An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

The Civil War: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about the Civil War?

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

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, 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 the Civil War, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Who was Abraham Lincoln? to popular sellers like A Long Walk to Water to some of our favorite hidden gems like Before She Was Harriet.

We hope this list of kids books about the Civil War can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

Share this list

Top 10 Books About The Civil War

#1
Add to list
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
Written by Angela Johnson & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.

Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Sep 27
#2
Add to list
Before She Was Harriet
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.19
Used $3.18
Prices as of Sep 27
#3
Add to list
Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage
Written by Jerdine Nolen & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book.

There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war.

Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$12.79
Used $10.41
Prices as of Sep 27
#4
Add to list
Words Set Me Free
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

“Words Set Me Free is the inspiring story of young Frederick Douglass’s path to freedom through reading”–

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.39
Used $8.25
Prices as of Sep 27
#5
Add to list
Abraham Lincoln
Written by Marion Dane Bauer & illustrated by Liz Goulet Dubois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Presents a simple biography of the sixteenth president of the United States.

Buy book
$3.99
Bookshop
$3.39
Amazon
$3.99
Used $3.99
Prices as of Sep 27
#6
Add to list
Little Women: A Babylit Storybook
Written by Mandy Archer & illustrated by Ela Smietanka and Mandy Archer
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

BabyLit Storybooks are a great way to introduce young readers to the classics, with easy to read storylines and bright illustrations. They are part of the bestselling BabyLit series, which provides a literary education for your brilliant children. BabyLit(R) primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Gibbs Smith is now presenting a delightful collection of picture books, lovingly designed and crafted for young children. Each book retells a story from the literary canon, bringing a classic to life for an entirely new audience. In Little Women, preschoolers meet Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and Marmee, following the March family as they grow and learn. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. Part of the BabyLit(R) Storybook Series.

Buy book
$12.99
Bookshop
$11.04
Amazon
$11.56
Used $10.97
Prices as of Sep 27
#7
Add to list
Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by E. B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.

One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race–even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court–where future president Chester Arthur represented her–and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.79
Used $8.73
Prices as of Sep 27
#8
Add to list
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers
Written by Karen B. Winnick & illustrated by Boyds Mills Press Staff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Complete with letter reproductions, this story tells of eleven-year-old Grace Bedell’s written suggestion to President Lincoln that he grow a beard and the amazing events that followed as result. Reprint.

Buy book
$9.95
Bookshop
$8.46
Amazon
$9.95
Used $9.95
Prices as of Sep 27
#9
Add to list
I Am Abraham Lincoln
Written by Brad Meltzer & 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.

Buy book
$15.99
Bookshop
$13.59
Amazon
$14.39
Used $1.65
Prices as of Sep 27
#10
Add to list
The Escape of Robert Smalls
Written by Jehan Jones-Radgowski & illustrated by Poppy Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

Buy book
$18.95
Bookshop
$16.11
Amazon
$17.41
Used $8.68
Prices as of Sep 27
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about The Civil War and...

Books About The Civil War and Slavery

Add to list
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
Written by Angela Johnson & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.

Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Before She Was Harriet
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.19
Used $3.18
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Freedom Bird: A Tale of Hope and Courage
Written by Jerdine Nolen & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book.

There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war.

Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$12.79
Used $10.41
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Words Set Me Free - “Words Set Me Free is the inspiring story of young Frederick Douglass’s path to freedom through reading”–

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

  3. The Escape of Robert Smalls - The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

  4. Looking at Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln’s legacy is everywhere – there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together. But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife’s vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln’s remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.

Want to see books about slavery?

Books About The Civil War and Girls And Women

Add to list
Little Women: A Babylit Storybook
Written by Mandy Archer & illustrated by Ela Smietanka and Mandy Archer
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

BabyLit Storybooks are a great way to introduce young readers to the classics, with easy to read storylines and bright illustrations. They are part of the bestselling BabyLit series, which provides a literary education for your brilliant children. BabyLit(R) primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Gibbs Smith is now presenting a delightful collection of picture books, lovingly designed and crafted for young children. Each book retells a story from the literary canon, bringing a classic to life for an entirely new audience. In Little Women, preschoolers meet Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and Marmee, following the March family as they grow and learn. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. Part of the BabyLit(R) Storybook Series.

