Sunday, May 19, 2013

WW2 BOOKS | Winged Watchman #6 (Updated Dec. 23, 2015)

Ranks 6th out of 193 books
for children on World War II..
On the Goodreads list of the 193 Best Books for Children on World War II, two books by Hilda van Stockum rank in the top 8, and a third, The Mitchells, ranks 27th.
Here is the list:
World War II on the
home front, in Washington.
Ranks 27th out of 193.
The Winged Watchman ranks 6th. It is about a family that lives in a windmill. Two boys– Doris aged 10 and Dirk Jan aged 14–are the heroes. The book is recommended for children and young adults in the 8-14 age range.
Here is what is posted as a review on Goodreads:

This acclaimed story of World War II is rich in suspense, characterization, plot and spiritual truth. Every element of occupied Holland is united in a story of courage and hope: a hidden Jewish child, an "underdiver," a downed RAF pilot, an imaginative, daring underground hero, and the small things of family life which surprisingly carry on in the midst of oppression.
The Borrowed House ranks 8th.  It is about a German family that moves to Amsterdam,. The parents are there to entertain the troops. The daughter had been in Hitler Youth in Germany and is now in the midst of occupied Holland. She learns a lot, and decides that Hitler is a bad man. Based on a true story.
These lists are looked at by librarians, teachers, home-schooling parents and curriculum designers.

If you go to this site, pleas vote for one of the  Hilda van Stockum books... and of course any other books you recognize? I notice Anne Frank's diary sometimes drops to second place.
Ranks 8th out of 193.
To vote, here is the site on the Goodreads list–the same link as above:
If you would like a free HvS book sent to you to review for Amazon or to vote on a Goodreads list - let me know and I will send it - at least to the first 20 people who ask me. Email me at


  1. I am currently reading books to choose for a middle school lit class I am teaching for our homeschool co-op. I had never read HvS's books before and thought The Borrowed House was a wonderful book! I know it is based in fact, but is it based on any particular true story or people in particular? I am also reading The Winged Watchman and am likely to choose one of these for the class.

  2. The Borrowed House was, yes, based on a true story, as was The Winged Watchman. They have their respective fans. An easy way to pick between them is that The Borrowed House has a female protagonist whereas the Winged Watchman has two brothers as child protagonists. The Borrowed House is also for older children, 12-15 I think, whereas The Winged Watchman can be read as early as 10 years old.
    The Borrowed House was based on a German family that entertained the troops. A few facts were changed but the story is genuine. The family does not want us to reveal their identity because even after all these years the memories are painful.
    As with many juvenile books, many adults enjoy them greatly. That makes them fun to read out in large families, which is what my mother did until we were ready to take turns.
    The Borrowed House is about a German girls who comes to Amsterdam thinking that Hitler is a great and generous man and finds out slowly a different story.
    The Winged Watchman is about the last year or two of the Occupation of Holland from the perspective of a rural family that lives in a windmill.
    My mother's books are widely read over the summer by home-schoolers. It would be good to see them find their way back to the schools, where they once had a huge following.
    As an indicator of revived interest in the World War II books, "The Borrowed House" has just been translated into Dutch - amazingly, for the first time, 80 years after my mother's first book.