11 WWI and Great Depression Novels

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Most people know War Horse from the Steven Spielberg movie. (I loved the movie!) Albert and his colt Joey have been inseparable ever since Albert’s father bought Joey at an auction. When Albert goes to fight (in WWI), Joey is right alongside him. I didn’t find the book is graphic (nor as interesting) as the PG-13 movie, but still great book and movie.

My Brother’s Shadow by Monika Schröder
Told from the perspective of a German youth towards the end of WWI, My Brother’s Shadow tells the fictional story of 16 year old Moritz. With a disabled brother who just got back from war, a Jewish (girl)friend, and a fanatic-socialist mother, Moritz’s life is chaos.
Sergeant York: An American Hero by David Lee
This is a biography of a great Christian WWI hero, Alvin York. York was the most decorated soldier during WWI. He received the Medal of Honor for a certain heroic feat, including capturing 132 Germans and 32 machine guns.
The Night Flyers by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
Pam is a twelve year-old girl growing up in North Carolina with her mother during World War I. Before her father went off to war, he gave her a loft of homing pigeons. When a man with a foreign accent comes to town, everyone in the town fears the worst. Is he a foreign spy? Fast paced and filled with adventure, I enjoyed this book simply because of the writing, it was interesting, and it had a little known plot. Homing pigeons were one of the most valuable animals during both WWI and WWII.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Told in first-person free verse poetry, this Newbery winner is told from the view of a young girl in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. When her mother dies, Billie Jo is stuck with her ill-tempered father just trying to make ends meet. I’m not a big poetry person and this didn’t take me long to read, but it truly wasn’t bad.
The Kit Series by American Girl
Welcome to Kit’s World
Not only is there the six standard Kit Kittredge books, Kit has a few mysteries, and a “Welcome to Kit’s World”, which includes more about the Great Depression.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
This Newbery winner tells the adventures of a ten year-old orphan with nothing more than an old suitcase and some flyers.
have not read yet!

Christmas After All by Kathryn Lasky (A Dear America book)
During the Depression in Indiana, 12 year-old Minnie Swift’s family has been hit as hard as everyone else. Told over the span of one month (December). A young girl comes and stays with the Swift’s, helping them with their struggles, highs, and lows as they help her with hers.
have not read yet!
Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Grandma Dowdel’s back! She’s just as feisty and terrifying and goodhearted as she was in Richard Peck’s A Long Way from Chicago, and every bit as funny. In the first book, a Newbery Honor winner, Grandma’s rampages were seen through the eyes of her grandson Joey, who, with his sister, Mary Alice, was sent down from Chicago for a week every summer to visit. But now it’s 1937 and Joey has gone off to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, while 15-year-old Mary Alice has to go stay with Grandma alone–for a whole year, maybe longer. From the very first moment when she arrives at the
depot clutching her Philco portable radio and her cat, Bootsie, Mary Alice knows it won’t be easy. And it’s not. She has to sleep alone in the attic, attend a hick town school where in spite of her worn-out coat she’s “the rich girl from Chicago,” and be an accomplice in Grandma’s outrageous schemes to run the town her own way–and do good while nobody’s looking. But being Grandma’s sidekick is always interesting, and by the end of the year, Mary Alice has grown to see the formidable love in the heart of her formidable Grandma. –Patty Campbell from Amazon –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
have not read yet!
When Christmas Comes Again: The WWI Diary of Simone Spencer by Beth Seidel Levine (A Dear America Book)
It’s April 1917, and Simone’s brother just got shipped off to war. Like most books in the Dear America series, this one explores a little known aspect of WWI – the American French-speaking Hello Girls.
have not read yet!

For a list of more juvenile WWI, see this list with age ranges and short summaries.


What are some of your favorite juvenile novels about WWI and the Great Depression?

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Samantha is an entrepreneur and a former homeschool student from Indiana, USA. When not blogging, Samantha can be found reading about WWII, trying to speak Hebrew, and wasting time on Pinterest. Her work can be found on Free Homeschool Deals, Unigo, True Aim Education, Encouraging Moms at Home, and more.



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