Family Development

Books for Children

We invite you to take a look at our list of books for military children. We have categorized the books by subject. Each title is linked to a webpage that has more information on how to get this literature. Feel free to contact us if you have others to recommend so we can add to this growing list.

The Early Intervention team is developing Book Nooks, Guided Discussion Questions, and Author Interviews to accompany some of the children’s books listed here.  These resources will equip providers with activities and ideas to extend social-emotional learning in young children as the result of shared book reading.  If you wish to be notified when these resources have been finalized and are ready for use, please sign up for notifications here.

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Addiction in the Family

Critters Cry Too: Explaining Addiction to Children
A picture book that explains addiction and some of the emotions around the disease in a way children can understand.

I Wish Daddy Didn’t Drink So Much
A young girl shares her feelings and frustrations about her father’s behavior who is an alcoholic.

My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease
Using simple words and children’s original artwork this book provides an understanding of addiction as a disease and expresses the feelings some children may have.

Adoptive Families

Just Really Joseph: A Children’s Book About Adoptions, Identity, and Family
A day in the life of two brothers who look very different from each other provides a positive and affirming way of talking about race and transracial adoption.

The Day We Met You
In this book, a mom and dad recount the day they met the baby who would become their child through adoption.

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies
Told through the child’s voice, this story conveys his travels from his home country to his second family in another place.

Caregiver with a Chronic Illness

Kemo Shark
A comic book to help children understand the effects of chemotherapy on a caregiver with cancer.

When Pete’s Dad Got Sick
When Pete’s dad gets sick, he no longer can play with Pete like he use to and it upsets him until he understands that his dad still loves him.

Caregiver Combat Injury

Our Daddy Is Invincible!
Based on the true story of a Wounded Warrior and American hero and his family.

When caregivers are injured, physically or emotionally, this book helps children find comfort and learn to cope through challenging times.

Caregiver Combat Injury PTSD

Daddy’s Home
A picture book that helps military parents explain the invisible wounds of war, including PTSD, to their small children.

Why is Dad So Mad?/Why is Mom So Mad?
A narrative story told from a family’s point of view (parent and children) of a service member who struggles with PTSD and its symptoms.

Caregiver with a Disability

Mama Zooms
A little boy tells about his experiences “zooming” on his mama’s lap and how her wheelchair is a “zooming” machine.

Caregiver Loss

Always By My Side
This is a story to help children understand that a father’s love is forever, even if they are not present in their lives.

Mama’s Right Here
This is a story to help children cope and understand that a mother’s love never disappears, even if they are not th

Caregiver Loss or Absence

The Invisible String
This book a reminder that no one is truly alone even though you can’t see it, the connection is there.

The Kissing Hand
This is a book for any child confronted with a difficult situation and needing some reassurance.


A Paper Hug
A story about a little boy who figured out the best gift to give his dad who was leaving to serve his country, a paper hug.

Boo Boo Bear’s Mission
A story about a little girl who sends her bear, Boo Boo, to be with her dad when he is deployed.

My Father’s Shirt
The little boy in this story is sad when his father is deployed. His dad, however, knows what to do with the help of his favorite shirt.

My Mother’s Wings
The boy in this story misses his pilot mother when she is deployed for duty. But she knows how to heal his heart. Deployment

Night Catch
A story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion.

Dear Blue Sky
A timely, eye-opening novel showing how war affects families on both sides. The story tells the struggles of a family when a member who is deployed to Iraq.

I Miss You!: A Military Kid’s Book about Deployment
This book is designed to help children especially, but also their parents, when a father, mother, or sibling is deployed for military service and must be away from the home.

Over There
This board book can provide reassurance and comfort to a young child who is separated from a military parent because of deployment. Through this book, parents and caregivers can help keep hearts and minds open for a successful reunion.

Deployment and Reunion

Countdown ‘Til Daddy Comes Home
A story of a boy whose father has deployed. The family creates routines to stay connected until he comes home again.

