Books By, For and About Growing up in the Military

Bird of Passage- A Memoir by Sherry Hobbs, class of '65

     A bird of passage never rests ...Bird of Passage—a person who passes through or visits a place without staying for long— is an epic life journey that takes Ms. Hobbs around the globe. Bird of Passage recounts her life from a privileged child of a diplomat, to having it upended by her mother’s decision to divorce their father and marry a Frenchman whom she met in Saigon. Available at:

"Hard Ball in Paris" by Ralph Dittman, Class of '65 PAHS

     The novel is set in the summer of 1961 in Paris. 15 year old John Davis is at a crossroad in his life. Together with his best friend Rod Bishop and various members of his Babe Ruth baseball team like Randy Covert, John is able to intercept and interupt the dasterdly plans of a vile and ruthless ex-NAZI soldier, Helmut Dreitzer.

Available at:

"Growing Up In Khaki" by George Allingham
     Available at:
"The Yokota Officers Club" by Sarah Bird
     Sarah Bird's world, viewed through the eyes and memories of a sassy Air Force Brat. Sarah Bird, author of 4 previous novels made the New York Times best seller list with this endeavor. Available at:
"Between Duty and Devotion" by M.J. Brett Bamberg '74 & Stuttgart FAC '81-'92
     A novel of unconditional love. Available at:
"Mutti’s War" by M.J. Brett Bamberg '74 & Stuttgart FAC '81-'92
     A rather delicate young German mother is forced to smuggle her three small boys out of East Prussia when the Russians surround it in 1944. Won the 2003 Paul Gillette Award for Historical Fiction and is part of the curriculum at the United States Air Force Academy. Available at:
"Shadows on an Iron Curtain" by M.J. Brett Bamberg '74 & Stuttgart FAC '81-'92
     Tells of life on the Cold War Border delineated by both communist intrigue and the unique camaraderie of those soldiers who defended against it. Available at:
"Coming Home Series: Navy Dad" by Sandi (Bouley) Lorenzana
     "...offers valuable advice to help all members of the [military] family better vocalize their feelings and handle the inevitable difficulties that surface in the lives of 'military brats'."
"Secret Father" by James Carroll
     The year is 1961 and all three attend the American high school in Wiesbaden. Rick, a budding socialist and leader of the three, decides they should cut school and travel to BERLIN to attend the great May Day parade in the Eastern sector. The trip begins as a lark, but descends into chaos after their capture by East German police on trumped up currency-fraud charges. Currently a best seller.
"Growing up Military " by Marc Curtis & Military Brats
     "Growing Up Military - Every Brat Has a Story" - A compilation of brat stories put together by Military Brats Registry owner and sponsor of the "Every Brat Has a Story" cruises, Marc Curtis.
"Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global" by Faith Eidse and Nina Sichel as editor
     Featuring 20 writers. Unique Brat Book because the perspective it uses comes from not only Military Brats but also kids from 3rd world cultures and their experiences in other 3rd world countries. Order through: U.S. Marketing at 888-273-2539.
E-mail Faith Eidse at:
"Around the World in 45 Years" by Tom Ellinger
"The author describes his early years surviving the air raids which destroyed both his school and home in Frankfurt, Germany during World War II, before immigrating to the U.S."

"Military Brats and Other Global Nomads" by Morten G. Ender
After World War II, American political, military, corporate, and humanitarian responsibilities abroad expanded greatly. With families in tow, government officials, military service personnel, business executives, and missionaries began to travel and live, in increasing numbers, outside of their home country. Other nations followed suit. Ender examines this legacy of the late 20th century and analyzes the social, psychological, and historical imprints on people who came of age in these service organization families.

