Best Kids Books About History

87+ Kids Books About History

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
History Uncovered: Dinosaurs book
#1
History Uncovered: Dinosaurs
Written and illustrated by Dennis Schatz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs with History Uncovered: Dinosaurs! Learn about different time periods, including Jurassic and Cretaceous, and the most exciting dinosaurs that lived during each one, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and more! Discover what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and why they went extinct. As you move forward in time, experience the changing landscape of the Mesozoic Era as life evolved and the plates moved apart to create the globe we know today! The dynamic History Uncovered series shows kids how the world changed throughout history in an innovative format with stunning illustrations and fascinating facts. These books include die-cuts on every page that create a strong narrative thread, tying spreads together and engaging children to turn the page. Parents and children will pour over the information and images, and uncover new details as they return to read again and again.

Let the Children March book
#2
Let the Children March
Written by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Maya Angelou book
#3
Maya Angelou
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Leire Salaberria
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people 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. The book follows Maya Angelou, from her early traumatic childhood to her time as a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and, eventually, one of America's most beloved writers. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Maya's life at the back.

Martin's Big Words book
#4
Martin's Big Words
Written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin’s Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America—and the world—forever.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt book
#5
Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones. In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing! The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy. Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

The Wall book
#6
The Wall
Written by Eve Bunting
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

This Is the Rope book
#7
This Is the Rope
Written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by James Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A rope passed down through the generations frames an African-American family's story as they journey north to New York City from the rural south during the time of the Great Migration. Full color.

Ben's Revolution book
#8
Ben's Revolution
Written by Nathaniel Philbrick and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

History comes alive in this gripping account of a young boy caught up in the start of the Revolutionary War. Based on an episode in National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick’s New York Times bestseller Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, this engrossing story allows readers to experience history from a child’s perspective, and Wendell Minor’s stunning paintings will transport readers back to the early days of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Russell is in school on the morning of April 19th, 1775, when his teacher announces, “The war’s begun, and you may run!” Ben knew this day was coming; after all, tensions had been mounting between the colonists and the British troops ever since the Boston Tea Party. And now they have finally reached the breaking point. Ben and his friends excitedly rush out of their classroom to bear witness, and follow the throngs of redcoats marching out of Boston toward Concord. Much to Ben’s surprise, Boston is sealed off later that day—leaving the boys stuck outside the city, in the middle of a war, with no way to reach their families. But Ben isn’t worried—he’s eager to help the Patriots! He soon becomes a clerk to the jovial Israel Putnam, a general in the provincial army. For months he watches the militia grow into an organized army, and when the Battle of Bunker Hill erupts, Ben is awed by the bravery of the Patriots, although saddened by the toll war takes. He later goes on to become an apprentice at a Revolutionary newspaper, and it’s a happy day when they get to report on the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

As an Oak Tree Grows book
#9
As an Oak Tree Grows
Written and illustrated by G Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This inventive picture book relays the events of two hundred years from the unique perspective of a magnificent oak tree, showing how much the world can transform from a single vantage point. From 1775 to the present day, this fascinating framing device lets readers watch as human and animal populations shift and the landscape transitions from country to city. Methods of transportation, communication and energy use progress rapidly while other things hardly seem to change at all. This engaging, eye-opening window into history is perfect for budding historians and nature enthusiasts alike, and the time-lapse quality of the detail-packed illustrations will draw readers in as they pore over each spread to spot the changes that come with each new era. A fact-filled poster is included to add to the fun.

A Is for America book
#10
A Is for America
Written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Gerald Kelley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little ones will love learning American history in Tanya Lee Stone’s latest alphabet book. Rhyming couplets that flow through the alphabet help kids celebrate everything from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to Thomas Jefferson and Harriet Tubman!

The Way the Cookie Crumbled book
#11
The Way the Cookie Crumbled
Written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Kelly Kennedy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

"Become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on the super-sweet history of cookies and amaze your friends with all you've learned in this fun, fact-filled Level 3 Ready-to-Read!"--Provided by publisher.

I Am Abraham Lincoln book
#12
I Am Abraham Lincoln
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Follows Abraham Lincoln from his childhood to the presidency, showing how he spoke up about fairness and eventually led the country to abolish slavery.

