I enjoy reading historical fiction books, especially stories set in the World War II era. So, for this "10 for 10" post I chose ten picture books about this time period. Some of the books in the list are true stories, while others are historical fiction whose characters and plot are based on real people and events. The first book in the list, War Dogs: Churchill and Rufus by Kathryn Selbert, contains many quotes by the Prime Minister, including these words from a speech he gave in August of 1940:
"The whole of the warring nations are engaged, not only soldiers, but the entire population, men, women, and children. The fronts are everywhere. The trenches are dug in the towns and streets."
These books tell the stories of those men, women, and children, and their courage, resilience, sacrifice, ingenuity, and compassion.
#1 War Dogs: Churchill and Rufus by Kathryn Selbert
#2 The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy
This is a great companion to a novel study or book club reading of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
#3 The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
#4 Rose Blanche by Christoph Gallaz
#5 The Greatest Skating Race by Louise Borden
#6 The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II
by Louise Borden
#7 Rebekkah's Journey : A World War II Refugee Story by Ann E. Burg
#8 Lily's Victory Garden by Helen L. Wilbur
#9 Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II
by Marisabina Russo
#10 The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco
In addition to being excellent texts to use in an historical fiction genre study, these books would be wonderful as an introduction or supplement to the study of World War II, even at the middle school and high school level. Most of these books have either a forward or author's note that gives more background information about the historic events, and often includes little known and intriguing details.
These stories have touched my heart and I hope you will be inspired by them also.