Canadian Historical Fiction – First and Second World War Novels

There are many excellent Canadian historical fiction novels, set in both the First and Second World Wars. With Remembrance Day around the corner I thought that I would highlight a few of them for you:


Sharon McKay does a fine job sharing with us about the First World War through the eyes of Charlie, in Charlie Wilcox  (in print) and Charlie Wilcox’s Great War (out of print). These books give us an opportunity to explore this war through the eyes of “one who was there”. In Charlie Wilcox, Charlie thinks that he is going on a fishing expedition, when really he is heading to England with a group of soldiers. He ends up being a stretcher-bearer at the front in the Battle of Somme.

In Charlie Wilcox’s Great War, Charlie returns from WW#1 a young man instead of a boy, sharing the after effects of war.

For World War II there are several books that I would like to highlight.


The first would be author Kit Pearson and her Guests of War Trilogy. These stories introduce us to Norah and Gavin, who are sent to Canada for safety in the middle of World War II. They weave the timeline of the war into the timeline of the children’s lives. The three books in the trilogy include: The Sky is Falling ; Looking at the Moon; and The Lights Turn on Again. These books are all available in our E library and physical commons.


Eric Walters : Caged Eagles This book is set at a time in Canadian History when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, and the Japanese were interned in camps in various regions of Canada. The story shares about one British Columbian family and their struggles.  You may find this in our Overdrive library.


Hurricanes over London by Charles Reid. This is a book about a young boy in Alberta who finds his grandfather’s diary. It explores the Battle of Britain and Canada’s flying ace Willie McKnight. It tells the story of both Canadian and British History. This book is in print, and available as a paperback.


The final book I would recommend is Jean Little’s Listen for the Singing. This is the sequel to her book From Anna. Anna is of German descent and is living in Canada prior and during World War II. She copes with High School, prejudice, and her blind brother Rudi coming home from World War II. Jean Little is a classic Canadian storyteller.  This is an excellent book balancing life in Canada, with the effects of war. It might be a little harder to find, but well worth the search!

Blessings! Natalie Sing


  1. […] Natalie shares on the joys of reading historical fiction to commemorate Remembrance day, in her article, Canadian Historical fiction First and Second World Wars […]


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