8 Titles of Resilience and Hope for Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is designated as a day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Share these stories of resilience and hope about people of various ages, races, nationalities, and more with young readers today and throughout the year.


The eight book covers from this Holocaust Remembrance booklist set against a dark but hopeful candlelit background.


January 27 is designated as a day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Share these stories of resilience and hope about people of various ages, races, nationalities, and more with young readers today and throughout the year.


Picture Books

 Hidden Hope: How a Toy and a Hero Saved Lives During the Holocaust by Elisa Boxer. illus. by Amy June Bates. Abrams. ISBN 9781419750007. 
Gr 4-6–It’s World War II, and the Nazis have crossed into France to round up Jewish people. With most Jews fearing the threat of concentration camps and death, a few brave people have stepped up and joined a secret society called the French Resistance. VERDICT An important true account to add to all collections. Gauthier’s inspiring story will spur on anyone who doubts just how much difference one young person can truly make.

What Rosa Brought by Jacob Sager Weinstein. ­illus. by Eliza Wheeler. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. ISBN 9780063056480. 
PreS-Gr 4–A story that may be challenging for younger children to fully understand but is compelling even before readers know that it is based in true events. VERDICT Within the context of guided family and classroom conversations, this gorgeously illustrated picture book can be an important age-appropriate tool to educate children about the Holocaust while emphasizing the enduring power of perseverance and love.

Stars of the Night: The Courageous Children of the Czech Kindertransport by Caren Stelson. illus. by Selina Alko. Carolrhoda. ISBN 9781541598683. 
Gr 3-5–While there’s no shortage of Holocaust stories, Stelson has written a moving and uplifting account of a humanitarian effort that ultimately saved 669 Jewish Czech children. The Kindertransport took children from their hometown of Prague to England, where they lived with foster families while war broke out at home and most of their families were killed. VERDICT A necessary and inspirational book about a little-known light amid a dark period of history, this book should find a home in all libraries.


Middle Grade

Hour of Need: The Daring Escape of the Danish Jews During World War II by Ralph Shayne. illus. by Tatiana Goldberg. little bee/Yellow Jacket. ISBN 9781499813579. 
Gr 6 Up–This graphic historical fiction of the Nazi Resistance in Denmark during World War II begins in present-day as Mette visits Denmark with her grandchildren, and alternates with the daring story of the Danish people who saved the lives of its Jewish community through heroic resistance. VERDICT Recommended purchase for libraries looking for stories of bold acts by everyday citizens, less-than-well-known stories of resistance to Nazi Germany, and the saving of a majority of the Danish Jewish population.

[Read: Remember: 10 Titles to Read for Holocaust Remembrance Day]

Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust by Neal Shusterman. illus. by Andrés Vera Martínez. Scholastic/Graphix. ISBN 9780545313476. 
Gr 7 Up–This work of graphic fiction uses an anthology of fantastic tales to explore the horrors of the Holocaust. Shusterman creates stories that engage and educate young readers about Nazi persecution of the Jewish people. VERDICT A nice addition to any teen graphic fiction collection.



 The Blood Years by Elana K Arnold. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. ISBN 9780062990853.
Gr 9 Up–Arnold’s gripping novel of sisterhood and survival amid both Soviet and Nazi occupation illuminates a little-explored part of the Holocaust in Romania, based on the life of the author’s grandmother. VERDICT Arnold’s wrenching tale of two sisters surviving the Holocaust in Romania is a must-read.

Run and Hide: How Jewish Youth Escaped the Holocaust by Don Brown. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Clarion. ISBN 9780358538165. 
Gr 8 Up–Devastating. With illustrations that are at times tender and other times gruesome, Brown has found a way to convey the destruction of the Holocaust to younger readers. VERDICT Add this graphic novel to your list of resources for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

 The Boy Who ­Followed His Father into Auschwitz: A True Story Retold for Young Readers by Jeremy Dronfield. HarperCollins/QuillTree. ISBN 9780063236172. 
Gr 7 Up–The young reader’s edition of Dronfield’s adult title of the same name is a heartrending and absolutely necessary read about the scope and depth of the Holocaust. VERDICT This essential work shows young readers how the Holocaust came to happen and how two amazing human beings survived its horrors.

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