Buy book
$12.99
Bookshop
$11.04
Amazon
$11.56
Used $10.97
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights
Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by E. B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation.

One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race–even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court–where future president Chester Arthur represented her–and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.79
Used $8.73
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$11.99
Used $12.40
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Who Was Harriet Tubman? - Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone’s property; she was whipped by owners and almost killed by an overseer. It was from other field hands that she first heard about the Underground Railroad which she travelled by herself north to Philadelphia. Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do.

  2. Nurse, Soldier, Spy - This is the incredible true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who dressed as a man and fought in the Civil War. When she was 19, Sarah cut her hair, donned her brother’s clothes, and fled from Canada, where her father wanted her to marry an elderly gentleman. In the U.S., she went by the name Frank Thompson and joined the Army to fight the Confederates. She was a nurse working on the battlefield when, because of her heroism, she was asked to serve as a spy. At her death, Edmonds was buried in a military cemetery, in a plot reserved for Civil War veterans–the only woman to have this honor.

  3. Charlotte Spies for Justice - In 1864 twelve-year-old former slave Charlotte is lucky enough to live on a plantation near Richmond, Virginia, owned by a Miss Van Lew, who hates slavery, and when Charlotte overhears a conversation she realizes that her mistress is gathering information and passing it on to the Union army; Charlotte is eager to help, (especially since her own cousin, Mary, is involved) but her enthusiasm may endanger them all–or help free 400 Union soldiers who are being moved from Richmond further south.

  4. Good Wives - Louisa May Alcott’s enchanting tale of the March sisters continues with Good Wives, the second novel in the Little Women Collection! The tale of the March sisters continues in the beloved sequel to Little Women, which picks up three years later as Meg is preparing for her wedding, Jo attempts to launch her literary career, Beth still struggles to regain her health, and Amy begins traveling the world with their aunt. But obstacles stand between the girls and their dreams, and they’re forced to confront unimaginable heartache. Through love, perseverance, and family, together they overcome the hardships to find happiness.

Books About The Civil War and Us Presidents

Add to list
Abraham Lincoln
Written by Marion Dane Bauer & illustrated by Liz Goulet Dubois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Presents a simple biography of the sixteenth president of the United States.

Buy book
$3.99
Bookshop
$3.39
Amazon
$3.99
Used $3.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Who was Abraham Lincoln?
Written by Janet B. Pascal & illustrated by Who HQ
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Highlights the life and achievements of the sixteenth president of the United States, discussing his childhood years, his rise through politics, and the major decisions he made as president during the Civil War.

Buy book
$5.99
Bookshop
$5.09
Amazon
$5.99
Used $5.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
I am Kind
Written by Brad Meltzer & illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. In this new board book format, the very youngest readers can learn about one of America’s icons in the series’s signature lively, conversational style. The short text focuses on drawing inspiration from these iconic heroes, and includes an interactive element and factual tidbits that young kids will be able to connect with. This volume tells the story of Abraham Lincoln, America’s sixteenth president.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Lincoln: A Photobiography - Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as much for his wit and rollicking humor as for his height. This Newbery Medal-winning biography of our Civil War president is warm, appealing, and illustrated with dozens of carefully chosen photographs and prints. Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book’s final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites. This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read Aloud Informational Text).

  2. Lincoln Tells a Joke - Poor Abraham Lincoln! His life was hardly fun at all. A country torn in two by war, citizens who didn’t like him as president, the loss of two young sons, a homely appearance–what could there possibly be to laugh about? And yet he did laugh. Lincoln wasn’t just one of our greatest presidents. He was a comic storyteller, a lover of jokes, someone who could lighten a grim situation with a clever quip. What better way to deal with a hard life than to find the humor in it?