Home Again
Sharing this book can help a family readjust to life together after a long separation.

Lily Hates Goodbyes
This book goes through the emotions of a little girl as she misses her daddy when he is deployed.

My Red Balloon
This story is about a boy who has been waiting and preparing for his dad to come home. When the boy loses his red balloon he is afraid his dad will not recognize him.

The Wishing Tree
The little girl is sad when her dad has to leave for deployment. She wants to do something special each day for her dad until he comes home. She creates the wishing tree.

Early Intervention

Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism
This is a story about how a child with autism experiences the world differently than others. This book also highlights the experience of siblings of children who have autism.

Square Cat
This story is more than just being different, this is also a sweet story of true friendship. This book has a great message about accepting yourself for who you are as well as accepting others.

I Like Me!
This book teaches children about self-confidence and how they should appreciate themselves. It also teaches them to not be afraid to make mistakes and that they can always try again in order to improve.

This is great book that illustrates the how signing can be a communication solution for children with Down syndrome with speech challenges.

I Am Deaf
This book is teaches children about being open and about overcoming obstacles that they may face in everyday life. Coming from the point of view of a child who is deaf and illustrates some of the things she uses to help her learn at school and communicate with her teachers and friends.

Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning about Empathy
This book teaches children about empathy and how easy it is to develop it towards those around you.

The Feelings Book
This book talks about the importance of being able to express your feelings and how to identify what certain emotions look like.

My Sister Is Special, My Sister Has Down Syndrome: A Story about Acceptance
This book is heart felt and a must read for anyone that can relate to having a child or family member with Down syndrome. It illustrates ways in which siblings of children who have a disability are able to be resilient and come to a place of acceptance.

Making Friends Is an Art!
This book demonstrates the art of making friends for children who have difficulty reaching out to others and being self-confident. It also illustrates the role social skills play in being a good friend.

Alex Is My Friend
This is a story about how children who are different from each other are able to get along and be friends. It also helps children to relate to others with a disability.

All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!
This story is about friendship and looks at differences in a unique way, such as being in a wheelchair or missing toes. This book helps children to discover that living with a disability and overcoming challenges can be positive.

All About My Brother
This book encourages children to approach other children who have autism without being afraid. The author also gives suggestions to share ideas for how to live with siblings or classmates who have autism spectrum disorders.

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee
This story is about a boy living with autism, named Andy. It shows us from an outsider’s perspective of what it looks like to have autism.

First Responder Families

A Hero Lives in My Family: A Story for Kids of First Responders
Children of first responders are encouraged to know that their caregiver saves, helps, and protects others, but loves taking care of them the most.

My Dad is a Firefighter
Jaden learns all about his dad’s scary, wonderful, and daring job.

My Mom the Police Officer
From the child’s point of view this book follows a day in the life of their mom who is a police officer and how that makes the child feel.

Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren

I Call My Grandparents Mom and Dad
Kayden calls his grandparents mom and dad because they are the ones who raise him, and he shares his story to let others know they are not alone.

Our Grandfamily: A Flip-Sided Book About Grandchildren Being Raised By Grandparents
From the perspective of both children and grandparents, this story shares the different feelings, perspectives, and thoughts of those in “skip-generation” families.

Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas: Not Mommies and Daddies
From a child’s point of view, this book centers around a nontraditional family of grandparents raising their grandchild.

Injured or Loss of a Family Member

Love and Memories: Activities for Kids Who Have Lost a Loved One
Page by page, as children work through their grief, they also create a keepsake scrapbook that forever captures their love and memories for this special person.

Military Life: Stories and Poems for Children
This collection of original stories and poems touches on many aspects of military life from a child’s point of view. From moving to making new friends, deployment, homecoming, patriotism, and tender family moments.


A Terrible Thing Happened: A story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma
This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire.

Finding My Way: A teen’s guide to living with a parent who has experienced trauma
This book is an invaluable tool in the hands of those so often forgotten in dealing with trauma: the teenagers who are confused and frightened by what is happening.