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July 4th means BBQs, family, friends, and a remembrance of the struggles the United States has overcome to emerge as a nation. Here at Lulu, we want to take the opportunity to highlight some of our bravest men and women who work every day to preserve this great nation and the way of life we’ve all come to value so much.

America loves to recognize “heroes” in our culture, often times associating the distinction between soldiers or citizens who perform selfless acts. To honor the many kinds of heroes, we present a sampling of books from the Lulu Bookstore about America, the people who make this country great, and the people who sacrifice to protect and serve us all.

We’ll start off with some touching and powerful memoirs and histories about the wars of the last century we’ve endured.

From Maine to France and Somehow Back Again This historical account of World War I follows John M. Longley, detailed by his grandson, Mark D. LeBlanc. Years after returning from the war, Longley tells the tale of how he survived and how it impacted his life.

An account of a “common” soldier, using a variety of multimedia and historical documents to support the telling, “From Maine to France and Somehow Back Again” is a gripping, evocative tale of perseverance and strength from an average man.

The Life History of John Chapman – A diver stationed at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day, John risked life and limb to save numerous soldiers from the ruins of the ships. This story chronicles his story from humble beginnings to rescuing numerous people during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Humbling and heartfelt, John’s story reminds us all of the power of caring and community.

In the Company of Marines: A Surgeon Remembers Vietnam – Combat surgeon James Finnegan recounts his experiences in Vietnam. From his position as a surgeon, he avoided much of the fighting but had a responsibility to clean up the mess combat left behind.

From this vantage point, we get his unique perspective on war and what it means to navigate the thin line between life and death under the most dangerous and harsh conditions.


While it’s not only important to take a moment to thank all of those who fought for our country, we also want to acknowledge everyday heroes working among us. These books examine those who work in dangerous and civic fields to help keep every American citizen safe and healthy on a daily basis.

THE HISTORY OF THE DECATUR, ILLINOIS POLICE DEPARTMENT VOLUME 1 – The first in a 3 part history of a middle-sized city in America, this story traces a tradition of community-based policing. With a historian’s eye for detail and a storyteller’s mentality, Mark Barthelemy weaves a vibrant account of what being an officer of the law means to a small town.

Particularly important in modern America, we can look back at the ideals of policing that made the job so important and meaningful to preserving our society and keeping us all safe.

Firefighters Up Close & Personal: A Photo Essay – Through a series of photos, Chrissy McGirr illuminates the inner-workings of the San Diego Fire Department. Through her lens, we see just how dangerous and committed these men and women are, protecting us from all manner of natural disasters and accidents.

Without glamorizing, “Firefighters Up Close & Personal” displays the real people who take on dangerous circumstances to protect people and property on a daily basis.

Signs of Life – Mark Mosier shares his experiences riding in an ambulance and saving lives for over 3 decades. Mosier gives an up close and personal account of all the turbulence associated with this harrowing line of work as an EMS professional.

Part memoir and part emotional journey, “Signs of Life” illuminates the high-intensity jobs we take for granted and rely on for our own health and well being.


Finally, we want to highlight heroes of a slightly different sort. Risking one’s life or struggling against an overwhelming challenge is noble and emblazons these individuals in America’s spotlight. But there are unsung heroes fostering knowledge and empathy in the young and old alike. Of course, I’m referring to educators.

Educators – teachers, historians, librarians – help us understand and make sense of the world through critical thinking, careful reading, and empathy. Without these devoted individuals, we wouldn’t be able to do, well, much of anything! We rely on teachers and educators to instill us with a desire to learn, a will to excel, and the curiosity to seek innovation.

Charlotte Mason-Inspired Kindergarten Curriculum – A companion for any Kindergarten teacher, this curriculum is simple and utilitarian. But that doesn’t mean its not a crucial piece of planning and executing a learning plan.

What could possibly be more important than providing the next generation with the education, skills, and curiosity to make the world a better place? Those values have to start early and be reinforced consistently. Charlotte Mason’s curriculum seeks to do just that, offering a comprehensive yet customize-able book to kick-start any Kindergarten education.

Music Our Universal Language – Music truly is the universal language. This book takes a look at music, helping beginners understand how to read sheet music. At the very start of any endeavor, we all have to learn the basics.

Making the complex understandable is the hallmark of a skilled and capable educator, no matter the field of education they participate in. “Music Our Universal Language” is a perfect example of this.

The 45 Presidents – Using illustrations to teach the history of U.S. Presidents, “The 45 Presidents” achieves what any great educational text should: it engages while teaching. It makes historical information easier to understand and remember.

And because the content is simplified for young children, they can engage with it, have fun, and learn all at once!


We hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday! While you’re waiting for the grill to warm up (and you’re grilling smart, of course), consider reading a book about the many heroes in all shapes and sizes that surround us every day.

A final thanks to everyone who works day in and day out to make this country what it is!