Some of our kids are natural bookworms; others need a little more encouragement to read.

I know a book must be exceptionally interesting if I catch them completely engrossed in the story of their own accord.

Such was the case with Marilyn Boyer’s new book, America’s War Heroes, and our 12 year old son, who ate it up the second it arrived in the mail.

Although the layout of the book looks somewhat textbookish, with vocabulary words and definitions denoted in the margins, the biographical sketches themselves read very much like a living book, intertwining fact and narrative to draw the reader into the story.

My personal favorite story was of Sergeant Jacob Deshazer, who, once with a goal of taking revenge upon the Japanese for the attacks on Pearl Harbor, wound up captured and tortured beyond anything we could ever imagine, and then, by a miracle of grace, returned to the place of his imprisonment with a new heart, love and forgiveness for the people he once hated, and witnessed the salvation of his former prison guards.

These are the kind of lives I want our children to be acquainted with and aspire to.

Ten such stories featuring influential, visionary men of character (Ethan Allen, Daniel Morgan, Francis Marion, John Paul Jones, Stephen Decatur, David Farragaut, John Mosby, Sergeant York, Jake Deshazer, and Desmond Doss) are included in America’s War Heroes.

I’d highly recommend Marilyn Boyer’s new book for boys aged 9 and up, especially hesitant readers, or as an aid in the study of American History.