The Camouflage Mom Reading List – Cardinal Rule Press
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The Camouflage Mom Reading List

Sarah Hovorka’s Camouflage Mom follows a young girl named Sarah as she grapples with the time her mom spends away while on deployment. As she learns new ways to connect with her mom, Sarah realizes that even when their ‘chain’ is sometimes hard to see when they’re far apart, it’s always there. Camouflage Mom is touching and inspiring and firmly cements itself as a classic of the rather small collection of children’s books dedicated to the subject of deployed parents.

Camouflage Mom will launch on July 1st and you can pre-order it here, and if you’re looking for more books with similar themes in the meantime, here are some of our favorite recommendations!

My Dad: A Short Story About A Son When His Dad Leaves On Deployment - C.A Mora

C.A. Mora’s short and sweet title My Dad is sure to be relatable for anyone missing their parent while they’re on deployment. It explores how tough the months or years they’re away can be, and even when you’re having fun, it’s hard not to think about how much more fun it would be with your loved one. The story’s joyous end is inspiring and represents how worth it all of the patience is. If you’re looking for something quick, satisfying, and powerful, this is the book for you and your kiddos.

I'll Lend You My Daddy: A Deployment Book for Kids Ages 4-8 - Becky King

Complete with a cheery rhyme scheme and beautiful illustrations by Valerie Valdivia, I’ll Lend You My Daddy is a touching story spanning across many families, powerfully demonstrating the universality of missing a loved one. It emphasizes the role of the parent as a hero, and helps kids to understand the importance of both their parent’s job while away, and their own support from home. I’ll Lend You My Daddy also shows different ways that kids can stay connected, through messages, drawings, and more. A must read!

I Move A Lot and That's Okay - Shermaine Perry-Knights

Shermaine Perry-Knights’ I Move A Lot and That’s Okay is a bit longer and more advanced than some of the other entries on this list, but it covers a lot of ground. The story follows a young girl named Grace as she moves around, uprooting her whole life anytime her dad’s job in the Army requires them to be stationed elsewhere. With all of this big change, Grace finds that it’s the small things that really help her stay grounded. Her attitude is a valuable asset to her family, and her resilience demonstrates that she’s just as strong a soldier as her dad. This book is recommended for slightly older readers because of the more in-depth terminology, but it’s an eloquent and nuanced take on the ‘military brat’ life. 

Sam & Uncle Joe: Learning to Serve and Protect - Phoebe London

Sam & Uncle Joe takes on a complex set of themes, from dealing with the trauma of seeing somebody get shot, to the power of role models in helping to heal from these emotional wounds, to how to build a safer community. Uncle Joe, a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army uses conversation and discussion to teach kids the things that are involved in building a safe and supportive future. This book is a little more on the serious side thematically, but Uncle Joe is a very positive figure that makes it quite accessible. This is recommended both for kids in military families and those who are interested in community building or working through traumatic events. 

I'm A Dandelion: A PCS Story For Military Children - Brooke Mahaffey

Brooke Mahaffey’s analogy of a dandelion is perfectly suited for this tender and heartwarming story of resilience and inner strength. It works within the framework of military families affected by Permanent Changes of Station(PCS), which can be difficult for kids. Similarly to Shermaine Perry-Knights’ book, I’m A Dandelion emphasizes how attitude and looking at situations in a positive light can really affect how we feel about them. This is best suited for kids aged 4-10, but has a message that speaks to people of all age, even if they’re not impacted by military life.

Matt Popp is a student at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology. In his free time he loves to write, and he’s extremely passionate about film, queer theory and activism. His inspirations include Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag and his cat, Tokey.

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