Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Memorial Day has special meaning for a military BRAT.  Most of us have worried that a parent won't return from a tour of duty.  For some of us, that worry became grief when a letter came, or a soldier arrived at the front door with official condolences.

I am lucky.  My father survived a tour in Vietnam as an Army recruit and three tours in the Gulf War as a government contractor.  

I don't remember books written just for military third-culture kids when I was growing up.  I know we have the Piper Reed series in my school library, though I confess I haven't read them yet (maybe the fact she's a Navy BRAT has something to do with it, and I'm unfamiliar with having a parent at sea).  As an adult, the book that's come the closest to describing the life I knew on base was  The Yokota Officers Club by Sarah Bird, in which the setting is familiar, but the dynamics in this Air Force family are not what I experienced growing up.  Hmmm, maybe I need to write a book?

The particular culture of military children was documented in the movie "BRATS:  Our Journey Home".  I would recommend it for teens and older, as it touches on some of the darker aspects of military life on base.  I cried a bit while watching, nodding my head every few minutes as common BRAT memories were displayed and explained on the screen.

Getting back to books for BRATs--in my search for such books, I came across this project shared by a fellow librarian Jan Pye Marry.  It's been updated as of 2014, and I know we have a few of the books she mentions on our own shelves in my school library.  Thanks, Ms. Marry, for finding books for such a special group of children.

It's Monday, and this Memorial Day, let's think of the kids of the fallen, too.  They've served our country in their own way.


  1. I think this is how a lot of wonderful books start - someone recognizes a void in the literature, finds a topic that speaks to them on a personal level, and creates the book they would've wanted as a child, or would want to share with other children. Food for thought! :)

    1. It certainly is- it would be an interesting book club discussion!

    2. My mother was an amazing military wife, and we had an remarkable time growing up overseas and stateside. If I wrote a book, it would be in her honor!