Pilot Mom, by Kathleen Benner Duble and illustrated by Alan Marks, tells the story of young Jenny whose mother is a tanker pilot in the Air Force. Major Strom is preparing for a two-week training mission in Europe. Every time her mother goes away, Jenny is torn between pride and worry. Jenny thinks about the time that her mother went to Saudi Arabia to fly in the Gulf War and worries that she may have to go to war again. Jenny wonders if her mother thinks about her when she’s away.
In a recent story in the New York Times about children of deployed soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, kids were brought together to discuss their fears. One young girl, not unlike Jenny in Pilot Mom, said, "Sometimes I worry about what’s going to happen to my mom. Will she ever make it back?"
Jenny’s mom reassures Jenny that she is well trained, smart, and careful when she flies missions. Knowing that Jenny is taken care of and safe helps the major do her important job. Jenny feels better after she has discussed her fears and worries with her mother.
For the thousands of children of military parents in the United States, whose jobs are to defend the country, this book offers an introduction to a dialogue about how they feel about the job and its dangers. And, for all children who are confused about war, this book can help parents and teachers start a conversation about their concerns.