Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops

God Bless Our Troops9781442457355_p0_v1_s260x420Don’t Forget, Gold Bless Our Troops

Jill Biden, Author

Raúl Colón, Illustrator

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012

Suitable for Ages: 5-8

Themes:  Children of Military Personnel, Soldiers, Family Relationships

Opening“Does Daddy Really Have to Go?” “Daddy is a soldier,” Natalie’s mom answers in a quiet voice. “Soldiers have to do hard things sometimes.” She runs her hand through Natalie’s hair. Her father takes Natalie in his arms. “Home is wherever I’m with you!” he sings softly.

Synopsis:  Natalie’s father has been deployed overseas for a year and she misses him. She and her brother, Hunter, are supported by a loving mother and Nana. They celebrate holidays and help Natalie bake cookies and pack care packages to send to her father and other soldiers. Friendly neighbors bring them food, help shovel the sidewalks and mow the lawn. Her church family prays every Sunday for the many soldiers, including Natalie’s father. When Natalie prays at bedtime, she tells Nana, “And don’t forget, God bless out troops.” E-mails and video chats with her Dad make things a little easier, but it still isn’t the same as having him home.

Why I like this book: Second Lady Jill Biden has written a sensitive book based on the experiences of her granddaughter, Natalie, when her father is deployed to Iraq. She chronicles Natalie’s life and the strong bond with her brother and mother, family, neighbors, church, school and community. Biden’s book is heartfelt and approachable for kids. Military children will quickly relate to Natalie and Hunter. Raúl Colón’s illustrations give a sense of tenderness and emotion as he uses soft watercolors and colored pencils to show for some very special moments in the story. This book belongs in every school library.

Resources: Jill Biden offers four detailed pages of back matter at the end of the book  She includes an author’s note, information about the military, and tips for how children and adults can reach out to military families.  She includes many creative ideas and projects for families and teachers to use this book at home and in the classroom.  She also lists special resources and websites for military children and families.

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.

30 thoughts on “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops

  1. I’ve looked at this book and I agree – wonderful resources and beautiful illustrations! Nice PPBF choice.


    • Barbara, I usually share a variety of books for military kids and their families as a tribute to our grandson, who lost his life. Didn’t get to the grief books I like to share too. I’m glad you thought of me when you read it.


    • I agree. But, as long as we have war and a military, there will continue to be a need. There were no books for kids during previous wars. So it is good that there are books that speak to kids.


    • Yes, the resouces at the back are excellent. It’s a very personal book and I’m glad Dr. Biden shared her granddaughter’s story. There are some video trailers out there of her reading and talking about her son Beau’s deployment.


  2. I live in a military city, and I can see what deployment does to families. Thankfully we have organizations that step in to assist families when the Marines and Sailors deploy. This seems to be a great book that would be helpful in this part of NC. Love it! Sweet book, well written and a great review, Pat!


  3. What a perfect book for Memorial Day weekend! Unless we have experienced it, we can’t know how difficult it would be to say goodbye to a father heading off to war. The links and suggestions at the back complement the topic beautifully.


    • Erik, I’m glad you liked this book and how the family copes together. Very positive. Meant to say in the story at the end of every spread, were the comments “Be brave Natalie.” That’s a tough thing for a kid, but she was surrounded by so much love.


    • Glad, you FINALLY read my review — and did “go there.” It was a sensitive and personal book. It’s part of our living history. Will be posting something tomorrow in honor of our grandson, and talk about a wonderful program for survivors, TAPS.


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