"Daddy, You're My Hero!" & "Mommy, You're My Hero!" by Michelle Ferguson-Cohen
     Titles written and illustrated by an adult military brat help military families coping with deployment. Books for Brats™ has been working with educators, Family Readiness Groups and military families since 2001 to help support and advocate for children of military personnel. 
Available at: Books for Brats
"After Burn" by Sherry Ficklin
     Reece Barnet and her father have just relocated to sunny North Carolina, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to be exact. It's another new town and another new school.
"Just a Little Rain" by Bob Flournoy
     A new book out about Pattonville in the early 60s. It is about boys that grew up in the Ozzie and Harriet days of the '50's and '60's, and wound up in Vietnam. It is a memoir written by several military brats, 4 of them who attended Robinson Barracks Jr Hi and Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg High, with fond memories of those places and times.
"Hot Times During the Cold War: An American Comes of Age in West Germany" by Scott W Hawley
     From 1985 to 1988, Scott W. Hawley, the son of a U.S. Air Force officer, lived on Rhein Main Air Force Base, a bustling U.S. military installation located in the heart of what was then West Germany. One of six hundred children of U.S. military personnel attending Frankfurt American High School, he lived the unique experience of being an American teenager in Germany during the Cold War.
"Piper Reed: Navy Brat" by Kimberly Willis Holt
     Written by a National Book Award-winning children's author. Although the book is a work of fiction, Holt says the setup is based on her own military childhood.
"A Look Back In Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the Fifties (Volume 1)" by Bernard N Lee Jr.
     When I was a child, we were always moving from one place to another. Making friends was something I looked forward to with an uneasy anticipation. My dad was in the military. We moved, like clockwork, every three years until I was more than twenty-years-old. The things I saw and the places I lived are now a part of history. They form the canvas for “A Look Back In Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the Fifties.”
"Secrets of the Cold War" by Leland C McCaslin
     "Lee McCaslin is a fellow Army Brat/Overseas Brat who attended both Nürnberg and Heidelberg American High Schools, graduating in 1965. Lee spent his 20+ year Army career in StealthMode, operating in all the Berlin Wall/Secret Agent world we often hear about, but don't get to take that elusive peak-inside to learn the truth."
"Once a Brat Always a Brat " by Marilyn C. Morris
     As one of the first dependents to be sent overseas at the end of WWII, eight-year old Marilyn Celeste Morris received her very own orders from The War Department.
"Skinny Dipping And Other Stories" by Gene Moser of Operation Footlocker fame
     Skinny Dipping begins in the spring of 1956 when army brat Phil Boydon enters yet another new school and meets Elaine Goodman, a local girl. In the following months Elaine becomes El and the two young teens find themselves attracted to each other. They draw closer to each other and they begin to explore the meaning of love. Then parents step in and Phil finds himself going to military school. How will they survive without each other?
"Into Joy From Sadness" by Gene Moser of Operation Footlocker fame
     Into Joy From Sadness continues the story of army brat Phil Boydon and civilian girl El Goodman as they struggle through the first two years of high school. El, once popular, now finds herself rejected by most other girls and hounded by boys. Phil must cope with military school and the sometimes harsh discipline directed towards "Youngster Cadets." 
Available at: web site. Some of the proceeds from this book will go towards supporting the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS)
"Boricua Brat: coming of age as a military dependent" by Nelson Pacheco
     A true story of coming of age in the 1960s as a military dependent in cultural melting pots as varied as Puerto Rico, Brooklyn and France.
"Train of Thought " by Tony Savageau and Walter Chalkley
     It's June of 1982 and two school chums, Tony and Butch, are freshly graduated from Munich American High School. With their girlfriends they embark on a month-long trip through Europe by rail. Eleven countries, twenty-three train trips, a month of Sundays and about 6,200 miles later they returned home in the best physical shape ever (and since) and with journals full of their experiences.
Available directly from Blue Mustang Press at:
"Death by Innocence" by Thomas Slagle
     In 1969, at the height of the Viet Nam War, four American military and State Department brats spend their last year of high school on an American military base in Ankara, Turkey. Rampant drug use and innocent lapses of judgment combine to produce emotional scars that will last their lifetimes.
"The Sullivan Saga:: Memories of an Overseas Childhood (Volume 1)" by M. H. Sullivan
     Maureen (Sullivan) Romagnoli '68 ISB (International School of Bangkok) is a Brat author. Her book was featured at the Overseas Brats Homecoming in August 2010.
"An Army ABC Book" by Kristen T. Pirog
     An Army ABC Book is an approach to the alphabet with a distinct military flair. Aspects of life in the US Army are illustrated from A-Z through vibrant, child friendly watercolors. The phonetic alphabet used by the US Army is listed under each corresponding letter. An inspirational and moving poem dedicated to the Military child is also included.
Available at: A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to charities that support Army families, including Operation Remembrance which provides keepsake boxes to the families of fallen soldiers.
"The Brat Chronicles" by Michael Ritter '73 Kaiserslautern
     The year is 1972 and Michael is starting his senior year at Kaiserslautern American High School. "The Brat Chronicles" reflects the experiences of Americans who fought the good fight, not on the field of battle, but in living rooms of military housing around the world.
"Forks in the Flowerpots" by Jojo Schroeder '85 Munich
     This first novel tells the story of what happens to a peaceful New England town when murders rock the idyllic life of the residents. Jojo Schroeder has a wit and a story-telling edge that's bound to appeal to fans of good, tight reads.
Available directly from Blue Mustang Press at:
"The Absentee American ~ Repatriates’ Perspectives on America" by Carolyn D. Smith
     Explores the experiences, feelings, attitudes and opinions of Americans who lived overseas. Students from overseas schools were interviewed or questioned.
"Strangers at Home ~ Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming "Home" to a Strange Land" by Carolyn D. Smith
     Published by Aletheia Publications, 46 Bell Hollow Road, Putnam Valley, NY 10579 or (845)926-2873.
"Military Brats ~ Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress" by Mary Edwards Wertsch
     The most well known book written about being a Brat. Published in 1991 by Aletheia Publications. The intro was written by Pat Conroy....famous for his novel written about a Marine Corps pilot and his family and then made into a movie called "The Great Santini"!