Top Summer Reads for Military Families
About the Author

Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Over the past 10 years, she's discovered she enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. When she's not writing, she can usually be found hiding behind the sewing machine or with her nose in a book. 

Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She's a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSGrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. 

You can follow her online at or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).


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Summer is a great time for everyone in the family to enjoy reading. It's an opportunity to read together, enjoy book clubs, and explore your local library. Our family loves audio books for road trips, and my children have learned to love reading knowing their father and I also love reading. Are you looking to jump-start your reading this summer? Is it time to inspire some little readers in your life? I've put together some great options to kick-start summer reading for the military family.  

Military Kids

Daddy’s on a Chip by Jessica E. Silva

This children's book was written by a Navy wife, inspired by her children and their unique understanding of where their father went. Instead of going on a ship, they thought daddy was on a chip. It's a lighthearted, fun perspective of military life that all children (and parents) can identify with. My children absolutely loved it! To order this self-published book, email the author

H is for Honor, a Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian

Alphabet books always seem to be favorites and perfect for any age group. From basic letter identification to detailed history and information on each page, the alphabet comes alive for military kids. Older kids might enjoy using the book as a research tool for school projects, but kids of all ages will really enjoy listening to this book being read aloud.

Ghost of War Series by Steve Watkins

For those who loved the I Survived series and are ready for something new, this new series by Steve Watkins is a perfect match. They burst into elementary schools this year at Scholastic Book Fairs, and middle-grade readers are loving them. Kids, just like the ones reading the book, set off on a military history-themed adventure traveling to places like Midway Atoll; Khe Sanh, Korea; Fredericksburg, Va.; and North Africa.

The Making of a Navy Seal by Brandon Webb

This young-adult book reveals quite a bit about the author's teenage years and how he overcame his own self-doubt to complete Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. Some of the things he discusses will resonate with readers, like his strained relationship with his dad. But other topics might be too heavy for younger children, particularly with the hefty amount of military jargon. 

Military Spouses

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

"Year of Yes gave me the focus I needed to prioritize all of my commitments and rid my schedule of spreading myself thin. The tips in this book helped me to simplify life while learning to say no, which led me to finally buckle down and finish the college degree I started 18 years ago," Marine Corps spouse Bianca Strzalkowski said of this book.

Waiting Wives by Donna Moreau

Military spouses love to read about and learn from the spouses who came before us. In Waiting Wives, we learn about the first military spouse community, Schilling Manor in Kansas, where Vietnam-era military families were allowed to live while their servicemembers were overseas. Army spouse Sherri Davenport highly recommends this book, "After many years of being involved with the Army Family Action Plan, I found it so interesting that the military actually took the advice of a family to make this change."

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

Resilience is a huge buzzword in the military community, and author Sheryl Sandberg addresses that in her latest book, Option B. Sandberg believes by preparing herself in advance for adversity and disappointment, she has developed the muscles of resilience to bounce back stronger and happier. 

Military Brotherhood of War series by W.E.B. Griffin

Known for his detailed series on the military, W.E.B. Griffin’s Brotherhood of War follows a few young lieutenants at the end of World War II through their Army careers. From learning the ropes to training the next generation, these officers and their relationships show what military family really is about.

Fearless by Eric Blehm

Eric Blehm tells the story of Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL who battled a hard childhood, and his resilient wife, Kelly. The Browns weathered years of deployments, injuries, and a few internal battles. Brown was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, and from that moment on, Kelly has strived to be an inspiration and source of comfort for other families.  

Washington’s Spies, the Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose

This book covers new research on the birth of military intelligence and the spies who started it all. From well-known players like Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Tallmadge to the men and women in patriot spy rings, you'll quickly get swept away imagining yourself in their place. And, if you really like this book, check out the series TURN on AMC. 

What are you reading this summer? Share with us!

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  1. on 02 Apr 2018 at 10:40 AM

    A new book about Navy SEAL Hell Week.. Six Days of Impossible Navy SEAL Hell Week - a doctor looks back is now available and getting all 5 star reviews. Great read for those interested in how men succeed against all odds. Six days without sleep and wet and cold. Really?


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