Meandering from Mardi Gras to Piper Reed

“Military Brat,” a term of endearment, is always accurate in its first word and seldom in its second. [I know this because I taught a gazillion of them.] It describes children who go wherever the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard assign their parent(s) and is often made specific as in “Army Brat” which described our three. This enriching lifestyle allows them to pick up the culture of the local city, state, or country as they go, but leaves them with a dilemma when someone asks, “Where are you from?’ Most often, they have little memory of their place of birth and don’t consider themselves “from there.”
    My mind began to wander over this phenomenon as Mardi Gras season got into full swing, and I recalled our children picking up its customs with our move to Louisiana. Purple, green, and gold colors; dubloons; strings of cheap beads; and especially King Cake abounded between Epiphany and Mardi Gras.
    From that point, my mind meandered easily to a “Navy Brat” author who found some roots in  Louisiana because that’s where her grandparents lived. Kimberly Willis Holt used the home base of her grandparents in central Louisiana as she began her writing with Mister and Me and My Louisiana Sky and after a couple of excursions for books set in her eventual home state of Texas returned to Louisiana for my personal favorite of her books – Part of Me. She traveled back to another of her “homes” provided by the Navy in Guam for Keeper of the Night. She added a few picture books and a historical novel, The Water Seeker.
    But the books that showed up in my train of thought was her series beginning with Piper Reed, Navy Brat. True to the good, difficult, frustrating, and exciting life of a Military Brat, these five books – with another due out in late summer – give a genuine picture of that life from someone who lived it.
    I recommend Piper Reed books to:
•    Military Brats who would like to find themselves in a book,
•    people who want to know what life is really like for a “Military Brat,” and
•    anyone who likes to read a good story.

Side Effect Warning: By the time you finish the books, you may have picked up Piper’s pet phrase – “Get Off the Bus!”