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Military Families: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about military families?

As you can see, this list of kids books about military families is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about military families, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

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The Places We Sleep
Written & illustrated by Caroline DuBois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home converge in this stunning novel in verse.

It’s early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.

I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don’t.

Tennessee is her family’s latest stop in a series of moves due to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.

And then it’s September 11. The country is under attack, and Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart. America has changed overnight.

How are we supposed / to keep this up / with the world / crumbling / around us?

Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.

Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey’s coming-of-age story accessibly portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history. At once personal and universal, it’s a perfect read for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.

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H Is for Honor: A Millitary Family Alphabet
Written by Devin Scillian & illustrated by Victor Juhasz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Written by the son of a career officer, this book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere. Children will discover why drill sergeants have to be so tough, what it means to be patriotic and why we need Special Forces such as the Navy SEALS, the Green Berets and the Army Rangers. H is for Honor also explains why the annual Army/Navy football game is more than just a game, how much letters from home mean to soldiers, how often military families have to move and what life on base is like. With an underlying message of courage and commitment that every child can relate to, the book will be especially meaningful to those whose parents, siblings or other relatives serve in the Armed Forces.

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Like a Shooting Star
Written & illustrated by Rino Alaimo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Award-winning filmmaker and author of The Boy Who Loved the Moon. Rino Alaimo returns with an endearing tale about courage and love. When a young boy’s father doesn’t return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star–one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can’t fly. Touched by the boy’s earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy’s father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of this stunningly illustrated picture book.

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Daddy's Boots
picture book
Recommend Ages: -

This award-winning deployment book for kids is a favorite of all major military branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves in military books and best deployment books for children.The illustrator has masterfully drawn the lovable and relatable characters to be racially non-specific; Bean is non-gender specific, as well. It’s Boot’s task to take Daddy where he’s needed, but it’s Daddy’s job to explain why.In only 37 pages, the author provides a valuable tool for caregivers to explain to service members’ children why their daddy leaves, what he does, and how he helps others while he’s away. As it would be impossible to explain every job, rank, and branch specific name for every object and service member, the author succeeds in covering the essentials in a generic and loving way. Daddy is a soldier. Boots are preparing to take him away. If Bean can hide Boots, will Daddy be able to stay? Daddy explains the many jobs he’s called to do, and how his work isn’t that much different than the work other daddies do.Being deployed is a fact of life for soldiers of all military branches. Humanitarian efforts, operations other than war (OOW), peaceful or wartime missions - a soldier’s duty is to be there. Sometimes it means leaving little ones behind wondering why.Daddy’s Boots is a loving description of a few quiet moments between a father and his child, as Daddy prepares to deploy for his job with the military.This charming picture book written by the award-winning author, Sandra Miller Linhart, and illustrated by the accomplished artist, Tahna Desmond Fox opens up a dialogue between the military child and his or her dad, and makes military deployments a more positive event.Check out her complementary award-winning picture book, ‘But…What If?’ which deals with the separation anxiety and reunion and other anxieties in kids brought on by military deployments. These award-winning books are best bought together. www.lionheartgrouppublishing.com

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Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops
Written by Jill Biden & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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  • Stars Above Us - A little girl and her soldier father find a way to be close even when he?s away at war Amanda is scared of the dark. But her dad can fix that. He shows Amanda all the wonderful things that live in the dark, like fireflies, crickets, and stars. And when her father has to go away, he even puts glowing paper stars on Amanda?s bedroom ceiling, so she can look at their special star while he?s away and know he?s on the other side of the world looking at it too, and thinking of her. Stars Above Us is an affecting, beautifully illustrated narrative tailor-made for children who?ve ever lived without a parent.

  • Ruby in the Ruins - From beloved British storyteller Shirley Hughes comes a touching tale of unconditional love as a family puts itself back together in postwar London. Ruby and Mum cling to each other while they live through the terrifying London Blitz, waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Day after day they hope for his return – but when the moment to meet him at the station finally comes, Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train. He’s big and sunburned, and he doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he once was. It’s easier to play outside in the wreckage of the bombings than to stay at home with a dad she doesn’t know anymore. But when Ruby hurts her knee in the ruins, there’s only one person who can rescue her and make her feel all right.

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