The Road to Afghanistan by Linda Granfield, and illustrated by Brian Deines is a good book for bringing the experience of war home and making it personal for younger readers.
Through the eyes of a Canadian soldier from Alberta we explore the feelings and memories of going to fight a war in Afghanistan. This same soldier also reflects on past generations back to a great grandfather that was wounded in World War I. Parallels are drawn between these different wars fought by Canadian soldiers in each generation and how we remember them on November 11th. Memories of those lost lives, and also those whose lives are changed and who live with the physical and psychological scars are mingled, so that past becomes present. The story is illustrated with full page paintings; soft lines and warm colors give a sense of the Afghanistan heat, the foggy sadness of the cemetery and the Highway of Heroes, and the nostalgic glow of the past life on an Alberta farm.
A perfect book to read aloud to school children, with an interesting story told in a clear and easy manner. This would be a good way to start the discussion about what those poppies mean.