Thanks to:

Brandi Kenyon, Youth and Teen Services, South Kingstown Public Library
Carrie Smith, Teen Librarian, Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library
and other librarians from YALSA

The Revolutionary and Civil Wars

Ghost Soldier
Elaine Alphin

Alexander, in North Carolina while his father decides whether to remarry and move there, meets the ghost of a Confederate soldier and helps him look for his family.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Vol. 1
M.T. Anderson

Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War. First in a series.

No Man’s Land
Susan Bartoletti

Because he had been unable to fight off the gator which injured his father, fourteen-year-old Thrasher joins the Confederate Army hoping to prove his manhood.

The Year of the Hangman
Gary Blackwood

In 1777, having been kidnapped and taken forcibly from England to the American colonies, fifteen-year-old Creighton becomes part of developments in the political unrest there that may spell defeat for the patriots and change the course of history.

My Brother Sam is Dead
James Lincoln Collier

Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.

Johnny Tremain
Esther Forbes

A young apprentice silversmith growing up in revolutionary Boston becomes involved with such patriots as Hancock, Otis, and Samuel Adams.

The Two Girls of Gettysburg
Lisa Klein

When the Civil War breaks out, two cousins, Lizzie and Rosanna, find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict until the war reunites them in the town of Gettysburg.

How I found the Strong
Margaret McMullan

Frank Russell wishes he could have gone with his father and brother to fight for Mississippi and the Confederacy, but his experiences with the war and his relationship with the family slave, Buck, change his thinking.

Soldier’s Heart
Gary Paulson

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

The Girl in Blue
Ann Rinaldi

To escape an abusive father and an arranged marriage, fourteen-year-old Sarah, dressed as a boy, leaves her Michigan home to enlist in the Union Army, and becomes a soldier on the battlefields of Virginia as well as a Union spy working in the house of Confederate sympathizer Rose O’Neal Greenhow in Washington, D.C.

World Wars 1 & 2

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Boyne

Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

For freedom : the story of a French spy
Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

A novel based on the experiences of Suzanne David Hall, who, as a teenager in Nazi-occupied France, worked as a spy for the French Resistance while training to be an opera singer.

Code Talker: a Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War II
Joseph Bruchac

The stories of some of the unsung heroes of World War II–the young Navajo men who were a crucial part of the American effort in sending and receiving messages that used their native language, a language that was once forbidden by the U.S. government.

Kate Cary

In this story told primarily through journal entries, a British soldier in World War I makes the horrifying discovery that his regiment commander is descended from Count Dracula.

Foster’s War
Carolyn Reeder

When his older brother joins the army during World War II in order to escape the rages of an authoritarian father, eleven-year-old Foster fights his battles on the homefront.

Robert Cormier

After joining the army at fifteen and having his face blown away by a grenade in a battle in France, Francis returns home to Frenchtown hoping to find–and kill–the former childhood hero he feels betrayed him.

Under a War-Torn Sky
Laura Elliot

After his plane is shot down by Hitler’s Luftwaffe, nineteen-year-old Henry Forester of Richmond, Virginia, strives to walk across occupied France, with the help of the French Resistance, in hopes of rejoining his unit.

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk
Sid Fleischman

A struggling American ventriloquist in post-World War II Europe is possessed by the mischievous spirit of a young Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust. Author’s note details the murder of over one million children by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s.

Eleanor’s story : an American girl in Hitler’s Germany
Eleanor Ramrath Garner

When the author was nine, her parents elected to return to their native Germany, where her father had been offered an attractive job. Though it was 1939 and Hitler had already invaded Czechoslovakia, her family saw only opportunity in their decision. While they were crossing the Atlantic, war was declared and their emigration became irrevocable. Garner was not to see America again until she was 16. The family members spent much of the war in Berlin and suffered hardships and privations and lived in fear. Yet, it is to Garner’s credit that she does not make them out to be more heroic than they were. They escaped bombs, bullets, conscription, malnutrition, and molestation. Every member of her immediate family survived the war.

