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18th Century: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about 18th century?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to 18th century. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about 18th century.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about 18th century, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Matchlock Gun to popular sellers like Fever 1793 to some of our favorite hidden gems like Cinderella.

We hope this list of kids books about 18th century can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About 18th Century

Cinderella book
#1
Cinderella
Written by K.Y. Craft & illustrated by Mahlon F Craft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-12

This brilliant edition of a timeless story is sure to become the favorite of a generation. Readers young and old will be enchanted by the vision and mastery of Kinuko Y. Craft’s luminous paintings, inspired by the lavish artwork of late seventeenth-century France and embellished with extraordinary borders and ornamentation. Rich with radiant color and astonishing detail, here is a dream come true for anyone who has ever believed in living happily ever after.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen book
#2
Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen
Written by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Qin Leng
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A gorgeous and inspiring picture book biography of Jane Austen, one of the most beloved writers of all time, from award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of our greatest writers. But before that, she was just an ordinary girl. In fact, young Jane was a bit quiet and shy; if you had met her back then, you might not have noticed her at all. But she would have noticed you. Jane watched and listened to all the things people around her did and said, and locked those observations away for safekeeping. Jane also loved to read. She devoured everything in her father’s massive library and before long, she began creating her own stories. In her time, the most popular books were grand adventures and romances, but Jane wanted to go her own way…and went on to invent an entirely new kind of novel. Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen includes a timeline and quotes from Austen’s most popular novels. Parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and librarians, will enjoy introducing children to Jane Austen through this accessible, beautifully packaged picture book.

Meet George Washington book
#3
Meet George Washington
Written by Patricia A. Pingry & illustrated by Stephanie Britt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A biography of the nation’s first president, including his youth in Virginia, his army career, and his leadership of the newly formed United States of America.

A Picture Book of George Washington book
#4
A Picture Book of George Washington
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by John Wallner and Alexandra Wallner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The life and legacy of our nation’s first president, also known as commander of the Continental Army, husband to Martha, and an avid farmer and equestrian.

Over two hundred years after his death, George Washington remains one of the most studied figures in American history. This clear and concise picture book biography covers the important facts and historical background, complemented by charming illustrations. The text details Washington’s early life as well as the Revolutionary War and his impressive career as leader of the newly formed United States. Young readers will love learning more about the man who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Back matter features a timeline.

Repackaged paperback edition has an elegant new series design!

For almost thirty years, David Adler’s Picture Book Biography series has profiled famous people who changed the world. Colorful, kid-friendly illustrations combine with Adler’s “expert mixtures of facts and personality” (Booklist) to introduce young readers to history through compelling biographies of presidents, heroes, inventors, explorers, and adventurers. These books are ideal for first and second graders interested in history, or who need reliable sources for school book reports.

A Picture Book of Alexander Hamilton book
#5
A Picture Book of Alexander Hamilton
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Matt Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

How the extraordinary patriot made soaring accomplishments but then met his devastating end, the life of Alexander Hamilton for picture book readers. From his youth in the Caribbean to his immigration to New York City, this picture book covers the highlights of Alexander Hamilton’s legacy, including his part in the American revolution, his influence on the monetary system we still use today, and his tragic death. Matt Collin’s hyperrealistic art style will transport readers right alongside Hamilton, while David A. Adler deftly chronicles pivotal moments in the Founding Father’s short but hugely influential life. A time line is included.

Little People, Big Dreams: Jane Austen book
#6
Little People, Big Dreams: Jane Austen
Written & illustrated by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the remarkable life of Jane Austen, the British novelist, in this true story of her life. Little Jane grew up in a big family that loved learning and she often read from her father’s library. In her teenage years she began to write in bound notebooks and craft her own novels. As an adult, Jane secretly created stories that shone a light on the British upper classes and provided a witty social commentary of the time, creating a new dialogue for female characters in books. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Fever 1793 book
#7
Fever 1793
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

An epidemic of fever sweeps through the streets of 1793 Philadelphia in this novel from Laurie Halse Anderson where “the plot rages like the epidemic itself” (The New York Times Book Review). During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

Summer Birds book
#8
Summer Birds
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Julie Paschkis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

George Washington and the General's Dog book
#9
George Washington and the General's Dog
Written by Frank Murphy & illustrated by Richard Walz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Children will delight at this little-known-story about our nation’s first president, George Washington, that makes for perfect President’s Day readers!

