Looking for the perfect books for military children? November is National Family Literacy Month, so there's no better time to do it. Reach Out and Read suggests making reading a part of every day, if only for a few minutes. (Bonus: even reading out loud to your child helps with literacy.)
But experts also suggest that children be given books that speak to events happening in their lives, such as starting school or moving.
As we all know, military kids are the most resilient children around. And there are several great books out there for military children to read, or have read to them, involving moving, deployments and their parents’ military service. These are also great options for reading on Veterans Day in between scoring your great Veterans Day discounts.
Here are 11 of our favorite books for military children:
1. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
According to GoodReads.com, “Some superheroes wear rocket-propelled boots, drive super-powered cars, and have X-ray vision. But other superheroes wear army boots, drive tanks and go away for long trips to make the world a safer place. It's a tough job, but that's what superheroes have to do. With Melinda Hardin's simple text and with Bryan Langdo's endearing watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, Hero Dad makes a difficult and tender subject more accessible to children with parents serving far from home.”
From Amazon.com: “The moms in the book are superheroes. They may not leap over tall buildings, and they may not have super-human speed. But these moms construct buildings, fly planes, and make tanks roll. They do all kinds of things to help create a safer world. These superheroes are moms. Military moms. Hero moms.”
This book is chock-full of lessons, from the importance of writing letters to soldiers to the real meaning behind the Army/Navy football game. It ties honor, courage and commitment into a language every child can understand.
This book helps children develop a sense of pride in their parent’s work by providing a glimpse into the sacrifices military members make every day. I love that it also includes places for children to place photographs of themselves and their parent in the story.
From Amazon.com, "Books about mommies going to war are few and far between, and My Mommy Wears Combat Boots is for mothers in uniform everywhere that are seeking a way to explain to their children the emotions associated with deployment and a way to positively channel those emotions when they are away.”
This books tells the story of a deployed soldier who uses the North Star to have a nightly game of catch with his son. The illustrations are beautiful!
This book tells the story of a young boy who sends a “paper hug” to his deployed father. It also provides tips on how to send your own care package and paper hug.
From Amazon.com, "Boo Boo Bear's Mission tells the story of a beloved teddy bear on an important mission. Young Shea Leigh's dad has been deployed to Iraq with the Air National Guard. To help her dad feel less lonely while he is away from his family, Shea Leigh sends Boo Boo Bear to him in a care package. Half a world away from home, Boo Boo tours the base with Dad, embarks on a jet fighter flight and fulfills an important mission--to carry a family's love until they can be together again.”
With fun illustrations detailing words ("W" is for "Woobie!") that are already a staple of many military kids' lives, this ABC book is perfect for the younger set that digs the alphabet, as well as older kids who like seeing things from their every day life illustrated and explained in book form.
Have any of you read these books with your children? What are your thoughts? Are there books not on this list you would recommend? Whether you're picking up these books for military children for the first time or already have them on your shelf, don't miss out on National Family Literacy month. Happy reading!