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Children's Illustrated Holocaust Books

Children's picture books and illustrated middle grade fiction and nonfiction about the Holocaust
This is an autobiographical tale of a teddy bear named Otto, a German-born teddy bear. His first memories are of being stitched together and being given to David, a Jewish boy living in Germany before WWII. David and his best-friend Oskar always play with Otto, using him for pranks, games and even teaching him to type on a typewriter. Life is a lot of fun for Otto. However, one day, David starts to wear a yellow star on his jacket. He and his parents are soon carted away.

This is an autobiographical tale of a teddy bear named Otto, a German-born teddy bear. His first memories are of being stitched together and being given to David, a Jewish boy living in Germany before WWII. David and his best-friend Oskar always play with Otto, using him for pranks, games and even teaching him to type on a typewriter. Life is a lot of fun for Otto. However, one day, David starts to wear a yellow star on his jacket. He and his parents are soon carted away.

The powerful and moving story of a Holocaust teen survivor Alter Wiener, recalling one episode in a Nazi prison camp when an unexpected person demonstrates moral courage in repeated acts of kindness to young Alter. GIFTS FROM THE ENEMY is a book for grades 3-6 that highlights how acts of social justice and kindness can change lives, and teaches children that there are good and bad in every group of people. Includes Readers Questions and Activities for teachers and parents.

The powerful and moving story of a Holocaust teen survivor Alter Wiener, recalling one episode in a Nazi prison camp when an unexpected person demonstrates moral courage in repeated acts of kindness to young Alter. GIFTS FROM THE ENEMY is a book for grades 3-6 that highlights how acts of social justice and kindness can change lives, and teaches children that there are good and bad in every group of people. Includes Readers Questions and Activities for teachers and parents.

An old man, known as the Wren, plays his hurdy-gurdy, and with the help of his student, the Sparrow, brings hope and inspiration to the people of a small Polish town during the Holocaust. When the Nazis come to take the town’s musical instruments, the Wren asks for one last song, and when his hurdy-gurdy is taken, it is up to the Sparrow to save it and ensure that the day is remembered forever. Includes an Afterword with history of the Lodz Ghetto street musicians who inspired this story.

An old man, known as the Wren, plays his hurdy-gurdy, and with the help of his student, the Sparrow, brings hope and inspiration to the people of a small Polish town during the Holocaust. When the Nazis come to take the town’s musical instruments, the Wren asks for one last song, and when his hurdy-gurdy is taken, it is up to the Sparrow to save it and ensure that the day is remembered forever. Includes an Afterword with history of the Lodz Ghetto street musicians who inspired this story.

A little girl and her family live happily in Paris until Nazi soldiers arrive during World War II. She and her family must flee or risk being sent to a concentration camp, so they run into the woods, where they meet resistance fighters. But they're still not safe. They must cross tall mountains and sail in a rickety boat to England. The whole time they're struggling to survive, the little girl thinks of the stone angel near their apartment in Paris and imagines it watching over her family.

Stone Angel by Jane Yolen

A little girl and her family live happily in Paris until Nazi soldiers arrive during World War II. She and her family must flee or risk being sent to a concentration camp, so they run into the woods, where they meet resistance fighters. But they're still not safe. They must cross tall mountains and sail in a rickety boat to England. The whole time they're struggling to survive, the little girl thinks of the stone angel near their apartment in Paris and imagines it watching over her family.

In this gentle, poetic young graphic novel, Dounia, a grandmother, tells her granddaughter the story even her son has never heard: how, as a young Jewish girl in Paris, she was hidden away from the Nazis by a series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive when her parents had been taken to concentration camps. Hidden ends with Dounia and her mother rediscovering each other as World War II ends.

In this gentle, poetic young graphic novel, Dounia, a grandmother, tells her granddaughter the story even her son has never heard: how, as a young Jewish girl in Paris, she was hidden away from the Nazis by a series of neighbors and friends who risked their lives to keep her alive when her parents had been taken to concentration camps. Hidden ends with Dounia and her mother rediscovering each other as World War II ends.

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger, illustrated by Miriam Nerlove, is the story of a young Holocaust survivor who arrives at a Brooklyn yeshiva in the 1940s with only a small box that he won't let out of his sight. Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist, calls Greenhorn "a tender, touching celebration of friendship, family, and faith." David Adler, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction, calls Greenhorn "a heartwarming and heartrending story of friendship and tragedy.

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger, illustrated by Miriam Nerlove, is the story of a young Holocaust survivor who arrives at a Brooklyn yeshiva in the 1940s with only a small box that he won't let out of his sight. Karen Cushman, Newbery Medalist, calls Greenhorn "a tender, touching celebration of friendship, family, and faith." David Adler, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction, calls Greenhorn "a heartwarming and heartrending story of friendship and tragedy.

The renowned magician Nivelli once performed before packed audiences in the grandest theaters of Berlin. Night after night, his fans applauded and called out for more astonishing feats of magic. But that was in a different, happier time, before the Jews of Europe were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This is the true story of a young boy in Auschwitz, whose life was changed by the actions of a prisoner who performed magic for the guards, a prisoner who turned out to be Nivelli.

The renowned magician Nivelli once performed before packed audiences in the grandest theaters of Berlin. Night after night, his fans applauded and called out for more astonishing feats of magic. But that was in a different, happier time, before the Jews of Europe were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This is the true story of a young boy in Auschwitz, whose life was changed by the actions of a prisoner who performed magic for the guards, a prisoner who turned out to be Nivelli.