Boom! Bang! Guns fire! Cannons roar! This Step 3 History Reader is about George Washington fighting in the American Revolution. He sees a dog lost on the battlefield. Whose dog is it? How will it find its master? Early readers will be surprised to find out what happens in this little-known true story about America’s first president.

Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics. These books are for children who are ready to read on their own.

The Queen and the First Christmas Tree book
#10
The Queen and the First Christmas Tree
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Luisa Uribe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Queen Charlotte brought her family’s festive holiday yule bough from Germany to England. While planning a Christmas Day party in 1800 at Windsor Castle for over 100 children, she realized a single bough isn’t enough. So she brought in the whole tree instead, making it the first known Christmas Tree in England. This story tells a little known fact about a favorite holiday tradition.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about 18th Century and...

Books About 18th Century and 1800-1849

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen
Written by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Qin Leng
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A gorgeous and inspiring picture book biography of Jane Austen, one of the most beloved writers of all time, from award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of our greatest writers. But before that, she was just an ordinary girl. In fact, young Jane was a bit quiet and shy; if you had met her back then, you might not have noticed her at all. But she would have noticed you. Jane watched and listened to all the things people around her did and said, and locked those observations away for safekeeping. Jane also loved to read. She devoured everything in her father’s massive library and before long, she began creating her own stories. In her time, the most popular books were grand adventures and romances, but Jane wanted to go her own way…and went on to invent an entirely new kind of novel. Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen includes a timeline and quotes from Austen’s most popular novels. Parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and librarians, will enjoy introducing children to Jane Austen through this accessible, beautifully packaged picture book.

A Picture Book of Alexander Hamilton
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Matt Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

How the extraordinary patriot made soaring accomplishments but then met his devastating end, the life of Alexander Hamilton for picture book readers. From his youth in the Caribbean to his immigration to New York City, this picture book covers the highlights of Alexander Hamilton’s legacy, including his part in the American revolution, his influence on the monetary system we still use today, and his tragic death. Matt Collin’s hyperrealistic art style will transport readers right alongside Hamilton, while David A. Adler deftly chronicles pivotal moments in the Founding Father’s short but hugely influential life. A time line is included.

Little People, Big Dreams: Jane Austen
Written & illustrated by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the remarkable life of Jane Austen, the British novelist, in this true story of her life. Little Jane grew up in a big family that loved learning and she often read from her father’s library. In her teenage years she began to write in bound notebooks and craft her own novels. As an adult, Jane secretly created stories that shone a light on the British upper classes and provided a witty social commentary of the time, creating a new dialogue for female characters in books. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Queen and the First Christmas Tree - Queen Charlotte brought her family’s festive holiday yule bough from Germany to England. While planning a Christmas Day party in 1800 at Windsor Castle for over 100 children, she realized a single bough isn’t enough. So she brought in the whole tree instead, making it the first known Christmas Tree in England. This story tells a little known fact about a favorite holiday tradition.

  2. Brave Jane Austen - This picture book biography of the groundbreaking female novelist Jane Austen, recognized as one of the most important and influential writers of all time, is ideal for Women’s History Month. Full color.

  3. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch - Readers today are still fascinated by “Nat,” an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.” Nat’s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the “Sailors’ Bible”), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.

  4. Thomas Jefferson - Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president. Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known for writing the Declaration of Independence—but there’s so much more to discover. This energetic man was interested in everything. He played violin, spoke seven languages and was a scientist, naturalist, botanist, mathematician and architect. He designed his magnificent home, Monticello, which is full of objects he collected from around the world. Our first foodie, he grew over fifteen kinds of peas and advocated a mostly vegetarian diet. And oh yes, as our third president, he doubled the size of the United States and sent Lewis and Clark to explore it. He also started the Library of Congress and said, “I cannot live without books.” But monumental figures can have monumental flaws, and Jefferson was no exception. Although he called slavery an “abomination,” he owned about 150 slaves. As she did in Looking at Lincoln, Maira Kalman shares a president’s remarkable, complicated life with young readers, making history come alive with her captivating text and stunning illustrations.

Want to see books about 1800-1849?

Books About 18th Century and Us Presidents

Meet George Washington
Written by Patricia A. Pingry & illustrated by Stephanie Britt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A biography of the nation’s first president, including his youth in Virginia, his army career, and his leadership of the newly formed United States of America.

