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Children's Books

We invite you to take a look at our list of books for military children. The books have been organized by topic and each title is linked to a webpage with more information.

We have developed Book NooksGuided Discussion Questions, and Author Interviews to accompany some of the children’s books listed below and on this printable book list.  These resources equip providers with activities and ideas to extend the social-emotional learning in young children as the result of shared book reading.  If these additional materials have been created for a specific book, links are provided following the book’s description.  Feel free to print and share them with your colleagues and the families you serve.

If you have book recommendations, please contact us so we can add them to our growing list.



Critters Cry Too: Explaining Addiction to Children

A picture book that explains addiction and some of the emotions around the disease in a way children can understand.

The Dragon Who Lives at Our House

This book uses illustrations and simple text to help children understand and discuss the experience of a family dealing with substance abuse.

I Wish Daddy Didn’t Drink So Much

A young girl shares her feelings and frustrations about her father’s behavior who is an alcoholic.

My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease

Using simple words and children’s original artwork this book provides an understanding of addiction as a disease and expresses the feelings some children may have.

Adoptive Families

The Day We Met You

In this book, a mom and dad recount the day they met the baby who would become their child through adoption.

Just Really Joseph: A Children’s Book About Adoptions, Identity, and Family

A day in the life of two brothers who look very different from each other provides a positive and affirming way of talking about race and transracial adoption.

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies

Told through the child’s voice, this story conveys his travels from his home country to his second family in another place.


Andy and His Yellow Frisbee

This story is about a boy living with autism, named Andy. It shows us from an outsider’s perspective of what it looks like to have autism.

Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism

This is a story about how a child with autism experiences the world differently than others. This book also highlights the experience of siblings of children who have autism.

Caregiver Illness

Kemo Shark

A comic book to help children understand the effects of chemotherapy on a caregiver with cancer.

Mama Zooms

A little boy tells about his experiences “zooming” on his mama’s lap and how her wheelchair is a “zooming” machine.

Mummy’s Lump

Young children whose mother has breast cancer learn about diagnosis and treatment in an age appropriate way through the experiences of Elly and Jack.

Ravyn’s Doll

Ravyn’s Doll is a simple and effective way to explain fibromyalgia to a child in a way they can understand.

When Pete’s Dad Got Sick

When Pete’s dad gets sick, he no longer can play with Pete like he used to and it upsets him until he understands that his dad still loves him.

Combat Injury

Daddy’s Home

A picture book that helps military parents explain the invisible wounds of war, including PTSD, to their small children.

Our Daddy Is Invincible!

Based on the true story of a Wounded Warrior and American hero and his family.


When caregivers are injured, physically or emotionally, this book helps children find comfort and learn to cope through challenging times.

Why is Dad So Mad?/Why is Mom So Mad?

A narrative story told from a family’s point of view (parent and children) of a service member who struggles with PTSD and its symptoms.

Caregiver Loss or Absence

Always By My Side

This is a story to help children understand that a father’s love is forever, even if they are not present in their lives.

The Invisible String

This book a reminder that no one is truly alone even though you can’t see it, the connection is there.

The Kissing Hand

This is a book for any child confronted with a difficult situation and needing some reassurance.

Love and Memories: Activities for Kids Who Have Lost a Loved One

Page by page, as children work through their grief, they also create a keepsake scrapbook that forever captures their love and memories for this special person.

Mama’s Right Here

This is a story to help children cope and understand that a mother’s love never disappears, even if they are not there.


A Paper Hug

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.

Boo Boo Bear’s Mission

A story about a little girl who sends her bear, Boo Boo, to be with her dad when he is deployed.

Dear Blue Sky

A timely, eye-opening novel for teens that demonstrates how war affects families on both sides. The story tells the struggles of a family when a member who is deployed to Iraq.

The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer

Danny’s dad is in the Army and is going to deploy.  Before he leaves, his dad gives him a special toy – a Deployer! The Deployer takes Danny on mini adventures that help him learn about his dad’s job and what it means for him to be on a deployment.

I Miss You!: A Military Kid’s Book about Deployment

This book is designed to help children especially, but also their parents, when a father, mother, or sibling is deployed for military service and must be away from the home.

My Father’s Shirt

The little boy in this story is sad when his father is deployed. His dad, however, knows what to do with the help of his favorite shirt.

My Mother’s Wings

The boy in this story misses his pilot mother when she is deployed for duty. But she knows how to heal his heart.

Night Catch

A story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion.

Operation Care Package (The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer)

In this sequel to The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer, Dad is now deployed and another adventure has begun. Danny and the Deployer decide to assemble a care package for Danny’s dad. But what should be put in a care package? Danny’s new friends Carlos the Coast Guard, Ava the Airman, Maya the Marine, and Sam the Sailor all help Danny complete Operation Care Package.

Over There

This board book can provide reassurance and comfort to a young child who is separated from a military parent because of deployment. Through this book, parents and caregivers can help keep hearts and minds open for a successful reunion.


Countdown ‘Til Daddy Comes Home

A story of a boy whose father has deployed. The family creates routines to stay connected until he comes home again.

Home Again

Sharing this book can help a family readjust to life together after a long separation.

Lily Hates Goodbyes

This book goes through the emotions of a little girl as she misses her daddy when he is deployed.

My Red Balloon

This story is about a boy who has been waiting and preparing for his dad to come home. When the boy loses his red balloon he is afraid his dad will not recognize him.

