More than 400,000 service members and their families move each year from one duty station to the next. The move can be between two states, across the country, or worldwide. The military member and children often do not have a choice in where or when they move. There are about 1.2 million military children. If military families move every 1-3 years, about one-third of these military kids move in a typical year. That is a lot of change.
These military kids start over their friend circle, new school, new home, new room, and new coaches. Moving frequently isn’t easy for an adult, much less a kid. Helping military kids understand their role in the adventure helps them take ownership of their role in the move. The military spouse, Athens Pellegrino, has written Military Child Chronicles books for military kids. These books are illustrated beautifully and colorfully by Cody Taylor.
The Military Child Chronicles Mission My First PCS
The story follows the military adventure of PCS that Atticus goes on. It frames the PCS not as a Permanent Change of Status (military move) but as a Positive Change of Scenery. This reframes the stress of the move. His active-duty father shares with him that there will be open communication as the move is prepared and executed. The colorful imagery and positive wording reframe the military move and put it into digestible information for the military child. The story follows Atticus on his journey learning about the move, seeing the boxes in the home, the moving truck leaving, arriving at his new home, and starting again at a new school. Check out the book here on Amazon.
I honestly got teary-eyed reading it myself. As a military child for 18+ years, I felt frustration and confusion in moving, especially as we moved my senior year. While best for children ages ten and under, this book still spoke to me as an adult. It is a reminder that while the PCS process is stressful, it is mandated, and the attitude we approach the move will shape our experience and our children’s.
The Military Child Chronicles Mission: Mistletoe
Atticus and his family are preparing to celebrate Christmas. But forces beyond the military threaten to change their typical holiday plans – the weather! The story shows the flexibility required to shift strategies when forces beyond yourselves take over. This shift comes in the form of spending time with family making it a neighborhood holiday celebration, and a special visit from a Santa in a helicopter that is all too familiar to military children. Check out the book here on Amazon.
The Military Child Chronicles: Mission My First Overseas PCS
This is Athens’ third Military Child Chronicles book this summer.
Atticus and family are moving overseas! Moving overseas is daunting to adults – the to do list and different types of shipment along with the total unknown make a move overseas a little extra stress than normal. Kids feel that too. It isn’t as easy to keep in touch with your friends across multiple time zones. It is a totally unknown world – literally.
This book helps children see and experience the PCS through Atticus’ eyes and see the positive side of the overseas PCS. As a military family who has done OCONUS moves, this was an accurate description, minus the different rooms filled with different shipments. Check out the book here on Amazon.
These books are worth the read to your military child if it is anything like the other two. Even if you aren’t a military child but are friends with a military family, Mission My First PCS is a great way to learn about the impact of a military move from a child’s eyes.
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