10 books like When You Are Away

By Dominique James, Jasmine Mills (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like When You Are Away. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Momma's Boots

By Sandra Miller Linhart, Tahna Marie Desmond (illustrator),

Book cover of Momma's Boots

While most deployed service members are male, women serve and are deployed, too. I honor their contribution by including this touching book. When Momma puts on her military boots, little Bean grapples with questions of why and where and how long. Momma describes her work with references to other kinds of work that Bean understands. It’s a sweet conversation that provides a broader context for military work and assurance that Momma will return.

Momma's Boots

By Sandra Miller Linhart, Tahna Marie Desmond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Momma's Boots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Dear Military Teen

By Shanon Hyde,

Book cover of Dear Military Teen: Moving, Deployments, and Winning The Game of High School

There aren’t many military-focused books for teenagers, so I’m pleased to recommend this one. Teens face challenges just by being teens; add the complication of deployment separation and life can be extra daunting. The author, a 20-year Marine Corps brat, shares his wisdom and experiences in this straight-talk, no-nonsense guide.

Dear Military Teen

By Shanon Hyde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Military Teen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Deployment

By Karen Petty,

Book cover of Deployment: Strategies for Working with Kids in Military Families

Whether you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, grandparent, or friend of a military child, you’ll gain understanding and develop strategies that help you to help the child through the pain and frustrations of deployment. The child needs you. This book will help you meet that need.

Deployment

By Karen Petty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deployment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Military kids face many unique stressors and difficult transitions related to deployment, relocation, separation from loved ones, and changes in family structure. Caring for these kids requires a clear understanding of the challenges and triumphs military families deal with so that you can offer the best support possible.

Based on current research and best practices in child development and early education, Deployment provides purposeful information and theory-based strategies

Building Resilience in Children and Teens

By Kenneth R. Ginsburg,

Book cover of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Ginsburg speak years ago and immediately bought this book. I’ve relied on it ever since and wish every parent could have a copy. As a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine, Ginsburg’s perspective and wisdom focus on strengthening family connections. Chapter 22 is specifically about military children, although the whole book will provide value for every family.

Building Resilience in Children and Teens

By Kenneth R. Ginsburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building Resilience in Children and Teens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Help prepare the children and teens in your life to face life's challenges with grace and grit. In this award-winning guide author and pediatrician Dr. Ken Ginsburg shares his 7 crucial Cs: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control. You'll discover how to incorporate these concepts into your parenting style and communication strategies, thereby strengthening your connection. And that connection will position you to guide your child to bounce back from life's challenges and forge a meaningful and successful life. You'll also learn detailed coping strategies to help children and teenagers deal with the stresses of academic pressure, media…

Devotion

By Adam Makos,

Book cover of Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

The true story of two men (one I knew), a son of a poor Mississippi sharecropper Jessie Brown and Thomas Hudner. Brown was the Navy’s first black pilot, and Hudner was a Medal of Honor recipient in his squadron who tried to rescue him when he was shot down at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.

Devotion

By Adam Makos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Devotion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • From America’s “forgotten war” in Korea comes an unforgettable tale of courage by the author of A Higher Call.

“In the spirit of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat comes Devotion.”—Associated Press • “Aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviation duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African…

Proud Shoes

By Paul Murray,

Book cover of Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family

This is a must-read memoir about the childhood of one of America’s most important and least recognized human rights heroes, Pauli Murray. After the loss of her mother in 1914, Murray moved to Durham, NC to live with her aunt and grandparents. The family was Black, White, and Indigenous, giving Murray a unique perspective on what it means to be an American and grapple with what she described as both the “degradation and dignity” of her ancestors. We might now call Murray transgender since she later came to believe that she should have been born a man. I go back to this book frequently and can almost feel how this passionate advocate for human rights found her calling in her own family’s struggle and history. There is also a fabulous documentary, My Name is Pauli Murray, that delves into her human rights advocacy and gender identity.

Proud Shoes

By Paul Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Proud Shoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Finding Langston

By Lesa Cline-Ransome,

Book cover of Finding Langston

This is a warm hug book. The kind that sneaks up on you when you’re reading words. Langston is a lovable main character. His story is rich with family, tradition, loss, and poetry. He is eleven when his mother dies, and his dad decides they must leave Alabama. So many changes for this boy as he is bullied and deals with segregation in 1940s Chicago. But he discovers the library that welcomes all. Such a sweet story and perfect for younger middle grade readers.

Finding Langston

By Lesa Cline-Ransome,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Finding Langston as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks,

Book cover of From the Desk of Zoe Washington

A fan of reality baking shows, I was first drawn to this book because the protagonist Zoe dreams of becoming a star baker and wants to audition for the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge. Once I learned that the author was inspired by true stories of wrongful convictions, it went to the top of my TBR pile and became my favorite 2020 read. This middle-grade contemporary meets mystery follows Zoe who’s determined to uncover if her father—who she’s never met because he’s been in prison—is innocent of the crime. For those looking for an engaging, heartwarming story tackling the tough topic of social justice from the POV of a twelve-year-old, look no further. 

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked From the Desk of Zoe Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Stitchin' and Pullin'

By Patricia McKissack, Cozbi A. Cabrera (illustrator),

Book cover of Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt

Patricia McKissack introduces the quilts of Gee’s Bend to young readers in this charming picture book. McKissack not only read about Gee’s Bend but she visited and learned how to quilt. Her text is written in poems that capture the lilt and rhythm of Gee’s Bend women. The speaker, “Baby Girl,” describes how she learned how to quilt from her grandma. The soft, painterly illustrations by Cozbi A. Cabrera resemble Gee’s Bend quilts, and depict the colorful scraps of material the women used. The story includes the visit of Dr. Martin Luther King to “the Bend” on his way to Camden, then Selma, to march for the right to vote. And the aftermath of that march. A superb picture book full of history and hope for readers of all ages.

Stitchin' and Pullin'

By Patricia McKissack, Cozbi A. Cabrera (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stitchin' and Pullin' as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Electric Slide and Kai

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Electric Slide and Kai

I don’t know if this book necessarily takes place in summer, but it’s centered around one of my favorite ‘African-American Joy Rituals’ - the Electric Slide! Kai agonizes over his failure to get a dance nickname from his very cool grandfather because of his two left feet. When his aunt gets married, he’s determined to conquer the Electric Slide at her reception.

Who doesn’t love a good, all-inclusive line dance? I still remember learning the Electric Slide when I was 6– to this day if I’m at a party and it’s playing, you’ll know where to find me (the dance floor!). Fun book.

The Electric Slide and Kai

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Electric Slide and Kai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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