• Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More) 5

Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids in 2020 (Lane Smith, Vashti Harrison, and More)

American history is an essential subject matter to know about! We need to know how we got here to learn who we are and where are we going. It is important to cultivate an interest in history from a very early age, but when was the last time a 6-year old felt like they could relate to Paul Revere?


History children's books are specially written to catch the attention of youngsters. They use simplified language and accessible explanations that can be comprehended by kids according to their age. Our favorite was The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History. The bountiful simplicity of its 100 stand-alone stories makes it an excellent book for learning history without overwhelming children. Keep reading our top 10 to learn about nine other awesome history books!

  • Last updated: 08-26-2020
  • 1,034 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best American History Books for Kids

So we want to foster a love of history, but how do we pick the right book? We found that the most important things to focus on while buying a history children's book are the age group, learning goals, and genre.


Remember that the main objective is that your kid will love the book, so their personal preferences will often be the deciding factor. We found the 10 most popular and highly-rated books to jumpstart your search! 

1

Jennifer Armstrong, Roger RothThe American Story

$26.61

Age group8-12
Grade level3-7
Genre Nonfiction
Page count368
Available formatsHardcover
eBook priceN/A
Year of publication2006
2

Philip BiglerEverything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook

$8.99

Age group11-14
Grade level6-8
Genre Nonfiction
Page count528
eBook price$8.54
Year of publication2016
Available formatsPaperback, eBook
3

Lane SmithJohn, Paul, George & Ben

$11.59

Age group0-2
Grade levelN/A
Genre Historical fiction
Page count40
eBook priceN/A
Year of publication2006
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook
4

Vashti HarrisonLittle Leaders

$6.90

Age group8-12
Grade level3-7
Genre Nonfiction
Page count96
eBook price$10.99
Year of publication2017
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook, audio CD
5

Nancy I. SandersAmerica's Black Founders

$16.79

Age group9+
Grade level4-6
Genre Nonfiction
Page count144
eBook price$9.99
Year of publication2010
Available formatsPaperback, eBook
6

Charles C. MannBefore Columbus

$19.99

Age group8-12
Grade level3-7
Genre Historical fiction
Page count128
eBook priceN/A
Year of publication2009
Available formatsHardcover, audiobook, MP3 CD
7

Lynne CheneyA is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women

$7.99

Age group6-13
Grade level2-7
Genre Nonfiction
Page count48
eBook price$8.99
Year of publication2003
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBook
8

Michael BurganThe Split History of the American Revolution

$7.59

Age group10-14
Grade level5-8
Genre Nonfiction
Page count64
eBook price$6.21
Year of publication2012
Available formatsPaperback, eBook, audiobook, library binding
9

Judith Bloom Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin Who Was Sacagawea?

$5.49

Age group8-12
Grade level3-7
Genre Nonfiction
Page count112
eBook price$5.99
Year of publication2002
Available formatsPaperback, eBook, audiobook, school and library binding
10

Christine PlattThe Story of Alexander Hamilton

$6.99

Age group6-8
Grade level3-4
Genre Nonfiction
Page count64
eBook price$4.99
Year of publication2020
Available formatsPaperback, eBook

Compare the Best American History Books for Children

Image
1
 Jennifer Armstrong, Roger Roth The American Story 1

Jennifer Armstrong, Roger Roth

2
Philip Bigler Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook 1

Philip Bigler

3
Lane Smith John, Paul, George & Ben 1

Lane Smith

4
Vashti Harrison Little Leaders 1

Vashti Harrison

5
Nancy I. Sanders America's Black Founders 1

Nancy I. Sanders

6
 Charles C. Mann Before Columbus 1

Charles C. Mann

7
Lynne Cheney A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women 1

Lynne Cheney

8
Michael Burgan The Split History of the American Revolution 1

Michael Burgan

9
 Judith Bloom Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin  Who Was Sacagawea? 1

Judith Bloom Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin

10
Christine Platt The Story of Alexander Hamilton 1

Christine Platt

Name

The American Story

Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook

John, Paul, George & Ben

Little Leaders

America's Black Founders

Before Columbus

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women

The Split History of the American Revolution

Who Was Sacagawea?

The Story of Alexander Hamilton

Features

Cultivate Love for History One Story at a Time

Fun and Easy History for Middle Schoolers

History for Toddlers With Cute Illustrations

An Adorable Book About Awesome Black Women

A Very Complete Book on African American Heroes in the Revolutionary War

Take a Dive into North and South American Life Before Colonization

Women in History One Letter at a Time

A Book for Perspective of a Significant Event

A Book About an Extraordinary Young Woman

A Biography of the "Hottest" Founding Father in 2020

Price$26.61$8.99$11.59$6.90$16.79$19.99$7.99$7.59$5.49$6.99
Age group8-12 11-14 0-2 8-12 9+8-12 6-13 10-148-12 6-8
Grade level3-76-8N/A3-74-63-72-75-83-73-4
Genre NonfictionNonfictionHistorical fictionNonfictionNonfictionHistorical fictionNonfictionNonfictionNonfictionNonfiction
Page count368 52840 9614412848 6411264
Available formatsHardcover$8.54N/A$10.99$9.99N/A$8.99$6.21$5.99$4.99
eBook priceN/A201620062017201020092003201220022020
Year of publication2006Paperback, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobookHardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook, audio CDPaperback, eBookHardcover, audiobook, MP3 CDHardcover, paperback, eBookPaperback, eBook, audiobook, library bindingPaperback, eBook, audiobook, school and library bindingPaperback, eBook
Link

