Christmas books about the U.S. military for kids

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A Hero's Holiday
Author: Jennifer McAdoo, LMHC, Copyright @ 2020
Ages baby - 12

A hero is defined as an individual who is brave, courageous, and someone to look up to. Haddie and Bubba's daddy is a hero, and he needs to work on Christmas. This leaves Haddie feeling down in the dumps. But soon she learns that Santa makes special trips to all hero families. All you need to do is ask!

My Santa, Your Santa
Author: Margaret Thompson, Copyright @ 2020
Ages 4-7

This is a story explaining how Santa can be everywhere at once, how he can get in and out of houses that don’t have chimneys, and how he can look like many different people. The answer to all of this? He is made of magic of course! This heartwarming Christmas story explores the idea that Santa can look like anyone when he enters a child’s home because he is magic. The book highlights six countries with a child and Santa from each, with each Santa looking like the child (or one of their parents) and wearing the traditional outfits of that country. We go from an African American boy in USA, to a redhead girl in the UK, to a young boy in a wheelchair in France, to a biracial Aboriginal Australian girl in Australia, to a young Hispanic boy in Mexico, and finish with a young girl in Korea. This book is for any family of any color, situation, or ability. Any parent or guardian can dress up as Santa and use this book to help tell their child why Santa might look so familiar to them. All children want to see themselves represented in books they read, so this book is focused on the diversity of Santa across the globe. A great read for parents and children of all ages. (Military spouse author)

Operation: Celebration
Authors: ​Stephanie Skolmoski and Anneliese Bennion, Copyright @ 2006

Discover the fun that can be found when a classroom of children help three long distance families share the holiday season through Operation: Celebration!

Santa's Dog
Author: JoAnn Sky, Copyright @ 2018
Ages 4 and up

A magical story that proves how powerful love can be, even when our loved ones are far away. A Christmas story to enjoy all year long! 

Lance rides along with his best friend Santa each Christmas Eve, but one year he falls from the sleigh. He's taken in by the animal shelter and then brought home by a military family who needs help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes around the next year, what's a dog to do? Will Lance return to the North Pole with Santa or stay with his new family?

This sweet and imaginative picture book, written in verse with delightful illustrations, will tug at your heartstrings and have you rooting for Lance as he decides where his heart truly lies.

Santa's Dog is the first of a series of books featuring one of Santa's dogs tackling issues that children may encounter--but told from the dog's perspective. In this Amazon bestselling children's book, award-winning author JoAnn Sky lovingly demonstrates the deep bond between canines and their humans, while promoting the importance of family, doing one's duty, and giving of oneself to bring others happiness.

The Holiday Wishing Well
Author: Neci Perkins, Copyright @ 2020

Living in Harlem, Christmas time was the most exciting time of the year for young Carter. Carter was looking forward to singing Christmas carols and having snowball fights with his friends. However, there was one thing that Carter needed to make this Christmas an extraordinary one, and he knew just where to go. The Magic Wishing Well.

The Magic Gingerbread House
Author: Pam Franks, Copyright @ 2015
Ages 5-8

Inspired by true events and a family tradition spanning over 30 years, The Magic Gingerbread House tells the story of 5 of Santa’s Elves-Hans, Grietal, Kirsten, Franz, and Stefan who teach sisters Meghan and Mollie, and their friend Sammy, about the power of hope and believing in the magic of Christmas. Once the house is built, the elves come to live with the girls at night to get a respite from the North Pole. Each night the Elves come alive and have fun at the house and leave a special note of encouragement to the girls. Sammy is lonely as both her parents have been deployed to the Middle East, and she has moved to town to live with her grandparents. With the help of the Elves, the girls learn to have hope and believe in the magic of Christmas.

The Military Child Chronicles
Mission: Mistletoe
Author: Athens E. Pellegrino, Copyright @ 2021
Ages 2-14

Mission: Mistletoe is the second story in The Military Child Chronicles. This series was created to serve as a resource and tool for military families. The holiday season can be very difficult for military families. Often, geographical separation and distance can leave military families feeling isolated and displaced.

A young boy, Atticus, experiences his first Christmas away from his grandparents in a new location. The story creatively depicts the challenges and complex emotions that military children may face during the holiday season and offers adaptive solutions to an adverse climate. Mission: Mistletoe also provides family activities to help build excitement and comradery in a military community. Come join Atticus as regains his holiday spirit and saves Christmas!

