Klinger by Betsy Beard

Klinger: A Story of Honor and Hope
Written by Betsy Beard
Illustrated by Shelley Johannes
for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

Naturally these days I don’t read many children’s books; not being a child myself nor having offspring of that tender age. I recently met Betsy Beard at the Military Writer’s Society of America’s conference which led me to check out this excellent little book. Out of tragedy and loss comes this great story about a real horse. Klinger is a black Percheron Morgan Cross Breed who serves on the Caisson Platoon at Arlington National Cemetery.

Beard and illustrator Shelley Johannes put you inside the world of a horse who knows he is destined for great things from the time he is a tiny colt. Klinger believes he will become a great race horse, but he is too slow. The discouraged horse will find his destiny bringing reverence to the final journey of heroes to their honored resting places in Arlington.

This beautiful story touches the heart all the more when at the end of the book you discover the back story about the real Klinger. This is a book that should be read and treasured by young and old alike. I’m sure it will have a place on my bookshelf for a very long time.  I highly recommend you clear a space on your own shelf for a copy of this touching and beautifully illustrated story.

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