gypsy Prince was born small, the last foal of an old German war horse who had survived World War I. The stablemaster expected that because of his small size, the horse would end up pulling a beer wagon. But it was the late 1930s, and the Reich needed every horse for the conflict to come. And it needed all the expertise it could find to care for the horses, so Gypsy Prince and Hans, the stable boy who had looked after the horse, ended up in the same unit of the German Army, paired for the duration of the conflict.

They go into battle on the Eastern Front as part of the invasion of the Soviet Union. Together they make it as far as Stalingrad, where, with the Russians encircling the Germans, Gypsy Prince is turned loose rather than be turned into a stew for the hungry troops. With extraordinary luck, he makes it through enemy lines back to the German forces, where he is once again pressed into service. This time he is shipped to the Western Front, where he is taken and used by the French Resistance after the invasion at Normandy. Eventually, the horse finds himself loose and travels through France to Germany. He crosses the Rhine at Remagen just ahead of the American troops and continues to make his way across the countryside until he reaches the farm where he was born.

Through the eyes of the horse and the perspective of his interaction with humans, both kind and unkind, Tom Townsend has provided a basic and comprehensible history of the second World War. This perspective is superb at allowing children to see the values of the participants in the war without being didactic or preachy.

Tom Townsend is a writer, a historian, and a film producer. He is one of the best-known authors of young adult fiction, and many of his books are used in school systems, particularly in the Southwest. He attended high school at the Munich American School in Germany, where his father was an Army officer. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Nadia of the Nightwitches, also set during World War II. In addition, he is the author of the Fairie Ring Series. He and his wife live on a cattle ranch in Texas.

Gypsy Prince: War Horse Cover

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The Eyes of the Enemy

Author: Black, Robert

Subjects: World War II; Historical Fiction

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

ISBN: 978-0-89824-323-9

Order code: 3239

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

The Eyes of the Enemy Cover

 Praise for Black’s books: “Very highly recommended… quite special and unique approach to storytelling.” – Midwest Book Review

An original, deftly crafted, inherently absorbing and thoroughly entertaining read for children ages 11 to 15, “The Eyes of the Enemy” by Robert Black is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school and community library Historical Fiction collections for young readers.” – Children’s Bookwatch

It is 1944, and the war between the United States and Japan rages across the Pacific. Back in Nebraska, Kathy Syverson has been having unusual dreams—very unusual dreams. She sees her brother Danny in a foreign land, living as a Marine. But Kathy doesn’t just see him; she is there. Her life in America is disturbed by vivid glimpses into her brother’s struggle overseas. Through these dreams she is afforded a unique perspective on those living on both sides of the front line.

Author, Robert Black writes:

"Seventy-two years ago in August, the Second World War was over with the dropping of the second atomic bomb on mainland Japan. In June the Battle of Okinawa was the last major engagement. At that point in the war, the Japanese strategy was to make the American advance so bloody and so costly that they’d choose to negotiate peace rather than conquer the Japanese Home Islands. What made the battle especially horrible was the large number of civilian casualties. It’s estimated that 142,000 people – one-third of the civilian population – were killed. Many were victims of “collateral damage,” and others committed suicide, too ashamed of their defeat or frightened by Japanese propaganda that portrayed Americans as savage brutes.

"Those civilians were the ones that drew me to the battle and led me to think there might be a story there. I was especially interested in the stories of children who were caught in the conflict. Perhaps the best known of these are the accounts of the Himeyuri students and other Okinawan high school girls who were pressed into service as battlefield nurses.

"In another book I found told the story of a young girl who was given a makeshift white flag by the elderly couple sheltering her and told to go to the Americans. By the time she made it, she was being followed by an entire line of surrendering Japanese soldiers. If there was to be a book for me to write about Okinawa, it would involve characters like these children, because my readers could relate to them."

Robert Black is also the author of Liberty Girl and Unswept Graves, published by Royal Fireworks Press.

