The best Veterans Day books for your classroom

Veterans Day books

Veterans Day happens in November, and is a time that we celebrate and honor our veterans who are serving or have served, both living and non-living. Do you use read-alouds when teaching and celebrating Veterans Day? Read-alouds are a perfect way for students to make connections, feel compassion, and build background knowledge for students.

Some students may not know anyone in the military. Some students may have one or two parents in the military and already know a lot about it. Veterans Day is a time to not only teach what a veteran is and the sacrifices they make for our country, but also to teach about their families that make a sacrifice every day as well. 

My favorite Veterans Day read-alouds

Below are a few of my favorite Veterans Day read-alouds. All of the links are to Amazon. I am an Amazon Affiliate, so clicking and buying gives me a small commission that goes toward running this website. You can always just write down the titles and purchase them at your favorite bookstore!

Brave Like Me

Brave Like Me is a terrific way to introduce Veterans Day to students. It focuses on many common concerns of kids with deployed parents and how they feel when their parents are gone. It helps students emphasize with military families and what it feels like to have a deployed parents day-to-day. It also uses real-life photographs of both men and women in all types of uniform. I love the large amount of diversity in the photographs as well.

Crow Call

After a father returns from fighting in World War II, he begins to pick up the old pieces of his life and reconnects with his daughter, Liz. The story is done through Liz's perspective as she learns more about her father and what he has gone through. Students that have parents who have been deployed will feel a connection with this story, as they have gone through reconnecting with someone who feels unfamiliar to them. This is a beautiful book and helps students understand how difficult returning to war is.

Rags: Hero Dog of WWI

Not all veterans are human! This book is set during World War I, and focuses on Private James Donovan and a dog that he finds in the streets of Paris, Rags. Rags helps boost soldier morale and delivers messages on the battlefield. He helped our soldiers stay strong and fight for their country. I do want to say that the story is NOT a happy ending, so if your students struggle with emotions it may be a tough read.

The Wall

This beautiful book by Eve Bunting works for either Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Since students are often confused between these two days, I would emphasize the soldier visiting the memorial in a wheelchair that is decorated with medals, and explain how he and the people that were lost are veterans. A little boy visits the Vietnam Memorial with his father, looking for his grandfather's name. Setting the story at the Vietnam Memorial with the thousands of names on the wall helps students understand the sacrifice that our soldiers make every day. 

Tuesday Tucks Me In

This story focuses on Tuesday and his owner Luis. Luis is a disabled veteran suffering from PTSD, and Tuesday is his emotional-support dog who helps make sure that Luis gets through day by day. Luis struggles with everyday activities like getting on the subway, but Tuesday is there to help him through it. Kids will learn about what an emotional-support dog is, and it also is a good time to discuss not touching these dogs while they are working and taking care of their owner. The book touches on PTSD, but not in a way that is scary to kids. Instead, it helps kids understand what someone is going through and the physical and psychological effects of war. This book is an absolute MUST-READ. It is inspiring, informative, and age-appropriate.

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