Amazing Reads to Get Your Hands On: Top Rated-Holocaust Books

Rosie Johnson, Social Media Writer

Has quarantine left you a little bored with more time on your hands? Well the perfect cure for boredom: reading. There are many genres and books out there to devour, so why not give it a try? I have read all the books listed below regarding the Holocaust and recommend any one of them to pique your interest and cure your boredom. Disclosure: Some reviews may release slight spoilers about the books, read at your own risk!

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Based on true events, this novel follows the Kurc family all around the world beginning in the spring of 1939. The Kurcs, a Jewish family who will be dispersed throughout Europe during the span of the war, decide now is time to come together as a family more than ever. The family, composed of a mom, dad, and their five children, are closely followed in their daily lives during the war with separate chapters dedicated to each character. The home-base for the family is Radom, Poland; although, they quickly find themselves spread out globally. This story follows the separation of a loving family through the difficult journey of escaping Nazi rule. 

Personally, this was one of my favorite reads because as each page turned, I traveled through the experiences of a family that endured some of the hardest conditions during the Holocaust.


Rating: 9.3/10

The Wolves at the Door by: Judith L. Pearson

The Wolves at the Door describes the true story of WWII from a female spy’s point of view. Virginia Hall, a woman from Baltimore, leaves her roots in the early 1930s for her dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. Hall, who is not taken seriously by the American National Intelligence due to a child accident that left her with a limp, goes to the British Special Operations where she engages in secret espionage and sabotage. Hall, becomes a real life superhero that can handle any order she is given to help fight against the evils of the world. 

Judith Pearson the author, provides an informational and factual book detailing the action-packed life of a female spy that leaves the reader with a sense of excitement and suspense!


Rating: 8.9/10

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure lives with her Papa in Paris. Her father is the master behind all the locks of the Museum of Natural History in Paris. At the age of six, Marie-Laure goes blind, but her father comes to the rescue by sculpting a miniature neighborhood for her to trace her hands through in order to memorize the geography. As the Nazi’s begin to rule over the city of lights, Marie-Laure and her father flee to her uncle’s residence in Saint-Malo by the sea. They bring with them one of the most prized possessions from the museum: a jewel. Simultaneously, the story also follows a poor boy, Werner, from Germany who is intrigued by the works of radios. Due to his talent, he joins Hitler’s Youth and later becomes assigned to work against the resistance. He finds his way to Saint-Malo, and the two drastic lives cross paths. 

This story takes on a new twist to war by binding two strangers together during the ever-separating times.


Rating: 8.1/10

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This popular read among adults remains one of the most classic WWII books. Based on historical events, this novel follows a young woman named Liesael Meminger, an orphan who lives with her foster parents in a small German town during the 1930s and 1940s. Liesel is obsessed with reading, but due to her poor living standards, stealing becomes her only option to obtain books. The story follows her late childhood as the war progresses, and bombings begin to target Molching, Germany, Liesal’s hometown. Surviving with the need to read, Liesel bonds with her step-dad over books as he teaches her to read. Things become stressful, however, when Papa harbours a jew, Max, due to the risk of neighbors finding out. 

Written in an artistic way, The Book Thief, will remain exciting, wholesome, and a thrilling novel that keeps the pages turning for the reader. 


Rating: 8.6/10

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diance Ackerman

Based on a true story, this novel takes place in Warsaw, Poland during the events leading up to WWII and Nazi antisemitism. The married Christian zookeepers, Jan and Antonia Zabinski, smuggle in Jewish refugees that they call “guests” throughout the Nazi rule over Warsaw. Cages were where they kept most of their animals, but Jews took shelter in these cages hiding and calling them home as the couple sought relocation for their guests to safer shelters. 

For animal lovers and WWII fanatics, The Zookeeper’s Wife, is a clever story of how a couple came together to help their fellow brothers and sisters. 


Rating: 8.4/10

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

From the Pacific theatre point of view, this true story follows Louie Zamperini, who from Italian heritage must go through the draft and WWII. A qualifying Olympic runner, Louie goes to the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany. However as the war breaks out, Louie quits running to join the draft. He finds himself flying on the Pacific theater of the war until his plane crashes. The survivors are few and if they are rescued, it most likely will not be Americans who discover them. Louie soon finds himself in a Japanese prison and work camp being tortured by the “The Bird.” He finds himself being threatened to release top-secret information to his Japanese captures. 

This story is a remarkable and true tale of a man who truly endured the worst but managed to come through in the end. 


Rating: 9.6/10


Hopefully, these wonderful reads will brighten up your day and provide historical context during WWII and the Holocaust. Again these are my personal reviews but I thoroughly enjoyed all these books throughout my time reading them. Have fun curing your boredom with books!