University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Young Adult Selections

This list is compiled by Lillian Polus Gerstner, Executive Director - Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. 4255 Main Street, Skokie, IL 60076-2063. (847) 677-4640

Entries are divided into:

* Items are available through the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois.


  • Anderson, Douglas. "The Beams Are Creaking." Baker's Plays, Boston, 1982
    The dramatic story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer revealed through events set in Berlin, 1932 - 1945.
  • *Baer, Edith. A Frost in the Night. Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1980
    A young Jewish, girl's secure life changes when the Nazi party grows powerful and Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • *Demetz, Hanna . House on Prague Street. St. Martin's Press, N.Y. 1980
    Half-Jewish Helene Richter sensitively shares her experiences in Czechoslovakia as things become more desperate for the Jews.
  • *Fink, Ida. The Journey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y. 1992
    The story of two sisters who take on several false identities to disguise their Jewishness and survive.
    • *A Scrap of Time. Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1987
      Life in Poland during the Holocaust is depicted in this collection of stories, many of which are based on autobiographical incidents. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • Fuchs, Elinor , ed. Plays of the Holocaust. Theatre Communications Group, N.Y. 1987.
    An intenational anthology of 6 plays, including "Ghetto" by Joshua Sobol.
  • *Hersey, John. The Wall. Knopf, N.Y. 1950
    Fictionalized account of the Warsaw Ghetto from establishment to destruction. (Note: Recommended for advanced students only, due to length of 600+ pages.)
  • *Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's List. Simon and Schuster, N.Y. 1982
    Story based on fact, revolving around German businessman who chose to save lives of his workers.
  • Kertesz, Imre. Fateless. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL 1992
    Fictionalized account based on author's Holocaust experiences from his home in Hungary to Buchenwald concentration camp.
  • Klein, Edward . Parachutists. Doubleday, N.Y. 1981
    Fictional treatment of mission similar to the Hannah Senesh story.
  • *Kozlenko, William. "Jacob Comes Home." Baker's Plays, Boston, 1938.
    A Berlin family eagerly awaits the return from a concentration camp of Jacob, but all that returns are his ashes.
  • Litewka, Albert. Warsaw: A Novel of Resistance. Sheridan Square Press, N.Y. 1989
    Account of a manhunt conducted by SS to capture a Jewish resistanceleader.
  • *Lustig, Arnost. Darkness Casts No Shadow. Inscape, Washington 1976
    Holocaust survivor draws upon his own experiences to create this story of two boys who attain instant adulthood in order to survive a death camp.
  • *Pausewang, Gudrun. The Final Journey. Viking - Penguin, N.Y. 1996
    Powerful narrative of a young girl's journey on a cattle car from Germany to Auschwitz. Strong language and descriptions are better suited to more mature student. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • Samuels, Gertrude. Mottele, A Partisan Odyssey. Harper & Row, N.Y. 1963
    Twelve-year-old Mottele, a homeless orphan, joins the Jewish resistance fighters and becomes a hero. (Note: May be used with students as young as 6th grade.)
  • Schmidt, C.W. Marta: A Novel. Suter, Inc., Santa Cruz, CA 1982
    Romantic, suspenseful novel of a privileged young Jewish woman and her Holocaust experiences.
  • Skloot, Robert, ed. The Theatre of the Holocaust. University of Wisconsin Press, Dra Madison. 1982.
    Collection of 4 plays: "Resort 76" by Shimon Wincelberg, "Throne of Straw" by Harold & Edith Lieberman, "The Cannibals" by George Tabori, and "Who Will Carry the Word?" by Charlotte Delbo.
  • *Suhl, Yuri . On the Other Side of the Gate. F. Watts, N.Y. 1975
    Relates experiences of young Jewish couple when confined to the Warsaw Ghetto during the German occupation of Poland in World War II who are forced to give up their child. (Note: May be used with students as
    young as 7th grade.)
