veterans2

Veteran’s Day Books for Kids

Books for Kids to Understand Veteran’s Day

And now the Torch and Poppy red

We wear in honor of our dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught,

We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought.

In Flanders Fields.

Moina’s Pledge

My kids’ elementary school has been celebrating Veteran’s Day for the past few years by asking the kids to create a card to a Veteran. They supply a blank card and envelope and the kids supply their creative energy. The card get mailed off and inevitably, every year, a touching letter will be sent back in return from a Vet. Reading his handwritten card usually sends chills up my spine. He is grateful for the effort the kids made and for the fact that someone appreciates the horrors and sacrifices that he made for his country.

Veteran's Day card project for kids

We don’t talk about war much at home. I find the idea of war to be terrifying and can’t read about it or watch movies depicting war. Even children’s books. But I am happy to celebrate Veteran’s Day as a way to appreciate our troops out there fighting.

In honor of our Veteran’s, I have found two great children’s books. The Poppy Lady is a picture book biography. Postcards from Pismo Beach is a chapter book for ages 8 and up that reminds me of our Veteran’s Day card project.  How do you celebrate Veteran’s Day?

p.s. There was a 3 cent commemorative stamp created in honor of Moina Michael.

Moira Michael, The Poppy Lady, Veterans Day books for kids,

p.p.s. Here an Art Project on Poppies inspired by Emile Nolde.

poppy, poppies, The Poppy Lady, Grasshopper and Sensei

p.p.p.s. I found these great Veteran’s Day crafts from Laughing Kids Learn blog.

laughing kids learn, veteran's day crafts, remembrance wreath, poppies for veteran's daypoppy craft for veteran's day,

Celebrate Veteran’s Day Reading Books with Kids

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson

The Civil War ripped Moina’s hometown in Georgia apart, leaving a wake of poverty. At fifteen in the year 1885, Moina is well-educated and decides to start a school for the neighbors’ children who otherwise would not be able to attend school. By 1917, Moira’s school is well established but the United States is on the brink of war. When the U.S. joins WWI, Moina is moved to help — these are her ex-students who are going off to war! We Shall Not Sleep, a poem by Lieutenant Colonel Dr. John McCrae written after the battle of Flanders, inspires her to use the poppy as her pledge to soldiers. Her relentless efforts pay off and the poppy becomes a symbol and talisman to help veterans around the world!

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh has a personal story about Moina. In her attic, there is a box with poppy pinned to a handwritten postcard. It was sent to her mother, then the fiancée of her father, by Moira. He was one of many, many soldiers that she lent a kind ear to. Can the kindness and caring of one person ripple through the world from one century into the next? The story of Moina Belle Michael, not a household name by any means, proves that it can! [advanced picture book, ages 6 and up]

 

Postcards from Pismo by Michael Scotto

10-year-old Felix Maldonado has a school project to write a letter to a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. To his surprise, his soldier, Marcus,  writes him back and soon Felix begins to rely on his for life advice, especially after he gets bullied and his older brother enlists in the military. Told entirely in letters, emails and postcards from Felix to Marcus, Postcards from Pismo is a coming of age story that tackles what it means to be brave, both at home, in school facing bullies, and on a battle field. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

To view either book more closely at Amazon, please click on image. To view at Barnes and Noble, please click below. 

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

20 Comments

  1. From Pinterest:

    jennifer munro
    another great book for younger kids is ‘proud as a peacock, brave as a lion’. i have been reading it to my kids every rememberance day since my son was just 2 years old.
    Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Veteran’s Day Books for KidsMy Profile

  2. Great list – and not a topic I’ve seen a blog post on. Thanks!
    maryanne recently posted…Learning Laboratory: Christmas Around the USA Giveaway!My Profile

    • Hi Maryanne,
      It was happenstance. A publisher had given me The Poppy Lady just in time for Veteran’s Day but then I found a book I read over the summer, Postcards from Pismo Beach, that I had unpacked but left (for MONTHS!), lying around on the living room coffee table. It’s such a pile of junk on that table that I didn’t even notice it. It has a perfect message for Veteran’s Day so I guess it was meant to be! Thanks so much for your kind words!

  3. Ann

    That is a great thing your school does! I bet the kids are so excited to get a letter back! The Poppy Lady sounds great!
    Ann recently posted…Meet the HillsMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      I’m glad that there is a great picture book for Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day. I had no idea that poppies were a symbol of Veteran’s Day and it’s my favorite flower. I am also grateful to my elementary school for incorporating a project that lets the kids appreciate the soldiers and veterans who fight on their behalf.

  4. You captured THE POPPY LADY perfectly as an ‘advanced picture book’ and I hope it spurs a deeper, broader connection between children and veterans. My daughter enjoys purchasing poppies from auxiliary members on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but it is actually getting harder to find them being sold in the suburbs! I love the idea to move remembrace into the schools with art, music and literature activities.
    Cathy Mealey recently posted…Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Sailor’s Life for Me!My Profile

    • Hi Cathy,
      I agree. I hadn’t heard of the connection between poppies and veterans and it always seemed like we didn’t know quite what veteran’s day was all about, not having a veteran in the immediate family. I was happy that my school’s Social Outreach parent volunteers came up with a way to honor veterans and connect the kids with a personal experience for Veteran’s Day.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Reacting to Sandy Hook TragedyMy Profile

  5. That poppy art is so lovely! Thanks for sharing at The Children’s Bookshelf.

  6. What a wonderful post! Your crafts are really wonderful.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Veterans Day Craft- Cork Painted PoppyMy Profile

  7. gabby casaceli

    I am also trying to start this type of project with my 2nd graders. I want them to be able to send letters to vets and current troops. How did you go about getting the addresses or knowing where to send them? I have found a couple of websites, but I’d love to know how you went about it. Thanks! Great post!

  8. I wonder if our school will celebrate Veteran’s Day – so far I haven’t heard anything from daughter about it. However, she put “people protecting our country” on her gratitude list, so perhaps, after all, little ears have been listening and learning. I want to get Poppy book next year!
    Natalie recently posted…Teach Your Preschooler About MoneyMy Profile

  9. So great to be reminded of this important holiday that can be forgotten in the weeks before Christmas. Thanks for your post!
    Anna recently posted…Counting 1-10: A Free Fall Printable for PreschoolMy Profile

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