The Knock

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Coping With Departures And Absences

Through her book, The Knock, author Carolyn Watkins opens up the discussion of departures and absences with sensitivity and compassion. In relating her own story of separation from her father during his military service, Watkins encourages the reader, young and old, to share their own feelings of fear and loss, hope and love. In a world were stoicism and enduring is often applauded, The Knock offers readers tools and ways in which to articulate their own story. By SusanR

A thoughtful and inspiring book

This book is a great way to approach difficult situations with young children who aren’t quite able to express themselves yet. It is a heartwarming story. Great illustrations too. By Danielle Festa

Tender, nostalgic, realistic

A sweet, touching book intended for 8 to 13-year-olds about the difficulties of being the child of military parents. This easy-to-read picture book is an excellent starting point for helping children deal with absent parents or difficult home situations. It covers a frequent difficulty of the 1960s. The mom often repeats that they must all be “strong and brave.” Strong and brave often means covering up emotions or hiding from them, and definitely not sharing. The author remarks how she wished she had been able to share some of those feelings with her mother. The book has a happy ending, so sensitive children will not be over-come with grief upon reading it. It is a very gentle look into the years of the Vietnam war from the viewpoint of a US military family. By Ona


A valuable resource for helping children and parents connect with the emotions associated with separation due to any cause. Needs to be in schools, mental health offices, and on military bases as it follows the path of a young girl separated from her father who is in the Army. Certainly a very timely book with so many actively deployed overseas. This book deals with the separation and the reunion and exemplifies the emotional strength a family needs to cope with these events. The illustrations are particularly accessible for younger children and express the emotions dealt with exceptionally well. A well written and most useful book.By moxiemje

A Thoughtful Aid

This book is a fantastic tool for military parents who are trying to convey the realities of tours of duty to their children. The book is insightful, entertaining, and most importantly, emotionally helpful for children whose parents are serving away from home or will soon be sent overseas. I’d strongly recommend this book to anyone, both serving and civilian, to teach children the sacrifices made by those in the military. By Ryan

A wonderful children’s book.

Though set in another time, the issues and emotions are the same today as they were fifty years ago. This book is long overdue and one that could help children work through their emotions and fears. I think all too often the family of military personnel are overlooked and their sacrifices, especially that of the children are rarely considered, unless one is living that life.

Since the book is written from a child’s perspective the stories are more easily relatable to the young. And through these stories feelings and thoughts can often be better explained than when trying to sit down with a child and talk with them without the aid of this book. Also, depending on the age of the child who is reading or listening to this book it is a great spring board into discussing how they may be feeling and how they are handling their feelings.
The book is touching and emotional, it is well written and a very quick read. I love that it is made up of shorter stories so that it is easier for children to absorb the message. By JMabie

A must read

Life can be tough for a little girl especially if your dad is away at war. It must be very bad if Grandma comes to live with you. The Knock explores the little girl’s ideas and feelings as she tries to cope with the effects of war on her family. The book is honest and sensitive as it traces her journey from her dad’s leaving, to the service men coming to her door, to her dad’s return, and the family’s struggle to survive. Military families frequently have to endure this journey but so does any family where a parent is gone. Children are smarter and more sensitive than people realize. This book will offer an eye-opening journey and allow the reader to develop their own ways to help and support their family. It is a must-read. By Mary Ann Church

A good resource for kids

The Knock portrays the author’s journey as a child when her father goes off to war, gets injured and comes home. The story, while emotionally tough at times, is real. And kids need to see this so they realize that they are not alone and that their feelings are valid. The visuals are an added bonus given the target market of this book. Adults too will feel the impact of this novel. A good read. By Katherine

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Though this is a children’s book, who would’ve thought that I’d be in a rollercoaster ride of emotions as I read through this. I really didn’t expect to feel so many emotions when I first bought this book. The author pokes on the deepest feelings of its readers through the parents, the people who cradled us from when we were conceived until we’ve become adults. The book is written in a child’s perspective, reminding the readers of our memories that we had with our parents in our eyes as a little child. It tickes our hearts with kindness yet the book also makes us feel the fear, confusion, and sadness that a child goes through. This is a book that will give you a myriad of emotins that is definitely worth your time. By Russ Ann

Thought-provoking recollections

When producing a non-fiction work based on memories, the author has two tasks to accomplish: Calling the shot as it was and making it entertaining to the readers who may not be familiar with the author’s past experiences. Author Carolina Watkins did not disappoint on both deliverable. The military families often have plenty of recollections they harbor in their hearts. Sharing her military family’s stories is nothing short of bravery and uncommon determination to make the world a better place. The sacrifices military families make are immeasurable: Talking of the long separations, constant relocation, and civil disruptions to family life as we know it. Author Watkins lays everything out in this book. Well-paced, interesting but sometimes funny. It is a good read. By Jerry Olasakinju

A touching way to explain growing up as a military child

“The Knock” is full of poignant illustrations and memories by the author, whose father was in the military during the era of Vietnam. With her short, succinct stories, Watkins tells about growing up in a family that loved each other very much, which made it even harder to say goodbye to her father when he was called to fight in a war that they didn’t understand. Her family continued to have to live life as normal, even with the huge hole left by their father’s absence. Then one day they got “the knock.” Anyone in a military family knows that “the knock” is never a good thing. But this book paints it from an emotional perspective, perfect for those children who don’t understand the significance. By A Cannady

An Emotional Story From A Child’s Perspective.

This book is well written giving an insight into what military families endure. Feelings of anxiety, separation, the unknown, changing family dynamics, adapting to a “new normal” while holding onto hope. Similar to what the nation is experiencing during this pandemic. It’s a family must read with your younger children. By Mothergoose

Incredible, emotive, though-provoking kids book for readers of all ages

I really enjoyed reading this book and was touched by the story, which is told in a very straightforward, honest way. It’s the story of a young girl whose father is fighting in Vietnam. I don’t want to give too much away beyond that, but I will tell you that one of the best parts of the book is that some parts of the story are told in pictures. The transition from words to pictures is sort of like what a musical interlude might be a in a song…vocal free and thought-provoking. Though this book is intended for children, I really think it’s a great book for readers of all ages. By Charles Hanna

It is touching and real.

I really liked the book The Knock: A Collection of Childhood Memories. It has so much kindness and at the same time there is sadness, fear and sadness. The book touches the deep feelings of the reader, since it is about the closest people – parents, namely the father of the girl, who had to leave them to fight in Vietnam. Probably not everyone can feel it, but the author gives us such a chance to understand how children feel when this happens to them. An interesting approach to the presentation of their thoughts. Illustrations that complement my impression of the book. I think this is a very interesting book, and undoubtedly the author did a good job. I think the book deserves your attention and your free time. I have good impression after reading the book, it is touching and real. I enjoyed it a lot and advice you to read the book. By Julius Z

Military Separation

My dad was in the Navy for 20 years (from before my birth through my high school graduation) so being a military brat was all I ever knew as a child. I never really faced some of the emotions that the main character experiences because to me, my dad being away on 6-month cruises or on duty on ship/station for a long duration was my normal. However, I knew a lot of fellow military brats who experienced more turmoil and anxiety while their parent was absent. Overall, I thought it was a good book that covered a lot of fears, especially those during times of conflict/war. The pictures were great illustrations to help guide the reader. By Kat Denning

Let’s journey together to cross the bridge for emotional strength.

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