  • Thoene, Bodie. Vienna Prelude. Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 1989
    Elisa, a Jewish musician, lives under an Aryan identity in the days of the coming Holocaust.
  • Uhlman, Fred. Reunion. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, N.Y. 1977
    The Jewish-German dilemma is conveyed in this story of a brief friendship shared by two school boys, one the son of a Jewish doctor, the other of a German aristocrat. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Uris, Leon. Mila 18. Doubleday, N.Y. 1961
    Fictionalized account of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. (Note: Recommended for advanced students only, due to length of 500+ pages.)
  • Vida, Nina. Return from Darkness. Warner Books, N.Y. 1986
    Helene, a young woman from a wealthy Jewish family, is plunged into the hell of the Holocaust.
  • *Weil, Jiri. Life With a Star. Farrar Straus Giroux, N.Y. 1989
    The Nazi occupation of Prague significantly alters the life of the city's Jews.
    • *Mendelssohn Is On the Roof . Farrar Straus Giroux, N.Y. 1991
      Novel which traces the transformation of ordinary lives in Nazi-occupied Prague.


  • Altshuler, David. Hitler's War Against the Jews. Behrman House, N.Y. 1978
    Adapted for young readers from Lucy Dawidowicz's The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 and A Holocaust Reader, this text includes photographs and original source readings. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • *Arad, Yitzhak , editor. The Pictorial History of the Holocaust. MacMillan, N.Y. 1990
    Outstanding reference work encompassing events from 1933-1945. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Bar Oni, Bryna . The Vapor. Visual Impact, Chicago, 1976
    Painful recollection of suffering and despair endured by this survivor as a girl in Nazi-occupied Poland. (Note: May be used with students as young as 6th grade.
  • *Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. Little, Brown, Boston 1993
    The history of the Holocaust as told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Blady Szwajger, Adina. I Remember Nothing More: The Warsaw Children's Hospital
    and the Jewish Resistance
    . Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1990
    Author recounts events immediately prior to Nazi occupation of Poland and the horror of the Holocaust years as experienced by the medical community.
  • *Bor, Josef The Terezin Requiem. Knopf, N.Y. 1963
    True story of courageous, talented young conductor, Raphael Schachter, and several hundred Jews who performed Verdi's "Requiem" at Theresienstadt, told by fellow prisoner. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Caitung, Severin and Marge. The Darkest Years. U.S.A. 1994
    Two survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto describe their struggle to survive their wartime experiences.
  • Dumbach, Annette. Shattering the German Night: The Story of the White Rose. Little Brown & Co., Boston, 1986
    The story of the resistance organization of young Germans and their determination to protest the Nazi movement.
  • Edelstein, Dov Beril . Worlds Torn Asunder. Ktav, N.J. 1985
    A rabbi movingly describes his experiences as a deeply religious 17-year-old confronting the hell of Auschwitz.
  • *Eliach, Yaffa. Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust. Oxford University Press, N.Y. 1982
    Personal Holocaust narratives. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Fenelon, Fania . Playing for Time. Atheneum, N.Y. 1977
    Memoir of survivor of women's orchestra in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • Figes, Eva . Little Eden. Persea Books, N.Y. 1987
    Memoir of the early years of World War II as told by a young girl whose family is displaced by those events, moving to London when she is only 8 years old. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Georg, Willy. In the Warsaw Ghetto Summer 1941. Aperture Foundation, N.Y. 1993
    Passages from Warsaw Ghetto diaries accompanied by photographs taken secretly by a young German soldier. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Gies, Miep . Anne Frank Remembered. Simon & Schuster, N.Y. 1987
    The Anne Frank story as seen through the eyes of one of the Righteous Gentiles who helped hide the Frank family. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade and to present a more complete story than the Diary alone.)
  • *Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War,  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, N.Y. 1985
    Comprehensive historical examination of the Holocaust with illustrations.
    • The Holocaust: Maps and Photographs . Hill and Wang, N.Y. 1987
      Comprehensive, useful illustrated summaries.
    • The Holocaust: A Record of the Destruction of Jewish Life in Europe During the Dark Years Years of Nazi Rule . Hill and Wang, N.Y. 1979
      Compilation of maps and photographs which combine to tell about the Holocaust.
  • *Hay, Peter. Ordinary Heroes: Chana Szenes and the Dream of Zion. Putnam, N.Y. 1986
    Biography of Hannah Senesh who emigrated to safety in Palestine, only to return as part of the underground to warn the Jews of Hungary, and who was executed who was by the Nazis.
  • *Hellman, Peter. The Auschwitz Album : a book based upon an album discovered by a concentration  camp survivor, Lili Meier. Random House, N.Y. 1981
    This document was discovered after the war in a barracks 400 miles from Auschwitz. Photos taken on the day Meier and her family arrived at the death camp provide previously unknownevidence of the camps. (Recommended for mature students.)
  • Hyams, Joe. A Field of Buttercups. Prentice¥Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.Y. 1968
    The story of Dr. Janusz Korczak and the orphans of Warsaw, including their experiences in theWarsaw Ghetto. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Jagendorf, Siegfried. Jagendorf s Foundry: Memoir of the Romanian Holocaust. Harper Collins Publishers, N.Y. 1991
    Personal narrative.
  • *Klarsfeld, Serge. The Children of Izieu: A Human Tragedy. H. Abrams, N.Y. 1985
    Highly descriptive work regarding the deportation, persecution and death of Jewish children in France.
  • *Klee, Ernst, Dressen, Willi and Riess, Volker , editors. The Good Old Days: The Holocaust As Seen By Its Perpetrators and Bystanders . Free Press, N.Y. 1991
    Chilling compilation of diary and journal entries and correspondence of Nazis and collaborators covering their activities during the time period of the Holocaust.
  • *Koehn, Ilse. Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany, Greenwillow, N.Y. 1977
    The memoirs of a German girl who became a leader among the Hitler Youth while her Social Democratic family kept from her the secret of her partial Jewish heritage. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • *Kuper, Jack. Child of the Holocaust. Doubleday Co., N.Y. 1968
    The story of orphan Jankele Kuperblum and his experiences as he moves from village to village trying to survive the Holocaust years. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • *Landau, Ronnie S . The Nazi Holocaust. Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 1992.
    Brief yet comprehensive summary of major events of the Holocaust, with consideration of the moral, ethical and psychological issues it has produced.
  • *Leitner, Isabella. Fragments of Isabella. Crowell, N.Y. 1978
    Author's brief, poetic recollections of her experiences during the Holocaust and in Auschwitz. .(Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • *Lester, Elenore. Wallenberg: The Man in the Iron Web. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1982.
    The work and the fate of the Swedish diplomat who saved Hungarian Jews.(Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Levi, Primo. The Drowned and the Saved. Summit Books, N.Y. 1988
    Personal narrative of author's experiences in Auschwitz.
    • *Survival in Auschwitz. Summit Books, N.Y. 1986
      Author, an Italian Jew,. accounts for his ability to endure the death camp.
  • *Lindwer, Willy. The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank. Pantheon, N.Y. 1991
    Through reminiscences of women who knew Anne Frank, the author reconstructs what became of the famous diarist when her hiding place was discovered. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade. An excellent follow-up for students who read the Diary at an earlier age.)
  • *Marks, Jane. The Hidden Children: The Secret Survivors of the Holocaust. Ballantine  
    Books,N.Y. 1993. Personal narratives of Holocaust survivors who experienced World War II  as children and lived to tell about it.
  • *Meltzer, Milton. Never to Forget: The Jews of the Holocaust. Harper & Row, N.Y.  1976
    Survey of the Holocaust with excerpts from primary readings.(Note: May be used with students as young as.7th grade.) 