Voices from the Oregon Trail book
#13
Voices from the Oregon Trail
Written by Kay Winters and illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An account of several families and individuals making the long and often dangerous trek across the United States from Missouri to the West Coast in the 1800s.

Fairy Spell book
#14
Fairy Spell
Written by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In 1917, in Cottingley, England, a girl named Elsie took a picture of her younger cousin, Frances. Also in the photo was a group of fairies, fairies that the girls insisted were real. Through a remarkable set of circumstances, that photograph and the ones that followed came to be widely believed as evidence of real fairies. It was not until 1983 that the girls, then late in life, confessed that the Cottingley Fairies were a hoax. Their take is an extraordinary slice of history, from a time when anything in a photograph was assumed to be fact and it was possible to trick an eager public into believing something magical. Exquisitely illustrated with art and the original fairy photographs.

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? book
#15
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?
Written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” —Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice—and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her amazing career in this illuminating and inspiring picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader. Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice that made people sit up, stand up, and take notice. So what do you do with a voice like that? Barbara took her voice to places few African American women had been in the 1960s: first law school, then the Texas state senate, then up to the United States congress. Throughout her career, she persevered through adversity to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice. New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes deliver a remarkable picture book biography about a woman whose struggles and mission continue to inspire today.

Blue Sky White Stars book
#16
Blue Sky White Stars
Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people, illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.

Decorated Horses book
#17
Decorated Horses
Written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and illustrated by Jeannie Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This nonfiction picture book about horses has a fresh focus: how people over the ages have decorated horses in special ways. Organized into three categories—warfare and hunting, performance and competition, performance, and ceremony—the book introduces horses such as the chariot-pulling war horse of the Persians to the rose-decorated winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Pocket Bios: Muhammad Ali book
#18
Pocket Bios: Muhammad Ali
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of the famous professional boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali remains one of the most inspiring and celebrated sports figures today. A gold-medal Olympian and multi-title winning boxer, Ali was an important civil rights activist. From his childhood growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, to his amateur boxing training beginning at the age of 12, to his achievements within the professional boxing ring and beyond as a conscientious objector, follow this extraordinary man's life and accomplishments. Pocket Bios are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

Pocket Bios: Albert Einstein book
#19
Pocket Bios: Albert Einstein
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of famed physicist Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein, a theoretical physicist, developed the theory of relativity and is popularly known today for his mass-energy equivalence formula E=mc^2. In 1921, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to theoretical physics, particularly for discoveries and research that proved pivotal for quantum theory. Pocket Bios are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

Lincoln and Kennedy book
#20
Lincoln and Kennedy
Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

President Abraham Lincoln grew up in a one-room log cabin. President John F. Kennedy was raised in the lap of luxury. One was a Republican and one a Democrat. They lived and served a hundred years apart. Yet they had a number of things in common. Some were coincidental: having seven letters in their last names. Some were monumental: Lincoln's support for the abolitionist movement and Kennedy's support for the civil rights movement. They both lost a son while in office. And, of course, both were assassinated. In this illuminating book, Gene Barretta offers an insightful portrait of two of our country's most famous presidents.

Pocket Bios: Martin Luther King, Jr. book
#21
Pocket Bios: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prominent leaders of the civil rights movement, is best known for his dedication to nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in combating racial inequality and organized many notable events such as the Montgomery bus boycott and Selma-to-Montgomery marches. He posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal, and is an international icon to this day. These colorful, pocket-size biographies are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Pocket Bios titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

Pocket Bios: Gandhi book
#22
Pocket Bios: Gandhi
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Mahatma Gandhi was the celebrated leader of the Indian independence movement, and an inspiration for many similar movements around the world. Gandhi began his push for nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, eventually bringing the practice to India where he led the Indian National Congress. He is referred to as the Father of the Nation, and remains a symbol of freedom and nonviolence to this day. These colorful, pocket-size biographies are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Pocket Bios titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

The Colors of History book
#23
The Colors of History
Written and illustrated by Clive Gifford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which colour is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colours, and the roles they've played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colours in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each colour group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colourful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthral budding artists and historians alike.

We March book
#24
We March
Written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience. We March was one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012, and is an important story about the African American civil rights movement.

Diana’s White House Garden book
#25
Diana’s White House Garden
Written by Elisa Carbone and illustrated by Jen Hill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It’s 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father’s office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country’s survival: Victory Gardens! From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the homefront.

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