Grateful American Kids

Reader’s Theater:
Memorial Day Edition

Reader’s Theater scripts are based on A BOOK by ME series, books created by kids for kids. Reader’s Theater is a great strategy for developing reading fluency and are designed for use in classrooms. Actors do not need to memorize their parts but they should reread it several times, thus developing their fluency skills

These free teaching resources help communities honor the World War II generation.

Don’t Give Up: Dick Thelen’s Story of Survival
Reader’s Theater script based on the book by Kaylynn Johnson and Reagan Minto

Veteran Dick Thelen lived through a harrowing five days adrift in the Philippine Sea during WWII. His ship, the USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine. He was one of only 317 who lived to tell the story. About 300 men went down with the ship; nearly 600 others died from injuries, shark attacks, dehydration or salt poisoning from drinking ocean water.

Download the Reader’s Theater Script >


Art Protector: Ralph Smith’s Journey through World War II
Reader’s Theater script based on the book by Sibya Honts

Ralph Smith was an American soldier serving in Europe during WWII. Many men died in the Battle of the Bulge and Ralph was in charge of taking their bodies to friendly soil for a proper burial. When the war ended, his unit was assigned to guard something valuable in a big castle in Germany. Ralph learned it was famous art worth millions. It was stolen by the Nazis and recovered by the Monuments Men.

Download the Reader’s Theater Script >


Barbed Wire Wings: WWII Veteran John Gaultier
Reader’s Theater script based on the book Imi Duchesneau

John was a medic who made life and death decisions working triage on the front lines in Europe. He liberated a concentration camp and a Jewish man died in his arms.

Download the Reader’s Theater Script >


A BOOK by ME, a book series developed by Deb Bowen, empowers students to preserve history by telling the story of unsung heroes in our communities. For the young participants, it’s a guided cross-curricular project that gathers stories of people who do amazing things but have received little or no recognition. Students learn how to publish a picture book that is a primary source document with photographs and a biography. The books are available on Amazon.

Since 2003, Deb Bowen has been arranging meetings between students and individuals from the WWII generation. This intergenerational storytelling results in unique storybooks written and illustrated by kids for kids in the A BOOK by ME series. More about Deb Bowen >

Partners & Supporters