Soldier Boys
Dean Hughes

Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the Battle of the Bulge.

But Can the Phoenix Sing?
Christa Laird

Now a married man, Misha writes his stepson a letter describing the events that shaped his life. At the age of fourteen, Misha escaped the Warsaw Ghetto of World War II to join a band of Polish freedom fighters.

B for Buster
Iain Lawrence

In the spring of 1943, sixteen-year-old Kak, desperate to escape his abusive parents, lies about his age to enlist in the Canadian Air Force and soon finds himself based in England as part of a crew flying bombing raids over Germany.

Lord of the nutcracker men
Iain Lawrence

An English boy during World War I comes to believe that the battles he enacts with his toy soldiers control the war his father is fighting on the front.

The Art of Keeping Cool
Janet Taylor Lisle

In 1942, Robert and his cousin Elliot uncover long-hidden family secrets while staying in their grandparents’ Rhode Island town, where they also become involved with a German artist who is suspected of being a spy.

Heroes Don’t Run
Harry Mazer

To honor his father who died during the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor, seventeen-year-old Adam eagerly enlists in the Marines in 1944, survives boot camp, and faces combat on the tiny island of Okinawa.

The Last Mission
Harry Mazer

In 1944 a 15-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead, enlists in the United States Air Corps and is subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans.

Skies Over Sweetwater
Julia Moberg

Fictionalized history of the Women Airforce Pilots (WASP) of WWII – the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. Still in their teens, these courageous pioneers, heroes in their own right, left their homes to serve their country doing what they loved to do–fly!

Private Peaceful
Michael Morpurgo

When Thomas Peaceful’s older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.

The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier
Walter Dean Myers

A seventeen-year-old soldier from central Virginia records his experiences in a journal as his regiment takes part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and subsequent battles to liberate France.

The Boys from St. Petri
Bjarne Reuter

In 1942, a group of young men begin a series of increasingly dangerous protests against the German invaders of their Danish homeland.

Yellow Star
Jennifer Roy

From 1939, when Syvia is four and a half years old, to 1945 when she has just turned ten, a Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland’s Lodz ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

Eyes of the Emperor
Graham Salisbury

Following orders from the United States Army, several young Japanese American men train K-9 units to hunt Asians during World War II.

Under the Blood-Red Sun
Graham Salisbury

Tomikazu Nakaji’s biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

The Foreshadowing
Marcus Sedgwick

Having always been able to know when someone is going to die, Alexandra poses as a nurse to go to France during World War I to locate her brother and to try to save him from the fate she has foreseen for him.

Johnny Got His Gun
Dalton Trumbo (adult fiction)

The story of an average American youth who “survives” World War I armless, legless and faceless with his mind intact. Its anti-war message had a profound effect on Americans during the Vietnam era.

A Coming Evil
Vivian Vande Velde

During the German occupation of France in 1940, thirteen-year-old Lisette meets a ghost while living with her aunt who harbors Jewish and Gypsy children in the French countryside.

And In the Morning
John Wilson

Jim Hay can’t wait to fight in World War I, but his father’s death and the reality of trench warfare are enough to replace his longing for adventure with a basic need to survive.

Soldier X
Don Wulffson

In 1943 sixteen-year-old Erik experiences the horrors of war when he is drafted into the German army and sent to fight on the Russian front.

The Gadget
Paul Zindel

In 1945, having joined his father at Los Alamos, where he and other scientists are working on a secret project to end World War II, thirteen-year-old Stephen becomes caught in a web of secrecy and intrigue.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Other Wars

Crossing the Panther’s Path
Elizabeth Alder

Sixteen-year-old Billy Caldwell, son of a British soldier and a Mohawk woman, leaves school to join Tecumseh in his efforts to prevent the Americans from taking any more land from the Indians in the Northwest Territory.

