Whether kids have a loved one in the military or are just seeking to understand what our armed forces do to serve our country, there are plenty of Veterans Day books to read that highlight veterans. These Veterans Day books focus on military service and some of the battles U.S. soldiers have fought and are perfect for read-alouds in the classroom or at home.
1. America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Mike Benny
Though not about the armed services directly, this picture book reminds kids of the many sacrifices soldiers have made. The White Table is an empty table set in mess halls to remember service members who are fallen, missing, or captured.
Buy it: America’s White Table on Amazon
2. Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Matt Tavares
This moving picture book tells the story of the sentinel guards who watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The sentinels make sure that these unknown troops are never alone.
Buy it: Twenty-One Steps on Amazon
3. The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson
Why are poppy flowers a symbol of veterans and fallen soldiers? Because of Moina Belle Michael, a Georgia schoolteacher who devoted her life to remembering those lost and killed in the line of duty.
Buy it: The Poppy Lady on Amazon
4. Veterans Day (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme) by Allen Morey, illustrated by Galia Bernstein
This picture book explainer of how and why we honor our nation’s veterans also comes with a QR code to access an online music component.
Buy it: Veterans Day on Amazon
5. Rookie Read-About Holidays: Veterans Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton
This simple text with full-color photos teaches younger kids (preschool and kindergarten) about why we celebrate Veterans Day and the holiday’s history.
Buy it: Rookie Read-About Holidays: Veterans Day on Amazon
6. Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein, illustrated by Aaron Anderson
This rhyming book serves as a reminder that the brave men and women who’ve served our country are not only from the past or stationed far away, they’re part of our communities.
Buy it: Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood on Amazon
7. When You Are Away by Dominique James
It’s not only veterans who must be brave when they’re sent away. This book highlights the feelings of the kids left at home waiting for their military parents to return.
Buy it: When You Are Away on Amazon
8. Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin, illustrated by Bryan Langdo
While every mom is a hero to her kids, the moms in this book take on service to their country—from fighting overseas to flying jets to constructing buildings.
Buy it: Hero Mom on Amazon
9. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin, illustrated by Bryan Langdo
If you’re looking for more Veterans Day books like Hero Mom, this picture book delves into the work of dads who serve in the military—from the long tours of duty to the dangerous work they’re expected to do.
Buy it: Hero Dad on Amazon
10. I’ll Lend You My Daddy by Becky King, illustrated by Valerie Valdivia
Winner of the Military Writers of America’s Gold Medal, this book helps kids ages 4 to 8 better understand their feelings around their military parents’ deployment.
Buy it: I’ll Lend You My Daddy on Amazon
11. Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut, illustrated by Vicki Wehrman
This whimsical picture book about a military dad halfway around the world who gets help from the North Star to play a nightly game of catch with his son speaks to the way military parents will do whatever they can to stay connected to their children while deployed.
Buy it: Night Catch on Amazon
12. My 1st Book of Military Superheroes by Sara Kale
This upbeat reader for ages 2 to 5 gives a peek at each branch of the military and what the members do to serve our country.
Buy it: My 1st Book of Military Superheroes on Amazon
13. National Geographic Kids: Everything World War I, by Karen L. Kenney
Details on key battles and important military leaders help give young historians a view into a soldier’s job in the First World War. Photos, maps, and infographics throughout keep this book engaging.
Buy it: Everything World War I on Amazon
14. What Was D-Day? by Patricia Brennan Demuth
D-Day, the June 6, 1944, battle when Allied troops stormed Nazi-occupied France in a victory that signified the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany, is detailed in this book in a way kids can understand. With help from 16 pages of photos and early-reader-friendly text, kids will get a better sense of what our veterans did to secure a victory in World War II.
Buy it: What Was D-Day? on Amazon
15. No Better Friend: Young Readers Edition by Robert Weintraub
World War II radarman Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met as prisoners of war. Through the story of their friendship, now available in this edition reworked for younger readers, kids will get an idea of what it was like to be a POW and about World War II itself.
Buy it: No Better Friend on Amazon
16. Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hillenbrand
Hillenbrand’s bestselling epic nonfiction book features the story of Louis Zamperini, an American lieutenant and bombardier whose plane went down in enemy territory during World War II. The story of Zamperini’s courageous and genius survival is a dramatic and empathetic look at what it means to be brave. This edition also includes photographs throughout.
Buy it: Unbroken on Amazon
17. What Was the Vietnam War? by Jim O’Connor
Those who follow history know that the troops who returned from the Vietnam War were not welcomed and lauded the way other soldiers had been. This volume for school-age readers provides a balanced take on this complicated and difficult patch of U.S. history.
Buy it: What Was the Vietnam War? on Amazon