‘My father and both my grandfathers had fought in a war and I thought that this war in Vietnam was my turn to go.’

In the book My Grandfather’s War, Grandpa lives with Sarah and is a big part of her life. He does school drop offs and pickups, helps with homework and reads stories to Sarah. He also has a limp and sometimes gets very sad. Grandpa served in the Vietnam War. One day, Sarah asks him about it.

This book by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper provides a practical, simple way of explaining to kids why an older generation of the family may have served in the war. It neither moralises about, nor glorifies war. It does, however, introduce children to the concepts that war service is problematic, hurts people, makes them sad and is a complex and serious subject. Using the strong bond between a child and her beloved grandpa, it thoughtfully addresses the issues of the Vietnam War and the history and emotions behind it as well as the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that veterans face.

With the annual Anzac Day march and various conflicts spots on TV, this is a helpful introduction for primary school children to navigate the difficult and complex subject of war. Well-written, with warmth and poignancy, this engaging book outlines the plight of Vietnam veterans to a new generation.

My Grandfather’s War is published by EK Books and  is available wherever good books are sold. RRP $24.99. Newy with Kids received a review copy.

Reena Bilen

In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.
Reena Bilen