April is the month of the military child! It is during this month that we recognize the sacrifices that military children make through many moves, deployments, and uncertainties. But with all of those sacrifices comes pride, community, and adventure. I, myself, am a military child and am proud to have been one for many years.
There’s nothing quite like finding a book with characters that one can relate to. As C.S. Lewis once said, “We read to know we are not alone.” Unfortunately, there are not many books with military children, or even simply children with loved ones in the military, as the main characters. That’s why I have created a list of some of these books. It is my hope that some military children will be able to find a book with a character that they can relate to so that they may know that they are not alone.
For Children’s Book Readers
Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut
“Back and forth our star will fly, racing through the nighttime sky.”
Night Catch is a sweet story that tells how a nightly game of “catch” using the North Star brings together a deployed father and his young son. Told in catchy rhymes and beautifully illustrated by Vicki Wehrman, Night Catch is a great book for kids who have a parent who is deployed.
Click Here to Buy Night Catch on Amazon
Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden
“Be brave, Natalie.”
Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by former Second Lady Jill Biden is a tale inspired by her granddaughter’s life, Natalie. It’s a touching tale that very accurately describes what life is like when a parent is deployed. Many military children and families will be able to relate to Natalie and her family.
Click Here to Buy Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops on Amazon
For Middle Grade Readers
The Molly Series by Valerie Tripp
“Everything was different now because of the war. Dad was gone and Mom was busy.”
These American Girl books are books that I cherished and enjoyed as a young girl. Molly may have lived during WWII, but the experience of having a parent away at war has remained the same through the years. The illustrations and history tidbits that are included in these books are wonderful!
Click Here to Buy the First Book in Molly’s Series on Amazon
Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab
“Maybe being brave wasn’t the most important thing anyway.”
Army Brats is part mystery and part coming-of-age story. Set on a military base, there are puppies, mysteries, and lots of fun. My sister Maya read it and loved it! Don’t worry, I plan on reading Army Brats soon too. 😉
Click Here to Buy Army Brats on Amazon
For Young Adult Readers
Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles
“People are the only home the Army issues.”
Once I had this book in my hands, I couldn’t put it down. I felt that I found a kindred spirit in the main character of Beneath Wandering Stars, one who understands what a life of changes and goodbyes feels like. I have never found that in any other book. You can tell that the author herself was a military child. And to add to that, there’s an exciting adventure on the Camino do Santiago that has me itching to visit Europe ASAP. A full review will come soon!
Click Here to Buy Beneath Wandering Stars on Amazon
“Dear Jamie, Love Rory” by Micaiah Saldaña
“Today is your birthday, and you’re not home.”
This is my own little story, a story that was partly inspired by my own experiences with my Dad’s deployments. The story is told as a series of letters from Rory to her older brother, who is deployed in Afghanistan. Through this story, I wanted to portray some of the pain that comes from a deployment and how letters keep loved ones connected.
Click Here to Buy “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” on One Story’s Website
“For Felicity” by Audrey Caylin
“I’ll be leaving on deployment when the leaves are almost gone.”
“For Felicity” is a story by my friend Audrey Caylin. It tells the story of a girl named Felicity and her brother Stephen, who is about to deploy. Felicity’s tale may be short, but it is packed with emotion and has the most perfect ending ever.
Click Here to Buy “For Felicity” on Amazon