An Introduction to American History
Books to help start an interest in American History
Recommended for Children in Grades 3 and up
North Shore Public Library: Shoreham-Wading River, New York, 11786
Revolutionary friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. 2013. Written by Selene Castrovilla, Illustrated by Drazen Kozjan. Published by: Honesdale.
Based on the life of one of the more prominent soldiers fighting the 13 Colonies during the American Revolution, the book highlights Lafayette’s journey through the war and beyond. The story also features the friendship forged between him and the man who would become the Nation’s first president, General George Washington.
It can be located in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J 973.3 Cas. Published by Honesdale.
A Picture book of George Washington. 1989. Written by David A. Adler, Illustrated by John & Alexandra Wallner. Published by: Holiday House.
A book that expresses the youth of George Washington as he grows to become the man that would be the First President of the United States. The drawings are well rendered with a focus on text that helps children read young George’s story while appreciating the bright, colorful, pictures. This is a good way of showing children that even George Washington was kid once and look what he became.
It can be located in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B WASHINGTON
George vs George: the American Revolution as seen from both sides. 2004. Written by Rosalyn Schanzer. Published by: National Geographic.
This a book to help teach kids that war is not a battle of good vs evil always, it’s between two groups with leaders on each side not interested in losing. It helps to compare both George Washington and King George III, and their motivations as well as their actions shaped the future of the Country to be. The book is written with fewer pictures outside of colorful maps, a perfect book to step up from simply reading picture books.
It can be located in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J 973.3 SCH
Sybil Ludington’s midnight ride. 2000. Written by Marsha Amstel, Illustrated by Ellen Beier. Published by: Carolrhoda Books.
A short book about the other brave messenger who rode to warn her friends and neighbors that the British were coming, Sybil Ludington. Her race to help the American Revolution at the age of 16 was so profound that an afterword in the book discusses how there is a statue in her honor in Carmel, New York, on the very path she used in her heroic deed that shows women were heroes during that time as well.
It can be located in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B Ludington
Civil Rights Movement
Freedom on the menu: the Greensboro sit-ins. 2005. Written by Carol Boston Weatherford, Illustrated paintings by Jerome Lagarrigu. Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers.
The Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of a child. It highlights various things that came to be during that time, separate water fountains, places that carted only to white people, the sit-in protests, and the arrival of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The book’s artwork is well-rendered and are dark colors illustrate this grim time in American History that needs to be known.
It can be located in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J PIC WEA
The Story of Ruby Bridges. 1995. Written by Robert Coles, Illustrated by George Ford. Published by: Scholastic.
This is the story one of the first black children to be allowed to attend an all-white school in the 1960’s. Ruby Bridges struggle to confront angry mobs of parents who threatened her and did not want their own children attending school with her is well drawn with a narrative that can introduce discussions of racism and the struggle to preserve for equality against desires to segregate.
It can found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B Bridges
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist. 2017. Written by Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
The Civil Rights movement from a young activist’s point of view, Audrey Faye Hendricks. An interesting thing about this book is that it points out the Ku Klux Klan and has the child have more direct connection Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., calling him ‘Mike’ since he was a guest at her home on multiple occasions. It’s a book that discusses the fight for equality against bigotry but more importantly about the bond of family to face this struggle together.
It can be found in the Children’s Section, Call Number: J B Hendricks
Freedom Summer. 2001. Written by Deborah Wiles, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
This book won the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award (2002), Keats Book Award for New Writer and New Illustrator (2002), and the John Steptoe New Talent Author Award for Illustrator (2002), for its portrayal of a friendship challenged by new integration laws that make the local public pool a place of conflict in the Summer of 1964. The art beautifully renders the rural south while the two and their sincere bond of friendship against adversity is expressed in strong detail more than worthy of its awards.
It can be found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J PIC WIL
The Barack Obama Years
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. 2010. Written by Barack Obama, Illustrated by Loren Long. Published by: Alfred A. Knopf.
A book written by the 44th President of the United States, it details the various heroes of the past for their creativity, bravery, and patriotism that he feels can inspire his children as well as others. The books significance comes the reality that Barack Obama was the first black President, a testament that things have improved significantly and that the possibilities in the country have grown for all.
It can be found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J PIC OBAMA
Who is Barack Obama? (Who Was?). 2010. Written by Roberta Edwards, Illustrated by John O’Brien. Published by: Grosset & Dunlap.
This is a book that discusses Barack Obama’s life and the steps that led him to the White House. Discussing his childhood, how he met the woman who become his wife, and his relationship with his family help to create a better understanding of the man who by becoming elected President changed the notion of who gets to lead this country forever.
It can be found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B OBAMA
Who is Michelle Obama? (Who Was?). 2013. Written by Megan Stine, Illustrated by John O’Brien. Published by: Gossett & Dunlap.
This is a biography of the First Lady to the 44th President of the United States, Michelle Obama. It discusses the events in her life from education, meeting her future husband, and her efforts to improve this country in her own amazing way. It gives the reader a better understanding of the First Lady who helped the country as it adjusted to many different changes.
It can be found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B OBAMA
Barack Obama: son of promise, child of hope. 2008. Written by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
The story of a young man who would be guided by the hope inspired in him by family that would help him become President of the United States. The art style is very detailed, showing various places in Obama’s life from Hawaii to Chicago, describing the journey that shaped him into the man he became. This New York Times Best Seller has the sealed mark of being recognized as a proper biography of the 44th President of the United States.
It can be found in the Children’s Room, Call Number: J B OB