First and foremost, the teaching of this unit should compliment the teaching of World War II in U.S. History class. Reading literature about the War should facilitate the learning of those historical facts which are necessary. Second, it gives the English teacher who has a strong history background, or one who finds historically-based novels interesting, a chance to transfer this knowledge to his/her classes. Finally, the unit intends to show the horrors of war, not only for the soldiers involved, but also for everyday people, and how they coped with the intrusion of the War upon their lives. The novels included in the unit are: “On the Other Side of the Gate” by Yuri Suhl, “Dangerous Spring” by Margot Benary-Isbert, “Fireweed” by Jill Paton Walsh, and the nonfiction essay “Hiroshima” by John Hersey. There is also a collection of nonfiction written by journalists taken from the book “They Were There” edited by Curt Riess.
(Recommended for 11th and 12th grade English or History.)
World War II Literature Wars