A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


Listed below are a few of the many excellent books about people, events, and issues in American and world history that are available for primary and middle school children. They are available in most public and school libraries, as well as in children's bookstores. Suggestions came from: The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children, by Eden Ross Lipson; History--Social Science Curriculum: A Booklet for Parents, by the California Department of Education; The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books, by The Horn Book, Incorporated; Children's Books in Print; and from the 1991 bibliography of the National Council for the Social Studies--Children's Book Council. The listing includes author, title, and publisher.

Primary Level Books

1. American History and Culture

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt. See also other titles in this series, and Thomas Jefferson: Father of our Democracy, and George Washington: Father of our Country. Holiday.

Barth, Edna. Turkeys, Pilgrims and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols. Clarion.

Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim. Lothrop.

Faber, Doris. Amish. Doubleday.

Ferris, Jeri. Go Free or Die: A Story about Harriet Tubman. See also Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story about Sojourner Truth. Carolrhoda Books.

Fisher, Leonard E. The Statue of Liberty. Holiday.

Fritz, Jean. Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? See also What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, and Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? Coward.

Gibbons, Gail. From Path to Highway: The Story of the Boston Post Road. T.Y. Crowell/Harper Collins.

Harness, Cheryl. Three Young Pilgrims. Bradbury Press.

Jakes, John. Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Lawson, Robert. Watchwords of Liberty: A Pageant of American Quotations. Little, Brown.

McGovern, Ann. If You Lived in Colonial Times. Scholastic.

McGuffy, William Holmes. McGuffey's Third Eclectic Reader. Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Monjo, F. N. The One Bad Thing about Father (biography of Theodore Roosevelt). See also The Drining Gourd. Harper.

O'Kelley, Mattie Lou. From the Hills of Georgia: An Autobiography in Paintings. Little, Brown.

Provensen, Alice. The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States. Harper Collins.

Rynbach, Iris V. Everything from a Nail to a Coffin. Orchard.

Sewall, Marcia. The Pilgrims of Plimoth. See also People of the Breaking Day (same period from Indian point of view). Atheneum.

Von Tscharner, Renata, and Ronald Fleming. New Providence: A Changing Cityscape. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Waters, Kate. The Story of the White House. Scholastic.

Williams, Sherley Anne. Working Cotton. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

2. World History and Culture

Adler, David A. Our Golda: The Story of Golda Meir. Viking.

Aliki. Mummies Made in Egypt. T.Y. Crowell/Harper Collins.

Fisher, Leonard E. The Great Wall of China. See also Pyramid of the Sun--Pyramid of the Moon, and The Wailing Wall, Macmillan.

Musgrove, Margaret W. Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions. Dial.

Provensen, Alice, and Martin Provensen. The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Blériot. Puffin.

Sabin, Louis. Marie Curie. Troll.

Stanley, Diane. ,i>Peter the Great. Four Winds.

Wells, Ruth. A to Zen: A Book of Japanese Culture. Simon and Schuster.

3. Historical Fiction and Poetry

Aliki. A Medieval Feast. T.Y. Crowell/Harper Collins.

Baylor, Byrd. The Best Town in the World . Scribner's.

Benchley, Nathaniel. Sam the Minuteman. Harper Collins.

Burton, Virginia Lee. Little House. Houghton Mifflin.

Goble, Paul. Death of the Iron Horse. Macmillan.

Hall, Donald. Ox-Cart Man. Puffin.

Kurelek, William. A Prairie Boy's Winter. Houghton Mifflin.

Kuskin, Karla. Jerusalem, Shining Still. Harper Trophy.

Lee, Jeanne M. Ba-Nam. Henry Holt.

Le Sueur, Meridel. Little Brother of the Wilderness: The Story of Johnny Appleseed. Holy Cow! Press.

Livingston, Myra. Celebrations. Holiday.

Lobel, Anita. Potatoes, Potatoes. Harper Collins.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Hiawatha. Dial.

Lyon, George--Ella. Who Came Down That Road? Franklin Watts.

Spier, Peter. We the People: The Constitution of the U.S.. See also Tin Lizzie, New Amsterdam, and The Star-Spangled Banner. Doubleday.

Swift, Hildegarde, and Lynd Ward. Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Turkle, Brinton. Thy Friend, Obadiah. Puffin.

Zolotow, Charlotte. The Sky Was Blue. Harper.

Upper Elementary Level Books

1. American History and Culture

a. Original Sources and Biographies

The Log of Christopher Columbus' First Voyage to America: In the Year 1492, As Copied Out in Brief by Bartholomew Las Casas. Linnett Books/Shoestring Press.

Brown, Margaret W. (editor). Homes int the Wilderness: A Pilgrim's Journal of Plymouth Plantation in 1620, by William Bradford and Others of the Mayflower Company. Linnett Books/Shoestring Press.

Cousins, Margaret. Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia. Random.

Douglass, Frederick. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Macmillan. See also The Narrative and Selected Writings. Modern Library.

Freedman, Russell. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Clarion. See also Indian Chiefs, The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane (Holiday), and Lincoln: A Photobiography (Clarion).

