Stories About Military Families

When a family member is in the military, long separations can take a particularly hard toll on kids. Meet a number of kids, including the granddaughter of Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, who find ways to cope when their moms, dads, and siblings have long deployments and are far away from home — as well as the kind relatives and neighbors who help them through difficult times.

At the Mountain's Base

person on a mountain holding strings connected to the base of the mountain
Illustrated by: Weshoyot Alvitre
Age Level: 3-6

At the mountain's base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family -- loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains them through trials on the ground and in the sky, as they wait for their loved one, a pilot, to return from war.

With an author's note that pays homage to the true history of Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred "Millie" Rexroat, this is a story that reveals the roots that ground us, the dreams that help us soar, and the people and traditions that hold us up.

Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

"Biden, wife of the Vice President, watched for a year as her granddaughter, Natalie, dealt with the deployment of her father (Beau) to Iraq. Using Natalie's experiences as a springboard, Biden chronicles what life is like for a child with a parent fighting far from home…As always, Colón's scratchboard-style art, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, invites a closer look...The excellent back matter gives readers myriad ways that both adults and children can help military families in their own communities." — Booklist

Each Tiny Spark

Illustration of girl holding welding torch surrounded by tires and toolkits.

Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It's hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Good Night Captain Mama

Illustrated by: Linda Lens
Age Level: 6-9

A little boy is walking to his bedroom when he notices his mother in an olive-green military flight suit. His curiosity about the colorful patches on her uniform evolves into a bedtime conversation between a military mother and her child about why she serves and what she does in the unusual KC-135R aerial refueling airplane. He drifts off to sleep with thoughts of his mommy in the airplane and the special surprise she gives him. This unique book was written by a Latina military officer and former aviator. Bilingual text.

Hero Dad

Illustrated by: Bryan Langdo
Age Level: 3-6

"Beginning with the statement "My dad is a superhero," a young boy shares information about activities engaged in by his father, an American soldier stationed in what looks to be the Middle East.

Hero Mom

Illustrated by: Bryan Langdo
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: The moms in the book are superheroes. They may not leap over tall buildings, and they may not have super-human speed. But these moms construct buildings, fly planes, and make tanks roll. They do all kinds of things to help create a safer world — because they are hero moms!

Lily Hates Goodbyes

Illustrated by: Nathan Stoltenberg
Age Level: 3-6

Sometimes Lily has to say good-bye to her daddy when he's on deployment. Join Lily as she learns how to cope with her difficult emotions and to be happy in her daily life while she looks forward to joyfully saying hello when Daddy gets home. Popular with military families, this book won a Mom's Choice Award and is available in a generic military version or with a dad who serves in the Navy.

My Big Brother

Illustrated by: Ronald Himler
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

When a young boy's beloved older brother joins the army, he has some big shoes to fill.  This touching book captures the difficulty of separation that all members of military families face, including the youngest ones. This book is available in English or in a bilingual Spanish edition.

My Mommy Wears Combat Boots

Age Level: 3-6

Sharon G. McBride is an U.S. Army veteran of 13 years, and has completed three deployments since 2003. As a photojournalist, the author documented events of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Hurricane Katrina. As the single parent of a three-year-old toddler, she wrote My Mommy Wears Combat Boots based on her personal experience in addressing her child's negative feelings associated with her deployments.

Night Catch

Illustrated by: Vicki Wehrman
Age Level: 3-6

When a soldier's work takes him half-way around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son. Night Catch is a timeless story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion.

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (Book 1)

Illustrated by: Miguel Benitez
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Freddie isn't sure where his new sneakers came from, but he loves the way they help him zip around his neighborhood! Whether it's to save a puppy or help a friend, Freddie is sure to put his new shoes to good use. Freddie will appeal to children of all ages and backgrounds, but he is likely to hold a special place in the hearts of kids whose families, particularly military families, are struggling during difficult times. This is the first book in the Zapato Power series.