A Picture Book of George Washington
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by John Wallner and Alexandra Wallner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The life and legacy of our nation’s first president, also known as commander of the Continental Army, husband to Martha, and an avid farmer and equestrian.

Over two hundred years after his death, George Washington remains one of the most studied figures in American history. This clear and concise picture book biography covers the important facts and historical background, complemented by charming illustrations. The text details Washington’s early life as well as the Revolutionary War and his impressive career as leader of the newly formed United States. Young readers will love learning more about the man who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Back matter features a timeline.

Repackaged paperback edition has an elegant new series design!

For almost thirty years, David Adler’s Picture Book Biography series has profiled famous people who changed the world. Colorful, kid-friendly illustrations combine with Adler’s “expert mixtures of facts and personality” (Booklist) to introduce young readers to history through compelling biographies of presidents, heroes, inventors, explorers, and adventurers. These books are ideal for first and second graders interested in history, or who need reliable sources for school book reports.

George Washington and the General's Dog
Written by Frank Murphy & illustrated by Richard Walz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Children will delight at this little-known-story about our nation’s first president, George Washington, that makes for perfect President’s Day readers!

Boom! Bang! Guns fire! Cannons roar! This Step 3 History Reader is about George Washington fighting in the American Revolution. He sees a dog lost on the battlefield. Whose dog is it? How will it find its master? Early readers will be surprised to find out what happens in this little-known true story about America’s first president.

Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics. These books are for children who are ready to read on their own.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Who Was George Washington? - In 1789, George Washington became the first president of the United States. He has been called the father of our country for leading America through its early years. Washington also served in two major wars during his lifetime: the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. With over 100 black-and-white illustrations, Washington’s fascinating story comes to life - revealing the real man, not just the face on the dollar bill!

  2. George Washington's Teeth - From battling toothaches while fighting the British, to having rotten teeth removed by his dentists, the Father of His Country suffered all his life with tooth problems. Yet, contrary to popular belief, he never had a set of wooden teeth. Starting at the age of twenty-four, George Washington lost on average a tooth a year, and by the time he was elected president, he had only two left! In this reverentially funny tale written in verse and based on Washington’s letters, diaries, and other historical records, readers will find out what really happened as they follow the trail of lost teeth to complete tooflessness. Illustrated in watercolors with subtle humor by Brock Cole, the main story is followed by a four-page time line featuring reproduced period portraits of Washington.

  3. George Washington: An American Life - “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”—and first in the minds of schoolchildren, who learn about George Washington as soon as they begin studying American history. From Washington’s Virginia childhood, through his days as a soldier and general, to his inauguration as the first President of the brand-new United States, and into retirement, this biography captures the full breadth and achievements of his life. It covers both the personal and the private, reveals his views on everything from governmental power to the abolition of slavery, and separates fascinating truth from well-worn legend—including that infamous, but false, tale about chopping down the cherry tree.

  4. The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades) - “No picture accurately resembled him in the minute traits of his person . . . there was an expression of his face that no painter had succeeded in taking.”―London’s New Monthly Magazine in 1790 George Washington’s face has been painted, printed, and engraved more than a billion times since his birth in 1732. And yet even in his lifetime, no picture seemed to capture the likeness of the man who is now the most iconic of all our presidents. Worse still, people today often see this founding father as the “old and grumpy” Washington on the dollar bill. In 2005 a team of historians, scientists, and artisans at Mount Vernon set out to change the image of our first president. They studied paintings and sculptures, pored over Washington’s letters to his tailors and noted other people’s comments about his appearance, even closely examined the many sets of dentures that had been created for Washington. Researchers tapped into skills as diverse as 18th-century leatherworking and cutting-edge computer programming to assemble truer likenesses. Their painstaking research and exacting processes helped create three full-body representations of Washington as he was at key moments in his life. And all along the way, the team gained new insight into a man who was anything but “old and grumpy.” Join award-winning author Carla Killough McClafferty as she unveils the statues of the three Georges and rediscovers the man who became the face of a new nation.

Books About 18th Century and Culture

Cinderella
Written by K.Y. Craft & illustrated by Mahlon F Craft
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-12

This brilliant edition of a timeless story is sure to become the favorite of a generation. Readers young and old will be enchanted by the vision and mastery of Kinuko Y. Craft’s luminous paintings, inspired by the lavish artwork of late seventeenth-century France and embellished with extraordinary borders and ornamentation. Rich with radiant color and astonishing detail, here is a dream come true for anyone who has ever believed in living happily ever after.

