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“Brave Like Me” by Barbara Kerley

c.2016, National Geographic $17.99 / $21.00 Canada 48 pages

by Terri Schlichenmeyer, OW contributor

Never be afraid of….

Your Mommy and Daddy have taught you that. Never be afraid of spiders, big animals,

lightning, or loud noises. Always be brave, they say, and so you are – and in the new

book “Brave Like Me” by Barbara Kerley, you’ll see how that courage you’ve got

helps them, too.

Your Mom or Dad isn’t home right now. They won’t be home for supper tonight, either,

because they’re serving their country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast

Guard. That makes you a Military Kid, which means you need to be very brave.

Before Mom or Dad went overseas, you spent lots of time together. Remember all the fun

things you did? The trips and treats? Remember the kisses? Great big hugs had to “last

the whole time” they’d be gone, so you grabbed as many as you could and Mom or Dad

was glad to give them.

You might have wondered a lot of things about this process. Who would be there when

you came home from school? Where would you live? How are far away is overseas,

anyhow? You might be sad or mad about not having Mom or Dad with you for all the

important things you do in your life.

Most of all, you’re scared that someone is going to be hurt.

The good news is, you know how hard Mom or Dad works to stay safe and you know

they do the job right. You’ll still be able talk to them sometimes, on the phone or on a

computer. You can write letters, draw pictures, or send silly cartoons. There are many

ways to stay in touch and even more ways to make your parents proud.

Just be sure you remember all the things you do every day – birthday parties, school

plays, pals, pets and parks – and keep those “million hugs and kisses to share” because

you’re going to need them. Mom or Dad will be home soon.

In the meantime, be brave….

As a nation, we’re proud of our soldiers. We know they do a hard job and they sacrifice a

lot in their duties. Keeping things as even-keel as possible here at home is what we can

do for them, which might include having around “Brave Like Me.”

Using a huge abundance of pictures, and including kids of many ages and cultures, author

Barbara Kerley gives Military Families a little bit to hang on to as a soldier-parent is

packing up, and suggestions for things to remember once a parent is deployed. Kerley

offers photos of joy and happiness, of soldiers at work, and the inevitable miss-you

scenarios that happen. She also includes ideas for keeping morale high both at home and

abroad, accompanied by words of encouragement for kids and caregivers.

While this book can certainly be read by kids of any age, its’ simplicity of word and

photo is meant more for children ages 3-to- 6. For them, in this time of uncertainty,

“Brave Like Me” could make them a little less afraid.