Book Guide for Your Elementary Students

As an elementary school teacher or another educator who works with students in grades K through 5, it is essential to know how to use book guides as a helpful tool for helping your students select books that they’ll enjoy reading and be able to understand.

For older kids

With children that are beyond the age of 10, you’ll want to introduce children’s books about Veterans Day, it may not necessarily be about the Vietnam War. But novels that will help them understand what people went through in other conflicts and can help provide perspective on the Vietnam War.

A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts

The book is about a girl who is separated from her family during the evacuation of Saigon. An American family adopts her, but she struggles to adapt to a new culture and language. However, she learns to appreciate her new home when she feels homesick in Vietnam.

The story also includes information about Vietnamese food, customs, and traditions (such as Tet). The book is illustrated with colorful pictures that help bring the story alive in your student’s minds as they read along with you.

Wingwalker by Roseanne Parry

Wingwalker is a classic tale of adventure and love. Published in 2016, this novel tells the story of an orphaned girl who works as a wing walker for her family’s airshow business. When she meets an injured pilot, their paths cross, and they fall in love.

The importance of family is central to the narrative: both main characters lose their parents at young ages (one loses her mother; the other loses both) but are cared for by other members of their community—either relatives or friends from school—until they grow up and strike out on their paths in life.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

It is about a girl forced to leave her home in England when she was only four years old. She and her brother are sent away by their parents, who were forced to do so by the government because they were disabled. The girl, Ada, spends six years living in an orphanage with other children like her. She never gets over being separated from her brother Jamie (who was left behind at their house), but she does meet another boy named Toby, who has a disability—he cannot walk or talk because he was born with polio.

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton

This book is perfect for children who are dealing with military parents. The story is about a boy trying to find his way in life, but he gets lost and separated from his mother and father.

The Wall by Eve Bunting and Ronald Himler

It’s the perfect book for elementary students because it has a compelling plot and a relatable protagonist. The main character, David, lives in a war zone and loses his father in combat. He was separated from his mother and sister when soldiers forced them to cross into another country through an underground tunnel. Once on the other side of the wall, David meets a girl named Sarah, who helps him reunite with his family.

For younger kids

This book is a good introduction to money for younger kids (perhaps ages 4–8). As it’s written at a lower reading level than some of the other books in this series. The illustrations are simple and easy to understand. They are making it easier for young children to comprehend what they’re seeing concerning what they’re reading. The book also introduces the concept of saving money by having the main character put his earnings into his savings account, which is an important lesson for young kids who may not yet be able to save money on their own.

An American Widow by Alia Hoyt

This is a children’s book about a woman who loses her husband in Iraq. It’s great for kids to read who have lost a loved one and also a good way to teach kids about the sacrifices that soldiers make.


There are so many great books available for your students. These are just a few of the ones that would be most helpful to you and your classroom. Hopefully, you find these suggestions useful as you plan lessons for your students.

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