With Independence Day coming up, we’re feeling patriotic here at Peachtree. Instead of setting off fireworks (no need to scare our cats unnecessarily), we decided to do a little patriotic reading. From Benjamin Franklin to World War II, our reading list is American through and through. For your holiday weekend reading, check out these great children’s books!

Sweet Land of Liberty

Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

This inspiring story of little-known civil rights champion Oscar Chapman reminds readers that one person can truly make a difference. When Chapman learned that Marian Anderson was not allowed to sing at Constitution Hall because of the color of her skin, Chapman helped produce a landmark concert that—for at least one evening—bridged the color divide to bring a city and much of the nation together.

Abraham Lincolns Dueling Words

Written by Donna Janell Bowman
Illustrated by S. D. Schindler

Abraham Lincoln was known for his sense of humor.  But in 1842, early in his adult life, it nearly got him into trouble.  He had to use his imagination to save his career—and maybe even his life. (Check out the Author Q&A and Teacher’s Guide!)

Yours for Justice Ida B Wells

The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist
Written by Philip Dray
Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

How could one headstrong young woman help free America from the “shadow of lawlessness” that loomed over the country? (Also check out the available Teacher’s Guide).


Marching with Aunt Susan

Marching with Aunt Susan
Written by Claire Rudolf Murphy
Illustrated by Stacey Schuett

Based on the experiences of a real girl, this inspiring story offers a child’s eye view of the fight for women’s right to vote. (Also check out the book trailer, and available Teacher’s Guide).

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

Written by Janet Nolan
Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Following the events of September 11, 2001, a beam from the World Trade Center Towers was given to the United States Navy. The beam was driven from New York to a foundry in Louisiana, where the seven and a half tons of steel, which had once been a beam in the World Trade Center, became a navy ship’s bow. (Check out the Author and Illustrator Q&A and Teacher’s Guide.)

Keep On

Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

This stunning nonfiction picture book offers a riveting account of African-American explorer Matthew Henson’s 1909 journey to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. (Teacher’s guide available.)


Mind Your Manners Alice Roosevelt

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt
Written by Leslie Kimmelman
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson

The 26th president of the United States was a strong and clever man who could handle almost everything—except his eldest child, Alice.

First Dog Fala

Written by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
Illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery

Meet the Scottish terrier who won the hearts of a US president and the American people. When America was drawn into the conflict of a world war, Fala accompanied the president across the country and around the world, waiting with him for the return of American servicemen and an end to a terrible war.

Pennies in a Jar

Written by Dori Chaconas
Illustrated by Ted Lewin

A young boy promises to be brave when his father goes off to fight in World War II. But it isn’t always easy when lots of things scare the boy. Then one day a stranger with a small pony named Freedom offers the boy an opportunity to give his father the perfect birthday present and find a new and special kind of courage.

Amazing Mr Franklin

or The Boy Who Read Everything
Written by Ruth Ashby

Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin was an important statesman, inventor, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. But did you know he started the first library in America for the public good?

Fault Lines in the Constitution Cover Art

Many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in the US Constitution. Husband-and-wife team Cynthia and Sanford Levinson take readers back to the creation of this historic document and discuss how contemporary problems were first introduced—then they offer possible solutions. Think Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications. Visit faultlinesintheconstitution.com to continue the conversation. (Discussion guide, Authors Q&A, and stickers are also available.)

The Everlasting Now
The Everlasting Now
Written by Sara Harrell Banks

In 1937, the Depression is in full force, Joe Louis is the new heavyweight champion of the world, and Champion Luckey has just arrived in Snow Hill, Alabama. James Longstreet Sayre’s life will never be the same.

Coastwatcher PB

Written by Elise Weston

Day after day, Hugh looks for signs of German spies. It seems like a harmless way to spend time…at least at first.

Surviving Jamestown

Written by Gail Langer Karwoski
Illustrated by Paul Casale

This stirring story of survival set against the backdrop of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World, introduces Samuel Collier, the page of famed Captain John Smith.

The Passage

Written by James Killgore

Against his family’s wishes, a fifteen year old joins the Confederate Navy and learns that honor can be a smokescreen for arrogance and pride. In author James Killgore’s stirring, fast-paced novel set during one of the most audacious naval battles of the Civil War, young readers will relive the drama of the conflict and its devastating consequences through the eyes of a courageous teen who learns the true meaning of courage and honor on his journey to manhood.

Out of the Blue

Written by S. L. Rottman

Military Brat Stu struggles to adjust to life on a new base. Stu finds himself caught between a respect for the regimented life of the military and an aching desire for independence and freedom. Gradually, he becomes aware that something is going on at the neighbor’s house. Should he stay out of it or get involved?


Look for these titles and more at your local libraryindie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble!