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Reviews (by Author)

Reviews (by Title)


Title:  Off To War: Voice of Soldiers' Children

Author:  Deborah Ellis

Publisher:  Groundwood Books

Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder

A Serious Children’s Book for Mature Older Children

Prolific children’s book author, Deborah Ellis, has written a book that is serious and important and a sobering read for older children. Her newest literary offering is titled “Off To War: Voices Of Soldiers' Children.” I first came across one of the stories featured in this book through a very good friend, Nadia McCaffrey, who is a Gold Star Mother. Her grandson Patrick Jr. had his story in there about losing his father in the present wars. After I had read that short moving piece I was hungry to read and learn more; so I got a copy of the whole book and digested it with much emotional energy and love.

These are gripping talks and comments coming from young people. They have great force and energy. The impact of what they say and feel just cannot be understated—it hits you like a bullet right into the heart. The book is a compassionate collection of interviews, conversations and observations made by Soldiers’ children. They show the raw emotions of young people who miss their parents; and in some cases, who mourn for them.

Wars have always had the very visible wounded warriors who come back home, or who get killed; but there are other causalities of war—children. Their pain and scars go right to the depth of the soul. Reading this book may make you question the value that you may have had for our flag waving and patriotic support for any wars. There is a huge price to be paid by the smallest and most import people in our world.

Perhaps, only children can bring a different focus to the glory of war. Losing a father, or mother, is asking a huge sacrifice of such young spirits. Reading this book will send chills up your spine. Your heart may pound a little softer. Your eyes may even become moist. This book is not just for children but also for all thinking and feeling adults, lest they forget whom they are injuring and harming.

The book is another literary gem from author Deborah Ellis. It is a book that should be read by those who make all those decisions that lead to wars and battles—perhaps, they may take a deeper breath and pause before sending troops off to fight and bleed on some foreign soil.

As a combat veteran myself, who did his own patriotic “tour of duty” as a young man, during the Vietnam War, I am very grateful for not having had any children to wait and wonder how I was doing for a year of combat. This is the author’s greatest book to date; and she has a long list of award winning books to her credit. I give this book American Authors Association's highest rating! A must read book for older children and all adults!

Off To War: Voices Of Soldiers' Children receives the Founder's Personal Recommendation & Endorsement!

Winner of the 2008 American Authors Association's Golden Quill Award!


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