In my opinion when you study World War II you may want to approach it cautiously because there are so many disturbing things that occurred during this war. At the same time I believe when the child(ren) are ready they should be aware of what the total depravity of man looks like. It is pretty accurately presented in World War II during the Holocaust.
So take some time and determine which of these books will accomplish your goal of introducing, deepening or diving into World War II with your children.
Books to Study WWII
The Diary of Anne Frank – The diary of a young girl who lives in a hiding place and is eventually found bnd becomes one of the victims of the Holocaust
The Hiding Place — Corrie Ten Boom the daughter of a watchmaker becomes a heroine of the reistance and survives the Concentration camp.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Midst of Wickedness (Christian Heros then and Now) – He is a pastor who eventually decides to join the Nazis so he can destroy them.
Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
– Her family pays the ultimate price for hiding Jewish people during WWII.
The Wave (Laurel-Leaf contemporary fiction) – This is not directly about WWII but more of a study that will reveal to the kiddos how an entire country can be swept up in something like Nazism.
Number the Stars – The story of a family that helps hide and get their daughter’s best friend to Sweden.
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot – This is a gentle picture book about post WWII about the candy drops to the German children by American pilots.
Movies to Study WWII
- The Diary of Anne Frank
- The Bridge over the River Kwai – This movie is about the abysmal treatment of British Soldiers in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. It also shows how the soldiers resist their captures.
- Inn Of The Sixth Happiness — This movie is about Amy Carmichael ministry in China, during which WWII breaks out.
- Victory! – I played soccer in college and semipro afterwards so of course this movie where ragtag American prisoners (one of whom is Pele) play guards and then manage to escape, would make my list of all time great war movies!
- Foyle’s War BBC – This is a murder mystery series where the Chief Inspector (a detective) solves mysteries during WWII. Some of these mysteries are directly war related and some are not, but the ever present back drop is WWII. They depict what it was like for the British to hide in tunnels, German Espionage, the bombed out countryside, the arrival of American GI’s and more.
Field Trips to Study WWII
- Holocaust Museum
- World War II Museum (in New Orleans)
- Word War II monuments and memorials
- German Prisoner of War Camps in America (They are all over the country)
- Time Travelers World War II – Homeschool in the Woods provides excellent curriculum supplements. If I do supplement Mystery of History I usually turn to Homeschool in the Woods.
I’ve mentioned this before when I give my kids book to read I just let them read it. I don’t require them to narrate it or write a paper on every single one. I will, however, engage them in conversation about their reading. For this subject especially I would strongly advise having pointed conversations with children studying WWII.
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