The Wishing Tree

The little girl is sad when her dad has to leave for deployment. She wants to do something special each day for her dad until he comes home. She creates the wishing tree.


All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!

This story is about friendship and looks at differences in a unique way, such as being in a wheelchair or missing toes. This book helps children to discover that living with a disability and overcoming challenges can be positive.

I Am Deaf

This book teaches children about being open and about overcoming obstacles that they may face in everyday life. Coming from the point of view of a child who is deaf and illustrates some of the things she uses to help her learn at school and communicate with her teachers and friends.

My Sister Is Special, My Sister Has Down Syndrome: A Story about Acceptance

This book is heart felt and a must read for anyone that can relate to having a child or family member with Down syndrome. It illustrates ways in which siblings of children who have a disability are able to be resilient and come to a place of acceptance.

First Responders

A Hero Lives in My Family: A Story for Kids of First Responders

Children of first responders are encouraged to know that their caregiver saves, helps, and protects others, but loves taking care of them the most.

My Dad is a Firefighter

Jaden learns all about his dad’s scary, wonderful, and daring job.

My Mom the Police Officer

From the child’s point of view this book follows a day in the life of their mom who is a police officer and how that makes the child feel.


I Call My Grandparents Mom and Dad

Kayden calls his grandparents mom and dad because they are the ones who raise him, and he shares his story to let others know they are not alone.

Our Grandfamily: A Flip-Sided Book About Grandchildren Being Raised By Grandparents

From the perspective of both children and grandparents, this story shares the different feelings, perspectives, and thoughts of those in “skip-generation” families.

Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas: Not Mommies and Daddies

From a child’s point of view, this book centers around a nontraditional family of grandparents raising their grandchild.


Far Apart, Close in Heart: Being a Family When a Loved One is Incarcerated

This story helps children recognize the variety of emotions and experiences when a caregiver is in prison.

The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail

Through the use of animal characters, this book helps children understand the feelings surrounding this challenging circumstance.

What is Jail, Mommy?

While a little girl’s father has been incarcerated, she becomes frustrated when visiting a friend’s house and begins to questions what is jail.

Income Instability

Fly Away Home

A young boy who is homeless spots a trapped bird in the airport in which he and his father try to live without being noticed. He finds hope when the bird is finally freed that one day he might feel free too.

The Lady in the Box

When Ben and Lizzie see the lady sleeping in the box they begin to sneak food and clothes out of their apartment to help her while she deals with homelessness.

Maddi’s Fridge

Sofia discovers Maddi’s secret about her empty fridge and she faces a tough decision to keep the secret or tell her parents, so they can help their friends.

LGBTQIA+ Families

Daddy, Papa, and Me/Mommy, Mama, and Me

Through the loving bond between caregivers, a family can do anything together.

Keesha & Her Two Moms Go Swimming

Keesha goes swimming with her two moms and her friend Trevor and his two dads. This story promotes the normalcy of everyday life in LGBT families.

Stella Brings the Family

When Stella’s class has a Mother’s Day party, she cannot decide which of her two dads to invite. She decides the party will be the most fun with both of them and all her family.

Migrant Families

Papi’s Gift

Graciela’s dad leaves the family to pick work as a migrant farmer but she feels his love in many ways until he returns.

Radio Man

While traveling to different places, Diego takes his radio with him to learn about other people and places he goes.

Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez

The story of the partnership between Huerta and Chavez to motivate migrant workers to advocate for their rights and make history.

Military Families

Hero Mom

Hero Dad

The moms/dads in the books are superheroes and are employed in a variety of field to help create a safer world.

H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet

This book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges, and sacrifices of military families everywhere.

Love Spots

Love spots is a story about a dad explaining to his children all of the love and memories that he sees in the spots on his uniform when he is far away when serving the country.

Military Life: Stories and Poems for Children

This collection of original stories and poems touches on many aspects of military life from a child’s point of view. From moving to making new friends, deployment, homecoming, patriotism, and tender family moments.

Social Emotional Skills

The Feelings Book

This book talks about the importance of being able to express your feelings and how to identify what certain emotions look like.

I Like Me!

This book teaches children about self-confidence and how they should appreciate themselves. It also teaches them to not be afraid to make mistakes and that they can always try again in order to improve.

This book demonstrates the art of making friends for children who have difficulty reaching out to others and being self-confident. It also illustrates the role social skills play in being a good friend.

Making Friends Is an Art!

Square Cat

This story is more than just being different, this is also a sweet story of true friendship. This book has a great message about accepting yourself for who you are as well as accepting others.

Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning about Empathy

This book teaches children about empathy and how easy it is to develop it towards those around you.


Finding My Way: A teen’s guide to living with a parent who has experienced trauma

This book is an invaluable tool in the hands of those so often forgotten in dealing with trauma: the teenagers who are confused and frightened by what is happening.

Other OneOp Children's Book Resources

The links below will take you to resources created by members of other OneOp concentration areas. We have included them here as they specifically address the use of children’s books.

Children’s Books Help Prepare Military Children for PCS

This blog post provides a long list of books related to a military family move for children ages 2-12.

Talking to Children About Racism

Included in this blog post are several ideas for using children’s books to facilitate conversations around race with children.

Children’s Books About Disasters Open Conversations & Understanding

This link provides numerous resources and suggestions for using children’s books to support children experiencing disasters.

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