WWII for 6th Graders

As I have mentioned in a couple of recent posts, I am giving booktalks in January to 6th graders on World War II in Europe.  I have lists of books used in the past by my predecessors and I am planning on including many of them, but I am interested in some different titles to shake things up a bit.  Also, I am horrible, absolutely horrible with knowing reading levels and appropriateness for ages/grades.  I consider this one of my biggest failings as a librarian.  I really wish they had offered some sort of development course in library school that would have addressed this.  Anyway, the point is I could use any help anyone has to offer.  I am going to list the ones I am currently looking into using.  Weigh in on them — yay or nay on whether I should use them.  Any good ones I’m missing — specifically non-fiction titles, that’s my current weak point.  Anything else you may find important.  Help me narrow my list down to a manageable amount of reading and booktalk writing for the next month.

Here are the titles I’m looking at so far (I’m certainly not going to use them all, only probably 8 or so):

  • The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson (almost finished reading this one)
  • Marika by Andrea Cheng (local author)
  • Throw your feet over your shoulders : beyond the Kindertransport by Frieda Stolzberg Korobkin
  • Hana’s Suitcase: a True Story by Karen Levine
  • On Rough Seas by Nancy Hull (new but horrible cover — has anyone else seen this one?)
  • Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
  • Someone Named Eva by Joan Wolf
  • In defiance of Hitler : the secret mission of Varian Fry by Carla Killough McClafferty
  • Hitler Youth : growing up in Hitler’s shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger
  • Lost in America by Marilyn Sachs (probably too American focused for this project…not sure)
  • Elephant Run by Roland Smith (Burma, not Europe, and may too old?)
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • Emil and Karl by Jacob Glatstein (way American/Englishized version of the author’s name)
  • The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo
  • Yellow Star by Jennifer Rozines Roy

Wow, that’s a lot more than I realize.  Thank you in advance for any help you may give!