Books


Top 100 Children's Books:

American History

Compiled by The Children's Literature Nook

Click Title to go to Amazon for details on specific books

AMERICAN HISTORY: LITERATURE

Avi. Nothing But the Truth.

Audience: Grades 5-8
In this novel, Philip stands up to his teacher regarding his right to sing the
"Star Spangled Banner" in class. However, Philip does not realize the
far-reaching consequences of this decision.

Colman, Warren. The Bill of Rights. Children's Press, 1987.
This book describes how the Bill of Rights came into existence and what it
guarantees American citizens. Beautiful color photographs enhance the story.
A glossary is included in the back of the book.

Fradin, Dennis B. The Flag of the United States. Children's Press, 1988.
This book recounts the history of the development of the flag and how it came
to look like it does today.

Lawson, D. The Changing Face of the Constitution. Little Brown, 1979.

Meltzer, M. The Bill of Rights: How We Got It and What It Means. HarperCollins, 1990.

Morris, Richard B. The Constitution. Lerner Publications, 1985.
This book presents a chronology of the events leading up to the writing and
eventual ratification of the Constitution.

Spier, Peter. The Star-Spangled Banner. Doubleday, 1975.

This book contains all the verse to our national anthem. Watercolor pictures
beautifully illustrate the song.

Spier, Peter. We the People: The Constitution of the United States. Doubleday, 1987.

This picture book presents the preamble of the Constitution along qith
beautiful illustrations. Historical information regarding the writing of the
constitution beginning with the original draft in 1787 is provided. Specific
historical information about the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, is
also included. In addition, a complete copy of the Constitution and all the
amendments is in the back of the book.

Swanson, June. I Pledge Allegiance. Carolrhoda Books, 1990.

Wise, W. American Freedom and the Bill of Rights. Parents, 1975.

THE CIVIL WAR:

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women.

Audience: Grades 5-Adult

Fritz, Jean. Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln: The Story of the Gettysburg Address

Audience: Grades 2-3

Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils.

Audience: Intermediate

A coming of age story; it centers on the effects of the Civil War on everyday
life. The Creighton family has moved from Virginia to Illinois, where one son
volunteers for the Confederate Army, and the other for the Union. Jethro
Creighton, too young to fight alongside his brothers, must serve as head of the
household. As letters and newspapers bring news of bloody battles, he and his
family are caught in a complex web of emotions, moral issues, divided
loyalties, and lost young lives.

COLONIAL AMERICA/AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Fast, Howard. April Morning.

Audience: Middle School
The tale of a 15-year-old Massachusetts farmboy who witnesses the American
Revolution.

Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain.

Fritz, Jean. And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?
Describes some of the well-known as well as lesser-known details of Paul
Rever's famous midnight ride.

Fritz, Jean. Can't You Make Them Behave King George?

Fritz, Jean. The Case of Benedict Arnold.

Fritz, Jean. Early Thunder

Fritz, Jean. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution Putnam, 1987.
This story of the creation of the Constitution and the rights it guarantees is
cleverly written by historical author Jean Fritz. Illustrations by Tomie de
Paola add to the story. A copy of the constitution is provided in the back of
the book.

Fritz, Jean. What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?. Coward-McCann, 1976.

Fritz, Jean. Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?

Fritz, Jean. Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?

Fritz, Jean. Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?

Fritz, Jean.Why Don't You Geta Horse, Sam Adams?

Levy, Elizabeth. If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution.
Scholastic, 1987.

Hoople, C.G. The Heritage Sampler: A Book of Colonial Arts and Crafts.
Dial, 1975.

Rappaport, Doreen. The Boston Coffee Party. Harper & Row, 1988.

Richards, Norman. The Story of the Declaration of Independence. Children's Press. 1968.
This book explains why and how the Declaration of Independence came into
existence, beginning with the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. A
copy of the Declaration of Independence is found at the beginning of the book.

Sloane, Eric. An ABC Book of Early Americana. Doubleday, 1963.

Waters, Kate. Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy. Scholastic, 1993.

This book describes the daily routines, food, and work of Samuel Eaton, a Pilgrim boy.

Waters, Kate. Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl. Scholastic, 1989.

FRONTIER LIFE

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Twain, Mark. Tom Sawyer.

IMMIGRATION

Bartone, Elisa. American, Too!

Audience: Primary
A nostalgic look at the immigrants who flocked to America in the early part
of this century. Rosie doesn't want to be like all her Italian neighbors and
family. So when she is chosen as quenn of a feast day parade, she is
determined to prove her point.

Behrens, June. Miss Liberty: First Lady of the World. Children's Press, 1986.

Bresnick, Perry. Leaving for America. Children's Book Press, 1992.

Bunting, Eve. How Many Days to America?

Cech, J. My Grandmother's Journey. Bradbury, 1991.

