National Read a Book Day is coming up soon on September 6, making it the perfect time to share some of our favorite books on military life. For military children, having a parent in the military can sometimes be a confusing, isolating, and emotional time without the right resources and support. Luckily, there are a number of military books for kids to help them understand military life a little better and learn more about what to expect when mom or dad is deployed.
Our Favorite Military Books for Kids
Buddy the Soldier Bear by Marie Joy
This adorable story takes kids on a journey from the toy store to the battlefield with Buddy, a bear who ends up in a care package. It’s a fun way to get kids excited about care packages, and help them imagine what happens to the packages on their journey. As a bonus, a portion of proceeds go to nonprofit organizations that help active duty military and veterans.
Countdown 'til Daddy Comes Home by Kristin Ayyar
This book is the story of a young boy waiting for his daddy to come home from a trip. To make their separation easier, his family creates rituals to stay connected and make the countdown fly by. This is a perfect book for military kids who have a parent deployed and are looking for ways to help pass the time until their loved one returns home.
Daddy Left With Mr. Army by Chandelle Walker
Based on Walker's personal experiences in a military family dealing with deployments, Daddy Left with Mr. Army helps both children and parents open a conversation about the time away. Through rhyme and illustrations, this picture book shares the challenges of deployment but also the joys of serving the United States in the military.
Daddy’s Boots & Momma’s Boots by Sandra Miller Linhart
These books are some of the most popular military books for kids, as they cover a wide range of topics to help children cope with the deployment of a parent. Both provide touching descriptions of a few quiet moments between a parent and their young child as they prepare to deploy for their job with the military.
Deployment: One of Our Pieces is Missing by Julia Cook
Life is full of unique opportunities and challenges for military families. With tips for adults to help children process their questions and feelings, this book serves to honor the sacrifices our military families make each day by equipping them with an approachable way to discuss the highs and lows of deployment.
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian
H is for Honor is a great book for explaining simply and clearly the different branches of the military and what being a military family means. It discusses how much soldiers love letters from home, why military families have to move and what life on base is like.
Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
Some superheroes wear rocket-propelled boots, drive super-powered cars, and have X-ray vision. But other superheroes wear army boots, drive tanks, and go away for long trips to make the world a safer place. Hero Dad makes a difficult and tender subject more accessible to children with parents serving far from home.
I’ll Lend You My Daddy by Becky King
I’ll Lend You My Daddy, targeted at kids ages 4-8, helps them understand why their dad has to deploy and how important a job in the military is. It will also help them feel less alone and understand that many kids have the same feelings they’re having, along with helping them find ways to manage their own feelings about deployment.
Lily Hates Goodbyes by Jerilyn Marler
This 32-page, full-color storybook will be a welcome companion to your military kid. This story allows your child to join Lily as she learns how to cope with her emotions and to be happy in her daily life while she looks forward to joyfully saying hello when her daddy gets home.
The activities in this fun 112-page activity book reinforce concepts young children are already learning and give them a safe way to ask questions, talk about their feelings, and feel connected to a deployed parent. Four sections provide appropriate activities for each stage of deployment, from packing and saying goodbye to welcoming Dad home.
My Dad’s a Hero by Rebecca Christiansen and Jewel Armstrong
This book helps children develop a sense of pride in their parent’s work by providing a glimpse into the sacrifices military members make every day and explaining various aspects of military life. This book for military children even allows you to personalize it with photos to help your child connect more with the story.
Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut
One of the most popular military books for kids, this book tells the story of a deployed soldier who uses the North Star to have a nightly game of catch with his son. The illustrations are beautiful, and the message helps military children feel more connected to their parent who may be far away on deployment.
A Paper Hug by Stephanie Skolmoski
This is a story about a little boy who figured out the best gift to give his dad who was leaving to serve his country - a paper hug. It’s so sweet, but also offers something real and actionable military kids can do during deployment. This is the perfect book to read right before sending off letters and care packages to a deployed parent.
Make the Most of Reading Books for Military Families
There are three things to keep in mind when reading military books for kids as a family: read the same book many times, allow your child to interact with story time, and most importantly, make reading time special. Repetitive reading helps your child connect with the book and better comprehend the topics, and encouraging interaction with the story makes the experience more engaging. Lastly, make reading time a special time for you and your children to connect and spend quality time with each other.
Books are an important resource, and at Lincoln Military, we understand the importance of having the right support and resources available to ensure military life is enjoyable. After picking up some of these books for National Read a Book Day and reading them as a family, check out some of our community events to grow your support system within the Lincoln community.