Pilot Mom by Kathleen Benner Duble

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As soldiers are being deployed overseas for the war in Iraq, we also become aware of those behind the scenes—the children of the men and women who defend our nation. A new book from Charlesbridge addresses the sensitive situation of preparing a child for saying goodbye to a soldier parent.

Pilot Mom, by Kathleen Benner Duble and illustrated by Alan Marks, tells the story of young Jenny whose mother is a tanker pilot in the Air Force. Major Strom is preparing for a two-week training mission in Europe. Every time her mother goes away, Jenny is torn between pride and worry. Jenny thinks about the time that her mother went to Saudi Arabia to fly in the Gulf War and worries that she may have to go to war again. Jenny wonders if her mother thinks about her when she’s away.

In a recent story in the New York Times about children of deployed soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, kids were brought together to discuss their fears. One young girl, not unlike Jenny in Pilot Mom, said, "Sometimes I worry about what’s going to happen to my mom. Will she ever make it back?"

Jenny’s mom reassures Jenny that she is well trained, smart, and careful when she flies missions. Knowing that Jenny is taken care of and safe helps the major do her important job. Jenny feels better after she has discussed her fears and worries with her mother.

For the thousands of children of military parents in the United States, whose jobs are to defend the country, this book offers an introduction to a dialogue about how they feel about the job and its dangers. And, for all children who are confused about war, this book can help parents and teachers start a conversation about their concerns.


About Kathleen Benner Duble

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Kathleen Benner Duble is the author of such books as Hearts of Iron, The Sacrifice, Bridging Beyond, and Pilot Mom. She lives in Boxford, Massachusetts with her family. You can visit her online at www.kathleenduble.com. Alan Marks's first children's book, Storm, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, won the Carnegie Medal. He has illustrated many other books, including Little Lost Bat and A Mother's journey. He lives in Kent, England.
Published April 1, 2003 by Charlesbridge Publishing. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Jenny’s mother loves her job, and allows Jenny talk through all of her worries, acknowledging and responding to them.

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Publishers Weekly

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Like Jenny's friend K.C., airplane lovers will lock in on Duble's (Bridging Beyond) story's best feature—aeronautical details, including aspects of the mother's uniform and equipment, plus the woman's stories of a scary landing and a Saudi control tower's refusal to acknowledge a woman pilot.

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