Praise for Black’s books: “Very highly recommended… quite special and unique approach to storytelling.” – Midwest Book Review

An original, deftly crafted, inherently absorbing and thoroughly entertaining read for children ages 11 to 15, “The Eyes of the Enemy” by Robert Black is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school and community library Historical Fiction collections for young readers.” – Children’s Bookwatch

It is 1944, and the war between the United States and Japan rages across the Pacific. Back in Nebraska, Kathy Syverson has been having unusual dreams—very unusual dreams. She sees her brother Danny in a foreign land, living as a Marine. But Kathy doesn’t just see him; she is there. Her life in America is disturbed by vivid glimpses into her brother’s struggle overseas. Through these dreams she is afforded a unique perspective on those living on both sides of the front line.

Author, Robert Black writes:

"Seventy-two years ago in August, the Second World War was over with the dropping of the second atomic bomb on mainland Japan. In June the Battle of Okinawa was the last major engagement. At that point in the war, the Japanese strategy was to make the American advance so bloody and so costly that they’d choose to negotiate peace rather than conquer the Japanese Home Islands. What made the battle especially horrible was the large number of civilian casualties. It’s estimated that 142,000 people – one-third of the civilian population – were killed. Many were victims of “collateral damage,” and others committed suicide, too ashamed of their defeat or frightened by Japanese propaganda that portrayed Americans as savage brutes.

"Those civilians were the ones that drew me to the battle and led me to think there might be a story there. I was especially interested in the stories of children who were caught in the conflict. Perhaps the best known of these are the accounts of the Himeyuri students and other Okinawan high school girls who were pressed into service as battlefield nurses.

"In another book I found told the story of a young girl who was given a makeshift white flag by the elderly couple sheltering her and told to go to the Americans. By the time she made it, she was being followed by an entire line of surrendering Japanese soldiers. If there was to be a book for me to write about Okinawa, it would involve characters like these children, because my readers could relate to them."

Robert Black is also the author of Liberty Girl and Unswept Graves, published by Royal Fireworks Press.

The Eyes of the Enemy Cover

The Eyes of the Enemy sample pages:

Links

Hitler's Willing Warrior

Author: Gutsche, Henry

Subjects: European History; Nazi Germany; World War II

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 5205

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 5205S

Hitler's Willing Warrior Cover

Historians debate the guilt of the German people during the Nazi Era. Some argue that all Germans were a party to the evils of the Nazis, the Holocaust, and the execution of 9 million people in Germany’s concentration camps. Others argue that only a small number of Germans were really guilty, that the vast majority had no choice but to follow, themselves victims as well.

Henner Falk, seventeen, grew up anti-Nazi during the Nazi Era and naively expressed his political views. For that, he was imprisoned and tortured. He escaped and then was hunted for years by a Gestapo agent with a personal vendetta. Henner’s hiding place was in the thick of battle, fighting in the Luftwaffe against the Allies in Russia, Africa, and Italy. He did not desert; he did not surrender; he endured and hid, turning down rank promotion to remain inconspicuous in the corps of pilots and to remain alive.

In 1945 Henner became a prisoner of war, yet he felt free. In time he was repatriated back to a different Germany to finish his formal education and to resume his life as best he could with the family and friends he had left.

This is Henry Gutsche’s real-life story. He later became a leading research scientist in the field of silicon computer chips in the United States. Was Henner a henchman or a victim?

Historians debate the guilt of the German people during the Nazi Era. Some argue that all Germans were a party to the evils of the Nazis, the Holocaust, and the execution of 9 million people in Germany’s concentration camps. Others argue that only a small number of Germans were really guilty, that the vast majority had no choice but to follow, themselves victims as well.

Henner Falk, seventeen, grew up anti-Nazi during the Nazi Era and naively expressed his political views. For that, he was imprisoned and tortured. He escaped and then was hunted for years by a Gestapo agent with a personal vendetta. Henner’s hiding place was in the thick of battle, fighting in the Luftwaffe against the Allies in Russia, Africa, and Italy. He did not desert; he did not surrender; he endured and hid, turning down rank promotion to remain inconspicuous in the corps of pilots and to remain alive.

In 1945 Henner became a prisoner of war, yet he felt free. In time he was repatriated back to a different Germany to finish his formal education and to resume his life as best he could with the family and friends he had left.

This is Henry Gutsche’s real-life story. He later became a leading research scientist in the field of silicon computer chips in the United States. Was Henner a henchman or a victim?

