Military Themed Reads for Teens

In honor of Veteran's Day, develop a greater appreciation for those who have served by reading about their experiences and those of their family members with these great YA reads. 


Pacifist Twyla is less than thrilled when she's assigned to the "Help a Vet" program for her required community service hours. Assigned to Marine Gabriel Finch, she finds him unwelcoming and mysterious, spending most of his time alone in a decommissioned silo. When he reveals to her the mosaic he has created out of artillery in the silo, Twyla's first impression of him is challenged.


For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Hayley is hopeful that back in the town where he grew up, she can put aside her painful memories, and have a normal life attending school.  Maybe she can even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own....

Sunrise Over Fallujah

Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.


After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.


When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed.  But when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.


Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells them about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.


As a newly arrived freshman at West Point, seventeen-year-old Andi finds herself gaining confidence and self-esteem as she struggles to get through the grueling six weeks of new cadet training known as the Beast.


Hailed as a hero, twenty-year-old Jake returns to his pro-military hometown and family injured physically and emotionally, unsure if he can return to active duty, but also uncomfortable with the alternative.


Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.


Elijah, seventeen, has always been sure of just one thing -- basketball -- and believes it will be his way out of West Baltimore.  But when gang violence knocks him down, helping a veteran repair his rickety home helps Elijah see what really matters.


A teenager left on his own travels west in a kit car he built himself.  Along the way picks up two Vietnam veterans, who take him on an eye-opening journey.

In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

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