As a mother of military children, I know they have to go through situations that other children don’t. One of the best ways to help them is through books. Reading about other children going through what they go through while having a parent in the military is very helpful. We have always had books like this around our house to look at before and after deployments.
Some books talk about deployment. Others deal with moving, starting a new school and finding friends in a new neighborhood.
You can also find books on other stressful situations that your kids might have to go through such as making new friends, bullying or working through family issues associated with life as a military family.
Here is a list of books to read your military child, broken down by age group:
Young children need picture books to help get the point across. They are easy to read and help the child learn more about military life through short stories.
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian. This book talks about the different branches of service and military life. It is a great book to have when starting out on the military journey.
Daddy’s Deployed by Bridget Platt. The only military book of its kind: Daddy’s Deployed is a completely customized children’s book for those with a parent deploying. The book features the name, gender, and physical attributes of, not only the child, but the parents as well!
- A Paper Hug by Stephanie Skolmoski. A sweet story about a boy whose Dad has to go away on a deployment. The book talks about the different emotions he goes through. It is a perfect book if you are about to go through a deployment or separation.
Lily Hates Goodbyes Jerilyn Marler. Lily has lots of feelings during her father’s deployment. Sometimes she is angry. Sometimes she is sad. Sometimes she cries. Sometimes she yells. Through it all, her mother tells her that these feelings are normal.
- Coming Home by Greg Ruth. This is a great book for the end of a deployment. The pictures tell the story and in the end you find out that Mom is the one that was deployment, not Dad.
- The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by
School Aged Children
They can read some of these books themselves but it is also nice to be able to read with your military child.
Countdown ’til Daddy Comes Home by Kristin Ayyar. This book is about getting ready for a parent to come home after being away for a while. It has some great ideas for the kids and includes discussion questions to get them talking about what they are going through.
Soldier by Simon Adams. A favorite in our house, this book talks about soldiers, what they do, what equipment they use and is filled with a lot of detailed photos and diagrams. It can be a great resource so children can learn more about what their parent does for a living.
The Good-Pie Party by
The Moving Book: A Kids’ Survival Guide by Gabriel Davis. Although this book is not just for military children, they will get a lot out of it. It will help them understand a move and allow them to have a little more fun with the moving process.
Why is Dad So Mad? by Seth Kastle. This book is about a Dad who is going through PTSD. It can be a great tool to use if that is something your family is going through and you are not quite sure how to explain it to your child.
This age group needs books on military life too. It can help them understand and deal with some of the issues that come up in this lifestyle.
- My Story: Blogs by Four Military Teens by Michelle D. Sherman, Ph.D., and DeAnne M. Sherman. This book follows four teens as they make their way through a parent’s deployment. The stories are fictional but are based on real-life experiences.