Book Choices to Honor Veterans Day 2021

This week, we honor Veterans Day by acknowledging the sacrifices of service members across the United States and abroad.   

To practice your gratitude for veterans and currently serving service members, check out this selection of literature gathered by our Librarians. Choices for all ages are listed below!  

Adult Picks 

The United States recently ended the War in Afghanistan which lasted a total of nineteen years making the conflict the longest war in U.S. history.  

The selection below includes picks that focus on the War in Afghanistan giving a view into realities faced by the modern soldier. You can also see these Veterans Day picks and more via our featured choices this week on Reader’s Café. 

Never Quit by Jimmy Settle 

This biographical book recounts the journey of an Alaskan shoe-store clerk turned Special Operations Rescue jumper. Author Jimmy Settle details his time as an elite paratrooper and highlights the harrowing realities of war.   

Once a Warrior by Jake Wood 

Former Marine Jake Wood healed and renewed his purpose after grueling tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. This powerful true story describes how Wood founded Team Rubicon, an organization that has recruited over 100,000 veteran volunteers to help those facing disasters. 

Shooting Ghosts by Thomas J Brannan and Finbarr O’Reilly 

This dual memoir profiles the unlikely friendship between a war photographer and a U.S. Marine. Their bond helped them heal combat wounds and battle post-traumatic stress disorder following their time serving in the Middle East. 

Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe 

The lives of three women that served in Afghanistan are detailed in this biographical novel. The book recounts how their time deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq impacted their friendships, families, work, and realities.  

Teen Picks 

These picks for teens and young adults detail the intricacies of serving in the U.S. military. The fiction picks below focus on the realities of war and post-conflict impacts soldiers often face. There are also nonfiction picks that highlight true stories from wartime. 

The Price of Duty by Todd Strasser 

Hailed as a hero, 20-year-old Jake returns home to recover from an injury and finds himself struggling with debilitating PTSD. This fictional novel details his struggles with mental health and his difficulties to return to war after healing.  

Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Hayley Kincaid and her father try to escape the horrors her father experienced while deployed in Iraq which carry over into his post-combat life. This fictional account details how warfare transforms soldiers, delving into the impact of PTSD on veterans and their families. 

Bonded by Battle by Nancy Roe Pimm 

This book details the incredible bonds shared by soldiers and their dogs. Pimm follows the stories of 13 dog teams who transformed military tactics and covers conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the War in Afghanistan.  

Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone 

This nonfiction book delves into the role of America’s first black paratroopers who served during World War II when the United States Forces were segregated. The book recounts the sacrifices of black service members who protected the American West from Japanese attacks. 

Children’s Picks 

These choices help explain veterans’ sacrifices to a younger audience. Picks include a graphic novel, nonfiction choices detailing true stories of U.S. heroes, and other illustrated books that help explain the role of service members.  

Hollow Chest by Brita Sandstrom  

When his brother Theo returns home from World War II, Charlie discovers Theo’s heart has been consumed by a war wolf, which lives off of grief. He must save his brother before it’s too late. This book is an unforgettable modern folktale of the darkness inside us, and the courage it takes to keep hope alive. 

Tale of Two Marines by James Buckley Jr.   

After hearing reports of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, two former marines were among the heroes who answered a call to duty. Follow Staff Sergeant Dave Karnes and Sergeant Jason Thomas in this graphic novel on their mission to rescue those trapped in the debris.  


The Tuskegee Airmen by Sarah E. De Capua 

In a time when the U.S. military was still segregated, the Tuskegee Airmen fought for a truth that was questionable at the time – that black service members fight with the same courage and exceptional skill as white service members.  

 The Wall by Eve Bunting 

This picture book tells the story of a boy and his father who take a long trip to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. There, they locate the name of the boy’s grandfather and honor his sacrifice while fighting overseas.  

From Poudre Libraries, thank you to Veterans past and present for your service.