Auckland Libraries: Children at War

Children at War

There is something about stories involving children during war time that has always tugged at my heart strings. I could blame my primary school teacher who read I am David by Ann Holm to us during class (it’s still one of my all-time favourite books). Or it could just be that I hate confrontation.
 
War’s impact on people and especially the innocence of children is both a reality and a tragedy. These are some of the reasons why I am drawn to picture books and children’s fiction about War.
 
Introducing war stories to children is fraught with difficulty and is the subject of a lot of debate, but by telling the stories of families both past and present we can help in some way to cure the trauma and hopefully make the future a more peaceful place.

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I am David

Anne Holm

Book

The book that started it all for me – not just my interest in the subject but in books and reading as well. Following David on both his physical and emotional journey is an adventure and a revelation. After years it remains a classic for me.

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Here come the marines

Lorraine Orman

Book

It’s not just the people on the battlefront who are impacted by war as this story from my local area shows. Originally published as A Long way from Home as part of the My Story New Zealand series.

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Hana's suitcase

Karen Levine

Book

This non-fiction book easily reads as a story and intriguingly combines events in Czechoslovakia and Japan which somehow makes the whole thing much more powerful.

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Refuge

Jackie French

Book

Masterful storyteller Jackie French weaves a wonderful tale which covers the span of Australian history but in a contemporary way.

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The sky of Afghanistan

Ana A. de. Eulate

Picture book

The best kind of picture book with words and illustrations working together. Combine this with the key theme of Peace and you have a winner. Readers may also enjoy I dream of peace: images of war by children of former Yugoslavia created by UNICEF.

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Soldier bear

Bibi Dumon Tak

Book

Put an animal into a war story and the book has me. Basing it on truth makes it even better.

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Photographs in the mud

Dianne Wolfer

Book

For me the message from this sophisticated picture book is that despite divisions of country, ethnicity or religion, we are all just the same underneath.

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Home and away

John Marsden

Book

The beauty of this sophisticated picture book is that it put our readers squarely into a relatable story when the war suddenly breaks out at home. What would it be like?

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The duck in the gun

Joy Cowley

Picture book

A Kiwi classic showing the absolute stupidity of war.

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Lest we forget

Feana Tuʻakoi

Book

Just because war is a terrible thing, we can’t forget the bravery of the men, women and animals who went to war and fought them. This is one of the best examples of Kiwi ANZAC day fiction and is also available in Te Reo Māori.

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Book list by:

Anne Dickson

Anne

LibrarianMahurangi East Library