Hitler's Willing Warrior Cover

Only the Birds Are Free: The Story of a War-Child in Greece

Author: Cornwell, Anna Christake

Subjects: Greek-Americans; European History; World War II

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 5728

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 5728S

Only the Birds Are Free: The Story of a War-Child in Greece Cover

Born in the United States to Greek parents, Anna Christake Cornwell was trapped in Greece during the Nazi occupation in World War II. Her mother and father had returned to Greece to educate their young son Tasio and their daughter Anna in the mother tongue and the ways of the homeland. Underlying the parents' concern was their daughter's free spirit, which seemed so different from what was expected of a proper girl in Greece. In 1940, in spite of the growing danger of world war, her father opted to return to the United States, leaving the rest of the family to follow later. But before they could book passage, they were trapped by the war, and Mama was left to protect her two young children from the Nazis for the next five and a half years.

The horrors of war brought Anna, Tasio, and Mama to know hunger and the constant threat of starvation, disease, exposure to the elements, and enemy bullets. Constantly on the alert for raids, the refugees often ran to the mountains to hide, abandoning what little of their belongings remained.

As was the case with everyone they knew, Mama and her children came to hate the Nazis and side with the resistance. As she grew up, Anna’s natural ability marked her for leadership in the resistance, and by the time she was fourteen, she was a leader in the youth resistance movement—with her mother’s full approval. What was proper behavior for a young girl had changed dramatically under the pressure of German occupation.

Only the Birds Are Free is a story of action and emotion. The characters are robust, and the descriptive passages are unforgettable. Anna’s story was originally published in Greek; this is her English translation. Anna and her family now reside in New York.

Born in the United States to Greek parents, Anna Christake Cornwell was trapped in Greece during the Nazi occupation in World War II. Her mother and father had returned to Greece to educate their young son Tasio and their daughter Anna in the mother tongue and the ways of the homeland. Underlying the parents' concern was their daughter's free spirit, which seemed so different from what was expected of a proper girl in Greece. In 1940, in spite of the growing danger of world war, her father opted to return to the United States, leaving the rest of the family to follow later. But before they could book passage, they were trapped by the war, and Mama was left to protect her two young children from the Nazis for the next five and a half years.

The horrors of war brought Anna, Tasio, and Mama to know hunger and the constant threat of starvation, disease, exposure to the elements, and enemy bullets. Constantly on the alert for raids, the refugees often ran to the mountains to hide, abandoning what little of their belongings remained. 

As was the case with everyone they knew, Mama and her children came to hate the Nazis and side with the resistance. As she grew up, Anna’s natural ability marked her for leadership in the resistance, and by the time she was fourteen, she was a leader in the youth resistance movement—with her mother’s full approval. What was proper behavior for a young girl had changed dramatically under the pressure of German occupation.

Only the Birds Are Free is a story of action and emotion. The characters are robust, and the descriptive passages are unforgettable. Anna’s story was originally published in Greek; this is her English translation. Anna and her family now reside in New York.

Only the Birds Are Free: The Story of a War-Child in Greece Cover

Nadia of the Nightwitches

Author: Townsend, Tom

Subjects: Flight; European History; World War II; Russian Air Force

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 2737

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 2737S

Nadia of the Nightwitches Cover

Following the German invasion of Russia in the summer of 1941, the Soviet government authorized the formation of three squadrons of female pilots. Their story has, for the most part, remained untold outside of the Soviet Union.

Although this novel is a work of historical fiction, the Night Witches were very real. This is the time of Stalin and The Young Communists League, and all Russians fought. The open-cockpit PO-2 biplane was simple enough for peasant girls to fly, and cheap to build and repair. And training women for air battle freed up the men to fly the more important missions of the Great Patriotic War. Nadia of the Nightwitches is dedicated to the memory of all those pioneer women, both Allied and Axis, who flew military aircraft in World War II.

This enthralling story is about Nadia Tarachinko, age seventeen, just graduated from flight school and determined to kill Germans. In a flashback we see why: the family farm is bombed, her family is killed, and a near-crazed and bloodied Nadia is rescued from two German soldiers by a female pilot, Lilly, who swoops out of the air in a PO-2 and flies the girl to the safety of the Night Witches base.