  • *Millu, Liana. Smoke Over Birkenau. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia 1991
    Compelling survivor memoir of the hell that was Auschwitz.
  • *Myendzizshetski, Feygele (Meed, Vladka). On Both Sides of the Wall. Ghetto Fighters'   
    House, Israel 1972. .
    A memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto
  • Ofer, Dalia. Escaping from the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1939-1944. Oxford University Press, N.Y. 1990
    Examines various rescue and illegal immigration efforts to Palestine during the years of the Holocaust.
  • *Rashke, Richard L. Escape from Sobibor. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1982
    True story of survival and triumphant escape from the horror of a death camp.
  • *Rose, Leesha. The Tulips Are Red. A.S. Barnes, N.J. 1978
    A young Jewish nurse joins the Dutch resistance to help hide other Jews. (Note: May be used with students as young as 6th grade.)
  • *Schoenberner, Gerhard. The Yellow Star. The Persecution of the Jews in Europe, 1933 -1945. Bantam Books, N.Y. 1979
    Well-illustrated overview of the Holocaust with brief, easy-to-read summaries.
  • *Schulman, Faye. A Partisan's Memoir, Woman of the Holocaust . Second Story Press,  Toronto 1995.
    Personal narrative of Jewish teen from Lenin, a small town on the, Polish - Russian borderand her struggle to survive. Includes photographs taken by the author which testify to her experiences. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Spiegelman, Art . Maus: A Survivor's Tate. Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1986
    Comic strip format and mature satire are used to examine the Holocaust. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
    • *Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began . Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1991  
      Sequel to. Maus I (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Starkopf, Adam. There is Always Time to Die. Holocaust Library, N.Y. 1981
    Personal narrative of extraordinary story of escape from the Warsaw Ghetto and years of hiding under Catholic identities. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
    • *Will to Live: One Family's Story of Surviving the Holocaust. State University of New York Press,Albany, 1995
      Revised publication of There is Always Time to Die. Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Steiner, Jean Francois. Treblinka. Simon and Schuster, N.Y. 1967
    Survivors of this death camp tell of the 600 Jews who revolted against the Nazis and burned the camp to the ground.
  • *Swiebocka, Teresa, editor. Auschwitz: A History in Photographs. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN 1993
    Comprehensive photographic record of death camp Auschwitz, during the Holocaust and today.
  • *Tedeschi-Brunelli, Giuliana. There Is a Place on Earth. Pantheon Books, N.Y. 1992
    Author's experiences as an Italian Jewish woman imprisoned in Auschwitz/Birkenau.
  • *Ten Boom, Corrie. The Hiding Place. Bantam Books, N.Y. 1974
    Personal narrative of the heroine of the anti-Nazi Dutch underground who was sent to concentration camp Ravensbruck for hiding Jews. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)
  • *Werner, Harold . Fighting Back, A Memoir of Jewish Resistance in World War II
    Columbia University Press, N.Y. 1992
    Memoir of survivor who was part of aggressive Partisan resistance unit in Nazi occupied Poland.
  • *Wiesel, Elie. Night. Avon Books, N.Y. 1960
    The author tells of his teenage years in concentration camps, the loss of his family and the moral dilemmas he faced. A strong presentation of the horrors of Auschwitz that less mature students will find difficult. (Note: May be used with students as young as 7th grade.)
  • Ziemian, Joseph . The Cigarette Sellers of Three Crosses Square. Lerner Publications,
    Exciting true story of a group of Jewish children escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 and surviving in the Nazi-occupied city, while supplying food and arms to the Jewish Resistance movement.(Note: May be used with students as young as 6th grade.)
  • Zuker-Bujanowska, Liliana. Liliana's Journal. Dial Press, N.Y. 1980
    Survivor's memoir of the years 1939-1945 in Warsaw. (Note: May be used with students as young as 8th grade.)