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The Children’s Literary Salon: Military Offspring in Children’s Literature

The Children’s Center at 42nd Street is pleased to announce our next literary salon on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00 p.m.

Military Offspring: A Whole New Genre

Join authors Rosanne Parry (Heart of a Shepherd, Second Fiddle), Sara Lewis Holmes (Operation Yes), and Susan Morgan Williams (Bull Rider) talk about children in military families and how they are portrayed in their contemporary novels for kids.

Sara Lewis Holmes is the author of Letters From Rapunzel and Operation Yes. Operation Yes was named by Booklist as one of their “Top Ten Arts Books for Youth 2009,” was a Cybils Middle Grade Finalist, and garnered an Audie for the best audio book recording for children ages 8-12. She grew up clueless about the military until she married an Air Force pilot, and now has 27 years of experience in planning, improvising, and serving as part of a military family.

Operation Yes:  In her first ever teaching job, Miss Loupe uses improvisational acting exercises with her sixth-grade students at an Air Force base school, and when she experiences a family tragedy, her previously skeptical class members use what they have learned to help her, her brother, and other wounded soldiers.

Rosanne Parry is the author of Second Fiddle and Heart of a Shepherd, which has been honored as a Washington Post’s Best Kids’ Book of the Year, a Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year. She also plays the violin for which she has never been honored with a prize of any kind. She now lives with her husband in an old farmhouse in Portland, Oregon, where they raise four children, three chickens, five kinds of fruit, and their voices in the occasional song.

Second Fiddle: Six months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, three eighth-grade girls living on an American military base with their families in Berlin try to save a Russian soldier, who has been beaten and left for dead, by smuggling him to Paris, where they are going to perform in a music competition.

Suzanne Morgan Williams is the author of the middle grade novel, Bull Rider and 11 nonfiction children’s books. Bull Rider won a Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, has been selected for several state award lists, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and represented Nevada at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Suzanne’s work takes her into classrooms and communities from the U.S./Mexico border to the Arctic.

Bull Rider: Fourteen year old Cam O’Mara is a ranch kid and a skateboarder, not a champion bull rider like his brother Ben, but when Ben is seriously injured in Iraq, Cam turns to his family traditions and bull riding to overcome his grief and give his brother hope for a new life.

This program will be held in the Berger Forum on the second floor.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
New York Public Library
42nd Street and 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. I had not heard of Operation Yes but will look definitely look into it now. Being an Air Force kid myself who went to base schools for K-6 I’m always interested in how books portray the military life style. That was what I liked best about Deborah Wiles’s Countdown (and I liked quite a lot about that book). She had a couple of passages in there that perfectly described my feelings on the subject even though I experienced them as a kid in the 80’s and early 90’s.