Missions, battles, and the innermost thoughts of the fighting young women emanate from the pages. Although this is Nadia’s story, it is also a riveting look at patriotism and love through the eyes of young women at war. Those in battle are afraid to care for anyone because death is so imminent. Yet Townsend shows us love in various combinations: Lilly and Nadia (both Night Witch pilots), Shenya (Nadia’s navigator) and Nicholai (a Russian flight captain), and Nadia and Misha (a tank command sergeant). There is also the Night Witches' compassion for a surviving young German boy who they are determined to keep incognito and hand to the safety of the Allied forces at the war’s end.

Tom Townsend is a writer, a historian, and a film producer. He is one of the best-known authors of young adult fiction, and many of his books are used in school systems, particularly in the Southwest. He attended high school at the Munich American School in Germany, where his father was an Army officer. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Gypsy Prince: War Horse, also set during World War II. In addition, he is the author of the Fairie Ring Series. He and his wife live on a cattle ranch in Texas.

Following the German invasion of Russia in the summer of 1941, the Soviet government authorized the formation of three squadrons of female pilots. Their story has, for the most part, remained untold outside of the Soviet Union.

Although this novel is a work of historical fiction, the Night Witches were very real. This is the time of Stalin and The Young Communists League, and all Russians fought. The open-cockpit PO-2 biplane was simple enough for peasant girls to fly, and cheap to build and repair. And training women for air battle freed up the men to fly the more important missions of the Great Patriotic War. Nadia of the Nightwitches is dedicated to the memory of all those pioneer women, both Allied and Axis, who flew military aircraft in World War II.

This enthralling story is about Nadia Tarachinko, age seventeen, just graduated from flight school and determined to kill Germans. In a flashback we see why: the family farm is bombed, her family is killed, and a near-crazed and bloodied Nadia is rescued from two German soldiers by a female pilot, Lilly, who swoops out of the air in a PO-2 and flies the girl to the safety of the Night Witches base.

Missions, battles, and the innermost thoughts of the fighting young women emanate from the pages. Although this is Nadia’s story, it is also a riveting look at patriotism and love through the eyes of young women at war. Those in battle are afraid to care for anyone because death is so imminent. Yet Townsend shows us love in various combinations: Lilly and Nadia (both Night Witch pilots), Shenya (Nadia’s navigator) and Nicholai (a Russian flight captain), and Nadia and Misha (a tank command sergeant). There is also the Night Witches' compassion for a surviving young German boy who they are determined to keep incognito and hand to the safety of the Allied forces at the war’s end.

Tom Townsend is a writer, a historian, and a film producer. He is one of the best-known authors of young adult fiction, and many of his books are used in school systems, particularly in the Southwest. He attended high school at the Munich American School in Germany, where his father was an Army officer. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Gypsy Prince: War Horse, also set during World War II. In addition, he is the author of the Fairie Ring Series. He and his wife live on a cattle ranch in Texas.

Nadia of the Nightwitches Cover

A Rainbow High

Author: Sanders, Evelyn

Subjects: History; Romance; Espionage; World War II

Age: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 3458

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 3458S

A Rainbow High Cover

This story is set in San Francisco, California, against the background of World War II and its effect on the emotions and lives of young men and women. It is a beautifully told, multifaceted story of human relationships that enables high school girls to regard history as a living experience and to identify with its events through characters who personally interest them. This is a heritage romance that incorporates all the elements of good literature. 

Wendy Banister is a rich college girl who leaves school to do her bit for the war effort. She is regarded at her first meeting with Army officials as just another socialite, silly and stupid. Thereupon, she decides to hide her wealthy background. She is fluent in Japanese, and her best friend is Gina, a Japanese-American who is also wealthy. Captain Alex Mitchell is drawn to Wendy, but he cannot deal with a relationship because he is reeling from the recent death of his younger brother at Pearl Harbor.

Bud, Wendy’s older brother, is one of the first to volunteer for service after Pearl Harbor. He is drawn to Joy, Wendy’s roommate and fellow base secretary. Joy is from Nebraska and has a tight-money background. These young adults interact with one another in a vibrant way that enables readers to participate in every detail of their lives: fashions, opinions about women working, air raids and blackouts, the inside of a Japanese-American holding camp and Executive Order #90661, the America First Committee, the origin of “Rosie the Riviter,” a military hospital, battle news from abroad, the Allied and Axis alignments, and more.

A Rainbow High has action on two levels: romance and espionage. There are concurrent love stories, a triangle, a mix-up, and the question of a network of spies operating along the California coast.