  3. Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln - A look at the early years of our sixteenth president.

Books About The Civil War and History

Add to list
The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody
Written by Matthew Landis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Twelve-year-old Oliver Prichard is obsessed with the Civil War. He knows everything about it: the battles, the generals, every movement of the Union and Confederate Armies. So when the last assignment of seventh-grade history is a project on the Civil War, Oliver is over the moon–until he’s partnered with Ella Berry, the slacker girl with the messy hair who does nothing but stare out the window. And when Oliver finds out they have to research a random soldier named Private Raymond Stone who didn’t even fight in any battles before dying of some boring disease, Oliver knows he’s doomed. But Ella turns out to be very different from what Oliver expected. As the partners film their documentary about Private Stone–with Oliver’s friend Kevin signing on as their head writing consultant–Oliver discovers that sometimes the most interesting things are hiding in uninteresting places. Even Private Stone is better than expected: There’s a mystery buried in his past, and Oliver knows he can figure it out.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$11.19
Used $2.00
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
A Long Walk to Water
Written & illustrated by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$5.29
Used $1.81
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Guts & Glory: The American Civil War
Written by Ben Thompson & illustrated by C.M. Butzer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From courageous cavalry rides deep into enemy territory to harrowing covert missions undertaken by spies and soldiers, the events of the American Civil War were filled with daring figures and amazing feats. This exhilarating overview covers the biggest battles as well as captivating lesser-known moments to entertain kids with unbelievable (and totally true) tales of one of America’s most fascinating conflicts.

History buff, Civil War reenactor, and popular blogger Ben Thompson uses his extensive knowledge and vivid storytelling style to bring the Civil War to life in this first book in a thrilling new series featuring incredible people, events, and civilizations. Get ready to learn just how awesome history can be!

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$5.98
Used $1.19
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. The Eternal Soldier - This is the untold story of Sallie, a dog whose life as a soldier began in a basket and ended as a Civil War hero. The pup barked and nearly tumbled out of the basket. We laughed, and immediately we knew–she was one of us already. Brindle fur with streaks of brown and black swirled all over her like a patchwork quilt. She was as pretty as an apple tree in full bloom. We called her Sallie. During the Civil War, Sallie came to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry as a gift from a townsperson, but she quickly became a favorite among her men. She marched with them from battle to battle, always guarding the unit’s colors, and even met President Lincoln. And over three long days at the battle of Gettysburg, Sallie stayed with the dead, guarded their bodies, and nearly died herself from hunger and thirst as the conflict raged on. Though she fell in battle, her loyalty was rewarded years later when her men met again on the battlefield at Gettysburg to erect her likeness in bronze so that she might eternally guard them. This beautiful story about a dog’s dedication and loyalty shows that bravery comes in all shapes and forms!

  2. Civil War on Sunday - Cannon fire! That’s what Jack and Annie hear when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the time of the American Civil War. There they meet a famous nurse named Clara Barton and do their best to help wounded soldiers. It is their hardest journey in time yet—and the one that will make the most difference to their own lives!

  3. Revolutionary War on Wednesday - 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!

Books About The Civil War and Abraham Lincoln

Add to list
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers
Written by Karen B. Winnick & illustrated by Boyds Mills Press Staff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Complete with letter reproductions, this story tells of eleven-year-old Grace Bedell’s written suggestion to President Lincoln that he grow a beard and the amazing events that followed as result. Reprint.

Buy book
$9.95
Bookshop
$8.46
Amazon
$9.95
Used $9.95
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Abe Lincoln at Last!
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie to Washington D.C. in the 1860s where they meet Abraham Lincoln and collect a feather that will help break a magic spell.