Summer Birds
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Julie Paschkis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

Never Forgotten
Written & illustrated by Patricia C. McKissack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure to become a treasured keepsake for African American families. Set in West Africa, this a lyrical story-in-verse is about a young black boy who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, and his father who is left behind to mourn the loss of his son. Here’s a beautiful, powerful, truly unforgettable story about family, memory, and freedom.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Wild Boy - Once there was a boy who lived in the mountain forests of southern France. He lived completely alone, without mother, father, or friends. He didn’t know what a mother or father was. He was naked. He didn’t know what clothes were. He didn’t know he was a boy, or even a person. He didn’t know what people were. He was completely wild. In simple prose and an abundance of sharp, vivid illustrations that capture the energy of youth, this extraordinarily touching picture book brings to life the child who was Victor in a way that will delight and engage young readers.

  2. The Mozart Girl - Nannerl Mozart’s twelfth-birthday wish is to become a famous composer. She’s already considered a brilliant musician, touring eighteenth-century Europe with her little brother, Wolfgang, and playing for queens and kings in the great courts. But Papa doesn’t take her seriously as a composer, Mama usually has a list of chores for her, and Wolfi always manages to steal everybody’s attention. Can Nannerl defy everyone’s expectations and capture some of the spotlight that shines on her brilliant younger brother?

  3. Arrivederci, Crocodile - First that dastardly Napoleon kidnapped Crocodile from his beloved Egypt, then he dragged him to Paris to be gawked at, and THEN he tried to eat him! Luckily our dear croc escaped, but while Parisian life may be glamorous, life in Paris’s sewers is not. If only Napoleon had taken Crocodile to a more aquatic reptile–friendly city. Perhaps one with an excess of canals and better food… “NAPOLEON TO TOUR ITALY: FIRST STOP, VENICE” Surely Napoleon wouldn’t mind if Crocodile hitched a ride out of Paris… Will our crocodile find his perfect home amongst Italian high-society? Or will he be revealed as an impasta? Pack away your pasta—Crocodile is heading to Italy in this long-awaited sequel to Fred Marcellino’s award-winning I, Crocodile.

  4. Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Caldecott Honor Book) - The first “manned” hot-air balloon is about to take off! But what are those noises coming from the basket? Based on the (POSSIBLY) true report of a day in 1783, this si the story of (PERHAPS) the bravest collection of flyers the world has ever seen, as (SORT OF) told to Marjorie Priceman.

Books About 18th Century and Action And Adventure

Fever 1793
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

An epidemic of fever sweeps through the streets of 1793 Philadelphia in this novel from Laurie Halse Anderson where “the plot rages like the epidemic itself” (The New York Times Book Review). During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

George Washington's Spy: A Time Travel Adventure
Written & illustrated by Elvira Woodruff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

This historic time-travel fantasy is a riveting sequel to a bestselling classic. Ten-year-old Matt Carlton and six friends are accidentally swept back in time—to Boston in 1776! The British now occupy the city, and redcoat guards are everywhere! While the boys are being held captive by a den of Patriot spies, the girls have been taken in by a wealthy Tory family.

The pox is rampant; danger lies around every corner—and there’s no hope for returning home to their own time. How will these seven children survive?

Readers will relish the nonstop action and humorous dialogue in this riveting sequel to Woodruff’s bestselling novel, GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SOCKS.

Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

It is a dark and snowy night when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to colonial times. General George Washington is about to lead his army in a sneak attack against their enemy. But now a terrible weather is making the great general question his plans. Can Jack and Annie keep history on track? The fate of the country rests in their hands!

