Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Favorite Books about Resistance in World War II

When I was writing my dissertation, I spent a lot of time reading books about National Socialism, everything from Hitler's Mein Kampf to the 8 volumes of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression covering the Nuremberg Trials.  I learned a lot from all that reading, but what it all boiled down to for me is that
Silence is Acceptance 

So, this past Saturday, I put on my walking shoes and my pink hat and joined a few of my fellow New Yorkers for the Women's March. It was called the Women's March, but there were men, women and children, there were people from all walks of life, all economic brackets, all education levels, all races and religions and there was a true feeling of solidarity among the people. It was the first time I have felt any real hope since November.

Still feeling energized when I got home, I went back to a post I had published right after the election on The Children's War and I decided to expand it and repost it here. The post was all the books I have read and reviewed with the theme of resistance in World War II. I have always said that resistance books are one of my favorite kind of stories and I truly believe that resistance can make a difference, that it can bring about real change. I hope you will find these useful. With the exception of two novels, the links included are to my reviews.

1-  Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue by Kathryn J. Atwood
2-  Women Heroes of World War II - The Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival by Kathryn J. Atwood
3-  Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage by Tilar J. Mazzeo, adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell
4-  Sky:A True Story of Courage during World War II by Hanneke Ippisch
5-  The Plot to Kill Hitler - Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia McCormick
6-  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
7-  Hidden Like Anne Frank: Fourteen True Stories of Survival by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis
8-  Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent by Pearl Witherington Cornioley
9-  The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom with Elizabeth & John Sherrill
10- His Name was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, and Mystery During World War II by Louise Borden
11- Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson
12- Women of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich by Joanne D. Glibert
13- The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
14- Essie: The True Story of a Teenage Fighter in the Bielski Partisans by Essie Shor and Andrea Zakin
1-   Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
2-   Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin 
3-   The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
4-   The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova 
5-   Becoming Clementine by Jennifer Niven
6-   Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
7-   Resistance (Book 1); Defiance (Book 2); Victory (Book 3) by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis
8-   Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer
9-   The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito
10- The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
11- My Mother's Secret by J.L. Witterick
12- The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
13- Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow
14- Odin's Promise by Sandy Brehl
15- Bjorn's Gift by Sandy Brehl
16- Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw
17- Hitler's Canary by Sandi Toksvig
18- My Brother's Secret by Dan Smith
19- A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson
20- Uncle Misha's Partisans by Yuri Suhl
21- On the Edge of the Fjord by Alta Halverson
22- Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang
23- The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone


  1. Hi Alex, I wondered if you would be there. I didn’t join the Woman’s March in London, but I was there in heart and spirit. It’s on days like that when I wish I lived in the capital or close to a decent (fast) rail link. Thank you for all the links, I’m sure there are lots of posts I’ve missed in the past.

  2. Terrific post, Alex. There are many books here I will note, but I've read and loved quite a few like The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and I will Not Be Silent, plus love Elizabeth Wein's books. Glad to hear that you marched. I did not, but sat with my granddaughters and other of my daughter's friends' children so they could all march together. What a marvelous day!


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