This story is set in San Francisco, California, against the background of World War II and its effect on the emotions and lives of young men and women. It is a beautifully told, multifaceted story of human relationships that enables high school girls to regard history as a living experience and to identify with its events through characters who personally interest them. This is a heritage romance that incorporates all the elements of good literature. 

Wendy Banister is a rich college girl who leaves school to do her bit for the war effort. She is regarded at her first meeting with Army officials as just another socialite, silly and stupid. Thereupon, she decides to hide her wealthy background. She is fluent in Japanese, and her best friend is Gina, a Japanese-American who is also wealthy. Captain Alex Mitchell is drawn to Wendy, but he cannot deal with a relationship because he is reeling from the recent death of his younger brother at Pearl Harbor.

Bud, Wendy’s older brother, is one of the first to volunteer for service after Pearl Harbor. He is drawn to Joy, Wendy’s roommate and fellow base secretary. Joy is from Nebraska and has a tight-money background. These young adults interact with one another in a vibrant way that enables readers to participate in every detail of their lives: fashions, opinions about women working, air raids and blackouts, the inside of a Japanese-American holding camp and Executive Order #90661, the America First Committee, the origin of “Rosie the Riviter,” a military hospital, battle news from abroad, the Allied and Axis alignments, and more.

A Rainbow High has action on two levels: romance and espionage. There are concurrent love stories, a triangle, a mix-up, and the question of a network of spies operating along the California coast.

A Rainbow High Cover

Cassie's War

Author: Winkler, Allan M.

Subjects: American History; World War II; Japanese-Americans; Multicultural Friendship

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Order code: 1064

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 1064S

Cassie's War Cover

“...an excellent book.” – Ohioana Library Association

It is just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941. Like so many others, Cassie’s family has left a home and lifestyle hampered by economic depression and moved to California to find work in the defense plants and to live in a housing project. It is a long way from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

School is on double session, with forty children in each section of the fifth grade. There, Cassie and Miko, a Japanese-American, have found each other and become best friends. Miko’s family owns and lives on a farm, but being Japanese carries problems for them that Cassie at first cannot understand. Seeing the war as the key to his dreams, hating the Japanese, and bigoted toward Italian, Spanish, and Jewish people, Cassie’s father undermines their father-daughter relationship by ordering her to end her friendship with Miko. He also forbids Cassie’s mother to work, even though she is lonely, homesick, and suffering from boredom.

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Cassie’s life changes. Her father is drafted, goes off to war, and is killed; her mother goes to work; and Miko’s family is sent to an internment camp in Utah. Cassie assumes more home responsibilities and learns about rationing, coupon books, and the black market. She builds a new friendship with Maria, a quiet, sensitive, Spanish classmate. Through Miko’s letters, she glimpses life in the internment camp. 

At the war’s end, Miko returns to a strained reunion with Cassie. Understanding Cassie, their friendship, and Cassie’s guilty feelings about distancing Miko, Maria sparks the rekindling of Cassie’s and Miko’s friendship. Although things have changed, they have somehow stayed the same. Now there will be a friendship of three.

Allan M. Winkler is a published historian and a resident of Ohio.

“...an excellent book.” – Ohioana Library Association

It is just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941. Like so many others, Cassie’s family has left a home and lifestyle hampered by economic depression and moved to California to find work in the defense plants and to live in a housing project. It is a long way from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

School is on double session, with forty children in each section of the fifth grade. There, Cassie and Miko, a Japanese-American, have found each other and become best friends. Miko’s family owns and lives on a farm, but being Japanese carries problems for them that Cassie at first cannot understand. Seeing the war as the key to his dreams, hating the Japanese, and bigoted toward Italian, Spanish, and Jewish people, Cassie’s father undermines their father-daughter relationship by ordering her to end her friendship with Miko. He also forbids Cassie’s mother to work, even though she is lonely, homesick, and suffering from boredom.

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Cassie’s life changes. Her father is drafted, goes off to war, and is killed; her mother goes to work; and Miko’s family is sent to an internment camp in Utah. Cassie assumes more home responsibilities and learns about rationing, coupon books, and the black market. She builds a new friendship with Maria, a quiet, sensitive, Spanish classmate. Through Miko’s letters, she glimpses life in the internment camp.  