Honorable Mentions
  1. I, Crocodile - While robbing Egypt’s mummies, sphinxes, and palm trees, Napoleon can’t resist bringing home a souvenir crocodile as well. All Paris is enchanted with this exotic creature. But for a crocodile with an appetite as big as his ego, being the toast of the town has its downside, too. What’s a crocodile who’s used to a dinner of flamingo, snake, or mongoose to make of chocolate mousse? Oh, to return to his beloved Nile! But fickle Napoleon has other plans for our hero… Inspired by an obscure nineteenth-century French satire, I, Crocodile is the first book Fred Marcellino has written as well as illustrated. 2000 ALA Notable Children’s Book 1999 New York Times Best Illustrated Book 2000-2001 Georgia’s Picture Storybook Award & Georgia’s Children’s Book Award Masterlist 2000 ALA Notable Children’s Books

  2. George Washington's Socks: A Time Travel Adventure - Elvira Woodruff’s million-copy seller, GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SOCKS, returns in time for the book’s anticipated HC sequel — Ben Franklin’s Boots! A mysterious rowboat transports five adventurous kids back in time to the eve of the Battle at Trenton where they experience the American Revolution. Through encounters with Hessian soldiers, revolutionaries, and even George Washington himself, Matthew, Quentin, Hooter, Tony, and Katie watch history unfold before their eyes as they see first-hand, the grim realities of war and the cost of freedom.

  3. Johnny Tremain - This striking 75th Anniversary edition of this Newbery Medal-winning historical fiction classic is updated with new jacket art and an illustrated foreword from author-illustrator Nathan Hale. Johnny Tremain is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. To read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year-old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future, injures his hand in an accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse boy, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in pivotal events from the Boston Tea Party to the shots fired at Lexington. For this anniversary edition, Nathan Hale brings his distinct graphic-novel storytelling to a new foreword.

Books About 18th Century and Girls And Women

A Royal Ride
Written by Kristen Fulton & illustrated by Lucy Fleming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join Catherine the Great on a fun-filled ride as she schemes to invent the roller coaster in this inventive, STEM-based nonfiction picture book! Empress Catherine the Great, Queen of Russia loved her country, especially the snowy winters. Giant ice slides meant daring drops and thrilling rides for all! But every spring, warm weather melted the snow and the slides. What could Catherine the Great do to ensure fun all year round? With some ingenuity and some royal thinking, Catherine the Great would create her greatest invention!

The Bug Girl
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Filippo Vanzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil—and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn’t stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths—discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.

Nevers
Written & illustrated by Sara Cassidy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone to killing people accidentally). At dawn they find themselves in a town called Nevers, which is filled with eccentric characters, including a man who obsessively smells hands, another who dreams of becoming a chicken, and a donkey that keeps the town awake at night, braying about his narrow life. As Odette establishes a home in an abandoned guardhouse, she makes a friend in the relaxed Nicois and finds work as a midwife’s assistant. She and Nicois uncover a mystery that may lead to riches and, more important for Odette, a sense of belonging.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution - The thrilling true story of the female spy who helped save the American Revolution Anna Smith Strong (1790–1812) was a fearless woman who acted as a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Recruited by Washington’s spymaster, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, she joined the Culper Ring, a group of American spies. General Washington placed a huge amount of trust in his spies, and Anna helped pass him important messages at a great risk to herself and her family. One of her cleverer devices was to hang laundry on the line in a planned fashion so that other spies could read the “message.” Had she been discovered by the British, she would have faced jail or execution. Thrilling and dramatic, Anna Strong tells the story of how one brave woman helped change the course of American history. The book includes an author’s note, a bibliography, an index, and a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.

  2. Never Caught, The Story Of Ona Judge - A National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction, Never Caught is the eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything for a better life—now available as a young reader’s edition! In this incredible narrative, Erica Armstrong Dunbar reveals a fascinating and heartbreaking behind-the-scenes look at the Washingtons’ when they were the First Family—and an in-depth look at their slave, Ona Judge, who dared to escape from one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. Born into a life of slavery, Ona Judge eventually grew up to be George and Martha Washington’s “favored” dower slave. When she was told that she was going to be given as a wedding gift to Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Ona made the bold and brave decision to flee to the north, where she would be a fugitive. From her childhood, to her time with the Washingtons and living in the slave quarters, to her escape to New Hampshire, Erica Armstrong Dunbar (along with Kathleen Van Cleve), shares an intimate glimpse into the life of a little-known, but powerful figure in history, and her brave journey as she fled the most powerful couple in the country.

  3. Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons - Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America’s most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona seized the opportunity to escape when she was brought to live in the President’s Mansion in Philadelphia. Ona fled to New Hampshire and started a new life. But the Washingtons wouldn’t give up easily. After her escape, Ona became the focus of a years-long manhunt, led by America’s first president. Gwendolyn Hooks’ vivid and detailed prose captures the danger, uncertainty, and persistence Ona Judge experienced during and after her heroic escape. The Capstone Interactive edition comes with simultaneous access for every student in your school and includes read aloud audio recorded by professional voice over artists.