Coerr, Eleanor. Lady With a Torch. Harper, 1986.

Fisher, Leonard. Ellis Island Gareway to the American Dream. Holiday, 1986.

Fisher, Leonard. The Statue of Liberty. Holiday, 1985.

Freedman, Russell. Immigrant Kids. Scholastic, 1992.

Friedman, Ina. How My Parents Learned to Eat. HoughtonMifflin, 1987.

Harvey, B. Immigrant Girl: Becky of Eldridge Street. Holiday, 1987.

Levinson, R. Watch the Stars Come Out. Dutton, 1985.

Maestro, Betsy and Giulio. The Story of the Statue of Liberty. Mulberry Books, 1986.

This story desribes how the Statue of Liberty was made, from raising the
funds to shipping it from France to the USA. There is also discussion of the
Statue of Liberty as an important symbol to immigrants.

Sandin, Joan. The Long Way to a New Land. Harper & Row, 1981.

Shapiro, M.J. How They Built the Statue of Liberty. Random, 1985.

Stein, Conrad. R. The Story of Ellis Island. Children's Press, 1979.
This book gives a detailed account of Ellis Island. The descriptions of how
immigrants felt as they awaited entrance to the US and then tried to make
their way around NYC help to develop compassion in the reader toward
immigrants.

Yep, Laurence. Dragonwings. Harper, 1975.

PIONEERS AND WESTWARD EXPANSION

Brink, Carol Ryrie. Caddie Woodlawn

Audience: Intermediate
A Newbery Medal Winner
This captivating tale of a mischievous pioneer girl whisks readers back to the
Wisconsin woods of 1864. When Indians threaten to attack her family, Caddie
uses her resourcefulness and quick thinking to save the day.

Fritz, Jean. The Cabin Faced West

Levine, Ellen. If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon. Scholastic, 1986.

MacLachan, Patricia. Sarah Plain and Tall. Harper Collins, 1985.

Caleb and Anna have been lonely since the death of their mother. Papa has
also been lonely so he decides to arrange for a mail order bride.

Sabin, Francene. Pioneers. Troll, 1985.

Sanders, Scott Russell. Aurora Means Dawn. Bradbury Press, 1989.

This richly illustrated story tells of the hopes and hardships of one pionees
family from Connecticut who traveled by covered wagon to Ohio in 1800 to
settle their own farm.

Wilders, Laura Ingalls. Little House in the Big Woods. HarperCollins, 1932.

This is a touching true story of the childhood of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her
family of early pioneers.

PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY

Fritz, Jean. Bully For You, Teddy Roosevelt

Fritz, Jean. George Washington's Breakfast

Fritz, Jean. The Great Little Madison

Fritz, Jean. Stonewall

Provenson, Alice. The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States

Filled with tidbits about thepresidents and their time in office!

Scriabine, Christine Brendel. The Presidency. Chelsea House, 1988.
This book explains the basic powers of the President and includes general
information about how each President handled his power. It also desribes the
roles of the First Lady and the President's cabinet.

SLAVERY

Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer.

Fox paints a sensitive and authentic portrait of the slave trade in this
engrossing historical novel. Snatched from the docks of New Orleans, a
13-year-old white boy is thrown aboard a slave ship and forced to play music
for the African prosoners-and to become a witness to the horrors of slavery.

Gaines, Ernest J. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Audience: Middle School-High School
From one of the greatest black writers in America today comes a story of a
legendary woman who lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a
witness to the black militancy of the 1960's.

Monjo, F.N. The Drinking Gourd.

WWII

Coerr, Eleanor. Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes.

One of the best books written for children pertaining to the bomb dropped on
Hiroshima during WWII. Sadako, suffering from radiation poison, attempts
to fold 1,000 cranes believing she will get well by doing so according to a
Japanese legend.

ASIAN-AMERICANS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE

Ray, Deborah Kogan. My Daddy Was A Soldier: A World War Two Story. Holiday House, 1990.

WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

Fritz, Jean. You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?

NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE

Archambault, Bill. Knots on a Counting Rope.

dePaola, Tomie. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1988.

Fritz, Jean. The Double Life of Pocahontas

Miles, Miska. Annie and the Old One.

O'Dell, Scott. Thunder Rolling in the Mountains

Newbery Medal-winning author Scott O'Dell was deeply involved in research
for this Native American saga at the time of his death. At his request, his wife
finished this powerful tale of the tragic exodus of the Nez Perce from tribal
lands and the bravery of an Indian girl who refuses to be a captive of fear and
violence.

O'Dell, Scott. Zia

Scott O'Dell continues the story of Island of the Blue Dolphins in this novel
about Karina, a Native American woman. O'Dell mixes stirring drama with
historical insights into 18th century California mission life to create an
unforgettable sequel to a modern classic.

 

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