Book List: War Themed

We’re a little late this year, but we thought you might be able to bookmark it for next year’s ANZAC day celebration.

9780732285401A Rose for the Anzac Boys by Jackie French

Three young women find themselves on the sidelines to the most horrific war known to mankind. Feeling the restrictions of gender and society, the three women band together and move into the war effort. It is the story of the disillusionment of a generation, the horror and loss of war.

Please note that some of the injury descriptions may prove too graphic for some.

Harper Collins

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Told from the perspective of Lina this is her story of the Soviet occupation of her country, Lithuania. Forced into ‘labor camps’ this is a story about survival. When we think of WWII we think of concentration camps and Nazis. What Ruta offers with Between Shades of Gray is another slice of the war we overlook.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

What resonates most with people for this book, is that it is as big or small as you make it. It can be a book about a friendship between two small children. It can be a book about the horrors of Nazi Germany and their systematic killing of a people. It can be the story of a family.

It deconstructs this idea of ‘us’ and ‘them (as does any good book, like the books in this list). It strip’s the characters to everything but bare essentials. It is there that we realise, reduced to our core, we are all the same. It is merely a happenstance that had one boy on the outside of the fence. It’s a valuable lesson that we all must keep with us in life.

Random House Aus

9780330274869Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

As if I could go past an Australian classic!

What I find to be the true essence of the Tomorrow series is that the invader is never named. There is nary a description of physical features or geographical references for us to ever pinpoint just who invaded Tomorrow’s Australia. For those of you out there that are thinking back and saying ‘no he definitely names who invades us.’ I can promise you not one description is found in any of the books.

It really goes to the heart of why Tomorrow is such an important book. Did you imagine that you did know who had invaded Tomorrow’s Australia? What does this say about our prejudices? It’s a fascinating book to explore with your students and get to the heart of who we demonise and why.

Pan Macmillan Aus

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