Children’s Novel Tackles Deployment; Courage Needed on Homefront as Well

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During the holidays we prepare for memorable moments surrounded by loved ones and tradition. In her new children’s novel, Make Me a Memory, author Tamra Norton introduces Allie Claybrook, an eleven-year-old heroine (and sometimes hot-tempered big sister) who reminds us that not all families will be together.

Allie’s dad will be spending Christmas in Iraq. He will also miss out on an entire year of Allie’s life. This separation generates frustration as Allie, her pregnant mother and her brother leave their home at Fort Hood and move to “Hicksville”—her mother’s hometown of Edna, Idaho—to prepare for the baby’s birth.

Allie soon learns about living with Nanna, her great-grandma who has Alzheimer’s disease. With a new perspective on fading memories, Allie finds purpose in a letter from Dad. “Write down all that happens—you can make me a memory, since I can’t be there to make one myself.” Throughout this time of struggles, discovery, and even a bit of fun, Allie comes to understand that memories, as well as loved ones, can be both precious and fragile.

Although Allie is a fictional character, her trials and triumphs during the year of her father’s deployment to Iraq are quite common for many children of our nation. According to the National Military Family Association, last summer approximately 135,000 school age children had a parent away on a tour of duty.

“Over the past few years, I have been incredibly moved by the numerous stories of sacrifice, commitment, hope and faith as our U.S. military men and women leave their loved ones to fulfill assignments abroad,” said Norton on her motivation behind the book. “My hope is for children to close the book feeling a sense of purpose in their part of this ‘separation equation.’”

In a letter to Norton, reader Dee Bryson of Waller, TX echoes these sentiments. "The demands on military families are incredible. I am so proud and thankful to my sister and her two darling daughters. Their sacrifice is just as real as the sacrifice my brother-in-law has made spending time away from home in the service of our country. Thank you for realizing these sacrifices and telling a piece of their story!”

Make Me a Memory is geared toward readers age 8 to 12 and costs $9.99 plus $2 for shipping, handling and tax. To purchase Make Me a Memory visit After Jan. 1, it will be available wherever books are sold. ISBN: 1-55517-866-9. Bonneville Books, Springville UT.

About Tamra Norton:

Tamra Norton, the homeschooling mother of seven and author of four young adult novels, lives in Spring, TX. She enjoys reading in the bathtub, camping in the living room, and dancing in the kitchen.


Tamra Norton, Author



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