Revolutionary Library: Book Ideas for Learning History

Books on a shelf

Whatever your passion, involve your children. Invite them into new worlds with books on every subject. George R R Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” Books can bring a whole new dimension to a child’s perspective and knowledge. Since my passion is history, and more specifically the founding of our country, I have put together a list of the best books for all ages. Happy reading.

Best books for Littles

  1. Childhood of Famous Americans. They have quite a few – don’t miss Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Molly Pitcher, or Paul Revere.
  2. Robert Lawson authored 2 great ones – Ben and Me & Mr. Revere and I.
  3. Ann Rinaldi is another good author for history. I liked Time Enough for Drums, Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons, & The Secrets of Sarah Revere. These have a little 18th century romance in them so your daughters might like them better than your sons.
  4. Anything & everything by Jean Fritz. For younger readers try What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin  or Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution. For older kids try The Great Little Madison  and Early Thunder.
  5. Anything by the D’Aulaire’s is wonderful. You can read their shorter and colorful books to your children. Half the pages are black and white so you can copy them and let your children color while you read. Favorites? George Washington, Ben Franklin, Leif the Lucky.
  6. Heroes of the Revolution by David Adler. Short but trustworthy information.
  7. Sterling North’s George Washington Frontier Colonel.
  8. Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse Anderson. Fabulous girl power stories and facts.
  9. Aaron and the Green Mountain Boys by Patricia Gauch. Illustrated by Margot Tomes.
  10. Enabling the People by Rebecca M. Siebach. A book about the amendments and pictures that help you remember them.
  11. For the older kids, The Story of Phyllis Wheatley by Shirley Graham. Phyllis Wheatley was an African American poetess during the Revolutionary War.
  12. It Happened in America by Lila Perl. True stories from the fifty states from all different time periods.
  13. From the Cornerstones of Freedom series, The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Natalie Miller.
  14. From the  Foundations of Character series, try the DVDs Drive Thru History Americs with Dave Stutts. Created by David Barton and Nita Thomason.
  15. …If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore. All the …If You Lived books are well done and cover many periods of history.
  16. Esther Forbes Newberry Award winner, Johnny Tremain (for older kids).
  17. Benjamin Rush by David Barton is a book about one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A real hero.

Best books for Older Teens and Grown-ups

  1. The Real George Washington  (National Center for Constitutional Studies)
  2. The Apostle of Liberty by Stephen McDowell (Leaders in Action Series)
  3. America’s Providential History by Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell
  4. The Elders of Israel by Jerome Horowitz and it’s companion study guide, The Constitution of the Founding Fathers.
  5. Of America Compiled by Beverly Rainey (an ABeka book)
  6. The Real Thomas Jefferson (National Center for Constitutional Studies)
  7. The Federalist Papers are a must to understand the two political standpoints of America during the making of our Constitution.
  8. The Religious Opinions and Character of Washington by Edward C. McGuire
  9. The American Covenant by Foster and Swanson
  10. James Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
  11. Our Country’s Founders by William J. Bennett
  12. The Real Benjamin Franklin (National Center for Constitutional Studies)
  13. A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen is an unapologetic, non-revisionist view of our history. In other words, truth.
  14. The Quotable Founding Fathers, edited by Buckner F. Melton, Jr., is a good grab to find quotes on specific subjects.
  15. W, Cleon Skousen’s The 5000 Year Leap is comprised of 28 principles of freedom and how we came to steal a few from past societies.
  16. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
  17. Common Sense by Thomas Paine. It’s short but invaluable.
  18. Anything by David Barton gives a true rendition of history. Some of my favorites are the booklets Bulletproof George Washington, Separation of Church and State, and Keys to Good Government.


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