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Leadership: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about leadership?

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

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 leadership, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Are You the Pirate Captain? to popular sellers like Roxaboxen to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sofia Valdez, Future Prez.

We hope this list of kids books about leadership 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.

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Grace Goes to Washington
Written by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
"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.
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Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
The newest picture book from the creators of *Iggy Peck, Architect*; *Rosie Revere, Engineer*; and *Ada Twist, Scientist* stars Sofia Valdez, an activist and community leader who stands up for what she believes in! Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can't build a park because she's just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.
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She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch
Written by June Smalls & illustrated by Yumi Shimokawara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
She is the Queen. The matriarch. She leads her daughters and their daughters. Inspiring text and striking illustrations follow the empowering journey of an elephant matriarch as she leads her family through the wilds of Africa. With facts about African elephants on every spread and a message that will encourage young girls to be the trailblazers of their generation, She Leads offers an incredible story and an unforgettable tribute to the strength of a true leader. Open your eyes, princess. One day you will lead.
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So Tall Within
Written by Gary D. Schmidt & illustrated by Daniel Minter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From celebrated author Gary D. Schmidt comes a picture book biography of a giant in the struggle for civil rights, perfectly pitched for readers today. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but possessed a mind and a vision that knew no bounds. So Tall Within traces her life from her painful childhood through her remarkable emancipation to her incredible leadership in the movement for rights for both women and African Americans. Her story is told with lyricism and pathos by Gary D. Schmidt, one of the most celebrated writers for children in the twenty-first century, and brought to life by award winning and fine artist Daniel Minter. This combination of talent is just right for introducing this legendary figure to a new generation of children.
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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.
Roxaboxen book
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The World's Poorest President Speaks Out book
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To the Future, Ben Franklin book
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100 First Words for Little CEOs book
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  • Roxaboxen - Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill — nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo — but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination. In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran’s treasured land of Roxaboxen — a place that really was, and, once you’ve been there, always is.

  • The World's Poorest President Speaks Out - “A poor person is not someone who has little, but one who needs infinitely more, and more, and more.” Thus spoke José Mujica, then the President of Uruguay, before the United Nations in 2012. Paraphrasing the wisdom of the great thinker Seneca, he asked the world to question the dogma of consumption that has driven us into environmental and economic crisis. Often referred to as the worlds “poorest” president, in part because of his practice of donating 90% of his $12,000 monthly salary to charity, José Mujica lived his words and proved that one need not have money to be rich. In The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out, José Mujica’s famous speech comes to life as he asks us to remember our neighbors, our children, and the Earth.

  • To the Future, Ben Franklin - Track the facts about the great printer, inventor, and Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin! When Jack and Annie came back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #32: To the Future, Ben Franklin! they had lots of questions. What was Ben Franklin’s first job? How did a kite teach him about electricity? What are some of Ben’s most famous inventions? Why did he have so many nicknames? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts about Benjamin Franklin. Filled with up-to-date information, photographs, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discover in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures.

  • 100 First Words for Little CEOs - Is macroeconomics the dinner table talk in your house? Do you discuss stocks and bonds instead of the weather? Are you the boss at work? It’s only rational that your baby will be a leader too! But how to get their leadership started? Introducing 100 First Words for Little CEOs, a dashingly sharp primer for kids learning their first words! Forget apple and dog. Little CEOs are ready for revenue, philanthropy, and innovation. With terms from every aspect of business, these little CEOs will be ready to manage their own company, even at the age of 2. (Or maybe just their families). Packed with fun illustrations and 100 words every boss baby should know, 100 First Words for Little CEOs is the perfect board book for executive families everywhere.

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Are You the Pirate Captain?
Written by Gareth P. Jones & illustrated by Garry Parsons
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9
First Mate Hugh has the whole crew and the pirate ship ready, but they can't set sail until they find a captain! Come on this swashbuckling adventure as Hugh and his scurvy seadogs try to find the perfect pirate for the job. Rather than a peg leg or a hook, it turns out that what their captain needs is the brains to lead! Endpages adorned with lively pirate songs make this book a seaworthy tale from beginning to end!
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Bounce Back
Written by Hena Khan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the third book in an exciting chapter book series about a scrawny fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Zayd has a plan. He’s ready to take the reins as team captain of the Gold Team. But when an injury leaves him on the sidelines, his plans get derailed. Can Zayd learn what it means to be a leader if he’s not the one calling the shots?
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Ready, Set, Blast Off!
Written by Ray O’Ryan & illustrated by Jason Kraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
"Picked to represent their planet Nebulon in the Interstellar Space Race, Zack and his friends navigate their specially designed car through an underwater maze, around planetary rings, and through the stars! But when trouble stirs within the team, Zack must take charge. Can he lead them to victory?"--
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I Am Gandhi
Written & illustrated by Brad Meltzer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
As a young man in India, Gandhi saw firsthand how people were treated unfairly. Refusing to accept injustice, he came up with a brilliant way to fight back through quiet, peaceful protest. He used his methods in South Africa and India, where he led a nonviolent revolution that freed his country from British rule. Through his calm, steady heroism, Gandhi changed the lives of millions and inspired civil rights movements all over the world, proving that the smallest of us can be the most powerful.
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Breakout!
Written & illustrated by Stacy Davidowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
It’s the end of the summer, which means one thing: Color War time! Color War is the event of the summer, a massive camp-wide competition. The camp is divided into two teams, Blue and White, with upper campers vying for the envied spot of lieutenant, a team leader position. Jenny assumes she’s got lieutenant in the bag, being a “popular girl” and all. And Play Dough sure hopes he does too—members of his family have been White team lieutenants for generations! But when assignments are announced, both are in for a surprise. Play Dough’s a lieutenant all right—for the enemy Blue team—and Jenny isn’t lieutenant at all. So who is? Jamie, Jenny’s sidekick. With the entire camp amping up for an all-out war, can Jenny and Play Dough overcome expectations and lead their teams to victory?
The Lost Realm book
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Who Was Alexander Hamilton? book
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Team Players book
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A  Kingdom  Rises book
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  • The Lost Realm - Family secrets combine with fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate, in a sweeping new middle grade series that Publishers Weekly called “Game of Thrones on a mellow day.”

  • Who Was Alexander Hamilton? - Read the story of the Founding Father who inspired the smash Broadway musical. Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He founded the Bank of New York and The New York Post newspaper. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and is also celebrated as a co-author of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays that are still used today to interpret the U.S. Constitution. The end of his life became a national scandal when he was shot and killed in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr.

  • Team Players - Cassie must learn that you can’t “fix” someone else after a girl with Aspergers joins her softball team in the fourth and final book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica. Cassie Bennett is great at being in charge. She always knows what to do to lead her teams to victory, keep her many groups of friends together, or fix any problem that comes her way. So when Sarah Milligan, an autistic girl with unreal softball skills, joins Cassie’s team, Cassie’s sure she can help her fit in with the team. But before long it’s obvious that being around so many people is really hard for Sarah, and the more Cassie tries to reach out and involve her, the more Sarah pushes her away, sometimes literally. It doesn’t help that Cassie’s teammates aren’t as interested in helping Sarah as they are in making sure they make it to the new softball All-Star Tournament that’ll be televised just like the Little League World Series. Soon no one besides Cassie seems to even want Sarah on the team anymore, and the harder Cassie tries to bring everyone together, the worse things seem to get. Cassie Bennett never backs down from a challenge, but can she realize that maybe the challenge isn’t fixing a problem in someone else, but in herself? Or will her stubbornness lead her to lose more than just softball games?

  • A Kingdom Rises - Family secrets combine with fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate, in this final novel in a sweeping middle grade series that Publishers Weekly called “Game of Thrones on a mellow day.”An ancient prophecy says that when three stars appear in the sky, triplets will take the throne and peace will come to the land. The stars have appeared, and the triplets are Gulph, Tarlan, and Elodie. But the prophecy appears to have failed.Tarlan saw Gulph fall from a burning tower during a final confrontation with their undead father. There’s no way Gulph could have survived…even with his special abilities.As for his sister, Elodie, Tarlan’s convinced that she’s a traitor who betrayed the rebellion and her family just so she could have the throne to herself.With nothing left to believe in, Tarlan’s prepared to abandon both the cause and his pack of wild animals, and head north.But appearances can be deceiving. And in a world of magic and deceit, mistaking lies for truth can be deadly.

