The Grafton Public Library presents…

“We Can Do It”

World War II in Fiction and Non-Fiction

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Dewey Number


The Baker’s Secret

Kiernan, Stephen


While Europe awaits liberation from Hitler’s troops, one small Normandy village is held together by the resourcefulness of a 22-year-old woman with a talent for baguettes.

Schindler’s List

Keneally, Thomas


Keneally won the Booker prize for this well-known title, later made into a movie.

Suite Francaise

Nemirovsky, Irene


A valuable window into the past, and the human psyche.. The remaining three sections were never written, for the already established Russo-French-Jewish author died at Auschwitz in 1942.


McEwan, Ian


Not a war novel per se, but very evocative of the time before and after WWII—and a masterful novel. Also made into a movie.

Stones From the River

Hegi, Ursula


The town itself is a microcosm of German history as the main character, Trudi, records its response to the economically distressed 1920's, the rise of Hitler, the growing anti-Semitism, and the postwar years when everyone wants to forget or deny their Nazi past.

The Invisible Bridge

Orringer, Julie


A richly detailed debut novel from prizewinning short-story writer Orringer, unfolding from a little-explored area of the Holocaust.

Life After Life

Atkinson, Kate


If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler, would you? Of course you would. But this is not the only possible future for the main character in this unusual book. For those who can really pay attention. J

The Postmistress

Blake, Sarah


Three women on the eve of America’s involvement in World War II consider the volatile nature of truth in the face of tragedy. Iris James is postmistress for the town of Franklin on the tip of Cape Cod. Everyone’s secrets pass through her hands.

Those Who Save Us

Blum, Jenna


An emotionally estranged mother and daughter are reconciled when the daughter learns the truth about her German mother’s actions in WWII.

All the Light We Cannot See

Doerr, Anthony


Doerr presents two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect. He captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses on the innate goodness of his major characters.

When the Emperor Was Divine

Otsuka, Julie


A carefully researched little novel, about the US internment of Japanese citizens during WWII that’s perfect down to the tiniest detail.


Hersey, John

940.54 HER

“Hailed by press and public as ""the best reporting of this war"", , this is an artistic achievement as well as a threat to this still unsettled world”—from a review published in 1946.

Prague Winter

Albright, Madeleine

943.712 ALB

Former Secretary of State’s account of her experiences during and after WWII.

The Rape of Nanking

Chang, Iris


An account of the Japanese massacres in what was Nanking, China, “the forgotten Holocaust of World War II”.

Operation Mincemeat

Macintyre, Ben

940.548 MAC

The exciting story of the ingenious British ruse that distracted the Nazis from the Allied Sicilian invasion.

Ship of Ghosts

Hornfischer, James

940.542 HOR

A forgotten chapter of heroism, brutality and survival from the opening days of World War II. A compelling saga of the famous ship.

Elephant Company

Croke, Vicki Constantine

940.542 CRO

my love of elephants made me apprehensive to review a book about their role in World War II. But as soon as I began to read I realized that not only was my heart safe, but that this book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species.”—from NY Times review

The Perfect Horse

Letts, Elizabeth

940.542 LET

A singular spotlight on the concerted World War II effort to save Lipizzaner stallions. The author’s elegant narrative conveys how the love for these amazing creatures transcends national animosities.

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Ackerman, Diane

940.531 ACK

After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antoninia Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from Nazi racism by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages.

Flags of Our Fathers

Bradley, James

92 BRA

In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima.


Ambrose, Stephen

940.54 AMB

A splendid, moving, and authoritative account of the most decisive day of WW II.

The Guns at Last Light

Atkinson, Rick

940.54 ATK

An outstanding work of popular history, in the spirit of William Manchester and Bruce Catton.

Citizens of London

Olson, Lynne


A nuanced history that captures the intensity of life in a period when victory was not a foregone conclusion.

Avenue of Spies

Kershaw, Alex

940.534 KER

The saga of a well-situated American doctor and his Swiss-born wife caught up in Resistance activity in occupied Paris. A tenderly engaging saga of solid research and emotional connection.

Ghost Soldiers

Sides, Hampton

940.54 SID

An extraordinary tale of bravery under fire and the will to endure-an exceptionally valuable addition to the popular literature surrounding WWII.