The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Best American History Books

USA flag on grey concrete background

American history books teach children about significant events and pivotal figures that have shaped the country. The books we chose cover a range of ages and reading levels. These options are wonderful for engaging children in multiple ways with captivating visuals and great storytelling, all while introducing new concepts, historical events and important historical figures in ways that make them easy to recall.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Our Expert Consultant

Melissa Spurling

Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.