Books by Theme

From the American Revolution to a New Nation

Discover the fascinating people and events of the American Revolutionary War era and the formation of our new nation, including the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Meet historical figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams (and other "ladies of liberty"), Crispus Attucks, and Nathan Hale — as well as lively characters of the time imagined through historical fiction. 

Abigail & John

By: David Bruce Smith
Illustrated by: Clarice Smith
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Follow the story of Abigail and John Adams as they forge an equal and loving partnership that will last a lifetime and help shape a young republic. The Adamses were firsthand witnesses to historical events such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, and the Continental Congresses. They met revolutionary leaders and heroes including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and America’s first president, George Washington along the way. See history through the eyes of Abigail and John Adams as you learn the true story behind their powerful and influential union. See an exclusive digital version of Abigail & John.

Black Heroes of the American Revolution

By: Burke Davis
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Learn about Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave whose freedom ended when he died in the Boston Massacre, — as well as many other lesser-known black men and women who made enormous contributions to U.S. independence. Readers will discover Edward Hector, the brave wagoner of Brandywine; artilleryman and slave Austin Dabney; William Lee, the aide and closest companion of George Washington throughout the war; and many others.

 

Chains

By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Isabel, an enslaved 13-year old, and her younger sister are set to be freed but instead are sold to a ruthless Loyalist at the start of the Revolutionary War. Life in New York City during the time comes vividly alive as do the complexities of the war.

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies

By: Cokie Roberts
Illustrated by: Diane Goode
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Trace the stories of heroic, patriotic women such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Livingston Jay, and others. Details are gleaned from their letters, private journals, lists, and ledgers. The bravery of these women’s courageous acts contributed to the founding of America and spurred the founding fathers to make this a country that “remembered the ladies.”

 

George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen By Both Sides

By: Rosalyn Schanzer
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Georges most prominent in early America — England's George III and America’s George Washington — had much in common even though their politics put them on opposite sides of the issue of independence as well as the Atlantic. Serious information about the men, their struggles, and the times in which they lived is conveyed in an engaging format and light touch that tells of the birth of the United States.

Independent Dames: What You Never Knew about the Women and Girls of the American Revolution

By: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This fact and fun-filled look at female contributions to the American Revolution provides a serious but lighthearted introduction to a range of known and unknown women. Affable illustrations include thought and speech bubbles.

 

John, Paul, George and Ben

By: Lane Smith
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Fact and fiction, old and new styles of illustration, wit and seriousness combine in this pithy, lighthearted look at four luminaries in American history. Only mature readers will appreciate the title's name play but are sure to chuckle at the take on John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington and Ben Franklin. Fact is clearly differentiated from fun at book's end.

Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation

By: Cokie Roberts
Illustrated by: Diane Goode
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Journals, letters and other primary sources were used to introduce "a few of the women who helped… make [the United States] a nation where everyone could pursue the happiness promised when America declared independence…" Line and wash illustrations enhance the brief entries of these intriguing but largely unknown women.

Leave It to Abigail! The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams

By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: Elizabeth Baddeley
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Everyone knew Abigail was different. Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Instead of settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Instead of leaving the governing to men, she insisted they "Remember the Ladies." Instead of fearing Europe's kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady, and a powerful advisor.

Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge

By: Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Illustrated by: Kathleen Van Cleve
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Born into a life of slavery, Ona Judge eventually grew up to be George and Martha Washington’s “favored” enslaved person. When she was told that she was going to be given as a wedding gift to Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Ona made the bold and brave decision to flee to the north, where she would be a fugitive. From her childhood, to her time with the Washingtons and living in the slave quarters, to her escape to New Hampshire, readers will get a glimpse into the life of a little-known, but powerful figure in history.

One Dead Spy

By: Nathan Hale
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The story of Nathan Hale, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. This lively, rigorously researched, visually engaging graphic novel highlights the unusual and just plain unbelievable truth of the historical Nathan Hale. (Book 1 in Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series)

Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette

By: Selene Castrovilla
Illustrated by: Drazen Krozjan
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The friendship between Lafayette and Washington is dramatically told for sophisticated readers in a handsome picture book format. It began while the fledgling United States fought for its independence from Britain though it continued after the war. Additional information about the two men and the time in which they lived is included.

Samuel Adams and the Boston Tea Party

By: Gary Jeffrey
Illustrated by: Nick Spender
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The story of one of the most famous events in U.S. history, focusing on the role of Samuel Adams. Considered the leader of the protest movement against Britain's authority in Massachusetts, Samuel Adams convinced many people to join the Sons of Liberty. Presented in graphic novel format.

