The curiosity of how children lived during WW2


Many children, including myself when I was at school, have a fascination with stories written about children during the war. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian was my class reader in year six which is imprinted on my mind. I also thoroughly enjoyed the film which does do it justice, although William’s mum was terrifying!

I’ve just been reflecting on some of the war stories that my pupils and I have read over this term and thought I would share our favourites.

  We read this as a class reader. The children all fell in love with the naive Felix, a Jewish boy living in a polish orphanage. All he wants to do is find his parents. A book for the mature and sensitive primary reader, as is another favourite, The Boy in the Striped Pjamas by John Boyne. 

Many of the girls picked up A diary of a young girl (Anne Frank’s diary) and found the diary layout an accessible read. Renoundly known as one of the most famous diaries ever written, it is an interesting from a historical perspective but it also discusses issues that arise when a girls grow up, mainly arguing with parents and having mixed feelings about boys…
BBC mini TV series The Diary of Anne Frank with Tamsin Grieg, Ellen Kendrick and Iain Glen I thought was particularly good, grasping the harrowing and harsh reality of what hiding from the Nazis was like for so many.  Seeing the confined spaces really brought it home. Some of this is available to watch on YouTube.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Ella, year 6 says:

    I personally am really interested in WW2. I have read Anne Frank’s diary and really, really enjoyed it, even though it was upsetting at the end and as Miss T said Anne does really express her feelings about boys and how she feels with it. I think this book is really good for girls who are going through the same things as Anne (apart from the war, of course) and are feeling the same way as her.


  2. Ella, year 6 says:

    I’ve read all of John Boyne’s books including the boy in the stripes Pjamas. On a website called I saw that it said ‘at least one’ was a must read 10 year old book. I better read it then before I’m 11, which is a LONG time.


    1. vteubler says:

      It’s such a sad book. Have you seen the film?


  3. Ella, year 6 says:

    No, I haven’t seen the film, it sounds really upsetting. Is it as sad as the book?


  4. maisie g says:

    i love anne frank, it is really interesting how they coped with it


    1. Ella, year 6 says:

      Maisie, you recommended it to me and I LOVED it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. vteubler says:

        That’s what this is all about! Keep on recommending!


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