The Navy's Night Before Christmas
Authors: Trish Holland and Christine Ford, Copyright @ 2014
Ages 4-8

This story, written for military families, is about a visit from “the Santa of Sailors” to those who can’t be home for Christmas.

’Twas the night before Christmas, when way out to sea
Not a creature was stirring to windward or lee.
The sailors were nestled all snug in their racks 
Like orders of pancakes, so tight were the stacks.

One Christmas Eve out at sea, some homesick sailors are paid a visit by Master Chief Claus, the Santa of Sailors. This lively and poignant tale was inspired by Clement C. Moore’s classic yuletide poem.

The Night Before Christmas in the Military
Author: Shauna Mooney, Copyright @ 2003
Ages 10 and up

Santa receives thousands of letters from children who have parents in the military. He decides this year he'll do something extra special for the troops that are away from home.

The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas
Author: Michael Keane, Copyright @ 2012
Ages 4 and up

Every Christmas millions of kids and adults track Santa on the NORAD Santa Tracker. Now, author Michael Keane brings to life this fun tradition with his new children’s book, The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas. Written in the iconic style of “The Night Before Christmas,” The Night Santa Got Lost begins on a blustery and treacherous Christmas Eve as Santa sets off to deliver toys to good little boys and girls everywhere. As always, NORAD is faithfully tracking him to make sure no harm comes his way. But when Santa disappears from their radar screen, NORAD’s skills and resources are put to the test as they scramble to find Santa and save Christmas. Entertaining and educational, The Night Santa Got Lost will delight parents and children alike while teaching kids about our military, team work, and the true spirit of Christmas.

The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas
Authors: Trish Holland and Christine Ford, Copyright @ 2006
Ages 4-8

One Christmas Eve at a military barracks in the Middle East, some homesick soldiers are paid a visit by Sergeant McClaus, the Santa of Soldiers. This lively and poignant tale is inspired by Clement C. Moore's classic yuletide poem.
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Christmas from Heaven
The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber
Author: ​Tom Brokaw, Copyright @ 2013
Ages 5-8

Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would bomb Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.

Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as Uncle Wiggly Wings or The Candy Bomber. Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.

Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own Candy Bomber parachutes.

Christmas in the Trenches
Author: John McCutcheon, Copyright @ 2006
Ages 6-9

Set in the trenches during World War I, this haunting story is based on a true event known as the Christmas Truce and is adapted by award-winning songwriter John McCutcheon. Full color. With CD.

Christmas Truce
A True Story of World War 1
Author: Aaron Shepard, Copyright @ 2016
Ages 9-12

One night of peace in a world of war.

"Christmas Day, 1914 . . . My dear sister Janet . . . It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts -- yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn't been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. Just imagine: While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France!"

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is one of the most extraordinary incidents not only of World War I but of all military history. Providing inspiration for songs, books, plays, and movies, it has endured as an archetypal image of peace. Yet much about the historic event remains shrouded in myth and legend.

In this fictional letter -- illustrated in authentic detail by Wendy Edelson -- award-winning author Aaron Shepard draws from firsthand accounts of soldiers at the front to portray the truce in its true nature and spirit.

Shooting at the Stars
Author: John Hendrix, Copyright @ 2014
Ages 8-12

​Discover the incredible true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 in this award-winning picture book from author and illustrator John Hendrix

Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I who experiences an unforgettable Christmas Eve. In a letter to his mother, he describes how, despite fierce fighting earlier from both sides, Allied and German soldiers ceased firing that evening and came together on the battlefield to celebrate the holiday. They sang carols, exchanged gifts, and even lit Christmas trees. But as the holiday came to a close, they returned to their separate trenches to await orders for the war to begin again.

Award-wining creator John Hendrix wonderfully brings the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 to life with his signature style, interweaving detailed illustrations and hand-lettered text. His telling of the story celebrates the humanity that can persist during even the darkest periods of our history.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
An Appalachian Story
Author: Gloria Houston, Copyright @ 1996
Ages 3-8

This unforgettable tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Barbara Cooney, has become a seasonal classic-a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.

World War II Night Before Christmas
Author: Mike Guardia, Copyright @ 2018
Ages 8-12
T’was the night before Christmas, when along the frontlines…

Santa makes a surprise visit to the American GIs in Europe - Christmas Eve, 1944.

"Mike Guardia’s beautifully illustrated new children’s book "World War II Night Before Christmas" shares a heartfelt glimpse into the sacrifices Allied troops made during World War II, along with a joyful dose of Christmas spirit. "
- Big Blend Radio and TV Magazine