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Papa's Backpack

James Christopher Carroll (author), James Christopher Carroll (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781634704168

When a soldier has to leave his or her family for extended service, it's an emotional time for all involved. It can be especially confusing and upsetting for children, who long for the comfort and security of a parent's presence. Papa's Backpack honors the bond between a parent/soldier and a child, and acknowledges the difficult and emotional process of separation during deployment. A young bear cub dreams of accompanying Papa when he leaves on a mission, wanting to stay close to provide comfort and moral support, ultimately overcoming adversity together.

Rags: Hero Dog of WWI A True Story

Margot Theis Raven (author), Petra Brown (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627537711

During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog's battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend's side.

H is for Honor: A Millitary Family Alphabet

Devin Scillian (author), Victor Juhasz (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531566

Written by the son of a career officer, this book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere. Children will discover why drill sergeants have to be so tough, what it means to be patriotic and why we need Special Forces such as the Navy SEALS, the Green Berets and the Army Rangers. H is for Honor also explains why the annual Army/Navy football game is more than just a game, how much letters from home mean to soldiers, how often military families have to move and what life on base is like. With an underlying message of courage and commitment that every child can relate to, the book will be especially meaningful to those whose parents, siblings or other relatives serve in the Armed Forces.

America's White Table

Margot Theis Raven (author), Mike Benny (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531405

The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give. It was just a little white table... but it felt as big as America when we helped Mama put each item on it and she told us why it was so important. "We use a Small Table, girls," she explained first, "to show one soldier's lonely battle against many. We cover it with a White Cloth to honor a soldier's pure heart when he answers his country's call to duty." "We place a Lemon Slice and Grains of Salt on a plate to show a captive soldier's bitter fate and the tears of families waiting for loved ones to return," she continued."We push an Empty Chair to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here..."

The Story Of The H.L. Hunley And Queenie's Coin

Fran Hawk (author), Dan Nance (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781627531429

During the Civil War, Union forces blockade the port of Charleston so the Confederate army seeks a way to attack the Yankee ships. George Dixon is part of the group of men given the task of creating and building the "fish boat," a submarine. The H.L. Hunley ultimately sets out on its mission to sink Yankee ships, but fails to return, its whereabouts unknown. For more than 100 years, the mystery of the Hunley and the fate of its crew stayed buried. The Story of the H.L. Hunley and Queenie's Coin recounts the story of the "fish boat," through its creation and mission, to its ultimate recovery and final voyage home.

The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Robert Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365767

In July 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought outside the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. In The Last Brother the story of one small boy is told amidst the dramatic events of those early days of July. Though he is only 11 years old, Gabe is a bugler in the Union Army. He takes his responsibility very seriously; after all, there are over 60 different battle calls for buglers to learn. But what is even more important to Gabe is watching over his older brother Davy who, as a foot soldier, is right in the thick of the fighting. Two of Gabe's older brothers have already perished, and he is not willing to lose the only one he has left. During those long days, Gabe meets another young bugler -- one who fights for the other side. Suddenly, what was so definite and clear has become complicated by friendship and compassion. Does one have to choose between service to country, to kin or to a friend? As the cannons fire and the battle rages on, Gabe must do his duty while searching for a way to honor all that he holds dear.

The Scarlet Stockings Spy

Trinka Hakes Noble (author), Robert Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410365743

Philadelphia 1777 is no place for the faint of heart. The rumble of war with the British grows louder each day, and spies for and against the Patriots are everywhere. No one is above suspicion. Still, everyday life must go on and young Maddy Rose must help her mother, especially since her father's death at the Battle of Princeton and now with her beloved brother Jonathan off with Washington's army. But when childhood games become life-and-death actions, Maddy Rose is drawn ever deeper into events that will explode beyond her imagining. As young America stands on the very brink of its fight for freedom, it becomes clear that even the smallest of citizens can play the largest of parts, and that the role of a patriot has nothing to do with age and everything to do with heart.

The Town that Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story

Lisa Papp (author), Lisa Papp (illustrator)

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press ISBN: 9781410307880

St. Michaels, Maryland, is a town of shipbuilders whose reputation for crafting powerful schooners carries far beyond the shores of young America. And once the War of 1812 starts, that's not necessarily a good thing. For the British have targeted the town as part of their campaign to defeat America in its fight to maintain its independence. And now, in August of 1813 the British fleet is sailing up the Chesapeake River to St. Michaels. The town's militia is assembled but no one expects they can win the fight against the powerful British cannons. Citizens are being evacuated and the town is in turmoil. All young Henry Middle wants to do is find his father amid the chaos of the coming attack. The lanterns he carries will be of use to the militia. As Henry works to conquer his rising fear, he realizes he may hold the answer to outsmarting the British in his very hands.