Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



Authors who write Holocaust literature for children have two main objectives when writing; the first to accurately describe the event in detail, and the second, they are morally obligated to pass on the memory of the Holocaust to the new generation. However, non-historical fiction can also relay the story of the Holocaust through abstract means. This paper argues that in a children’s Holocaust novel the age old struggle of good vs. evil is played out using resistance and collaboration themes. However, the historical backgrounds of resistance and collaboration are not clearly defined at all, while in the novels, it can take a black and white approach to the subject, leaving out vital historical information which could ultimately give a child the wrong impression regarding the events of the Holocaust. The three historical novels that have been analyzed are Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. The fourth book analyzed in this paper is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, which is analyzed for its parallels to the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, rather than direct historical connections.