Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish
This week’s topic: Top Ten Books With X Setting…I chose Books Set During A Time Of War
Every since I was younger I have been a lover of history. It may have been my stepdad’s influence (I mean, the man spends Christmas morning on the Delaware River every year reenacting Washington’s crossing) but I’ve just ALWAYS loved it. I love learning about civilizations and people of the past because there is so much to glean — from their mistakes, triumphs and perseverance. It all fascinates me and so naturally I AM drawn to historical fiction because I like taking a trip back in time One of the hardest but most inspiring times to read about for me is during a time of war. War can be pretty depressing and hard to read about but I really am inspired by the triumph of the human spirit.
So here are my top ten YA and Adult books set during times of war:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusack: This is one of my most favorite books EVER..not just a favorite book set during a war. I BAWLED my eyes out. This book haunts me.
Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: This book was amazing and a little hard to read though. Typically the books I read are more focused on the Hitler side of things but this one focused on what awful things Stalin was doing to the people of Lithuania. My eyes were opened. Seriously one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read but SAD AS HELL. (my review of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien: So, funny story about this book. I was supposed to read this TWICE in high school and I didn’t (because it sounded terrible to me) but managed to get A’s on all the assignments with not reading it. Then I took a contemporary lit class in college and got assigned to write a HUGE paper on this so there was NO way I was going to get around it. So I read it and it is one of my FAVORITE books in the world. It is WAY MORE than a war story and I’m so, so proud of the paper I wrote about it!
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This book started out slow to me but, if you are patient, it is WORTH IT as it all comes together. HOLY CRAP. I didn’t cry but I am still scarred for life by this book. (My review of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein)
Night by Elie Wiesel: I bought this one at a used book sale and decided to take it with me on vacation. STUPID STUPID GIRL. Do not read this in public or anywhere where you don’t want to be depressed. This is a true account of a man who survived the Holocaust and it left me weeping on the airplane. It was HORRIFYING. Fiction always hurts me when it comes to books set during wars because I know, while the account IS fiction, that people did experience this but a memoir? KILLS ME because this real, actual person has experienced the things written on the page…these things that keep me up at night.
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum: This was an amazing story of what a mother did to keep her daughter safe during World War II. It was so heartbreaking but really good. It’s set in the past and the present as this daughter tries to learn more about her mother’s life during this time. What I loved was that it was about a GERMAN mother. Most of what I read was from the perspective of those being persecuted so it was interesting to read a book about what regular people in Germany were doing/thought about the war. (my review of Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum)
A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka: This one flips from past to present as well and is set in Poland. This one is more of a love story and is very “war-lite” if you aren’t into the really intense accounts of war. The war was just a part of their love story. Definitely a hidden gem! (my review of A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka)
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson: This one is middle grade, which you KNOW I don’t read a lot of, but this book is AMAZING. I wish every classroom would have this in it. NO matter what Laurie Halse Anderson writes it is amazing and important. (My review of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson)
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry: I read this in elementary school (long time ago sheesh) and remember really being impacted by it. At such a young age it’s hard to fathom this kind of stuff and that story really stuck with me and definitely made me want to read more to learn and discover all these things.
March by Geraldine Brooks: Ok one of my favorite books ever is Little Women and this is the story of the DAD in the March family as he goes off to war I enjoyed this one and honestly I want to see more books set in the Civil War era!
So tell me…what are some books you’ve enjoyed that are set during a war? Recommend them to me pleaaaase! Always looking for new, good ones! Have you read any of the ones I’ve listed?