At the war’s end, Miko returns to a strained reunion with Cassie. Understanding Cassie, their friendship, and Cassie’s guilty feelings about distancing Miko, Maria sparks the rekindling of Cassie’s and Miko’s friendship. Although things have changed, they have somehow stayed the same. Now there will be a friendship of three.

Allan M. Winkler is a published historian and a resident of Ohio.

Cassie's War Cover

Mountain Song

Author: Janoski, Elizabeth

Subjects: Historical Adventure; Coal Mining; Growing Up/Boys

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Order code: 6287

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 6287S

Mountain Song Cover

West Virginia, 1942. Fourteen-year-old Jedadiah struggles to provide for his family after his father's death. To keep the farm going, he must find a way to gather coal for the winter and slaughter the hogs. He also worries that his mother, once a schoolteacher, will send him away to high school, into the world beyond the mountain that he loves. Jedadiah's legacy is in the barn—a stack of chestnut lumber that has been waiting for a craftsman to make it into furniture to sell. Jedadiah is too small and too young to use the tools.

To gather the coal, Jedadiah needs the help of Rhys Maddox, new mine manager at Salt Lick. To butcher the hogs, he needs the Slocum boys. Rhys is interested in the mountain's timber and coal and in providing jobs and needed fuel for the war effort. He labors to bring the Salt Lick mine back into production. Although he is interested in Jedadiah's mother, Jedadiah believes that Rhys wants the farm in order to expand the mine. The Slocums are thieves interested in the chestnut lumber. They try to steal the lumber, and as Jedadiah chases them off the property, the barn and house catch fire and are destroyed. Jedadiah's mother accepts Rhys's offer of a home and a teaching job in Salt Lick and moves the family into the mining camp, where Jedadiah feels caged and useless. He looks for a job to earn money. He believes that the family will be trapped by Rhys's kindness, and he seeks revenge on the Slocums for the fire and for their poisonous moonshine stills.

After a bitter argument with his mother and Rhys, Jedadiah heads for the mountain, where he stumbles upon another still and the Slocums ready to do him in. Fortunately, Rhys has come looking for him and intervenes. Jedadiah escapes, but Rhys suffers the consequences: entrapment in an abandoned mine tunnel. As the miners and mountainfolk try to save Rhys, Jedadiah realizes that he is the one responsible for much of his own misery and the predicament that Rhys is in. He must save Rhys. As he shares in Rhys's ordeal, he discovers that he never has to leave the mountain permanently, but in order to steward its resources properly, he must gain an education.

Mountain Song is the story of a boy's journey toward manhood and the understanding that one must accept full responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

West Virginia, 1942. Fourteen-year-old Jedadiah struggles to provide for his family after his father's death. To keep the farm going, he must find a way to gather coal for the winter and slaughter the hogs. He also worries that his mother, once a schoolteacher, will send him away to high school, into the world beyond the mountain that he loves. Jedadiah's legacy is in the barn—a stack of chestnut lumber that has been waiting for a craftsman to make it into furniture to sell. Jedadiah is too small and too young to use the tools.

To gather the coal, Jedadiah needs the help of Rhys Maddox, new mine manager at Salt Lick. To butcher the hogs, he needs the Slocum boys. Rhys is interested in the mountain's timber and coal and in providing jobs and needed fuel for the war effort. He labors to bring the Salt Lick mine back into production. Although he is interested in Jedadiah's mother, Jedadiah believes that Rhys wants the farm in order to expand the mine. The Slocums are thieves interested in the chestnut lumber. They try to steal the lumber, and as Jedadiah chases them off the property, the barn and house catch fire and are destroyed. Jedadiah's mother accepts Rhys's offer of a home and a teaching job in Salt Lick and moves the family into the mining camp, where Jedadiah feels caged and useless. He looks for a job to earn money. He believes that the family will be trapped by Rhys's kindness, and he seeks revenge on the Slocums for the fire and for their poisonous moonshine stills.

After a bitter argument with his mother and Rhys, Jedadiah heads for the mountain, where he stumbles upon another still and the Slocums ready to do him in. Fortunately, Rhys has come looking for him and intervenes. Jedadiah escapes, but Rhys suffers the consequences: entrapment in an abandoned mine tunnel. As the miners and mountainfolk try to save Rhys, Jedadiah realizes that he is the one responsible for much of his own misery and the predicament that Rhys is in. He must save Rhys. As he shares in Rhys's ordeal, he discovers that he never has to leave the mountain permanently, but in order to steward its resources properly, he must gain an education.

