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June 1, 2016

Observing Veterans Day with Inspiring Nonfiction

Veterans Day is observed each year on November 11 to honor the men and women who have served their country in the military. At Scholastic Reading Club, we’re observing the day with some nonfiction books that celebrate real veterans. Check back later today for a post about autobiographical stories of kids whose parents fight overseas—and return home.


DK: The Civil War: A Visual History is a stunning visual resource that draws on photos from the Smithsonian to present Civil War history. Photography was a new medium for documenting real-life action during the Civil War, and these were among the first photographs the public had ever seen depicting soldier life and battlefields. This book is a wonderful way to spark curiosity about many aspects of the Civil War. (Readers who want to learn more about women serving during this time should check out I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Anita Silvey).



Truce by Jim Murphy examines an unprecedented moment in World War I history. Soldiers had been fighting from trenches for months, often separated by fields so narrow that troops from each side could hear each other singing—which is what happened on December 25, 1914. When soldiers began singing Christmas carols, they felt moved to call a temporary truce. In some instances, enemies met on the field to shake hands and share supplies. This incredible story not only shines a light on a remarkable human moment among bloody conflict, it also presents a clear explanation of the events that led to up to the war and the Christmas truce.



Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles by Tanya Lee Stone reveals a story from World War II. African Americans serving in the military were segregated, and often relegated to service jobs. Facing prejudice in the army as well as danger from enemies, the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (known as the Triple Nickles) trained to be the first African American paratroopers and protected the Pacific Northwest from a little-known Japanese attack. Their story is inspirational. For another revealing look at the Pacific front and brave Americans, check out Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac.

Understanding the realities faced by soldiers in times of peace and war through books like these helps us to observe Veterans Day with an even deeper appreciation for their courage and sacrifice.



Bio about Author: Mia Cabana is a managing editor of online copy at Scholastic Book Clubs. She has also worked as a young adult librarian and dreams of someday joyriding around the country in her own bookmobile.

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November 11, 2013