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Gandhi
Written by Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Thomas Gonzales
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that Great Britain had imposed on salt -- not the salt that the Indians could get from the sea, but the salt that Great Britain forced them to buy. Gandhi believed that peaceful protests were an effective way to challenge British law, and his peaceful but ultimately successful movement became known as Satyagraha.
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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.
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Slick
Written by Sara Cassidy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
Thirteen-year old Liza hates her mother's boyfriend. While researching the oil company he works for, she discovers a lawsuit against it for compensation long overdue to Guatemalan farmers. She starts a group at school called GRRR! (Girls for Renewable Resources, Really!) and launches an attack on Argenta Oil.
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And Then what Happened, Paul Revere?
Written by Jean Fritz & illustrated by Margot Tomes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
A true American story for young readers by the Newbery-Honor winning author! Everyone knows about Paul Revere’s midnight ride. But not everyone knows the harrowing details and narrow escapes that occurred along the way. This timeless and witty book highlights little-known facts about patriot Paul Revere.
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On Point
Written by Hena Khan & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the second book in an exciting new chapter book series about a scrawny fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom. Now that Zayd has made the Gold Team, he’s hustling hard and loving every minute of the season. But when team starts to struggle, Zayd can’t help wondering if it has something to do with him. Even worse, his best friend Adam suddenly starts acting like he doesn’t care about basketball anymore, even though they are finally teammates. He stops playing basketball with Zayd at recess and starts hanging out with other kids. Then, Adam up and quits the Gold Team to play football instead. While his uncle’s wedding preparations turn life into a circus at home, Zayd is left on his own to figure things out. He has to decide how to still be friends with Adam and step up to fill the empty shoes he left on the court. Does Zayd have what it takes to be on point and lead his team back to victory?
Alexander Hamilton book
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Crown of Three book
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Alexander Hamilton: From Orphan to Founding Father book
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Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth book
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  • Alexander Hamilton - Historical facts are presented in a fun, graphic format that invites young readers to explore the lives and times of our founding fathers, focusing on the key contributions of each and the lasting impact these men have had on the development and growth of our nation. Includes a timeline at the end.

  • Crown of Three - “Toronia, a kingdom composed of three realms, is wracked with civil war. King Brutan rules with an iron fist. The kingdom’s only hope comes in the form of Brutan’s illegitimate triplets, prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny”

  • 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.

  • Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth - Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

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Zack Delacruz
Written by Jeff Anderson & illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13
Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school--and that's just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school's biggest bully! If they don't sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates' hopes on the line, can he save the day?
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Alexander Hamilton: American Hero
Written by Barbara Lowell & illustrated by George Ermos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Find out more about this famous Founding Father! With his face on the ten-dollar bill and an award-winning musical about his life, it's clear that Alexander Hamilton's story is one worth telling. Despite feeling like an outsider, Hamilton fought hard to form a united nation with a strong central government--and many of his ideas are still relevant today! With this illustrated leveled reader, kids can learn more about the man who, in many ways, was a true American hero.
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Grandfather Gandhi
Written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus & illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace. How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger? One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village. Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud? In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.
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Cheer Up, Ben Franklin!
Written & illustrated by Misti Kenison
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Can this Founding Father find a friend? Introducing a new board-book series perfect for even the youngest historian! Ben Franklin is sad.No one has time to fly kites with him today.Betsy Ross is busy sewing a flag.Alexander Hamilton is busy counting money...Will things change for Ben when he reaches Independence Hall?The first volume of this new board-book series takes a tongue-in-cheek look at American history to introduce the youngest historians to some of the most prominent characters during our nation's exciting beginning. Readers will love the amusing story, and biographies in the back of the book will ensure they'll learn even more along the way.
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Alexander Hamilton: the Outsider
Written & illustrated by Jean Fritz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.

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