Klinger: A Story of Honor and Hope

Author: Madeline LaMorie

Klinger book cover

Klinger, A Story of Honor and Hope is a wonderful and helpful book for young children who are experiencing grief over the death of a parent or loved one in the military. The story of Klinger is a journey of loss, grief, and hope, which many of us kids can identify with— after all, we come to TAPS Good Grief Camp to share in our grief journey together. Through TAPS, we even get to meet animals, like Klinger, who can be healing "furry friends" that comfort us in our time of pain and bond with us in our journey to find hope in the midst of our grief. 

Klinger's story touched me from the beginning of the book, when he was just a foal, to the end, when he was a grown horse honoring those who died while serving our country. The importance of honoring all who serve to make this world a safer and more just place is an important lesson that Klinger teaches us.

The story of Klinger brought back memories for me of when I first lost my father in late February 2007 and the Caisson horses pulled my dad's casket to his final resting place. I too clutched my younger brother's hand because our pain and grief was so heartbreaking. We thought we would always feel pain and sadness in our lives. But thanks to other children we have met at the TAPS Good Grief Camp and our amazing mentors, we have learned ways to deal with our sadness, remember our love, and find happiness again amongst our friends and family.

Klinger is a touching book that I would recommend to any kid who is dealing with grief over the death of a parent or loved one in the military because you realize that you are not alone on your journey and there are other kids who are going through the same situation you are. They know how you might feel, understand your pain, and support you with their friendship. I am also so proud that this book highlights the wonderful people and animals who take such wonderful care in burying and honoring our fallen servicemembers. They are special people and Klinger, the book, helps us kids to remember to recognize their care and their sacrifices.

If I had to rate Klinger, I would most definitely give this book an outstanding "10 out of 10" rating. The author captured the sadness of our loss, the companions we find along the way, and the idea that it is okay to find happiness in our lives again as we continue to grieve and learn to live with our love and loss. The artist is amazing and the pictures reveal through art the feelings the story tells, sometimes without even needing to read the words. If you want to know more about this story of grief, honor, and hope, I highly suggest reading Klinger's amazing story.  

Reviewed by Madeline LaMorie, surviving daughter of LCDR Andrew LaMorie, USN
Written by Betsy Beard, Illustrated by Shelley Johannes