The Josephs were celebrating a birthday when SS men came to arrest Father. The Josephs had no choice—they had to leave Germany forever. LIESL'S OCEAN RESCUE by Barbara Krasner is the story of 10-year-old Liesl Joseph and her family who boarded the ill-fated MS St. Louis on May 13, 1939, together with 937 other Jewish refugees. They left Germany to seek temporary asylum in Cuba, but when the ship landed in Cuba, no one was allowed off. The ship was ordered back to Germany.

The Josephs were celebrating a birthday when SS men came to arrest Father. The Josephs had no choice—they had to leave Germany forever. LIESL'S OCEAN RESCUE by Barbara Krasner is the story of 10-year-old Liesl Joseph and her family who boarded the ill-fated MS St. Louis on May 13, 1939, together with 937 other Jewish refugees. They left Germany to seek temporary asylum in Cuba, but when the ship landed in Cuba, no one was allowed off. The ship was ordered back to Germany.

Of all the places in the world, Uri really loves to be at his grandparents’ house. There he can stay up way past his bedtime and eat as many sweets from the chocolate box as he likes. There’s only one forbidden place in that house: the third drawer in Grandpa’s desk. This drawer is locked. No one ever opens it until one day when Uri finds the key to the third drawer. From that moment, nothing is ever the same.

Of all the places in the world, Uri really loves to be at his grandparents’ house. There he can stay up way past his bedtime and eat as many sweets from the chocolate box as he likes. There’s only one forbidden place in that house: the third drawer in Grandpa’s desk. This drawer is locked. No one ever opens it until one day when Uri finds the key to the third drawer. From that moment, nothing is ever the same.

It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.

It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.

It is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Anett and her parents are hiding a Jewish woman and her son, Carl, in their cellar until a fishing boat can take them across the sound to neutral Sweden. The soldiers patrolling their street are growing suspicious, so Carl and his mama must make their way to the harbor despite a cloudy sky with no moon to guide them. Worried about their safety, Anett devises a clever and unusual plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Based on a true story.

It is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Anett and her parents are hiding a Jewish woman and her son, Carl, in their cellar until a fishing boat can take them across the sound to neutral Sweden. The soldiers patrolling their street are growing suspicious, so Carl and his mama must make their way to the harbor despite a cloudy sky with no moon to guide them. Worried about their safety, Anett devises a clever and unusual plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Based on a true story.

From the age of five, Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin. As a citizen in Strasbourg, he and his family were forced to leave the city in a mass exodus of residents immediately after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. At sixteen years old, he joined the French resistance and used his drawing skills to alter information on the identity cards of children. But Marcel never forgot his dream of being a mime artist and entertaining the world.

From the age of five, Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin. As a citizen in Strasbourg, he and his family were forced to leave the city in a mass exodus of residents immediately after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. At sixteen years old, he joined the French resistance and used his drawing skills to alter information on the identity cards of children. But Marcel never forgot his dream of being a mime artist and entertaining the world.

In 1938, Lily Renée Wilheim is a 14-year-old Jewish girl living in Vienna. Her days are filled with art and ballet. Then the Nazis march into Austria, and Lily's life is shattered overnight. Suddenly, her own country is no longer safe for her or her family. To survive, Lily leaves her parents behind and travels alone to England. Escaping the Nazis is only the start of Lily's journey. She must escape many more times--from servitude, hardship, and danger.

In 1938, Lily Renée Wilheim is a 14-year-old Jewish girl living in Vienna. Her days are filled with art and ballet. Then the Nazis march into Austria, and Lily's life is shattered overnight. Suddenly, her own country is no longer safe for her or her family. To survive, Lily leaves her parents behind and travels alone to England. Escaping the Nazis is only the start of Lily's journey. She must escape many more times--from servitude, hardship, and danger.

What was it like to grow up Jewish in Italy during World War II? Sit with a little girl as her grandmother tells the story of her childhood in Rome, of being separated from her father, and of going into hiding in the mountains. It is an incredible story of bravery and kindness in the face of danger. Based on the experiences of the author's own family, this deeply moving book set during the Holocaust deals with a difficult subject in a way that is accessible and appropriate for young readers.

I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding During World War II by Marisabina Russo

What was it like to grow up Jewish in Italy during World War II? Sit with a little girl as her grandmother tells the story of her childhood in Rome, of being separated from her father, and of going into hiding in the mountains. It is an incredible story of bravery and kindness in the face of danger. Based on the experiences of the author's own family, this deeply moving book set during the Holocaust deals with a difficult subject in a way that is accessible and appropriate for young readers.

During the Nazi occupation of Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place-the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but also a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, including children.

During the Nazi occupation of Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place-the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but also a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, including children.

On the eve of the Festival of Purim, a grandmother tells her granddaughter how, as a little girl, she heard the story of Queen Esther from her family rabbi. This was in 1939, in Nazi-occupied Vienna, on the eve of WWII. Soon after the rabbi begins the story of the brave queen, soldiers come to arrest him. The young girl begs for the rabbi to finish his story, and the soldiers allow him to do so. When the tale is over, the soldiers permit him to send the children home.

On the eve of the Festival of Purim, a grandmother tells her granddaughter how, as a little girl, she heard the story of Queen Esther from her family rabbi. This was in 1939, in Nazi-occupied Vienna, on the eve of WWII. Soon after the rabbi begins the story of the brave queen, soldiers come to arrest him. The young girl begs for the rabbi to finish his story, and the soldiers allow him to do so. When the tale is over, the soldiers permit him to send the children home.