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My Favorite World War 2 Books

5 Books | by Joce Kay

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Books

DON'T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK'S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF. This 10th-anniversary edition of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller features pages of bonus content, including marked-up manuscript pages, original sketches, and pages from the author's writing notebook. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. "The kind of book that can be life-changing." --The New York Times "Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank." --USA Today

We Were the Lucky Ones

We Were the Lucky Ones

Books

The New York Times bestseller with more than 1 million copies sold worldwideInspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds.    “Love in the face of global adversity? It couldn't be more timely.” —Glamour   It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.   As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.   An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.

Irena's Children

Irena's Children

Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings. But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish. Irena’s Children, “a fascinating narrative of…the extraordinary moral and physical courage of those who chose to fight inhumanity with compassion” (Chaya Deitsch author of Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family), is a truly heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Books

Discover an extraordinary tale of innocence, friendship and the horrors of war.'Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone' Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things on his mind. Who is the 'Fury'? Why did he make them leave their nice home in Berlin to go to 'Out-With' ? And who are all the sad people in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence? The grown-ups won't explain so Bruno decides there is only one thing for it - he will have to explore this place alone. What he discovers is a new friend. A boy with the very same birthday. A boy in striped pyjamas. But why can't they ever play together?‘A small wonder of a book’ Guardian BACKSTORY: Read an interview with the author JOHN BOYNE and learn all about the Second World War in Germany.

The Paris Architect

The Paris Architect

Books

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!An extraordinary book about a gifted architect who reluctantly begins a secret life of resistance, devising ingenious hiding places for Jews in World War II Paris.In 1942 Paris, architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money – and maybe get him killed. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it while World War II rages on. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist. Soon Lucien is hiding more souls and saving lives. But when one of his hideouts fails horribly, and the problem of where to conceal a Jew becomes much more personal, and he can no longer ignore what's at stake. "A beautiful and elegant account of an ordinary man's unexpected and reluctant descent into heroism during the second world war." —Malcolm GladwellBook clubs will pore over the questions Charles Belfoure raises about justice, resistance, and just how far we'll go to make things right.Also by Charles Belfoure: The Fallen Architect House of Thieves

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