Mountain Song is the story of a boy's journey toward manhood and the understanding that one must accept full responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

Mountain Song Cover

Monday

Author: Wilburn, Garlyn Webb

Subjects: Humor; Farm Life; Growing Up/Boys

Age: 8, 9, 10, 11

Grade: 3, 4, 5, 6

Order code: 6260

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 6260S

Monday Cover

It is 1943. Jeff has failed English class. Given the option by his strict fourth-grade teacher either to complete all assignments sent home during the summer or to attend summer school (which she would be teaching), Jeff’s parents feel that a summer visit to his grandparents' small farm near Parkerville, in central Texas, might be just the thing to help him change his attitude and buckle down to work. They warn him that if he does not do the reading and spelling work with Grandma, he will be brought home to go to summer school.

Treated on the farm as a responsible member of the family, Jeff is given chores to do. Usually he is paired with Monday, a strong-willed donkey whom Jeff believes is the most cantankerous donkey that ever lived. Jeff knows what he needs to do and what he needs Monday to do. Monday knows what he should do; it is seldom what Jeff has planned. Readers will laugh at some of the conflicts between Jeff and Monday as the summer wears on. The observant reader will sense Jeff's shifting attitude as he reminisces about his adventures with Monday and credits the donkey with not only stubbornness but intelligence and bravery in running off wolves.

Toward summer's end, Jeff is on time with his reading and spelling, and he builds a cart for Monday to pull him in. He leads them both into a place where Monday clearly does not want to be. Too late, Jeff realizes that it is past time to turn around and go home. While he is at he stream getting a drink, a blood-curdling scream from Monday horrifies him as he turns and watches the damage a panther is doing to Monday's back, neck, and shoulders. Monday's survival becomes paramount for Jeff. By the end of the story, Jeff's attitude toward Monday has come full circle; he would like Monday to be his when he grows up! Among other things, Jeff has learned that along with Monday's stubborn nature come many admirable traits.

This is a wonderful tale of a young boy learning important life lessons from his grandparents and from a special donkey.

Garlyn Webb Wilburn is a fourth-generation Texan who now lives in China Spring, Texas, where he spends his time raising donkeys and writing for young readers.

It is 1943. Jeff has failed English class. Given the option by his strict fourth-grade teacher either to complete all assignments sent home during the summer or to attend summer school (which she would be teaching), Jeff’s parents feel that a summer visit to his grandparents' small farm near Parkerville, in central Texas, might be just the thing to help him change his attitude and buckle down to work. They warn him that if he does not do the reading and spelling work with Grandma, he will be brought home to go to summer school.

Treated on the farm as a responsible member of the family, Jeff is given chores to do. Usually he is paired with Monday, a strong-willed donkey whom Jeff believes is the most cantankerous donkey that ever lived. Jeff knows what he needs to do and what he needs Monday to do. Monday knows what he should do; it is seldom what Jeff has planned. Readers will laugh at some of the conflicts between Jeff and Monday as the summer wears on. The observant reader will sense Jeff's shifting attitude as he reminisces about his adventures with Monday and credits the donkey with not only stubbornness but intelligence and bravery in running off wolves.

Toward summer's end, Jeff is on time with his reading and spelling, and he builds a cart for Monday to pull him in. He leads them both into a place where Monday clearly does not want to be. Too late, Jeff realizes that it is past time to turn around and go home. While he is at he stream getting a drink, a blood-curdling scream from Monday horrifies him as he turns and watches the damage a panther is doing to Monday's back, neck, and shoulders. Monday's survival becomes paramount for Jeff. By the end of the story, Jeff's attitude toward Monday has come full circle; he would like Monday to be his when he grows up! Among other things, Jeff has learned that along with Monday's stubborn nature come many admirable traits.

This is a wonderful tale of a young boy learning important life lessons from his grandparents and from a special donkey.

Garlyn Webb Wilburn is a fourth-generation Texan who now lives in China Spring, Texas, where he spends his time raising donkeys and writing for young readers.

Monday Cover

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