Books for Brats: 9 Must Reads for MilKids
By: Elisa Essner
Looking for the perfect present for the military child in your life this holiday season? Check out one of these great books, written specifically for military children and their unique experiences growing up.
Many of the books written for military children deal with the stresses of deployment and the resultant separation from a parent. Other books talk about frequent relocations, what happens when a parent comes home and the many honors and traditions that come with being part of a military family.
The books we’ve chosen are mostly geared toward younger children, but there are also some excellent resources out there for teenagers and adult family members who are left behind.
Inspired by the classic yuletide poem, this is an obvious choice for military children who have a parent deployed during the holiday season. Find out what Christmas is like for those serving overseas. Ages 3+.
This book written with military brats in mind explores and explains many aspects of the military family lifestyle. For each letter of the alphabet, there’s a short poem to describe various military terms. The poems are accompanied by a full-page illustration and a sidebar rich with additional information. A great, kid-friendly way to learn about all things military. Ages 6+.
This book helps children better understand the work of their deployed parent: what he eats, where he sleeps, how he keeps in touch, etc. It also helps children develop a sense of pride in their parent’s work by giving an age appropriate description of the sacrifices service members make. The book provides places to put photographs of the child and their parent, who are both heroes in this story. Ages 4+.
This book tells the true story of a young girl, her father, who was deployed to Iraq with the Air National Guard, and a beloved teddy bear sent in a care package. This is a great resource for children during a deployment, providing kid-friendly insight into the work of a service member. The book also comes with a parent guide to discussing and dealing with the stresses of military family separations. Ages 4+.
This book not only addresses the many emotions the child of a deployed service member might feel, it also offers a creative craft idea young readers can actually act on. Learn how to make a “paper hug” of your very own to send in the next care package.
Many books for military children feature a father stationed overseas, a situation that many families can identify with. Enter Sharon McBride, a U.S. Army vet and mother. This educational and inspirational book doesn’t sugarcoat, but instead helps young readers (and their parents) understand the many feelings they might have about a parent’s absence.
Help children dealing with separation from a parent with this book about a young girl and her deployed mother, told through a series of letters. The book also includes tips for helping military children and their families. All ages.
This beautiful and touching picture book tells the story of a deployed soldier who enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son.
This book is a great resource for military children whose parents are coming home. This can often be a confusing time for family members of all ages — full of excitement, but also big change. Reading this book to children before a parent returns is a wonderful way to help them better understand what’s going on.