For more good books on the Revolutionary War & its heroes, see our Reading List for Founding Fathers.
The I Can Read series offers several selections for the beginning reader on America's War for Independence. These are great choices to supplement revolutionary war lesson plans for the elementary grades.
Several titles are listed for notable American patriots: Paul Revere, the minutemen, George Washington, Sam Adams, & the soldiers at Valley Forge. We also list a good historical novel on Benedecit Arnold that would be especially appealing to older girls.
The Declaration of Independence (Cornerstones of Freedom) by R. Conrad Stein. Children's Press, 1995. UE-JH
This book gives a wealth of information in a very readable style. Read about the who, where, how and why behind America's founding document, with little details not found in textbooks. Illustrations on every page. Recommended.
The Boston Coffee Party (I Can Read Book) by Doreen Rappaport, illus. Emily Arnold McCully. Harper, 1990. E
A group of women react when a merchant refuses to sell his coffee in order to drive up the price.
The Boston Tea Party by Russell Freedman, illus. Peter Malone. UE+ Exceptional full-page illustrations go along with a complete description of the events leading up to the Tea Party, the event itself, and its aftermath. Great content includes reflections from real people who took part.
Buttons for General Washington by Peter and Connie Roop, illus. Peter E. Hanson. Carolrhoda Books, 1986. E-UE
This easy reader is a favorite for many boys, telling the story of a 14-year-old spy for General Washington.
Finishing Becca : A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold by Ann Rinaldi. Harcourt Brace and Co., 1994. JH-HS
Great choice for someone who loves novels! The story introduces us to the people and the emotions that may have influenced Arnold's traitorous actions. Well researched, with notes in the back explaining the historicity. Some mild cursing.
George the Drummer Boy(I Can Read series) by Nathaniel Benchley, illus. Don Bolognese. Harper & Row, 1977. E
A British drummer boy experiences the battles of Concord and Lexington. Not especially exciting, but a good addition to the limited books for this age group to read on their own!
George vs. George : The Revolutionary War as Seen by Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer. National Geographic, 2004. E-JH
Accompanied by many illustrations, this easy-to-read story explains the tensions between two nations that erupted into war; the roles of both Georges before, during, and after the war; and the details and consequences of major battles. Thorough and entertaining. A great overall picture of the American Revolution.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, illus. Lynd Ward. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1943, 1971. UE-JH+
Newbery Medal. The simmering tensions of the American colonies under British rule provide the background to this story of a boy's courage and determination to rise above his circumstances. Woven into the story line are several major events and faces of early America. Great reading!
Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illus. Ted Rand. Puffin. E+
The unedited Longfellow poem is accompanied by equal-to-none illustrations that even the youngest will enjoy. Although a read-aloud for the E age, the pictures help children grasp the full meaning of the words.
Sam the Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley, illus. Arnold Lobel. Harper & Row. E
Easy to read and understand.
The Scarlet Badgeby Wilma Pitchford Hays, illus. Peter Burchard. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1963. UE-JH
Wilma Pitchford Hays has written several historical fiction books, all of which are worth reading! The Scarlet Badge lets you see the conflict of loyalties in America in the 1700's. Not everyone was a patriot (or "rebel")--some remained convinced that staying under British rule was the right thing to do. Read this book to understand how the conflicting opinions hurt friendships, neighbor relationships, and even families, and the sacrifices that were made on both sides.
Sybil Ludington's Midnight Ride (On My Own History) by Marsha Amstel, illus. Ellen eier. Carolrhoda Books, 2000. E-UE
Inspiring story of a 16-year-old who braved the dark and cold to ride all night, warning her neighbors of a British attack. Easy-to-read, short paragraphs with a great message of courage and bravery in the face of danger during the Revoluationary War.
by Esther Wood Brady, illus. Richard Cuffari. E-UE
Ten-year-old Ellen Toliver must deliver a secret message to General Washington. What was supposed to be a smooth assignment ends up filled with complications, and Ellen learns bravery from first-hand experience!
Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? By Jean Fritz, illus. Trina Schart Hyman. Coward-McCann, Inc., 1974. UE Humorous look at one of the leaders of the American Revolution, and some of the key events leading to the war.
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