Books are a great way to make history come alive for kids. There are so many stories behind the American Revolution, and there are lots of wonderful children’s books that explore the people and events that shaped a nation. This list explores the men and women who changed history, as well as some curious stories that kids may not have heard before.
American Revolution Books for Kids
Meet the Men Behind the Revolution
George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides was written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer. This book introduces the Revolutionary War through a comparison of the two Georges at the forefront: King George III and George Washington. The author compares the two men, their lives and their beliefs, and shows the problems leading up to the war from both viewpoints. This book is a great way to remind kids that there are two sides to every story.
I am George Washington (Ordinary People Change the World) was written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. This early age biography of George Washington introduces readers to the founding father through easy text and cartoon style illustrations. The story follows Washington through childhood, making him relatable to young readers and laying the foundations for the history making decisions he would make in his life.
Paul Revere’s Ride was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and illustrated by Ted Rand. This retelling of Paul Revere’s story pairs the classic poem with beautifully detailed and vivid illustrations. The lyrical poem pairs well with the illustrations, capturing the reader’s attention and encouraging kids to want to learn more.
Those Rebels, John & Tom was written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. This book introduces readers to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The author outlines their many differences, but shows how their similar dislike of King George and their love of the colonies lead them to make history. The illustrations paired with the text are striking, using varying shades of red, white and blue to illustrate the men’s lives.
Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? was written by Jean Fritz and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Meet George, the young boy who will grow up to be King, and see the struggles he faces when the American colonists start to rebel. This book makes King George easily relatable, first introducing him as a young boy. The illustrations are done in dePaola’s classic and comforting style, making it easy for kids to enjoy the history in the story.
John, Paul, George & Ben was written and illustrated by Lane Smith. The entertaining book blends fact and fiction as it introduces readers to John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington and Ben Franklin. The text is simple and often hilarious, while the illustrations are both nostalgic and entertaining. Adults will find this just as funny as the kids!
The Inspirational Women of the Revolution
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution was written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner. Meet the strong women and girls who played a large part in the American Revolution in this engaging book. There are lots of women whose actions during the Revolutionary War made a large mark on our history. This book shares their stories, pairing them with entertaining and vivid illustrations.
Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies was written by Cokie Roberts and illustrated by Diane Goode. There are lots of women who affected great change during the time of the Revolutionary War, and this book outlines the lives and accomplishments of some of the women who influenced the outcome. This engaging book includes letters, quotes, interesting tidbits and recipes from the time period, introducing the reader to some amazing women and the men they influenced.
They Called Her Molly Pitcher was written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Cynthia von Buhler. This story of the determined Molly Pitcher introduces readers to the brave woman who would become legend during the Revolutionary War. The descriptive text shares her remarkable actions, while the incredible illustrations use texture and color to mimic painting styles of the time period.
The Scarlet Stockings Spy (Tales of Young Americans) was written by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Robert Papp. This tale follows the journey of a young girl named Maddy Rose who gets involved in the transfer of secret messages to George Washington’s army. The suspenseful story is paired with breathtaking illustrations.
Learning about The Boston Tea Party
You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!: Wharf Water Tea You’d Rather Not Drink was written by Peter Cook and illustrated by David Antram. This entertaining book puts kids into the shoes of colonists during the start of the Revolutionary War. Through informative text and funny, colorful illustrations, this book gives kids important facts about this time in history while also entertaining them.
The Boston Tea Party was written by Russell Freedman and illustrated by Peter Malone. This beautifully illustrated book introduces readers to the events of the Boston Tea Party. The text explains the event and it’s aftermath in great detail, while the incredibly detailed illustrations bring the story to life.
Different Perspectives of the Revolutionary War
Katie’s Trunk was written by Ann Turner and illustrated by Ronald Himler. This story follows a young girl named Katie, whose family are Loyalists living in the American colonies. Unlike most books in this genre, this one focuses on the Revolutionary War from the Loyalist side, sharing how Katie was forced to hide in a trunk to avoid rebel soldiers. This book is a great way to introduce the other side of the story.
Samuel’s Choice was written by Richard Berleth and illustrated by James Watling. This story follows a young enslaved African American boy named Samuel who finds himself in the middle of the clash between the British and American soldiers. The story gives a new perspective of the war, from the eyes of a young slave, and the illustrations paired with the engaging text are beautiful.
Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak: The Outbreak of the Boston Tea Party Told from Multiple Points-of-View! was written by Kay Winters and illustrated by Larry Day. This book outlines the events of the Boston Tea Party through the point of view of various onlookers in different occupations. The text is written in prose style formatting, paired with richly detailed illustrations.
Interesting Stories from the War
Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution was written and illustrated by Don Brown. While George Washington was camped out in Boston, a determined bookseller named Henry Knox vowed to bring 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga – almost 300 miles away. This brilliantly illustrated book tells the reader of his remarkable feat through an engaging text and brightly colored illustrations.
for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution was written by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X.
Kirsch. Soldiers at war need food to sustain them, and this story tells of a
baker who provided it, and so much more. This tale follows the journey of
Christopher Ludwick, a German baker who helped George Washington and the rebel
troops. The story is told in an engaging tone, while the illustrations are
heavily inspired by gingerbread.
Learning the Facts
DK Eyewitness Books: American Revolution was written by Stuart Murray. This nonfiction book is full of facts, artwork and photographs, making it a great reference for kids. Each page is stocked full of text, with each photo or illustration paired with informative captions and annotations. From the detailed explanation of the reasons behind the war, to the clear photographs showing the weapons and artifacts from the time period, there is a lot for kids to learn from this one.
The American Revolution for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series) was written by Janis Herbert. This book serves as a great reference book for kids, with lots of information about the major players in the Revolutionary War. The book also includes 21 activities to help kids get into the shoes of people living during the time. From reenacting important moments to creating items of their own, kids will get a hands on approach to the Revolution.
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution was written by Dennis Brindell Fradin and illustrated by Larry Day. This beautifully illustrated book follows the lead up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The text is easy to read, pairing well with the incredibly detailed illustrations. The book also includes a breakdown of all the important players during the battle, helping the reader to better understand the story.
Explaining the Constitution
We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States was written and illustrated by David Catrow. This illustrated version of the Preamble to the Constitution, introduces kids to the important text through brightly colored and entertaining illustrations. The author starts the book by breaking down the text of the preamble and explaining the meaning behind each phrase. The illustrations that are paired with the Preamble provide a great opportunity to talk to kids about the ideas that the Founding Fathers had, and the meaning behind the words.