The Veterans’ Clubhouse by Kristen Zajac

Veterans

The Veterans’ Clubhouse by Kristen Zajac is a touching story that shows young people they can make a difference. Patrick, Hailey and their parents befriend a homeless veteran in need. To offer help to Charlie and others like him, they organize a benefit concert to raise funds to build a resource center at their church.

What an inspiring and heartwarming story! Two kids see a need in their community and they work with their family and other adults around town to make a difference. The reader is also witness to Patrick and Hailey using their special talents (drumming and drawing) to help their cause. This book shows how one seed planted can blossom into a field of flowers that touches many.

The vibrant artwork of Jennifer Thomas Houdeshell brings Zajac’s story to life. Considering Charlie is a Vietnam veteran, the colors and designs found inside are inspired by that time period. I also like how doing so weaved Hailey’s drawings into the illustrations.

My father and one of my brothers served in the U.S. Armed Forces, so this is a book whose subject is close to my heart. I applaud Zajac’s continued commitment to sharing the importance of our veterans and veterans’ issues with young people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (June 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616336617
ISBN-13: 978-1616336615

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Chasing the Spirit of Service by Kristen Zajac

Kristen Zajac’s latest book, Chasing the Spirit of Service, is a great way to honor military families around the world.

Emma comes from three generations of Air Force pilots. She is proud of what her daddy does, but she misses him while he’s away. When her best friend, Adam, tries to cheer her up, she doesn’t act very kindly toward him. After long talks with their parents and a story from Emma’s great grandfather, both children find a way to appreciate the spirit of service.

Like Zajac’s first book, Ebeneezer’s Cousin, her latest release pays tribute to military families. Having a brother who is currently serving in Afghanistan, I appreciate Emma’s struggles to accept that her Daddy’s job takes him away so often and puts him in harm’s way.

What is so wonderful about Chasing the Spirit of Service is that it gently teaches how important it is to appreciate our servicemen and women, while it also shares some history of racial prejudice. Emma’s great-grandfather was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African American airmen in the U.S. Military.  As he explains, not everyone in the military accepted them. And as Adam says, “That’s terrible.”

Zajac has a style that makes you feel like you’re sitting down together reading stories aloud, which would be a great way to share Chasing the Spirit of Service with your 4- to 8-year-old.

The illustrations by artist Julie Tucker are outstanding. They are so detailed, you feel like you could almost touch the hair and skin of the characters. From sharing banana splits in the ice cream shop to Emma snuggling in her mother’s lap, Tucker’s artwork brings this story to life in a special way.

A beautiful story that will touch your heart can be found in Chasing the Spirit of Service by Kristen Zajac.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616331097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331092
  • SRP:  $10.95
  • From the Family Bookshelf

    Where has this month gone? I can’t believe July is almost here. The girls have been out of school since Monday. The Lil Princess joined our library’s “Go Green” summer reading program. The Lil Diva has officially declared she hates reading. When I suggested she join the summer reading program, not only did I get the eyes rolling up into her eyelids, I also received the lovely hand on the hip deal. How did I manage to end up with a kid who doesn’t enjoy reading?

    In this issue of From the Family Bookshelf, you’ll once again get a glimpse into what our family has been reading lately. I, as usual, have read more books than anyone else; but that should change a bit with the Lil Princess participating in the summer reading program.

    I really thought Dad would move right from Prayers for the Assassin  by Robert Ferrigno to the next book in this series, Sins of the Assassin, but he didn’t. After a short reading break, he moved onto the third book in The Zion Chronicles, The Return to Zion, by Bodie and Brock Thoene. This series is Christian historical fiction set aroung WWII. He has already read the first two books in this series, The Gates of Zion and A Daughter of Zion.

    May 27th was the last time I updated this column. Sorry about that. With the wedding, the end of the school year, and preparing to leave for North Carolina on July 2nd, I haven’t been blogging as much as I usually do.

    During that time I’ve read Ebeneezer’s Cousin, In My Bath, Sully’s Topsy Tale, Grin’s Message, Little Big Wolf, and Glamour Girl, all children’s books.  You can find those reviews on this site. I’ve also read Caves, Cannons and Crinolines, which is YA historical fiction from Beverly Stowe McClure. That review is also posted at this site.

    At The Book Connection, I recently posted reviews of: The Wildcat’s Burden (sci-fi/alternative world) by Christopher Hoare, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner (historical fiction), At Home with Laurie Ann by Laurie Ann McMillin Ray (home decorating), and Why God Matters by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert (Catholic nonfiction). I also read The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Colleen Coble as part of the Amazon Vine program. I am currently reading The Last Operative by Jerry Jenkins. If you want to know my Jerry Jenkins story, just ask!

    The Lil Diva moved right from her Katie & Kimble books into reading Junie B. Jones.  I’ll have a separate post coming up about this book soon, but I thought kids were supposed to enjoy reading about those older than them. Junie B. Jones is a few years younger than her, so I wasn’t expecting that one. She read

    The Lil Princess has been reading to herself, so I haven’t been privy to what she’s been reading lately. She hides in her room, shuts the door, and wanders off for a while. I know that she recently picked up a copy of The Raindrop by Brian McClure that I had in my office. She always asks before taking off with anything from here, since she never knows if it belongs in the TBR pile, the giveaway pile, or somewhere in between. 🙂

    That’s about it for From the Family Bookshelf. I hope you enjoyed reading along. Until next time, keep reading!

    Ebeneezer’s Cousin by Kristen Zajac

    A moving story of helping those we love is what you’ll find in Ebeneezer’s Cousin by Kristen Zajac.

    Maria brings in pictures for show and tell of the many interesting places her military father has visited. But one day, she no longer has pictures to bring. Her father has been wounded and will no longer be visiting those interesting places. When her father struggles to deal with losing his independence, Maria is determined to help him, so that he can begin to smile again.

    What a timely and beautiful book from Guardian Angel Publishing and Kristen Zajac! A touching story of how we can help our military men and women who return with injuries, Zajac handles this sensitive topic well. 

    While Ebeneezer’s Cousin shares how lonely Maria’s dad felt while he was away and the struggles he goes through after he is injured, this is truly Maria’s story of trying to help her Dad regain his spirit and his independence, just as she helped him cope with his loneliness by sharing her beloved stuffed monkey.

    I can’t remember the last time a children’s book has touched my heart in such a meaningful way.

    The illustrations by Jennifer Thomas Houdeshell are as lovely as the story. The bright colors capture your eye and the emotions displayed on the characters’ faces will capture your heart.

    You can purchase a printed copy of Ebeneezer’s Cousin for wounded veterans and families at a military hospital, through the Friends of Ebeenezer Program. You’ll find details on the book’s page found at the publisher’s website.

    I highly recommend this family story to everyone.  Many families will be touched by this one.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 1616330457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330453
  • SRP:  $10.95
  • Also available as a PDF download and an eBook CD.



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