Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to government. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about government.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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.
When it comes to children’s stories about government, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like If I Were President to popular sellers like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo to some of our favorite hidden gems like Abe’s Honest Words.
We hope this list of kids books about government can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
From the time he was a young boy roaming the forests of the unsettled Midwest, Abraham Lincoln knew in his heart that slavery was deeply wrong. A voracious reader, Lincoln spent every spare moment of his days filling his mind with knowledge, from history to literature to mathematics, preparing himself to one day lead the country he loved toward greater equality and prosperity. Despite the obstacles he faced as a self-educated man from the back woods, Lincoln persevered in his political career, and his compassion and honesty gradually earned him the trust of many Americans. As president, he guided the nation through a long and bitter civil war and penned the document that would lead to the end of slavery in the United States. The passion for humanity that defined Lincoln’s life shines through in this momentous follow-up to Martin’s Big Words and John’s Secret Dreams. Told in Doreen Rappaport’s accessible, absorbing prose, and brought to life in powerful illustrations by Kadir Nelson, Abe’s Honest Words is an epic portrait of a truly great American president.
The most famous duel in American history dramatized by leading nonfiction picture book illustrator, Don Brown.
Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel. For young patriots who may not yet know the shocking and tragic story, Aaron and Alexander captures the spirit of these two great men who so valiantly served their country and ultimately allowed their pride and ego to cause their demise.
“Who’s in charge here?” When Grace learns about the three branches of the United States government, she and the rest of the student council put the lesson into practice as they debate how to spend the money from a school fund-raiser. Should they buy new sports equipment? Books for the library? Instruments for the music room? The arguments continue as they travel to Washington, DC, for a field trip. Exploring government buildings and national monuments, Grace feels closer than ever to her dream of becoming president someday. But she and her classmates have a lot to learn about what it means to serve the needs of the people, especially when the people want such different things! In this follow-up to New York Times best seller Grace for President, Kelly DiPucchio not only introduces how our government makes decisions, but also shares what it takes to be a true public servant.
V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!
A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens’ rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.
An engaging introduction to the tenets of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell’s rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library. It makes the perfect gift for fans of A Is for Activist, Woke Baby, and Feminist Baby.
Based on the true story of one family’s struggle for voting rights in the civil rights-era South, this moving tale shines an emotional spotlight on a dark facet of U.S. history. Life on the farm with Granddaddy is full of hard work, but despite all the chores, Granddaddy always makes time for play, especially fishing trips. Even when there isn’t a bite to catch, he reminds young Michael that it takes patience to get what’s coming to you. One morning, when Granddaddy heads into town in his fancy suit, Michael knows that something very special must be happening–and sure enough, everyone is lined up at the town hall! For the very first time, Granddaddy is allowed to vote, and he couldn’t be more proud. But can Michael be patient when it seems that justice just can’t come soon enough? This powerful and touching true-life story shares one boy’s perspective of growing up in the segregated South, while beautiful illustrations depict the rural setting in tender detail.
Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means - It’s a free country! But what does that mean? Find out the five liberties protected by the First Amendment. Vivid examples from history and everyday life demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.
Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? - Introducing the latest addition to the Who HQ program: board book biographies of relevant and important figures, created specifically for the preschool audience!
Corazon Aquino - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Corazon Aquino, the first female president of the Philippines. Little Cory was a shy, studious child with a great sense of justice. As a young woman and wife, she and her family felt compelled to speak out against the unjust leader who was ruining their country. Showing bravery, reliability, and honesty, she led the revolution that ended the dictator’s rule and went on to become the president of the Philippines. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the politician’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!
Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb - A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States. Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct.
