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Read these stories in conjunction with your studies on World War II and the Holocaust.



Number the Stars Lesson Plans

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Lesson Plans by Becky Harvey

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, is a realistic historical fiction that portrays a young Danish girl, Annemarie, during the Nazi occupation. Annemarie’s best friend Ellen and her family are Jewish, and as such, are being hunted by the Nazis. Annemarie’s entire family works tirelessly and at their own peril to save Ellen’s family, as well as many others unknown to them. Many, many Danish people secretly rebelled against the unwelcome invasion of their country. As a result, the Danish Resistance formed and members found ways to undermine the Nazis.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Teacher Guide by Liane Hicks

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is an award winning historical fiction novel written in 2005. The story centers on the life of Liesel Meminger, a young German orphan raised by foster parents during the rise of Hitler and the beginning of World War II. Liesel's foster parents hide a young Jewish man named Max to save him from the Nazis and Liesel and Max strike up an unlikely friendship. The author chooses Death to be the narrator, as he is able to convey the scope of suffering of the Holocaust as well as describe the emotional story of Liesel and Max's journey.
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Teacher Guide by Liane Hicks

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli is an award winning historical fiction novel written in 2003. The story is about a young boy fighting to survive the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The reader sees the brutality of the Nazis and the inhumane treatment of the Jewish people through Misha's innocent eyes. Since its publication,Milkweed has been lauded as a visceral and powerful re-telling of the Holocaust from the poignant perspective of a child. It is a compelling novel that teachers may use to facilitate meaningful discussions with their students about the Holocaust.

"First They Came" by Martin Niemoller

Teacher Guide by Lauren Ayube

”First They Came” was written by Martin Niemoller after World War II. Originally part of a speech, many variations of the poem have circulated since the 1950s. Niemoller wrote these words after he spent seven years in Nazi concentration camps for opposing the Nazi control over churches, and realized the immense mistreatment that Jewish people endured.
Once by Morris Gleitzman

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Teacher Guide by Lauren Ayube

Felix is a ten year old boy who lives in a Catholic orphanage in 1942. His parents, who are book lovers and book store owners, have sent him there for protection. When Felix flees the orphanage in an attempt to find his parents, he endures a great deal of hardship, but also meets some truly caring and wonderful people. Once, which is written from the first person point of view of a child, is heartbreaking, raw, honest, and beautifully written. The first of a series of three books, Once is the perfect book to teach young children about the truths and the horrors of the Holocaust.
The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Teacher Guide by Lauren Ayube

Leon Leyson was just shy of ten years old when the Germans invaded Krakow, Poland, where he lived with his parents, 3 brothers, and sister. For Leon and his family, 1939 was the start of several years of misery, starvation, torment, inconceivable inhumanity, and loss. The Boy on the Wooden Box is an incredible and important memoir of a boy who survived the most horrific time in world history because of one man, an unlikely hero, Oskar Schindler.
White Bird by R.J. Palacio

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

Teacher Guide by Liane Hicks

White Bird by R.J. Palacio is an award winning historical fiction graphic novel written in 2019. The story is about Sara Blum, a Jewish girl in hiding for survival in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. She also happens to be the grandmother, Grandmère, of Julian Albans, Auggie Pullman's tormentor in Wonder and Auggie & Me.
Diary of Anne Frank Lesson Plans

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Lesson Plans by Anna Warfield

The Holocaust is one of the blackest periods in world history. Extraordinary racism and hatred led to millions of needless deaths. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl whose family tried to escape persecution and imprisonment by hiding in secret rooms. Anne kept a diary of her experience in the “Secret Annexe” that shows the difficulties the Franks faced, as well as courage, wisdom, and hope in the face of adversity.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Activities

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Lesson Plans by Becky Harvey

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the story of an innocent and ignorant boy whose father is the commandant of the concentration/death camp Auschwitz in Nazi-controlled Poland during World War II. Though the book is written in third person/omniscient point of view, the author has Bruno use his unknowing voice, calling Auschwitz “Out-with”, and the Fuhrer (Adolf Hilter) “the Fury”, to show his true misunderstanding of all that is actually happening around him.

The Sunflower Lesson Plans

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal combines a memoir and a symposium on an event that occurred while he was held captive in a Nazi concentration camp.
Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

Night by Elie Wiesel is an autobiographical story, told by Wiesel, depicting his life and journey through the Holocaust as a young boy. In his memoir, he discusses growing up as a devout Jewish boy, and continues the novel through his time spent in Auschwitz, a notorious Nazi concentration camp. The novel ends with his liberation and briefly touches upon his life at the end of WWII.

Adolf Hitler

History of the Holocaust

Lesson Plans by Richard Cleggett, Matt Campbell, and John Gillis

The Holocaust was a 20th century genocide of staggering proportions. Over the course of twelve years, the Nazi Party brutally and systematically killed nearly six million Jews and five million other victims. It remains a profoundly tragic chapter of world history. It also remains an important part of history for students to study in order to better understand World War 2 and even current events.
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