The American Revolution for Kids
While most children in the United States learn about the American Revolution in school, you don’t have to wait until it is introduced in the classroom to talk to them about that moment in history, and you don’t have to rely on textbooks to do so! The DC Public Library has a great selection of books for children of all ages about the people and moments of the American Revolution. Try dipping your toe into one of these fascinating books and you may learn a thing or too!
A Revolutionary Field Trip: Poems of Colonial America by Susan Katz
Explore colonial American and the beginnings of the American Revolution in this fun, child-friendly book of poetry that introduces characters from colonial times to make the period come to life. Along the way, they’ll be introduced to different forms of poetry.
George Washington: The First President by Sarah Albee
This Easy Reader will introduce burgeoning readers to the first President of the United States and his road to the office, along with key moments in the Revolutionary War that he was involved in. This is ideal for new readers working to become stronger or for parents to read with younger readers.
Black Heroes of the American Revolution by Burke Davis
This nonfiction book recounts some black heroes of the American Revolution, from soldiers to spies and in between. Children and older readers alike will be fascinated to learn about these heroes and the sacrifices they made to win American Independence, and this serves as an excellent bridge into further research projects or fiction reading about the American Revolution.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
This classic juvenile fiction novel about the American Revolution follows a young apprentice who, after an injury, joins up with the Sons of Liberty. This book has been taught in classrooms for years for a reason. It’s a well-done chapter book that introduces many readers to the beauty of historical fiction and brings the Revolution to life for them through the eyes of Johnny Tremain.
Gingerbread for Liberty! by Mara Rockliff
Step back from the battlefield and into the bakery with this fun tale of a German baker who used his gingerbread to support the American cause. This introduces young readers to the variety of ways in which colonists aided the Revolution and the idea of playing a part in a greater whole.
Patriots in Petticoats by Shirley-Raye Redmond
Heroines of the American Revolution come to life in this nonfiction biographical book about women that aided the cause of liberty. Like a few other books on this list, this book explores what it meant to be a patriot that wasn’t simply fighting on the battlefield, but one who was supporting the cause through home, through work and sometimes yes, in the military.
Lafayette! by Nathan Hale
The Marquis de Lafayette is one of the most well-known non-American figures of the Revolution, and the Frenchman’s story comes to life in this graphic novel that looks at his time in American aiding the Revolution and what he did afterwards to take those ideals back to France. This graphic novel will appeal to middle-grade and late elementary readers who are interested in history and action.
What Was the Boston Tea Party? by Kathleen Krull
The ‘What Was’ series excellently addresses moments in history that all children should learn about, and this chapter book on the Boston Tea Party is a great way to introduce readers to the major tipping points of the American Revolution. The book heavily leans into facts and illustrations while still being highly readable for readers of all ages.
Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards
The “Who Was’ biographies introduce many children to the wonder of biographies, and this biography of George Washington not only teaches readers more and more about the first President of the United States, but they also learn more about the American Revolution through Washington’s own role in it and the excellent illustrations of the series.
Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne
Mary Pope Osborne’s time-traveling chapter books in the Magic Treehouse series have been a staple in children’s literature for years, and this book, all about The Revolutionary War, transports readers into the heart of the moment and introduces them to General George Washington himself. Late elementary school readers will likely enjoy this book most, but it could be a great family read for children of all ages.