29 Best Holocaust Books for Middle School

Perhaps no historical topic has produced more remarkable literature than World War II and the Holocaust. Below are 29 of the best Holocaust books for middle school.

Novels, non-fiction and graphic novels.

Here are tales of concentration camp survivors, children who tried to assassinate Hitler, boys and girls who witnessed the horrors of the ghettos, families torn apart by relocation and extermination, as well as truths and facts about the heroic men and women who fought the thousands of battles that made up World War II.

Looking for books for boys who hate to read?

Or check out the Best Short Stories for Middle School.

Holocaust Novels for Middle School

Blitzcat by Robert Westall

Pages: 240
Reading Level: 4 – 6 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 3.92

Westall won the Smarties Prize for this novel about an intrepid cat who survives the blitz of Convetry and sets out across England in search of her human family, touching the lives of everyone she encounters.

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall

Pages: 185
Reading Level: 4 – 6 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 3.93

Chas McGill and his friends discover a German bomber crashed in the woods with 2,000 rounds of ammo unspent. Their discovery kicks off their own war efforts to shoot down enemy planes, an effort which eventually changes how Chas feels about Germans and the war.

Traitors Among Us by Marsha Skrypuch

Pages: 288
Reading Level: 3 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.27

Sisters Krystia and Maria have survived the ravages of war in the Ukraine, but once they settle into a displacement camp they are accused of being Hitler Girls, collaborators with the Nazis. Now they must find a way to escape the Soviets, who don’t believe their protests of innocence.

The Plot to Kill Hitler: Conspiracy by Andy Marino

Pages: 192
Reading Level: 3 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 3.92

The first novel in a trilogy about an Allied plot to assassinate Hitler and end WWII. Gerta and Max Hoffmann are pulled into the plot when a dying man collapses in their house after a bombing raid and hands a packet of documents to their father, telling him he must finish the mission.

The Hidden Room by William Durbin

Pages: 254
Reading Level: 4 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.33

Based on the true story of a Ukrainian family that takes refuge in a cave to escape the Nazis for an entire year, this incredible tale is filled with fascinating historical details and a unique perspective on WWII.

The Enemy Above by Michael P. Spradlin

Pages: 240
Reading Level: 4 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.10

Twelve-year-old Anton and his family flee the Nazis and hide in a series of underground tunnels. But they are pursued across the Ukrainian countryside by a ruthless Gestapo agent who intends to round up every Jew he can find.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Pages: 240
Reading Level: 7 – 9 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Bruno comes home to find his family packing to move to a new home. Their new residence sits alongside a fenced-in encampment. Bruno meets a boy from the other side of the fence, and a powerful tale of friendship begins.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Pages: 552
Reading Level: 6 – 10 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.39

Liesel’s first book theft is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, found her brother’s graveside. It won’t be her last. The powerful and moving tale about the brutality of war and the saving grace of storytelling and literature.

Project 1065 by Alan Gratz

Pages: 320
Reading Level: 5 – 8 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.37

Michael O’Shaunessey and his family moved from Ireland to Nazi Germany. Michael is part of the Hitler Youth. But his family has a secret. They’re spies. And Michael has just learned about a secret Nazi mission: Projekt 1065.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Pages: 137
Reading Level: 4 – 7
Goodreads Rating: 4.18

When Nazis begin deporting Jews in Denmark, Annemarie moves in with the family of her friend Ellen and pretends to be a member of the family. But soon Annemarie must go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Pages: 208
Reading Level: 5 – 8 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.01

He’s a boy called Jew. Gypsy. Stopthief. Runt. Happy. Fast. Filthy son of Abraham. Living in the ghetto, he wants to be a Nazi someday, until a horrific encounter changes his mind and reveals the truth about the Nazis.

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

Pages: 227
Reading Level: 5 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 4.24

Based on the true story of Syvia Perlmutter and written by Syvia’s niece, this novel-in-verse recounts the tale of twelve children who survived the Lodz ghetto in Poland and recounts the story from Syvia’s point of view.

Someday We Will Fly by Rachel Dewoskin

Pages: 320
Reading Level: 6 – 9 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 3.76

15-year-old Lillia flees Poland with her father and her sister to Shanghai, one of the few places that accepts Jews without visas. But what became of her mother, who disappeared, and how will her mother ever find them?