Stories of powerhouse women who pushed for justice in politics, medicine, art, music, religion, tribal leadership, and more. In fighting to pass the 19th Amendment, brave suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Emmeline B. Wells fought to end laws and take down barriers that prevented them from voting. Champions of Change introduces young readers not only to Anthony and Wells, but also to a diverse group of firsts and freedom-fighters in America’s fight for equality, such as: Zitkala-Sa, co-founder of the National Council of American Indians Martha Hughes Cannon, America’s first female senator Hanna Kaaepa, an advocate for Hawaiian women’s rights Barbara Toomer, who was jailed 35 times for protests that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities act and the women of the Kanab City Council, one of the first all-female city councils in the country. This timely collection of mini biographies highlights 25 champions for justice, includes colorful portraitures of each, and presents actual photos of the individuals as well as a quick reference glossary. Naomi Watkins, Ph.D. is an educational consultant, women’s advocate, and community builder. A former middle school English teacher, she specializes in curriculum development and school district consulting. She has been published in international journals such as the The Reading Teacher, Journal of Children’s Literature, TESOL Journal, and Middle School Journal. Katherine Kitterman is the historical director for Better Days 2020, an organization that explores stories of women who shaped Utah’s history. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in American History at American University in Washington, D.C., where she has worked to bring history to life at the Smithsonian Institution, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Woodrow Wilson House. Brooke Smart is an illustrator based in Sandy, Utah, with a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University. Her illustration clients include the New York Times, Gathre, Better Days 2020, Bravery Magazine, and private commissions. Brook recently won honorable mention in the 2016 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Portfolio Showcase in New York City.
A citizen can pick up litter A citizen can pull a weed A citizen can help that critter A citizen can plant a seed A citizen can aid a neighbor A citizen can join a cause A citizen can write a letter A citizen can help change laws . . . Empowering and timeless, What Can a Citizen Do? is the latest collaboration from the acclaimed duo behind the bestselling Her Right Foot: Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris. This is a book for today’s youth about what it means to be a citizen. Across the course of several seemingly unrelated but ultimately connected actions by different children, we watch how kids turn a lonely island into a community—and watch a journey from what the world should be to what the world could be. This is a book about what citizenship—good citizenship—means to you, and to us all.
Discover the inspiring story of Senator Elizabeth Warren and her lifelong commitment to working hard and advocating for equality in this compelling and accessible picture book biography.
Elizabeth Warren always has a plan. As a child, she wanted to help others by becoming a teacher. When discrimination forced her to surrender that dream, she found another path: She became a lawyer. Then life changed again, and Elizabeth became a professor of law—and she didn’t stop there. No matter her job title, Senator Elizabeth Warren has always worked to ensure that people with more power help those with less. She leads by example, inspiring young people across the nation to pursue their dreams despite obstacles like prejudice and inequality. Known for her dedication and willingness to adapt, Elizabeth Warren has persisted and become a voice for fairness and positive change.
Now a presidential candidate, Senator Warren is a role model for the young people who will one day assume the mantle of leadership. And this gorgeously written, beautifully stylized picture book provides a pitch-perfect look at all they can accomplish.
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.
Get to know the voting process with Citizen Baby!
Citizen Baby knows a thing or two about voting. It’s important to meet the candidates (they love babies!) and to call voters. Plus, you get a sticker at the polls! Children and adults alike will enjoy learning about voting in this adorable, informative board book.
If You're Going to a March - “If you’re going to a march, you’re going to want a sign”–and this cheerful, introductory handbook. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, it addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where can I go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (It is!). All the while the text focuses on our Constitutional right as Americans to assemble . . . whatever our political point of view.
Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? - You’ve probably seen her on t-shirts, mugs, and even tattoos, well, now that famous face graces the cover of our latest Who Is? title. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famous for her stylish collars (called jabots) and her commanding dissents. This opera-loving New Yorker has always spoken her mind; as a young lawyer, RBG advocated for gender equality and women’s rights when few others did. She gained attention for the cases she won when arguing in front of the Supreme Court, before taking her place on the bench in 1993. Author Patricia Brennan Demuth answers all the question about what makes RBG so notorious and irreplaceable
Our Future - This book profiles ten young activists who are taking on the key issues of our time. These young people from across the globe are raising awareness about what matters to them most. An eleven-year-old boy in Texas kneels with his football teammates during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. A thirteen-year-old girl from the Tla’amin First Nation in British Columbia speaks at the United Nations to raise awareness of water pollution. These activists don’t let their youth stop them from being heard on issues ranging from racism and cyberbullying to gun violence and animal protection.
As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her—from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river. Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time.
Follows Abraham Lincoln from his childhood to the presidency, showing how he spoke up about fairness and eventually led the country to abolish slavery.
To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and ‘40s, Ginsburg was discouraged from working by her father, who thought a woman’s place was in the home. Regardless, she went to Cornell University, where men outnumbered women four to one. There, she met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and found her calling as a lawyer. Despite discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, Ginsburg went on to become Columbia Law School’s first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice. Structured as a court case in which the reader is presented with evidence of the injustice that Ginsburg faced, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the true story of how one of America’s most “notorious” women bravely persevered to become the remarkable symbol of justice she is today.
Help kids ages 6 to 9 discover the life of Alexander Hamilton―a story about working hard, blazing trails, and fighting for freedom
Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America - Discover the incredible life of Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet and the mastermind behind Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, in this fascinating picture book biography that's perfect for fans of I Dissent.
Little Guides to Great Lives: Nelson Mandela - Anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela’s journey from political prisoner to president of South Africa is an incredible tale of triumph in the face of adversity. 2018 marks a hundred years since his birth. From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way. Launching with Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Amelia Earhart, Little Guides to Great Lives tells the stories of the most amazing people from all over the world and across history, with full-color illustrations and fresh design to bring their incredible stories to life.
Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America - Learn all about the history of voting rights in the United States--from our nation's founding to the present day--in this powerful picture book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Pout-Pout Fish.
Captain Awesome for President - In the twentieth Captain Awesome adventure, Eugene decides to run for class president! After much thought (actually, really not that much), Eugene has made a big decision. He’s decided to run for class president! But there’s a hitch. Meredith Mooney, a.k.a. Little Miss Stinky Pinky, has also decided to run! Since Eugene can’t reveal to his classmates his identity as Captain Awesome, he has to figure out some other way to prove to them that he’s the one for the job! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Captain Awesome chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!
From Jill Twiss and EG Keller, the #1 New York Times bestselling team behind Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo and The Someone New, comes a new picture book about voting, just in time for the 2020 election season!
Pudding the snail and his friends can’t seem to agree on anything. Whatever Jitterbug the chipmunk wants, Geezer the goose does not. Whatever Toast the butterfly wants, Duffles and Nudge the otters are absolutely against. And if somehow Toast and Duffles and Jitterbug and Nudge all agree on something, then Geezer is not having it.
So when Toast suggests they need a leader, the friends try to figure out the best way to pick someone to be in charge. Should that someone be the fastest? The fluffiest? The squishiest? Or can Pudding show his friends that there just might be a way where everyone gets a say?
In this follow-up to The Someone New, Jill Twiss and EG Keller cleverly underscore the importance of speaking up and using your voice.
With the next presidential election upon us, this witty, nonpartisan book will help explain the concept of voting to the youngest readers.
I Voted explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: “Which do you like better, apples or oranges?”, to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives.
You may not always get want you want, but there are strategies to better your odds!
Serge Bloch’s effortless and charming illustrations paired with Mark Shulman’s funny and timely text create a perfect resource for discussing current events with your children.
Backmatter includes information about the United States electoral process.
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
A fun, sturdy novelty board book with 13 sliding doors!
Toddlers will love casting their vote as they “slide-and-vote” in everyday situations like striped or polka dot socks in the morning, vanilla or chocolate ice cream at snack time, and many more exciting choices every kid faces throughout the day.