  4. Betsy Ross - Betsy ripped. Rip, rip.Seven rich, crimson strips. Inch by inch, bit by bit, Betsy Ross clips, dips, and stitches the first American flag. Based on a sketch Betsy’s friend George Washington gave her in 1776, the flag had thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, which Betsy showed George how to make with a single clip of her scissors. Included activity shows children how to make their own Betsy Ross star.

Books About 18th Century and The Founding Fathers

Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution
Written by Gretchen Woelfie & illustrated by R Gregory Christie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Uncover the lives of thirteen African-Americans who fought during the Revolutionary War.

Even as American Patriots fought for independence from British rule during the Revolutionary War, oppressive conditions remained in place for the thousands of enslaved and free African Americans living in this country. But African Americans took up their own fight for freedom by joining the British and American armies; preaching, speaking out, and writing about the evils of slavery; and establishing settlements in Nova Scotia and Africa. The thirteen stories featured in this collection spotlight charismatic individuals who answered the cry for freedom, focusing on the choices they made and how they changed America both then and now. These individuals include: Boston King, Agrippa Hull, James Armistead Lafayette, Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, Prince Hall, Mary Perth, Ona Judge, Sally Hemings, Paul Cuffe, John Kizell, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee. Includes individual bibliographies and timelines, author note, and source notes.

King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
Written by Steve Sheinkin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

What do the most famous traitor in history, hundreds of naked soldiers, and a salmon lunch have in common? They’re all part of the amazing story of the American Revolution.

Entire books have been written about the causes of the American Revolution. This isn’t one of them. What it is, instead, is utterly interesting, antedotes (John Hancock fixates on salmon), from the inside out (at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, hundreds of soldiers plunged into battle “naked as they were born”) close-up narrative filled with little-known details, lots of quotes that capture the spirit and voices of the principals (“If need be, I will raise one thousand men, subsist them at my own expense, and march myself at their head for the relief of Boston” — George Washington), and action, It’s the story of the birth of our nation, complete with soldiers, spies, salmon sandwiches, and real facts you can’t help but want to tell to everyone you know.

King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the American Revolution by Steve Sheinkin is a fun, funny way for young readers to learn about a chapter of American history, which has been popularized by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway show Hamilton.

Steve Sheinkin is the acclaimed author of many nonfiction works, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award Finalist Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, and National Book Award finalist Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War.

George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides
Written & illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

There are two sides to every story. Rosalyn Schanzer’s engaging and wonderfully illustrated book brings to life both sides of the American Revolution.

The narrative introduces anew the two enemies, both named George: George Washington, the man who freed the American colonies from the British, and George III, the British king who lost them. Two leaders on different sides of the Atlantic, yet with more in common than we sometimes acknowledge. We are lead through their story, and the story of their times, and see both sides of the arguments that divided the colonies from the Kingdom. Was King George a “Royal Brute” as American patriots claimed? Or was he, as others believed, “the father of the people?” Was George Washington a scurrilous traitor, as all the king’s supporters claimed? Or should we remember and celebrate him as “the father of his country?” Who was right? History teaches us that there are two sides to every story.

Rosalyn Schanzer’s book is an accessible account of one the most vital periods in American history. It is also a timeless lesson in seeing history from different points of view. The author spent two years researching books, paintings, cartoons, and descriptions of Revolutionary times. She uses art, text, and first-hand accounts to illustrate how history should never be reduced to simplistic conflicts between the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” Her illustrations, and her engaging quote bubbles, bring the Revolution to life again, and allow the characters of the period to speak for themselves. Through its lively text, detailed illustrations, and fully authenticated quotes, George vs. George shines fresh light on both sides of the story of our country’s formative years.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Alexander Hamilton: Little Lion - Now that the twins have begun to settle into their new lives at Elm Medona, they delve deeper into The Treasure Chest and uncover more about the Pickworth family, including the disappearance of their great-uncle Thorne and the theft of priceless family artifacts. In this adventure, The Treasure Chest transports Felix and Maisie to tropical St. Croix in 1772. There they meet a young man named Alexander Hamilton who is about to embark on a journey to New York. Felix and Maisie aren’t sure why The Treasure Chest has brought them to meet Alexander, but they are determined to not let him out of their sights . . .even if that means stowing away on the very ship he is sailing off on!

