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Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way: A Novel Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way
Decorated Navy SEAL Jocko Willink is the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership. His newest book is Way of the Warrior Kid, an illustrated novel for kids ages eight to twelve. That may seem like a departure, but anyone who knows Jocko or listens to his popular podcast knows that he is extremely passionate about kids developing discipline and self-respect at an early age. Read on to learn about why he was inspired to write the book, what workouts are appropriate for real-life warrior kids, and more.
Q: What made you want to write a book for kids?
Jocko Willink: Seeing my own kids grow up made me remember that kids face a lot of challenges. I wanted to show how kids can apply the fundamental principles I learned in the SEAL Teams to overcoming the various challenges they face.
Q: Marc is a very typical fifth grader. He doesn’t like math or gym class and struggles with self-esteem. But with help, he becomes motivated to develop good habits and confidence. What advice do you have for parents whose kids are experiencing similar problems?
Jocko Willink: That’s what the book is about. All of these problems can be overcome with a good plan, clear goals, and disciplined execution. That is what we did in the SEAL Teams and that is what Marc learns from his uncle Jake in Way of the Warrior Kid. Get the book, get on the warrior path, and get these problems solved!
Q: In the beginning of the book, Marc is struggling with physical activities, like doing pull-ups. But with Uncle Jake’s help, he gets into a workout routine. What would you recommend kids Marc’s age do for exercise?
Jocko Willink: Simple calisthenics like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees, and other bodyweight exercises along with running, sprinting, and swimming. Playing a variety of sports is great, too, especially jiu-jitsu!
Q: Another thing causing Marc stress is the school bully, Kenny. Did you ever have to deal with a bully like Kenny when you were in school?
Jocko Willink: I got bullied like most kids do: slammed into lockers, my books knocked onto the floor, and generally thrashed by older, bigger kids. It seems minor now, but it was intimidating and scary when I was younger. I wish I knew then what I know now—and what Marc learns in the book. I would have been better off—and the bullies would have learned, too, just like Kenny does in the book.
Q: Marc’s uncle Jake is a Navy SEAL like you. How much of Uncle Jake’s personality and experiences are similar to yours?
Jocko Willink: Uncle Jake and I have some similar traits—but he is far superior to me. He is the quintessential SEAL I always envisioned in my head and tried to emulate: smart, calm, tough, strong, and a respected leader. I’m still learning from Uncle Jake!
Q: I know you’ve shared the book with other former Navy SEALs. What did they think of it?
Jocko Willink: The most common response is the same thing I think about the book: They wish they had this book when they were in fifth grade, and they can’t wait to share it with their own kids.
Q: It’s clear from your podcast that you’re a big reader. Now that you’re a children’s author, do you read any kids’ books? What are your favorites?
Jocko Willink: I have to dig deep for that answer, back to Rudyard Kipling and Jack London. One of the reasons I wrote Way of the Warrior Kid was I couldn’t seem to find books for my own children that encouraged them to embrace the characteristics that I value: to be disciplined, to work hard, to face fears, to be strong and smart and healthy, and to stand up for themselves and what is right—like warriors.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from this book?
Jocko Willink: I want kids to see that life is hard for everyone, but that with discipline, hard work, courage, and commitment, they can overcome any challenges that life has to offer. Furthermore, they can use those same principles throughout their lives to continually improve themselves and become the strongest, smartest, healthiest, and best possible person they can be—and show others how to do the same.
About the Author
JOCKO WILLINK is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer. He was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, and was the commander of SEAL Team Three, Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War. Now, Jocko teaches leadership, strategy, tactics, fitness, and jiu-jitsu to people all over the world.
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Top customer reviews
This small, unassuming book is the literary equivalent of getting a child to take bad-tasting medicine by hiding it in chocolate pudding. The medicine (boring life lessons like discipline and hard work) is unconsciously consumed with each delicious spoonful of pudding (Way of the Warrior Kid). We pick up the story as the child is eating the last bites of pudding.
Dad reaches the spoon into the cup one last time, scraping the bottom, then feeding his son the last chocolatey spoonful.
"All done!", He exclaimed before sitting back to relish in the satisfaction of having successfully flanked his stubborn son into taking his medicine.
"But wait...", he thought, "My mouth tastes funny..."
He instinctively wiped the edges of his mouth, only to discover chocolate pudding on his fingertips.
"That's weird. I didn't take a single bite of that pudding."
Suddenly he sensed the presence of someone other than his son. As he turned his gaze, their eyes locked.
"J-j-j-j-jocko?!", he stuttered.
"Good Evening, Dad", grumbled a smirking Jocko Willink.
"How did you... What are you..."
"I am sorry, Dad. This was the only way for me to get YOU to take YOUR medicine."
Jocko went on to explain how he pulled off this elaborate con known in the SEAL Teams as The Willink Switcharoo. The objective of The Willink Switcharoo is for Jocko to implant an idea into someone's mind so stealthily that they believe they came up with it. With his target consumed with the execution of "their" idea, Jocko is able to slip in and administer the needed intervention to the unconscious target.
After realizing what happened, Dad was speechless. Jocko caused Dad to focus so much on giving the medicine to his son that he did not realize that a 230lb Navy Seal was giving him spoonfuls of the same, sweet medicine.
"Thanks", Dad said.
"You can thank me by getting after it", said Jocko.
Jocko then stood up, pulled a bag of Jocko White Tea from his pocket, placed it in between his cheek and gums like chewing tobacco, and BTF'd out the front door never to be seen again.
TL;DR Jocko hid valuable life lessons in a children's book, which will likely impact as many adults as it does children.
Standing by for Jocko's approval - email@example.com
Ultimately, this is an entertaining read, plain spoken, well thought out; and excellent principle's for your kids to learn.
Where it differs from other books for this age is that it talks to kids in a mature tone. Rather than goofball humor and bragging about being "wimpy", it let's kids see how you can build yourself up, learn, and grow.
My son has asked me for "more books like this one".