Looking for the best children’s books about Memorial Day? Check out these fiction and non-fiction picture books for Memorial Day or Remembrance Day. These books for kids Kindergarten through upper elementary are perfect for your Remembrance Day! Books about poppies, World War I, Civil War, the Vietnam War, and books to help students understand Memorial Day and its importance.
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Memorial Day Read Aloud Books:
Here are some of my favorite books for Memorial Day. It can be difficult for students to grasp the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day
Memorial Day is to remember all those who served and died while serving in the armed forces. Veterans Day is to honor all those who served whether they fought, served, and or made the greatest sacrifice defending the country.
Twenty-One Steps by Jeff Gottesfeld
The Sentinel Guards, as the book tells, have kept guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier since July 1937. This elite unit has but one standard: perfection. Perfection to honor America’s unnamed fallen. To never leave the tomb unguarded regardless of weather. The book masterfully weaves moving prose and information about how the tomb came to be and how the Sentinel Guards unit prepare and for their duty. Students will learn about one of America’s most sacred monuments and its protectors. Matt Tavares’s illustrations provide a moving backdrop that truly add to Gottesfeld’s text that will bring tears to the eyes and inspire a call to service.
You can try the first day of lessons and activities for Twenty-One Steps by signing up below:
America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven
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.
The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh
When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever. Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina’s great-nieces to better understand Moina’s determination to honor the war veterans.
The Wall by Eve Bunting
A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay
Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room fills with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.
Outside, the crowd gathered for the veterans’ parade grows as quiet as a mouse, while men and women — old and young — march past in the rain. A trumpet plays and Grandpa lays a wreath in memory of his lost friend. Just then, the child imagines an elephant in the mist. “Elephants never forget,” he whispers to his grandpa. “Then let’s be elephants,” says the old man, as he wipes water from his eyes and takes his grandson’s hand.
Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
When Sheldon Russell Curtis told this story to his daughter, Rosa, she kept every word in her heart and was to retell it many times.
He was wounded in a fierce battle and left for dead in a pasture somewhere in Georgia when Pinkus found him. Pinkus’ skin was the color of polished mahogany, and he was flying Union colors like the wounded boy, and he picked him up out of the field and brought him to where the black soldier’s mother, Moe Moe Bay, lived. She had soft, gentle hands and cared for him and her Pink.
But the two boys were putting her in danger, two Union soldiers in Confederate territory! They had to get back to their outfits. Scared and uncertain, the boys were faced with a hard decision, and then marauding Confederate troops rode in.
Best Children’s Books About Memorial Day
What are some of your favorite children’s books about Memorial Day? Are there any must read children’s books about Memorial Day that I left out? Especially Memorial Day read aloud books? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!
You can try the first day of lessons and activities for one of my favorite children’s books about Memorial Day to read aloud: Twenty-One Steps by signing up below: