Best Selling Books in Fiction - Holocaust

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release date: Apr 12, 2004
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The Devil's Arithmetic (Puffin Modern Classics)
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, "a triumphantly moving book."*

Hannah is tired of holiday gatherings−all her family ever talks about is the past. In fact, it seems to her that's what they do every Jewish holiday. But this year's Passover Seder will be different−Hannah will be mysteriously transported into the past . . . and only she knows the unspeakable horrors that await.

*Kirkus Reviews, pointer review
release date: Feb 05, 2009
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The Butterfly
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.
release date: Sep 01, 1989
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Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust

The animals in the clearing were content until the Terrible Things came, capturing all creatures with feathers.

Little Rabbit wondered what was wrong with feathers, but his fellow animals silenced him. “Just mind your own business, Little Rabbit. We don’t want them to get mad at us.”

A recommended text in Holocaust education programs across the United States, this unique introduction to the Holocaust encourages young children to stand up for what they think is right, without waiting for others to join them. 
 

Ages 6 and up

release date: Apr 20, 2006
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Summer of My German Soldier (Puffin Modern Classics)
An emotional, thought-provoking book from multi-award-winning author Bette Greene.

The summer that Patty Bergen turns twelve is a summer that will haunt her forever. When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own.

In Anton, Patty finds someone who softens the pain of her own father's rejection and who appreciates her in a way her mother never will. While patriotic feelings run high, Patty risks losing family, friends — even her freedom — for this dangerous friendship. It is a risk she has to take and one she will have to pay a price to keep.

"An exceptionally fine novel." —The New York Times

"Courageous and compelling!"  —Publishers Weekly

A National Book Award Finalist
An ALA Notable Book
A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year 
release date: Aug 06, 2015
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Soon (Once/Now/Then/After)
The Second World War has officially ended, but the streets are still a battleground - for food, for shelter, for protection... Felix is in hiding to stay safe, but finds he has been left holding the baby - literally. An orphaned infant has been left in his care and he will do everything he can to protect the child.
release date: Nov 08, 2011
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Black Radishes

Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner Black Radishes is a suspenseful WWII/Holocaust story, in which one boy learns what it means to be Jewish and French at a time when everything is changing.

   Gustave doesn't want to move from the exciting city to the boring countryside, far from his cousin Jean-Paul and his best friend, the mischievous Marcel. But he has no choice. It is March of 1940, and Paris is not a safe place for Jews.
   When Paris is captured by the Nazis, Gustave knows that Marcel, Jean-Paul, and their families must make it out of the occupied zone. And when he learns that his new friend Nicole works for the French Resistance, he comes up with a plan that just might work. But going into Occupied France is a risky thing to do when you are Jewish. And coming back alive? That is nearly impossible.

And don't miss Skating with the Statue of Liberty, the gripping and poignant companion to Black Radishes, which follows Gustave as he embarks on new adventures in New York City.

Praise for Black Radishes

"Full of tension, this coming-of-age story presents a picture of life during the early days of World War II."-Bulletin

An excellent recent novel that can introduce readers to a wider world. . . . Meyer builds the tension by using real-life events (detailed in an author’s note) and creates in Gustave a very believable boy who behaves bravely when he must.”–The Horn Book

"Meyer shines light on the bravery of Resistance fighters, and her story...[is] a gripping read comparable to Marilyn Sachs's classic A Pocket Full of Seeds, Carol Matas's Greater Than Angels, and Norma Fox Mazer's Good Night, Maman."-SLJ

"Partly based on Meyer’s father’s experiences, the story derives its credibility from the vivid details...[a] fine first novel."-Booklist

"This debut novel, loosely based on the author's father's experiences,...raises important questions about nationalism, equality and identity and fills a void in Holocaust literature for this age group."-Kirkus Reviews

A Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year

An Instructor Magazine Best Kids' Historical Fiction Book

A Massachusetts Book Awar Must-Read Book

release date: Mar 09, 2009
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Toby Belfer Learns about Heroes and Martyrs (Toby Belfer Series)

Toby learns the true meaning of heroism in light of the Holocaust. Toby Belfer, now a fifth grader, returns for another adventure in this middle reader. While on a trip to Israel, Toby and her friend Donna visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum. Here they learn about the Righteous Gentiles, great Christian men and women who sacrificed their safety and lives to help Jews during World War II. From the secret hiding places of Corrie ten Boom and the factories of Oskar Schindler to the Paper Clip Project undertaken by a group of extraordinary students in Whitwell, Tennessee, the girls are taken on an emotional, educational journey through history.

release date: Mar 12, 2013
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The Last Train: A Holocaust Story
The Last Train is the harrowing true story about young brothers Paul and Oscar Arato and their mother, Lenke, surviving the Nazi occupation during the final years of World War II.

Living in the town of Karcag, Hungary, the Aratos feel insulated from the war — even as it rages all around them. Hungary is allied with Germany to protect its citizens from invasion, but in 1944 Hitler breaks his promise to keep the Nazis out of Hungary.

The Nazi occupation forces the family into situations of growing panic and fear: first into a ghetto in their hometown; then a labor camp in Austria; and, finally, to the deadly Bergen Belsen camp deep in the heart of Germany. Separated from their father, 6-year-old Paul and 11-year-old Oscar must care for their increasingly sick mother, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy amid the horrors of the camp.

In the spring of 1945, the boys see British planes flying over the camp, and a spark of hope that the war will soon end ignites. And then, they are forced onto a dark, stinking boxcar by the Nazi guards. After four days on the train, the boys are convinced they will be killed, but through a twist of fate, the train is discovered and liberated by a battalion of American soldiers marching through Germany.

The book concludes when Paul, now a grown man living in Canada, stumbles upon photographs on the internet of his train being liberated. After writing to the man who posted the pictures, Paul is presented with an opportunity to meet his rescuers at a reunion in New York — but first he must decide if he is prepared to reopen the wounds of his past.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Benno and the Night of Broken Glass (Holocaust)

A neighborhood cat observes the changes in German and Jewish families in Berlin during the period leading up to Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. This cat's-eye view introduces the Holocaust to children in a gentle way that can open discussion of this period.

release date: Apr 21, 1993
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The Little Riders
"Take care of the little riders," says Johanna's father to the eleven-year-old when he leaves her with his parents for an extended vacation in their Dutch village. And Johanna does. She loves the twelve metal figures on horseback who ride forth each hour from the clock on the ancient church tower. She would do anything to protect them, anything. And on night she risks her life to prove it.

Set during the Second World War when the German army occupied Holland, The Little Riders is an exciting, moving adventure story, just right for reading aloud.

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