Harrison, Barbara, and Daniel Terris. A Twilight Struggle: The Life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Lothrop/Morrow.

Lester, Julius. To Be a Slave. Dial.

McKissack, Patricia, and Frederick McKissack. Mary McLeod Bethune: A Great Great Teacher. Enslow.

Meltzer, Milton. The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words. See also others in this "In their own words" series, and Voices from the Civil War. T.Y. Crowell/Harper Collins.

Ravitch, Diane (editor). American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation. Harper Collins.

b. Period History and Historical Fiction

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Little, Brown/Orchard House. See also An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving. Holiday.

Benet, Rosemary, and Stephen Vincent Benet. The Ballad of William Sycamore. Henry Holt.

Blumberg, Rhoda. The Incredible Journey of Lewis. Lothrop.

Brink, Carol R. Caddie Woodlawn. Macmillan.

Brown, Marion Marsh. Sacagawea: Indian Interpreter to Lewis and Clark. Childrens.

Fisher, Leonard E. The Oregon Trail. See also Tracks Across America: The Story of the American Railroad, 1825-1900. Holiday.

Flournoy, Valerie. The Patchwork Quilt. Dial.

Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. Houghton Mifflin.

Freedman, Russell. Cowboys of the Wild West. Clarion.

Fritz, Jean. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. Putnam. See also other books by the same author on Pocahantas, Paul Revere, and others.

Hakim, Joy. The First Americans, the first volume of the series A History of the United States. Oxford University Press.

Haskins, Jim. Outward Dreams: Black Inventors and Their Inventions. Walker.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. True Stories From History and Biography. Ohio State University Press.

Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. Berkley.

Jacobs, William J. Ellis Island: New Hope in a New Land. Scribner.

Maestro, Betsy. A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution. Lothrop.

Nixon, Joan L. A Family Apart. Bantam.

O'Dell, Scott. King's Fifth. See also The Serpent Never Sleeps: A Novel of Jamestown and Pocahontas. Houghton Mifflin.

Parker, Nancy W. The President's Cabinet and How It Grew. Harper Collins.

Smith, Carter (editor). Daily Life: A Sourcebook on Colonial America. Millbrook.

Stewart, George. The Pioneers Go West. Random.

Wilder, Laura I. Little House in the Big Woods. See also others in the "Little House" series. Harper Trophy.

2. World History and Culture, and Historical Fiction

Blumberg, Rhoda. The Remarkable Voyages of Captain Cook. Bradbury.

Corbishley, Mike. Ancient Rome. Facts on File.

Foreman, Michael. War Boy: A Country Childhood. Arcade.

Galbraith, Catherine A., and Rama Mehta. India Now and Through Time. Houghton Mifflin.

Harkonen, Reijo. The Children of Egypt. Carolrhoda Books.

Macaulay, David. Pyramid. See also City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction; Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction; and Castle. Houghton Mifflin. Also available on video.

Marrin, Albert. Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars. Viking.

Muller, Jorg. The Changing City. McElderry.

Nhuong, Quang Nhuong. The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam. Harper Trophy.

Rogasky, Barbara. Smoke and Ashes: The Story of the Holocaust. Holiday.

Stott, Ken (illustrator). Columbus and the Age of Exploration. Bookwright.


Baker, Charles F., III. The Struggle for Freedom: Plays on the American Revolution. Cobblestone.

Barchers, Suzanne, and Patricia Marden. Cooking Up U.S. History: Recipes and Research to Share with Children. Teacher Ideas Press.

Bell, R. C. Board and Table Games From Many Civilizations. Dover Publications.

Benet, Rosemary, and Stephen Vincent Benet. Book of Americans. Henry Holt.

Boorstin, Daniel J., and Ruth F. Boorstin. The Landmark History of the American People. Random House. See also Visiting Our Past: America's Historylands. National Geographic Society.

D'Aulaire, Ingri, and Edgar D'Aulaire. D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. Doubleday.

Dorell, Ann (collector). The Diane Goode Book of American Folk Tales and Songs. Dutton.

Fearotte, Phyllis. The You and Me Heritage Tree: Children's Crafts From 21 American Traditions. Workman.

Hughes, Langston, and Arna Bontemps. The Book of Negro Folklore. Dodd, Mead.

McEvedy, Colin. The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History. Penguin.

National Geographic Society. Historical Atlas of hte United States.

Walker, Barbara M. The Little House Cookbook. Trophy.

Children's Magazines

Calliope: World History for Young People. Cobblestone Publishing, Inc., 30 Grove St., Peterborough, NH 03458. World history for grades 6-8.

Cobblestone: The History Magazine for Young People. Cobblestone Publishing, Inc., same address as above. An American history monthly for grades 4-8.


An American Tail, Universal Studios. An animated fable about 19th century immigration, in color.

The Civil War, PBS, directed by Kenneth Burns. An 11 hour series in color and black and white.

Eyes on the Prize, PBS. A series on the civil rights movement in the United States.

References for Parents

Hirsch, E.D. Jr. What Your First Grader Needs To Know. See also titles on second-, third-, and fourth-graders. Doubleday/Core Knowledge Series.

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