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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
The Knock by Carolyn Watkins is the heartwarming story of the author as a seven-year-old whose dad was in the military and would be away for long periods of time. Her mom adjusted to his absence and ran the household while he was away. The little girl was always anxious when her dad left because he was the center of their family and he spoiled them with occasional gifts, hugs, and kisses. His next departure was to Vietnam and it was going to be for over a year. The newspapers gave them glimpses of the war there and the family was worried for him. Let us read this book to learn more about Carolyn's dad and their lives as a military family.
The story captures the lives of military kids beautifully; the angst they go through while being separated from their dads, adjusting to new places and people due to their constant moves, the fear of the unknown that can at times rattle the nerves, and their mental and emotional strength that keeps them going during tough situations. The illustrations by Lindsey Erickson capture the essence of the story and make the story and situations palpable to readers. It is a story that many children will be able to relate to and many of them would have had similar experiences to that of the author.
The book also helps children to be more expressive when it comes to showing their feelings and emotions. The 'Points to Ponder' at the end of the book are good when it comes to reflecting upon the author's words. It is a good book for classroom storytelling sessions and the questions at the end can be discussed in classrooms for students to become more observant and expressive when dealing with their emotions. Parents and grandparents can also have it in their home library, especially if they have been in the military because the book is a good way to help their kids and grandkids understand and accept their separation from their loved ones and get through their lonely times.