Middle grade fiction about the holocaust is not always the best way to teach the subject, but a few fiction titles have been praised for handling the topic well. If you were looking for holocaust stories for your tweens, you may enjoy the ones on this list. I tried to include stories by Jewish authors and those narrated by Jewish protagonists. I also tried to find ones that don’t shy away from the hard details on what life was like. Some of these titles are set in the present with protagonists learning of the horrors their ancestors faced in concentration camps.
Linked is Gordon Korman’s latest middle grade offering, set in Chokecherry, Colorado, a small town where everyone knows everyone and all the kids have been together since kindergarten. There are a few new kids — one of whom is Jewish — whose parents work as paleontologists digging for dinosaur fossils in town. The small town is thrown into an uproar when a swastika is painted in the school building — and multiple swastikas continue to pop up throughout the school.
In Broken Strings, Shirli Berman has her eyes set on a role in her school’s play. It’s 2002 and just after the Twin Towers and the death of Shirli’s grandmother. Even though she doesn’t eventually score her desired role, she ends up playing another one of the key roles anyway. To add to it, her stage husband is Ben Morgan, the most popular boy in school. At the same time, Shirli is also learning about her family’s history from her grandfather (Zayde) who has been silent on the matter his entire adult life.