Service Families

For children who has one or more parents serving the armed forces it can be difficult to explain why mum or dad sometimes have to go away – sometimes far away. It can also be difficult for children to resettle during regular moves, and they might struggle with making friends. Sharing stories about similar situations can put a child’s mind at ease and make transitions and new experiences easier to cope with and more understandable.
Also visit Moving House and Friends and Friendships for more helpful books.

Leon and Bob
by Simon James

The move to a new home leaves Leon feeling a little lonely, especially as his father works away from home.
He copes by having an imaginary friend, Bob, until a new boy moves in next door.
Age: 4+

My Daddy’s Going Away
by Christopher MacGregor and Emma Yarlett

A useful book for any child suffering the temporary absence of their father.
Age: 4+

Mummy’s home!
by Christopher MacGregor and Emma Yarlett

This comforting, wise book helps to explain why parents sometimes have to go away and shows ways to help children cope.
Age 4+

Image result for D-Day dog / Tom Palmer.

D-Day dog
by Tom Palmer

Jack’s dad is a Reserve soldier and has been called up to action. A pupil in his class has joined them having fled the war in Syria and the class is about to visit the beaches using in the D-Day landing. All of these circumstamces challenges Jack’s perception of war.
Age: 9+

Come Home Soon
by Pat Thomas

Explores the idea of a parent working away from home in the armed forces. May help young children learn how to deal with changes at home, feeling worried, keeping in touch and looking forward to their parent’s return.
Age: 5+

Useful organisations:

Information and support for service families.

A charity supporting service families.

The People's Act of Love by James Meek

About the book

1919, Siberia . . .
Deep in the unforgiving landscape a town lies under military rule, awaiting the remorseless assault of Bolsheviks along the Trans-Siberian railway. One night a stranger, Samarin, appears from the woods with a tale of escape from an Arctic prison, insisting a cannibal is on his trail. Only Anna, a beautiful young widow, trusts his story. When a local shaman is found dead suspicion and terror engulf the isolated community, which harbours a secret of its own . . .

Reviewed by  CC Readers Reading Group:

Good writing and descriptions. Some scenes and dialogue contrived. Opened up a little-known historical period. Vivid evocation of Siberia, the deep cold, fear, turmoil, the fragility of life. Not an easy read and some found it depressing. Perplexing. A re-read would be illuminating.

Star rating: ***

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Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

About the book

Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never even met keep trying to kill him.

Reviewed by Eastleigh Library Wednesday Group:

A book similar to the TV series Mash. Difficult to read as events were not in a linear sequence and members could not identify with the characters. Enjoyed 30-40 years ago when it was a ground breaking book, but now seeming somewhat dated.

Star rating: **

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Request to borrow a reading group set