This sturdy board book is a great way to encourage toddlers to always cast their votes, despite how ordinary or tiny the decision may seem!
In the voice of one of the most iconic and beloved political figures of the twentieth century comes a book on citizenship for the future voters of the twenty-first century. Eleanor Roosevelt published the original edition of When You Grow Up to Vote in 1932, the same year her husband was elected president. The new edition has updated information and back matter as well as fresh, bold art from award-winning artist Grace Lin. Beginning with government workers like,firefighters and garbage collectors, and moving up through local government to the national stage, this book explains that the people in government work the voter.Fresh, contemporary, and even fun, When You Grow Up to Vote is the book parents and teachers need to talk to children about how our government is designed to work.
Baby Loves Political Science: Democracy! - A new addition to the beloved and bestselling Baby Loves series! This cute and clever introduction to political science is accurate and simple enough for baby, and ready to teach Baby what makes a great democracy. Baby learns what it means to participate in a democracy where everyone has a voice in electing our leaders. There are many ways for all of us, including the youngest children, to participate–such as making signs and sending postcards, campaigning, attending rallies, and of course getting out the vote!
If You Go with Your Goat to Vote - What happens when you go with your grown-up to vote? If you are a kid, you may chew over the ballot. If you are a bunny, you may hop to the polling place. If you are a piglet, you may squeal with delight when you get a sticker. And best of all, if you go with your grown-up to vote . . . you will grow up to vote yourself! Lighthearted and colorful, <i>If You Go with Your Goat to Vote</i> shows little ones just what to expect on Election Day–and will inspire grown-ups to be model voters. <b><i>Includes 16 stickers!</i></b>
Lillian's Right to Vote - A 50th anniversary tribute to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finds an elderly woman reflecting on her family’s history, from the passage of the 15th Amendment through her participation in the protest march from Selma to Montgomery.
If I Were President - A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to be president. Imagine living in the White House, a mansion where you wouldn't have to leave home to go bowling or see a movie! Imagine a chef to cook anything you like. "Two desserts, Madam President? No problem!"
Dip a toe, paw, or fin into history with this fact-tastic Level 2 Ready-to-Read, part of a new series all about pets and the people who loved them! In this story, learn all about a sweet kitty who was voted the mayor of a town in Alaska!
Stubbs was the mayor of a small town in Alaska. He was friendly and well respected by the townspeople. But there was one thing that set Stubbs apart from any other mayor: he was a cat!
From ballots to bonfires, from suffrage to stumping, this kid-friendly picture book filled with fun facts and historical trivia shows why voting is so important and why America gets to call its government a body of, by, and for the people.
Did you know that Election Day is on Tuesday because that was the best day for farmers to vote? Or that George Washington was our only elected president who ran unopposed? Or that Native Americans were only given the right to vote in 1924? It’s all true!
We hear a lot about political campaigns on the news, but there’s tons to know about elections beyond the politics of each race. Who gets to vote? Who gets to run? What do elected officials do once they’re in office–and what do candidates do if they lose? Why do people fight so hard for the right to vote? In this kid-friendly, fact-filled book, young readers will find out how Americans choose their leaders, local and federal, and why elections should matter to them, even if they can’t vote (yet)!
Princess Academy meets Megan Whalen Turner in this stunning novel about a girl who won’t let anything tame her spirit—not the government that conquered her people, and definitely not reform school!
Malley has led the constables on a merry chase across her once-peaceful country. With her parents in prison for their part in a failed resistance movement, the government wants to send her to a national school—but they’ll have to capture her first.
And capture her they do. Malley is carted off to be reformed as a proper subject of the conquering empire, reeducated, and made suitable for domestic service. That’s the government’s plan, anyway.
But Malley will not go down without a fight. She’s determined to rally her fellow students to form a rebellion of their own. The government can lock these girls up in reform school. Whether it can break them is another matter entirely…
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