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

Pages: 399
Reading Level: 8 – 11
Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Based on a true story, Club follows Karl Stern as he is bullied relentlessly for being Jewish. Stern eventually becomes a student of boxing champion Max Schmeling, who teaches him to fight but brings him deep into Nazi circles.

Holocaust Nonfiction for Middle School

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Pages: 227
Reading Level: 6 – 10
Goodreads Rating: 4.42

The astonishing story of nine working-class boys who travel from the Pacific Northwest to the 1936 Olympics and beat Hitler’s world-class German rowing team. Powerful and inspiring.

Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Pages: 176
Reading Level: 6 – 9
Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Bartoletti explores the creation and success of the Hitler Youth group, which was the largest youth group in history with over 3.5 million children. Examines how the group gained the trust of so many kids around the world.

I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson

Pages: 234
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.18

Bitton-Jackson’s memoir of the Hungary invasion by the Nazis and how her family lived under Nazi occupation and were eventually relocated. Bitton-Jackson tells how she survived the Holocaust and the concentration camps.

The Boy in the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Pages: 240
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.38

The memoir by one of the youngest survivors aided by Oscar Schindler. Leyson’s family was relocated to the Krakow ghetto, where Leyson barely survived the brutal commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp.

To Look a Nazi in the Eye by Kathy Kacer

Pages: 256
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 3.75

The true story of Lebowitz’s time at the trial of Oskar Groening, known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, a man charged with being complicit in the death of more than 300,000 Jews.

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb

Pages: 256
Reading Level: 6 – 9
Goodreads Rating: 3.95

The true story of the capture of Adolf Eichmann, who escaped Germany at the end of the war and vanished for sixteen years. Eichmann would eventually be put on trial for his horrendous war crimes.

Spies, Codebreakers & Secret Agents by Carole Roman

Pages: 152
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.25

From spy schools and ciphers to sneaky tools and secret armies, this guide takes you on a declassified tour of the undercover operations that helped decide the outcome of World War 2. Includes short spy biographies!

Heroes of World War II by Kelly Halls

Pages: 210
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.65

From Anne Frank and Oskar Schindler to our forgotten African allies, these soldiers, spies, and freedom fighters helped change the world and save millions. What will kids learn from their stories of selflessness and bravery?

Great Battles for Boys by Joe Giorello

Pages: 229
Reading Level: 6 – 9
Goodreads Rating: 4.43

Full of historic photographs, maps, and short, powerful chapters, Great Battles captures the attention of even the most reluctant readers. History leaps off the page through the blood, sweat, and sacrifice of men at war. 

500 Facts: World War II History for Kids by Kelly Halls

Pages: 178
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.25

Starting with the events that set the stage for war and finishing with its aftermath, World War II History for Kids helps them explore the past through interesting and memorable facts they can share with their friends and family.

A Light in the Darkness by Albert Marrin

Pages: 388
Reading Level: 6 – 11
Goodreads Rating: 4.19

The powerful story of Janusz Korczak, a Polish doctor for children who established numerous orphanages. Turning down opportunities to flee Poland, he stayed with his orphans and perished with them in the camps.

Holocaust Graphic Novels for Middle School

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Pages: 144
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.11

14-year-old Dita is imprisoned in Auschwitz. A Jewish leader asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, turning her into the Librarian of Auschwitz.

The Diary of Anne Frank Graphic Adaptation

Pages: 151
Reading Level: 5 – 8
Goodreads Rating: 4.39

The literary classic gets a graphic novel adaptation. Anne Frank is a young girl hiding with her family from the Nazis. Anne’s story is a moving examination of maintaining humanity in the face of horror and evil.

Navajo Code Talkers by Blake Hoena

Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4 – 7 Grade
Goodreads Rating: 3.81

The fascinating true story of how the US government employed Navajo code talkers to develop a secret code that could not be broken by enemy spies. Code talkers were indispensable to winning the war against the Nazis.

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Pages: 159
Reading Level: 6 – 9
Goodreads Rating: 4.37

Widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written, Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats.

Reluctant Reader Books