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Us History: Books For Kids

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

As you can see, this list of kids books about US History is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about US History, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

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For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful"
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Olga Baumert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

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Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means
Written by Christy Mihaly & illustrated by Manu Montoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents
Written by Kate Messner and Adam Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

An inspiring and informative book for kids about the past and future of America’s presidents.

Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine.

When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, there were 10 future presidents already alive in America, doing things like hosting TV shows and learning the saxophone.

And right now—today!—there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be playing basketball, like Barack Obama, or helping in the garden, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art—or already making change.

• A breezy, kid-friendly survey of American history and American presidents
• Great for teachers, librarians, and other educators
• Kate Messner’s nonfiction picture books have been lauded by critics and received a variety of awards.

For young readers and students who loved The New Big Book of Presidents, Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, and Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents.

A helpful addition to curriculums of 5th- to 8th-grade students studying U.S. History and civics and the federal government.

• For readers ages 8–12
• U.S. history for kids
• Students, librarians, teachers
• 5th–8th-grade kids

From award-winning author Kate Messner and New York Times bestselling artist Adam Rex comes a timely and compelling compendium about the U.S. presidents—before they were presidents.

Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose many books for kids have been selected as Best Books by the New York Times, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family.

Adam Rex is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books and novels, including Nothing Rhymes with Orange and the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. He has worked with the likes of Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Jeff Kinney, and Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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A Parade for George Washington
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by John O'Brien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Crowds cheering, trumpets sounding, and cannons firing! Follow along as George Washington journeys from Virginia to his inauguration in New York City.

After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed U.S. Congress chose the first president. Every vote was for Washington.

So began Washington’s week-long trip from his home in Virginia to New York City, where he would be inaugurated. At every stop on George Washington’s route, people were determined to celebrate their very first president. In Baltimore citizens rode along with Washington for seven miles, in Philadelphia people chanted “Long live George Washington,” and in Elizabethtown, NJ, Washington was met with a parade of boats so spectacular that he would later write in his diary: “the decorations of the ships, the roar of cannon . . . filled my mind with sensations.”

David A. Adler deftly retells this joyous journey in information-packed prose, while John O’Brien masterfully illustrates our complex and beautiful new nation in his signature style. Included in the meticulously detailed artwork are period-accurate maritime signal flags for kids to decode and buildings like Federal Hall in New York City that still stand today. Back matter includes a time line, source notes, and a bibliography.

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The Pullman Porter
Written by Vanita Oelschlager & illustrated by Mike Blanc
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Children and adults under the age of 40 are forgetting about the Pullman Porter. They were very important figures in the history of American. This book will teach children and adults, who the porters were and why they were so important in our history. Porters worked in early train cars, they would look, listen and learn from their predominantly white passengers. They would read the newspapers passengers left behind, listen to conversations and begin to talk to one another. The porter learned how important education was for children and how important it was to take this message home to his children. He eventually landed at the forefront of the civil rights movement.

Cowboys book
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My Village: Sturbridge book
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  • Cowboys - Depicts how cowboys lived in the Old West, describes their methods of raising cattle, and discusses their pastimes

  • My Village: Sturbridge - Wood engravings and accompanying descriptions highlight Sturbridge, Massachusetts, as seen by an apprentice in a printing office.

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