I am excited to add LETTERS TO A SOLDIER by First Lieutenant David Falvey and Mrs. Julie Hutt's Fourth-Grade Class to our school library. It is hard to find a book that answers kids' questions about a soldier's experience in a way that makes sense to them. But this book does just that. In 2008, while David Falvey was serving in Iraq, Mrs. Hutt's fourth graders decided to write letters to a soldier--thanking him and finding out a bit about his life there. This book is a compilation of the letters that Mrs. Hutt's fourth graders wrote along with the responses that Falvey sent back. Each two-page spread gives us a copy of a letter by one of Hutt's students along with Falvey's answer. In his introduction, Favley talks about the importance of the letters and the challenges at answering some of the questions. The book is filled with children's honest questions and a soldier's honest answers. The questions go from very big questions (Why are we at war?) to questions that had to be a little bit more fun to answer (Are you a Red Sox fan?). Some photos are included that give readers a little more insight into life as a soldier in Iraq. This would be a great book to share near Veteran's Day or at any other time during the year. I imagine it will be checked out from the library quite often.
There seem to be a lot of generic books about soldiers and things but none as personal and as geared to children's real questions as this one is. First Lieutenant David Falvey seems to be the perfect person to answer these questions for children in a book. His answers are authentic and respectful and we learn a lot about his life as a soldier.
*This book was a review copy provided by the publisher, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books.