Best American History Books

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History is an important subject to learn, yet it can be challenging for kids to put events into context. This book has a helpful organization that breaks the 20th Century down into its decades, detailing the major events that happen in each one, from both World Wars to the Civil Rights Movement. The book includes biographies of important figures, and each chapter begins with an overview of the decade, furthering readers’ understanding of the world back then. Ideal for kids aged 8-12, this book is a wonderful resource for enhancing their historical knowledge.

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This book has compiled 50 amazing individuals and their stories to inspire young readers. The heroes in this book are important figures from history as well as contemporary Americans, such as Oprah Winfrey, and each one has a different story to tell. From Harriet Tubman to Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates to Eleanor Roosevelt, there is a hero in this book any child will find interesting and inspiring. This book is ideal for readers in grades six through 12.

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This history book highlights major historical eras such as the Civil War and the writing of the U.S. Constitution. It’s organized in timeline form with short snippets of information, which offer interesting facts about people, places and events. It provides enough information for learning while also inspiring the reader to learn more. Stunning visuals hold children’s attention while bringing the characters and stories to life. As a comprehensive book, it’s still easy to read and understand while introducing children to the concept of cause and effect. It’s ideal for grades three through seven.

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Ever wish you’d taken better notes in class? This American history book is designed to look like it came straight from the notebooks of middle-schoolers who not only took great notes but also had a knack for art, from helpful maps to clever doodles. The writing is concise, and important points are called out and highlighted. With color-coded chapters, this book is easy to thumb through, too. This comprehensive study guide is made for students in grades six through eight.

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This large, colorful book includes 100 entertaining stories and is a great tool to ensure history comes alive. Some stories are about a notable person, like Paul Revere or Maya Lin, while others cover scientific discoveries and even tragedies, such as the Donner Party. The author organizes the stories by year to give readers perspective of what has occurred at each point in time. The book’s vocabulary is sophisticated, giving fourth- to seventh-graders new words to look up in the dictionary. Rich visualizations help children to remember significant events and people in history.

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This book’s title is referring to Lady Liberty’s right foot, which it turns out is lifted — she’s on the go! This colorful, playful read tells the story of how the Statue of Liberty, an immigrant from France herself, landed on American shores, where she has greeted people from all over the world for decades. “Her Right Foot” is a celebration of America as a nation of immigrants, and it also introduces children to the hazards many immigrants face trying to reach the U.S. This book is ideal for children in kindergarten through third grade.

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In “Awesome America,” children will not only get the chance to read fun facts and stories, but they can also review colorful charts and complete multiple quizzes. Readers will discover when important social movements took place while learning the timeframe of important American inventions. Kids can also read what it would have been like to grow up in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. The pictures are sharp and detailed, enhancing visual learning, and captivating headlines and captions keep children reading from cover to cover. Although tragedy is touched on in this book, it isn’t overly graphic, and it is sensitive to the age and maturity of the readers. It’s written for students in grades three through seven.

Expert Commentary

“American history is full of adventure, invention, change and tragedy. Ensuring age-appropriate interactions with difficult topics is challenging. I enjoy a mix of stories and facts, which teaches empathy in addition to fact-learning. It is important to remember that history can be fun, sad and entertaining all in the same chapter of a book or lesson of the day. Preparing your child for this can be daunting but rewarding. All of these choices do a great job with this.”