Shattered: Stories of Children and War
edited by Jennifer Armstrong

Stories explore the ways in which children are affected by war, from two Native American soldiers fighting in the Civil War, to an Afghan girl whose village is destroyed by the Soviets.

Book of the Lion
Michael Cadnum

In twelth-century England, after his master is brutally punished for alleged cheating, seventeen-year-old Edmund finds himself traveling to the Holy Land as squire to a knight crusader on his way to join the forces of Richard Lionheart.
Sequel: The Leopard Sword

Winter War
William Durbin

When Russian troops invade Finland during the winter of 1939-40, Marko, a young polio victim determined to keep his homeland free, joins the Finnish Army as a messenger boy.

An Innocent Soldier
Josef Holub

A sixteen-year-old farmhand is tricked into fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by the farmer for whom he works, who secretly substitutes him for the farmer’s own son.

Beasts of No Nation
Uzodima Iweala

Agu, a young boy in a West African country is recruited by a unit of guerrilla fighters as civil war engulfs his country.

Tomorrow, When the War Began (The Tomorrow Series #1)
John Marsden

Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping trip in the bush to discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive.

Masada: the Last Fortress
Gloria Miklowitz

As the Roman army marches inexorably across the Judean desert towards the fortress of Masada, Simon and his family and friends prepare, along with the rest of the Jewish Zealots, to fight and never surrender.

Fallen Angels
Walter Dean Myers

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Sunrise over Fallujah
Walter Dean Myers

Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.

Christopher Russell

In 1346, twelve-year-old Brind, an orphaned kennel boy raised with hunting dogs at an English manor, accompanies his master, along with half of the manor’s prized mastiffs, to France, where he must fend for himself when both his master and the dogs are lost at the decisive battle of Crécy.

The Bronze Bow
Elizabeth George Speare

When the Romans brutally kill Daniel bar Jamin’s father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate.

The Eagle of the Ninth
Rosemary Sutcliff

A young centurion ventures among the hostile tribes beyond the Roman Wall to recover the eagle standard of the Ninth, a legion which mysteriously disappeared under his father’s command.

Saint Patrick’s Battalion
James Alexander Thom (adult fiction)

In June of 1845, a group of immigrant Americans called St. Patrick’s Battalion deserted Gen. Zachary Taylor’s army and fought on the opposite side in the Mexican-American war, under the leadership of the elusive, charismatic James Riley. The story of this motley band of mostly Irish and German Catholics, driven to rebellion by the endemic racism and capricious cruelty of their officers, is told from two points of view.

Robert Westall

Tom Higgins, a 15-year-old British student during the Gulf War, narrates his younger brother’s struggle with an apparent mental illness or “mystery of nature” which drives the child to assume the role of an Iraqi.

Refugee Boy
Benjamin Zephaniah

Fourteen-year-old Alem Kelo adjusts to life as a foster child seeking asylum in London, while his Eritrean mother and Ethiopian father work for peace between their homelands in Africa.

Non-fiction Accounts of War

Thura’s Diary: My Life in Wartime Iraq
Thura Al-Windawi

Nineteen-year-old Thura al-Windawi traces the days leading up to the bombings in Iraq, the war, and the chaos that followed, describing her life and the reality of war for Iraqi families.

Zlata’s Diary
Zlata Filipovic

Zlata Filipovic’ began her diary just months before her eleventh birthday in 1991. Peace still reigned in her hometown of Sarajevo, where she lived the carefree life of an innocent schoolgirl. But this life was suddenly shattered in 1992 when gunfire shook through the hills, and the streets of Sarajevo became the barbaric battlegrounds of the Bosnian war.

The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank

The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describing both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Basher Five-Two: The True Story of F-16 Fighter Pilot Captain Scott O’Grady
Scott O’Grady

A U.S. Air Force pilot who was shot down over Bosnia describes the true story of how he evaded capture and survived– with little water and no food–in enemy territory.