Although the Holocaust is a non-fictional piece of history, there have been several fiction books written about it that explore themes. Throughout, we see peace, acceptance, discrimination, good vs. evil, and many more ideas that a tragedy evokes. Exploring holocaust books in the fiction area gives a new perspective to this tragic time. Looking at the Holocaust through the eyes of a character allows the reader to live through the time.
This list notes five of the most popular and highest-rated Holocaust books, fiction.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is an international best-seller, selling over 16 million copies worldwide. This piece personifies the idea of death and is told from the character Death’s perspective. The Book Thief has also been turned into a film.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is another best-seller that has been turned into a film. It tells the story of a young German boy, Bruno, who makes friends with Shmuel, another young boy who is at a concentration camp. Bruno believes that the concentration camp is a farm and that Shmuel’s uniform is pajamas. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas follows Bruno and Shmuel’s friendship through a barbed-wire fence.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale follows the story of two sisters in France during WWII. One of their husbands ends up becoming a prisoner of war. The Nightingale shows their lives during these tragic events, and ultimately reveals the effects that gains and losses of power can have.
Number The Stars by Lois Lowry
Number The Stars is a widely popular novel that follows two 10-year-old girls and their experience in Denmark. The book tells the heart-wrenching story of what happens between Annemarie Johansen and her Jewish friend, Ellen Rosen, when the Jews are relocated. Instead of “relocating” with her family, Ellen moves in with her friend and pretends to be a part of the family. In a time of food shortages and Nazi soldiers, this could prove to be a dangerous choice to make.
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
Schindler’s List is another well-known Holocaust piece. It tells the story of an individual and his efforts to save innocent lives in a Nazi-filled world. Schindler’s List is known for telling a story of light in the midst of extreme darkness. Called a compassionate angel of mercy, Schindler risks his life to help those around him.
There are numerous Holocaust-related books, both fiction and non-fiction. They all tell a version of events that happened during the Holocaust time. A time of darkness. Of death. Of fear. And of courage.
These particular five fiction books are well-known and touch on each of these. They are often read in academic settings to educate readers about the history and to share individual stories from the past. Because, as we all know, knowing history helps us to not repeat it.