contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer
There are many non-military and military children’s books aimed at helping kids navigate the myriad of conflicting emotions they are bound to feel when they learn they’ll be moving. Here are 12 we think you’ll love.
While a military permanent change of station, or PCS, is unique to military life, the emotional challenges that come with these moves are not exclusive to the military. Children’s books about moving are a great way to start the conversation about a PCS.
by Mélanie Watt
Augustine is the story of an adorable penguin moving from the South Pole to the North Pole with her family. She misses her old home and is nervous about the unfamiliar faces and sights at the North Pole. But she discovers a way to break the ice with her classmates and feel at home on the other end of the world.
Alexander has decided that he is not –– Do you hear him? He Means it! –– going to leave all of his favorite people. Alexander, Who’s Not Going to Move offers an astute sense of what is important to kids, providing ample opportunities to discuss these meaningful factors and feelings with children as they prepare to move.
This graphic novel follows a student changing schools while exploring racism and socioeconomic status. When Jordan Banks’ parents enroll him in a prestigious private school instead of the art school of his dreams, he finds himself torn between two worlds, neither of which he feels suit him. New Kid is an excellent choice for tween readers struggling to find their place.
Eugenia K. Guilmartin
Lucy is a German shepherd about to begin a cross-country move in a new car with a new mom, beginning a new life. Lucy & the Little Blue Car fosters discussions about managing moves and temporary parental absences and reinforces the message that every new place can be “home.”
Children’s books about soldiers, deployments, PCS moves, and so many other topics are readily available. Here are a few of the best military books to help children and their parents manage the challenges of frequent moves and constant change.
I’m a Dandelion: A PCS Story for Military Children explains each step of a PCS move. It is an excellent resource to help prepare kids for a big military move. It validates the natural feelings and emotions that children often experience when PCSing and helps them discover the benefits of moving and the excitement of being a military child.
I Move a Lot and That’s Okay highlights the author’s personal experiences of living as the child of a soldier. Books for preschoolers about moving overseas aren’t particularly common, and this one encourages children to ask questions about the moving process and to see each move as a chance for new adventures.
In one of our favorite Army books for kids, Home is Where The Army Sends You, the Applebottom kids learn their family is moving to North Carolina with their Army hero dad. Books in this series –– which include versions for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, too –– are designed to help children of military families get excited about moving to new places and relieve some of the anxiety associated with relocation.
Flexible Wings is one of our favorite military books for middle school children. It’s a fictional story of military life through the eyes of a preteen. Amid the excitement of moving to a wonderful small town, Summer worries constantly that her fighter-pilot mom will be redeployed, struggles to make new friends, and finds herself in several embarrassing situations. But through it all, she finds the courage to tackle these challenges and then some.
Veteran-written Eleven and Holding centers on 11-year-old Macy whose family is going through some major changes –– her Dad’s separation from the Army, a baby brother, and the death of her grandmother. This children’s book about veterans and their families will resonate with young readers on the cusp of new beginnings.
While these aren’t military children’s books, they are effective resources for the children who will be moving and the parents who want to support them.
The news of an upcoming move can trigger a range of reactions in children. But Mom, I Don’t Want to Move! is the perfect military mom book, offering guidance to help children through this major change.
If you have to move, make it an adventure with the help of The Moving Book. It’s full of advice and activities to help you prepare for a move as well as suggestions to make your new location feel like home.
The emotions and logistics involved in the life of a military child can be overwhelming, and a military move can get the best of anyone. Military Connection offers resources to support each families’ journey including PCS and OCONPCS guides, ways to celebrate your military child, military children’s books about deployment and more. Visit the Military Family section of our blog to see what’s new.
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