  2. Alexander Hamilton: From Orphan to Founding Father - Fans of the Broadway musical Hamilton and American history lovers will want to share this illustrated biography of Alexander Hamilton with their young readers. Did you know that one of our Founding Fathers was not born in America? An orphan from the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton came to the colonies and played an important role in the Revolutionary War, rising to become General George Washington’s right-hand man. But his accomplishments don’t stop there! He helped obtain the ratification of the Constitution; he was America’s first secretary of the treasury; and he established the first national bank and the U.S. Mint. A man of ambition, loyalty, and principle, he is now being celebrated as the prominent patriot he was. Step 3 Readers feature engaging characters in easy-to-follow plots about popular topics—for children who are ready to read on their own.

  3. The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin', Fiddle-Playin', Book-Readin', Gun-Totin' Gentlemen Who Started America - In this eye-opening look at our Founding Fathers that is full of fun facts and lively artwork, it seems that Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and their cohorts sometimes agreed on NOTHING…except the thing that mattered most: creating the finest constitution in world history, for the brand-new United States of America. Tall! Short! A scientist! A dancer! A farmer! A soldier! The founding fathers had no idea they would ever be called the “founding Fathers,” and furthermore they could not even agree exactly on what they were founding! Should America declare independence from Britain? “Yes!” shouted some. “No!” shouted others. “Could you repeat the question?” shouted the ones who either hadn’t been listening or else were off in France having fun, dancin’ the night away. Slave owners, abolitionists, soldiers, doctors, philosophers, bankers, angry letter-writers—the men we now call America’s Founding Fathers were a motley bunch of characters who fought a lot and made mistakes and just happened to invent a whole new kind of nation. And now here they are, together again, in an exclusive engagement!

  4. Alexander Hamilton: the Outsider - The perfect chapter book biography for young fans of the Hamilton musical! Most people know that Alexander Hamilton was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr, and that his face is on the ten dollar bill. But he was much more than that! Born in the West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York as an immigrant, an outsider. He fought in the American Revolution and became George Washington’s most valuable aide-de-camp. As one of America’s Founding Fathers, he was there for the writing of the Constitution and became the first Secretary of the Treasury. Jean Fritz’s award-winning talent for bringing history to life shines as she shares the true story of Alexander Hamilton, a man of action who was honorable, ambitious, and fiercely loyal to his adopted country.

Books About 18th Century and History

Guts & Glory: The American Revolution
Written by Ben Thompson & illustrated by C.M. Butzer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From George Washington crossing the icy Delaware, to Molly Pitcher fearlessly firing her cannon, the people of the American Revolution were some of the bravest and most inspiring of all time. Jump into a riot in the streets of Boston, join the Culper Spy Ring as they steal secrets in the dead of night, and watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence in this accessible, illustrated guide to the birth of the United States.

History buff and popular blogger Ben Thompson’s extensive research and irresistible storytelling make history come alive in this fourth book in the unforgettable Guts & Glory series.

Electric Ben
Written & illustrated by Robert Byrd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A true Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin was the first American celebrity. In pictures and text, master artist Robert Byrd documents Franklin’s numerous and diverse accomplishments, from framing the Constitution to creating bifocals. The witty, wise, and endlessly curious Franklin is the perfect subject for Byrd’s lively style and vibrant art. The pages pulse with facts, quotes, and captions, while the inventive design and intricately detailed illustrations make a striking tribute to the brilliant American.

Sophia's War
Written by Avi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own.

Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Matchlock Gun - A Newbery Medal Winner In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came? This classic, first published in 1941, has an updated, kid-friendly format that includes the original black-and-white illustrations.

  2. King Louie's Shoes - Get to know the hilarious true story of King Louis XIV of France and his famous high-heeled shoes! King Louie was a very BIG king in all ways but one: He was five-feet-four-inches short. So Louie and his royal cobbler cooked up the perfect high-heeled solution to help Louie appear taller. But after an embarrassing tumble (on the dance floor, no less!) Louie learned that his subjects were loyal no matter how big—or how shrimpy—their beloved Louie might have been. Readers young and old will relate to this silly and sweet story of King Louie XIV—a man who had it all, but still felt small.

