Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to Memorial Day. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about Memorial Day.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about Memorial Day can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
An inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people, illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson
Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.
A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy’s grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.
The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give. It was just a little white table… but it felt as big as America when we helped Mama put each item on it and she told us why it was so important. “We use a Small Table, girls,” she explained first, “to show one soldier’s lonely battle against many. We cover it with a White Cloth to honor a soldier’s pure heart when he answers his country’s call to duty.” “We place a Lemon Slice and Grains of Salt on a plate to show a captive soldier’s bitter fate and the tears of families waiting for loved ones to return,” she continued.”We push an Empty Chair to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here…”
Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber. <p/>Outside, the crowd gathered for the veterans’ parade grows as quiet as a mouse, while men and women – old and young – march past in the rain. A trumpet plays and Grandpa lays a wreath in memory of his lost friend. Just then, the child imagines an elephant in the mist. “Elephants never forget,” he whispers to his grandpa. “Then let’s be elephants,” says the old man, as he wipes water from his eyes and takes his grandson’s hand. <p/><b>Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion</b> has relevance to a growing number of families, as new waves of soldiers leave home.
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines - The bold story of Maya Lin, the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You may be familiar with the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But do you know about the artist-architect who created this landmark? As a child, Maya Lin loved to study the spaces around her. She explored the forest in her backyard, observing woodland creatures, and used her house as a model to build tiny towns out of paper and scraps. The daughter of a clay artist and a poet, Maya grew up with art and learned to think with her hands as well as her mind. From her first experiments with light and lines to the height of her success nationwide, this is the story of an inspiring American artist: the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A Christy Ottaviano Book
Rolling Thunder -
Award-winning author Kate Messner and acclaimed artist Greg Ruth honor the sacrifices of American veterans and their families in this poetic tribute.
Lines of bikes are miles long,
shining, half a million strong.
Rumbling, grumbling, engines roar.
Peace signs. High fives. Spirits soar. Every Memorial Day in Washington, DC, more than a million veterans and their supporters gather for the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a demonstration that pays tribute to the men and women of the US armed forces. This lyrical story honors the bravery and sacrifice of those American heroes – the ones who have returned home, and the ones who haven’t.
America: A Patriotic Primer - America: A Patriotic Primer
Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans - Here is the inspiring story behind the Veterans Day red poppy, a symbol that honors the service and sacrifies of our veterans. When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever. Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina’s great-nieces to better understand Moina’s determination to honor the war veterans. A portion of the book’s proceeds will support the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple(R), which benefits children of the U.S. military.
Postcards from a War is about a boy whose mother has recently been deployed overseas to a war. His grandfather, who was about the same age when his father left to serve in World War II, helps him understand why she has gone away. He shares with his grandson postcards and letters sent by his father from the Philippines. The grandfather and grandson collaborate on building a scrapbook that will include these, plus the letters and emails and other communications the boy will get from his mother. <p>Postcards is intended for 4-8 year olds, ones who are old enough to understand that a parent in the military may have to go to a dangerous place, but maybe not why. It shows the imporant intergenerational bonding that famililies often experience during times of war.</p> <p>The postcards and letters in the book were received by the author from her father during World War II.</p>
Inspired by her own granddaughter Natalie, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, tells a story through a child’s eyes of what family life is like when a parent is at war across the world.
When her father leaves for a year of being at war, Natalie knows that she will miss him. Natalie is proud of her father, but there is nothing to stop her from wishing he was home. Some things do help her feel better. Natalie works with her Nana to send her dad and the other service men and women cookies and treats they have made. Natalie, her mom, and her brother can see and talk to Dad over the computer, and the kindness of friends at school and at church help her feel supported and loved. But there is nothing like the day when her Dad comes home at last.
New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins has created a deeply moving autobiographical picture book about a father who must go off to the war in Vietnam – and the daughter who stays behind.When young Suzy’s father leaves for Vietnam, she struggles to understand what this means for her and her family. What is the jungle like? Will her father be safe? When will he return? The months slip by, marked by the passing of the familiar holidays and the postcards that her father sends. With each one, he feels more and more distant, until Suzy isn’t sure she’d even recognize her father anymore.This heartfelt and accessible picture book by Suzanne Collins, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hunger Games series, is accompanied by James Proimos’s sweet and charming illustrations. This picture book will speak to any child who has had to spend time away from a parent.
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.