Teens: War stories for middle schoolers

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisburg
Tomikazu Nakaji’s biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury
Following orders from the United States Army, several young Japanese American men train K-9 units to hunt Asians during World War I

Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell
When her brother is sent to fight in Vietnam, twelve-year-old Jamie begins to reconsider the army world that she has grown up in.

Year of the Bomb by Ronald Kidd

In 1955 California, as “Invasion of the body snatchers” is filmed in their hometown, thirteen-year-old Arnie discovers a real enemy when he and three friends go against a young government agent determined to find communists at a nearby university or on the movie set.

Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father’s plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick’s father and Mya’s brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

A Million Shades of Gray by Cynthia Kadohata
In 1975 after American troops pull out of Vietnam, a thirteen-year-old boy and his beloved elephant escape into the jungle when the Viet Cong attack his village.

Code Talker:  a Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
A black family living in the South during the 1930’s are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don’t understand.

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