 

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution

By: Jean Fritz
Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Long ago in 1787, a group of men known as the Founding Fathers of the United States met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. (It's now a national park.) There they discussed, argued, and finally agreed upon a document that still in use today — the U.S. Constitution. Their story is told with verve and humor in this playful book.

Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution

By: Avi
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

gripping view of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of a 12-year-old spy. When young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, she resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. 

Susanna’s Midnight Ride: The Girl Who Won the Revolutionary War

By: Libby Carty McNamee
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

As the former Colonies struggle for freedom, the American Revolution is in the hands of a brave and resourceful teenage girl. At sixteen, Susanna Bolling is like America in rebellion; she craves independence. When British General Cornwallis invades her family’s Bollingbrook Plantation, she overhears his secret plan to defeat the Patriots. Much to her shock, she finds herself at the center of the war.

Sybil’s Night Ride

By: Karen B. Winnick
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

On the stormy night of April 26, 1777, young Sybil Ludington rode on her horse spreading the word that the British were coming. They had already set fire to the nearby town of Danbury, Connecticut and the glow of the flames had turned the night sky to fiery red. Sybil rode through the countryside to alert the patriots with the cry of "Muster at Ludington's!"

The Boston Tea Party

By: Russell Freedman
Illustrated by: Peter Malone
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

From the controversial, unpopular taxes on tea through the defiant act of dumping hundreds of chests of British cargo into the harbor, this exciting retelling puts readers in the middle of this historic event. Detailed watercolor illustrations bring this story of early American protest to life, depicting the colonial era and the charged atmosphere of Boston in the weeks leading up to the Boston Tea Party.  Informational backmatter includes a bibliography, index, and historic map of Boston.

The Scarlet Stockings Spy

By: Trinka Noble
Illustrated by: Robert Papp
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The year is 1777, and young Maddy Rose's brother Jonathan has gone to fight with Washington. Maddy Rose is also doing her part for the revolution. She has worked out a simple, clever system to inform Jonathan about ships docked in the harbor: her petticoats and stockings have particular meanings as they hang on the line.

They Called Her Molly Pitcher

By: Anne Rockwell, Cynthia von Buhler
Illustrated by: Cynthia von Buhler
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When her husband followed George Washington into battle during the war for independence, Mary "Molly" Hays followed her husband, gaining the name Molly Pitcher by carrying water to the thirsty men on the battlefield. When she took up her wounded husband's position firing the cannon, a legend was born. The illustrations depict sturdy figures and fierce battles in this dramatic account.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library

By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: John O'Brien
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This lively look at Thomas Jefferson's lifelong obsession with books and reading is told with verve and humor. How Jefferson's sizeable book collection came to reside at the Library of Congress brings both the man and his time into focus. Additional information about the man and his legacy as well as additional resources conclude this brief, fact-filled, engaging book.

Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation

Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation

By: Peggy Thomas
Illustrated by: Stacy Innerst
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Thomas Jefferson’s many activities and interests took root in a new country and remain evident in contemporary America. They are celebrated in a breezy but informative text and charming, stylized illustrations in a muted palette that help bring the time, the person and his undertakings into focus. 

Tricking the Tallyman

By: Jacqueline Davies
Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Who will outsmart whom — Phineas Bump, the 1790 U.S. census taker who rides into Tunbridge, Vermont, heartsick, saddle-sore, and down on his luck but determined to count the people for his job, or the townsfolk who don’t want to be counted because they think they’ll have to pay more taxes? When young rascal Boston Pepper gets an idea, it switches their thinking: more people would mean more government representation and more votes to get things done!

We the People: The Constitution of the United States

By: Peter Spier
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The U.S. Constitution brought to life for young readers!In this visual celebration of the U.S. Constitution and America's founding fathers, Caldecott Medalist Peter Spier tells the stirring American tale of how this most important document came to symbolize freedom, justice, equality, and hope for all citizens.

We the People: The Story of Our Constitution

By: Lynne Cheney
Illustrated by: Greg Harlin
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An illustrated history of how the Constitution came to be. In May 1787 delegates from across the country—including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin—gathered in Philadelphia and, meeting over the course of a sweltering summer, created a new framework for governing: the Constitution of the United States. Their efforts turned a shaky alliance of states into a nation that would prosper and grow powerful, drawing its strength for centuries to come from “We the people” and inspiring hope for freedom around the world.

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