Teens: War stories for high schoolers

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

In their own voices, four young people, Muriel, Frank, Emma and Ollie, tell of their experiences during the first World War, as the boys enlist and are sent overseas, Emma finishes school and Muriel fights for peace and women’s suffrage.

Sunrise Over Fallujah by 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.

Fallen Angels by 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.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.

Sisterland by Linda Newbery
When Hilly’s grandmother becomes ill with Alzheimer’s disease, her family is turned upside down by revelations from her life during World War II.

Postcards from No Man’s Land by Aidan Chambers

Alternates between two stories– contemporarily, seventeen-year-old Jacob visits a daunting Amsterdam at the request of his English grandmother–and historically, nineteen-year-old Geertrui relates her experience of British soldiers’s attempts to liberate Holland from its German occupation.

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women’s Army Corps.

War Is..Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War edited by Marc Aronson and Patty Campbell
An anthology of fiction, speeches, poems, and essays about war.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

A novel about U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.

Tamar by Mal Peet
In England in 1995, fifteen-year-old Tamar, grief-stricken by the puzzling death of her beloved grandfather, slowly begins to uncover the secrets of his life in the Dutch resistance during the last year of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and the climactic events that forever cast a shadow on his life and that of his family.

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino
When their village is destroyed in the Guatemalan Civil War, Tomasa and her family, except her mother and brother, who have been taken by the authorities, begin the long trek north in search of somewhere they will be safe.

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
In 1981, the height of Ireland’s “Troubles,” eighteen-year-old Fergus is distracted from his upcoming A-level exams by his imprisoned brother’s hunger strike, the stress of being a courier for Sinn Fein, and dreams of a murdered girl whose body he discovered in a bog.

The Book Thief by 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. Includes readers’ guide.

Ghosts of War:  The True Story of a 19-year-old GI by Ryan Smithson

A personal narrative of a soldier in the Iraq war.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl “passes” for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

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