  3. How Sweet the Sound - One stormy night at sea, a wayward man named John Newton feared for his life. In his darkest hour he fell to his knees and prayed —and somehow the battered ship survived the storm. Grateful, he changed his ways and became a minister, yet he still owned a slave ship. But in time, empathy touched his heart. A changed man, he used his powerful words to help end slavery in England. Those words became the hymn “Amazing Grace,” a song that has lifted the spirit and given comfort across time and all over the world.

Books About 18th Century and George Washington

Washington at Valley Forge
Written & illustrated by Russell Freedman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Newbery Award-winning author Russell Freedman offers up this powerful account of the survival of American soldiers while camped at Valley Forge during a crucial period in the American Revolution.

George Washington’s army almost perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, about twenty miles from Philadelphia, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship because the army’s supply system had collapsed and they were without food, clothing, and blankets. The army was at its most vulnerable; but when the harsh winter drew to a close, the soldiers had survived, and marched away from Valley Forge more determined than ever. The British were defeated in 1783, and Washington, for the rest of his life, said that the credit for the Amrican victory belonged to the soldiers who had braved the horrific conditions at Valley Forge.

George Did It
Written by Suzanne Jurmain & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Everyone wanted George Washington to be the president. He was responsible, led the army in a fight against the British, and helped write the Constitution. But being the president is a very important job, and George was too nervous. So, to everyone’s surprise, he said no! However, George had many supporters, and with the help of the cheering crowds and loyal advisers and dignitaries, George realized that he didn’t have time to think about how nervous he was, he just had to do his job. With little-known facts and a bit of humor, Suzanne Tripp Jurmain gives readers a glimpse into the more personal side of the first president of the United States.

Meet George Washington
Written & illustrated by Joan Heilbroner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

George Washington grew up in the English colony of Virginia. He was tall and strong, fair in judgment, and respected by his friends as a good leader. As he grew older, George saw how England took advantage of the American colonies—and he didn’t like it. When the colonies declared their independence, George was chosen to lead their army as its general. And when the colonies won their freedom, George was elected to lead the new nation as its first president.

Honorable Mentions
  1. George Washington -- Soldier, Hero, President - This biography of one of the most famous and recognizable American presidents mark DK’s commitment to bringing US history-based biographies to the DK Readers series. In George Washington, the young reader will learn about our first president’s childhood, his life as a farmer, statesman, general, and his days as president. The 48-page Level 3 books, designed for children who can read on their own, contain more complex sentence structure and more detail. Young readers will devour these kid-friendly titles, which cover high-interest topics such as sharks, and the Bermuda Triangle, as well as classics like Aladdin. Information boxes highlight historical references, trivia, pronunciation, and other facts about words and names mentioned. Averaging 2,400 to 2,800 words, these books offer a 50/50 picture-to-text ratio. The Dorling Kindersley Readers combine an enticing visual layout with high-interest, easy-to-read stories to captivate and delight young bookworms who are just getting started. Written by leading children’s authors and compiled in consultation with literacy experts, these engaging books build reader confidence along with a lifelong appreciation for nonfiction, classic stories, and biographies. There is a DK Reader to interest every child at every level, from preschool to grade 4.

  2. Dear Mr. Washington - Based on the true story behind Gilbert Stuart’s famous portraits of Washington, this funny historical read will leave rascals, ruffians, and troublemakers of all ages laughing. Charlotte, James, and baby John have promised to be on their very best behavior for when George Washington comes to have his portrait painted by their father, Gilbert Stuart. But, it seems like every time George Washington comes to visit, Charlotte has to write another apology letter, even when they try to follow George Washington’s Rules of Good Behavior. If these whippersnappers want any dessert, they are going to have to learn some manners—and fast! What results is a hilarious chain of events, a giant mess…and a painting that will be remembered for centuries to come.

  3. Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette - Young fans of the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton” will enjoy this narrative nonfiction picture book story about the important friendship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary War. Lafayette has come to America to offer his services to the patriotic cause. Inexperienced but dedicated, he is a much-needed ally and not only earns a military position with the Continental Army but also Washington’s respect and admiration. This picture book presents the human side of history, revealing the bond between two famous Revolutionary figures. Both the author and illustrator worked with experts and primary sources to represent both patriots and the war accurately and fairly.

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