Two novels that tie in well with Veterans day for middle grade kids are Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, and The Cay, by Theodore Taylor. Both books are about kids who are dealing with the effects of World War II on their families and would fit in with a discussion of how kids cope with having a parent serving in the military today.
In Number the Stars, the main character Annemarie, deals with the effects of the Nazi occupation on her best friend, Ellen, who is Jewish, and on her own family when they help to hide Ellen and her family. When the situation worsens, and Ellen’s family must be smuggled out of the country to safety, Annemarie steps up to become a hero.
The Cay is about a boy named Phillip who at first is fascinated by war, but later ends up in a life-threatening situation when the boat he is traveling on with his mother is torpedoed. The story is Phillip’s survival story and also the story of how he comes to appreciate Timothy, the man who saves his life and someone he might not have ever gotten to know if the war hadn’t brought them together.
War stories like these give kids a chance to think about and appreciate the heroes of war, whether those heroes are soldiers or civilians, family members or strangers, kids or adults. Introducing one of these books for Veterans Day would provide an opportunity for some great discussions.
Here is a link to a free Number the Stars resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, where I also have a free resource for The Cay and other products for both novels as well.
For more Veterans Day ideas, check out these links on Mentor Monday: