Riot Recommendation

Riot Recommendation: 45 of Your Favorite WWII Works of Fiction

Flatiron Books, publisher of The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives. Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of World War II, and whether from a desire to better understand the war’s devastation or an interest in its untold stories, World War II fiction remains one of the most popular subjects in historical fiction today. It’s hard to pick a favorite, so we enlisted your help. We asked for your favorite WWII works of fiction and you gave us tons of epic family sagas, sweeping love stories, and stories of resistance and resilience (like we knew you would). Here are 45 of your top WWII reads!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

China Dolls by Lisa See

Code Girls by Liza Mundy

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

From Here to Eternity by James Jones

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

In the Shadows of Wolves by Alvydas Šlepikas

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone

A Pair of Silver Wings by James Holland

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi

The Rogue Heroes by Ben McIntyre

Small Island by Andrea Levy

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

A Town Like Alice by Neil Shute

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reis

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

The Whistle Stop Canteen by Barb Warner Deane

The Winds of War by Herman Wouk