Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom

LoveLizzie51oEU3AbzRL__SX285_Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom

Lisa Tucker McElroy, Author

Diane Paterson, Illustrator

Albert Whitman & Company, Fiction, 2009

Suitable for Ages: 6-10

Themes: Military Families, Mothers and Daughters, Separation, War

Opening: “Dear Mommy,  I know that it’s only been three days since you went away, but I really, really miss you.  Can you come back soon?”

Summary:  Lizzie’s mother is a soldier who has been deployed overseas to serve her country, and Lizzie misses her a lot.   She and her mother write a lot of letters to help with their separation.  Lizzie keeps her up to date with every day happenings at home with her Daddy and brother.  She talks about school, winning a soccer game and attending the state finals.  Lizzie draws pictures of how she rearranges her room.  She also draws many detailed maps about changes in town, and trips she takes with her Dad and brother to visit grandparents.  Foremost in Lizzie’s mind are the questions “Are you staying safe, Mommy?” and “When will you be home?”

What I like about this book:  This book is a series of hand-written letters with child-like drawings.  The major focus is about how a child deals with a long separation from a parent, especially if the parent is on a dangerous assignment.   Lisa Tucker McElroy has written a compelling book that speaks for the many military children who silently serve at home and endure the long separations, anxiety, fear and concern for the safety of their deployed parent.  They want to know where their parents are, what they are doing, why they miss birthday parties, holidays and soccer tournaments.  Diane Paterson’s colorful and lively artwork is very appealing.

Resources:  The author has written “Tips from Lizzie and Her Mom on Handling Separation.”   A great activity is to encourage your child to create a memory box where they can save things they’ve done throughout the year.  The box can be a way of sharing their year with a returning parent.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

27 thoughts on “Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom

  1. Sounds like a wonderful book for the youngest kids in a military family. Are there letters from the Mom in there, too? I just finished reading Spanky, a Soldier’s Son – which I may have read about here. Awesome book.

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    • Yes, there is one letter at the end from her mother that is handed to Lizzie by her teacher. It’s a good book kids can relate to. Am not familier with Spanky. Will have to check it out.

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    • It really shows how wrapped up Lizzie gets in writing her letters and drawing maps of all the changes, which help pass her time. She pours out her heart and questions how long does protecting freedom take.

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  2. What a wonderful and heart-wrenching book — much needed for kids of military families, and for their friends who may not totally understand what the kids are going through. Thank you for sharing this.

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    • Thank you Beth. This really is a kid’s stor. They letters look hand written and the drawings look like a child drew them. It draws you into the story. It’s a very poignant book, but done with humor and love.

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  3. Another fabulous choice for military kids and families. I do notice the latest trend is to represent military moms and not dads, I am sure this is redressing a balance. have you noticed this, too, Pat?

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    • Yes, I’v noticed the same thing. There are books about fathers, but I’m seeing more mothers. Albert Whitman publishes excellent books, and this is no exception. I ordered the book you suggested, because I was interested in seeing the quality. It is very simple and got reviewed by Kirkus.

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  4. In this age of emails and tweets, it’s nice to see letter writing! I don’t think kids even know what letters are anymore! Sounds like a great book. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

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    • Yes, I agree Rhythm. I found it refreshing to see the child’s hand written letters — it is the book. Now, kids are skyping and e-mailing letters instantly. But, when they pack care packages, they include handwitten letters, cards, and drawings. This is a great book for kids.

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  5. This is a very heartfelt story and your lovely review draws one in. I agree with Rythm, in the age of computors and emails, it’s lovely to show how tender and personal a hand written letter is, no matter the reason for it being sent. Thank you for sharing, Pat.

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  6. Wonderful review Pat! This sounds like a great book. I am currently scrolling through your blog writing down different titles so I can start collecting for my class library. You review so many great books I’m sure my students will love!

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  7. This one looks amazing, Pat. Journaling and letter writing can be SO cathartic. Talk about creating a win-win out of what must be a scary time for a child. I can’t wait to add this to my shelf!

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    • Barbara, this is a great story. It is a cathartic way for a child to deal with a scary separation. I also liked that it was handritten letters — most kids send e-mails now and SKYPE.

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  8. “Hand-written letters with child-like drawings” draws me in. I love your idea for a memory box. We have a military base in our town, so it would be a book that kids could relate too. I’ve added it to my library list.

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