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Thomas Jefferson: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about Thomas Jefferson, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Jefferson’s Sons to popular sellers like Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud to some of our favorite hidden gems like Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt.

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

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Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard & 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.

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The Secret at Jefferson's Mansion
Written by Ron Roy & illustrated by Timothy Bush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From popular A to Z Mysteries author Ron Roy comes a red, white, and blue mystery perfect for the election season!

In the eleventh book of the Capital Mysteries--an early chapter book mystery series featuring fun facts and famous sites from Washington, D.C.--KC and Marshall are painting a closet in the White House when they come across a forgotten cubbyhole. Hidden inside is an old box of homemade toy horses that one belonged to Thomas Jefferson! KC and Marshall take the historic treasure to Jefferson's home, Monticello, but right after they get there, the box - with all the horses inside - is stolen! How did a thief snatch the horses from right under everyone's noses? KC and Marshall are going to find out!

Each book highlights one of the famous museums, buildings, or monuments from the Washington area and includes a map and a two-page fun fact spread with photographs. Parents, teachers, and librarians agree that these highly collectible chapter books are perfect for emerging readers and any kid who love mysteries!

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Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library
Written by Barb Rosenstock & illustrated by John O'Brien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

As soon as Thomas Jefferson learned to read, he found his passion: books, books, and more books! Before, during, and after the American Revolution, Jefferson collected thousands of books on hundreds of subjects. In fact, his massive collection eventually helped rebuild the Library of Congress–now the largest library in the world. Barb Rosenstock’s rhythmic words and John O’Brien’s whimsical illustrations capture Jefferson’s passion for the written word as well as little-known details about book collecting. Author and artist worked closely with experts to create the first picture book on Jefferson’s love of reading, writing, and books. An author’s note, bibliography, and source notes for quotations are also included.

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My Name Is James Madison Hemings
Written by Jonah Winter & illustrated by Terry Widener
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
A New York Times Notable Book

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Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud
Written by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were good friends with very different personalities. But their differing views on how to run the newly created United States turned them into the worst of friends. They each became leaders of opposing political parties, and their rivalry followed them to the White House. Full of both history and humor, this is the story of two of America’s most well-known presidents and how they learned to put their political differences aside for the sake of friendship.

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

  • Jefferson's Sons - A fictionalized look at the last twenty years of Thomas Jefferson’s life at Monticello through the eyes of three of his slaves, two of whom were his sons by his slave, Sally Hemings.

  • Hatmaker's Sign: A Story by Benjamin Franklin -

  • A Big Cheese for the White House: The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar - In 1801, the proud citizens of Cheshire, Massachusetts, boasted that their cheese was the very best. But then they heard the shocking news: President Jefferson was serving Norton cheese at the White House! What to do? Elder John Leland had an idea. A very large idea. If everyone worked together, they could make a cheese so large that President Jefferson would be serving Cheshire cheese at the White House for years to come. How the villagers of Cheshire create a true cheese-making miracle and transport it to the nation’s capitol makes a spirited, rollicking tale.<P>Based on a true moment in American history, this funny picture book celebrates the ingenuity and community spirit of one small New England town as it attempts to make the country’s biggest cheese for the nation’s greatest man.

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