Buy book
$5.99
Bookshop
$5.09
Amazon
$5.99
Used $5.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Lincoln and His Boys
Written by Rosemary Wells & illustrated by P.J. Lynch
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Historians claim him as one of America’s most revered presidents. But to his rambunctious sons, Abraham Lincoln was above all a playful and loving father. Here is Lincoln as seen by two of his boys: Willie, thrilled to be on his first train trip when Lincoln was deciding to run for president; Willie and Tad barging into Cabinet meetings to lift Lincoln’s spirits in the early days of the Civil War, Tad accompanying him to Richmond just after the South’s defeat. With the war raging and the Union under siege, we see history unfolding through Willie’s eyes and then through Tad’s — and we see Lincoln rising above his own inborn sadness and personal tragedy through his devotion to his sons. With evocative and engaging illustrations by P.J. Lynch, Rosemary Wells offers a carefully researched biography that gives us a Lincoln not frozen in time but accessible and utterly real. Back matter includes an author’s note.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Abraham Lincoln Comes Home - When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, the country grieved for the courageous president who had guided them through the Civil War. Over the course of thirteen somber days, people paid homage as Lincoln’s funeral train made its way from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois. In moving prose and stunning paintings, a young boy experiences the deep feelings evoked by the assassination and death of a major historical figure, during a time of great change in the country.

  2. How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln - In 1856, when Kate Warne went to see Allan Pinkerton, only men were detectives. But Kate convinced Allan to hire her for his detective agency. She explained that she could worm out secrets where men could not go—in disguise as a society lady! Join Kate on her most important mission—to thwart a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the way to his inauguration.

Books About The Civil War and 19th Century

Add to list
Walt Whitman: Words for America
Written by Barbara Kerley & illustrated by Brian Selznick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Did you know that poet Walt Whitman was also a Civil War nurse? Devastated by his country dividing and compelled to service by his brother’s war injury, Walt nursed all soldiers–Union and Confederate, black and white. By getting to know them through many intense and affecting experiences, he began to see a greater life purpose: His writing could give these men a voice, and in turn, achieve his highest aspiration–to capture the true spirit of America. Dramatic, powerful, and deeply moving, this consummate portrait of Whitman will inspire readers to pick up their pens and open their hearts to humanity.

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$15.49
Used $1.56
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Voices from the Underground Railroad
Written by Kay Winters & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Siblings Mattie and Jeb escape slavery via the Underground Railroad, meeting helpful conductors and dodging slave catchers as they travel from Maryland to Massachusetts

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.62
Used $3.65
Prices as of Sep 27
Add to list
Ellen's Broom
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons & illustrated by Daniel Minter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A young girl learns a new meaning for freedom during the time of Reconstruction Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife. When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa’s names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again. Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter’s rich and eye-catching block print illustrations.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$12.99
Used $2.00
Prices as of Sep 27
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Rifles for Watie - Winner of the Newbery Medal An ALA Notable Children’s Book Winner of the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award A captivating and richly detailed novel about one young soldier who saw the Civil War from both sides and lived to tell the tale. Earnest, plain-spoken sixteen-year-old Jeff Bussey has finally gotten his father’s consent to join the Union volunteers. It’s 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff is eager to fight for the North before the war is over, which he’s sure will be soon. But weeks turn to months, the marches through fields and woods prove endless, hunger and exhaustion seem to take up permanent residence in Jeff’s bones, and he learns what it really means to fight in battle—and to lose friends. When he finds himself among enemy troops, he’ll have to put his life on the line to advance the Union cause. Thoroughly researched and based on firsthand accounts, Rifles for Watie “should hold a place with the best Civil War fiction for young people” (The Horn Book).

  2. Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town - When Dede sees a notice offering land for black people in Kansas, her family decides to quit sharecropping and become homesteading pioneers.Inspired by the true story of Nicodemus, Kansas, a town founded in the late 1870s by Exodusters—former slaves leaving the Jim Crow South in search of a new beginning— this fictional story follows Dede and her parents as they set out to stake and secure a claim, finally allowing them to have a home to call their own.

  3. Sinking the Sultana - The worst maritime disaster in American history wasn’t the Titanic. It was the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River–and it could have been prevented.

Did you enjoy our the Civil War book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Additional book lists you might enjoy:

Suggested Links