Wednesday, September 23, 2015


by Kristen Zajac

illustrated by Julie Tucker

As a former Air Force officer's wife, I’m pleased to review Kristen Zajac’s “Chasing the Spirit of Service.” It is a thank you in book form and honors our military service members and veterans for their service and sacrifice. The story is about a three-generation African American family who have all served in the United States Air Force. We learn that Emma’s great grandfather was a Tuskegee Airman and faced racial prejudice. Next, her grandfather served in Vietnam and is now a military contractor. Finally, Emma’s father performs in air shows and flies military air cargo planes; he’s often deployed overseas for months.

Emma misses her father when he’s gone, but learns about the importance of honor and service from the examples of her family. Her father calls it his spirit of service. Emma and her friend Adam want to follow that example of honoring service. You’ll have to read to see the perfect way to honor service members that they found. We all can learn from Emma and her family’s example.

The expressive artwork by Julie Tucker adds immensely to our understanding and enjoyment of the story. Each scene is richly detailed and realistic. Emma’s emotions, close family, and busy home life are clearly depicted in the lovely illustrations.

“Chasing the Spirit of Service” can help civilian families better understand military families lives of sacrifice and service. It can also encourage discussion about how we can better support and honor military families for their service. This story is highly recommended for ages 8 to 10.

Information on author Kristen Zajac is at

Information on artist Julie Tucker is at 

Reviewed by

Penelope Anne Cole
Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
and Mágico Mateo (Spanish)

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Magical Max and Magical Mickey

For Halloween:  Ten Little Tricksters

Chasing the Spirit of Service, Kristen Zajac, Julie Tucker, Emma, Adam, Air Force, family, mom, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, Tuskegee Airman, Vietnam War, military service, military service members, honor, service, helping, supporting.