How to Choose an American History Book for Children - Buying Guide

Some children might already like history, and others may be more a little less keen on the subject. You can encourage kids to develop an interest in history by connecting the topic to how it directly impacts their lives. Through children's history books, youngsters can find a way to relate to historical issues and perhaps find inspiration!


The number one goal of buying a history book is that your kid likes it. Keep in mind a few essential aspects to look for, like the age group, learning goals, genre, and diversity. 

Choose a Genre That Will Hold Your Child's Interest

Historical books for children can be divided into two big categories: nonfiction and historical fiction.

Nonfiction Books Invite Kids to Explore and Learn About Historical Events

Nonfiction Books Invite Kids to Explore and Learn About Historical Events

Nonfiction history books are usually written in a dynamic way that’s easy to read. They are a great tool to help elementary and middle schoolers keep track of history in a more engaging way than textbooks.


However, these may not be a good option for younger children since the facts and information can be overwhelming and hard to grasp. If you go for this option for smaller kiddos, make sure that the facts are easy to understand and that there are a lot of pictures!

Historical Fiction Books Can Offer Different Perspectives

Historical Fiction Books Can Offer Different Perspectives

In this kind of book, the author uses their poetic license to add a little spice to history. This way, the historical characters become more relatable. Their motivations and experiences become more understandable for anyone!


These books are great for both younger and older children - especially for those who have a hard time understanding information-dense material. 


Pre-K and kindergarten children will be acquainted with history for the first time through simple, friendly characters. In contrast, older children will get a deeper insight into the character’s minds and political climates through historical novels.

Know How Your Kid Learns Best

Know How Your Kid Learns Best

There are different learning styles with different books. If you think your kid enjoys learning a lot of information or likes to dig into a topic, for example, look for books with interactive features like discussion questions and activities. These will reinforce what they learned through crafts and games!


Some books will be suitable for your child to simply read, but others will be information-dense. Decide how involved you want to be in your child’s reading, and be prepared to explain more complex issues or topics. If you're not exactly a history buff, that's ok! Learning with your child is fun and encourages critical thinking skills.

Examine Your Child’s Learning Goals

Buying books for your children is always a great idea. However, you may want to think about what kind of book will be the most beneficial. 


Reference books are great for homeschooled kids as well as children who need a little help catching up with what they learned at school. Novels, almanacs, and storybooks are also good if you want your child to get a deeper understanding about any historical figure or event.

Get Diverse With Different Perspectives

Get Diverse With Different Perspectives

Children learn a lot of history from throughout their education. However, the history of some groups in our diverse country is often overlooked or entirely left out of textbooks. This is why we strongly recommend complementing your child’s education with books about minority groups like African American and Native American history.


Another great idea is to allow your child to better understand historical conflicts by buying a book that offers different perspectives. Some books narrate the events in American history from two different sides. Let your children make their own conclusions!

Keep in Mind the Recommended Age Group

Keep in Mind the Recommended Age Group

We hear you, this one sounds pretty obvious, but we cannot stress it enough. We all want our kids to love history or at least to find it interesting! Make sure that your child is part of the intended age group for the book before buying it. 


Younger kids may find facts and dates hard to grasp and boring, whereas older children may find a book that calls the founding fathers “our little friends” cheesy. Some books will state the recommended age group on the cover. To get more info and determine if it is right for your kiddo, you can always preview the layout of the book!

Be Aware of Political Perspectives

Be Aware of Political Perspectives

You may or may not be aware of this, but a lot of strongly politically-biased commentators and journalists decide to write children’s books.


Politics are a very delicate subject matter, and it’s hard to draw the line between a book that is influenced by current politics and one that is not. As a rule of thumb, we recommend sticking to authors who have careers as children's book writers or historians.


An alternate way to go about it is to find a variety of books about a single topic written by many authors with different backgrounds. That way, you get a lot of different perspectives or can come to a consensus.

Get to Know the Persons Behind the Pen

As mentioned before, being acquainted with the authors is extremely important. We made a list of some well-known children’s writers who have written history books as well as historians who have written children’s books.

Jennifer Armstrong is the Author of Dozens of Books for Children and Teenagers

Jennifer Armstrong is the Author of Dozens of Books for Children and Teenagers

Her work is not limited to the short-story format. She also includes poems and songs in her books! She is a firm believer that books are a tool for a better tomorrow and has stated that they are the enemy of “violent zealotry”.


Other titles of her authorship are Mairhe Mehan and Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World.

Lane Smith is an Award-Winning Author and Illustrator

Lane Smith is an Award-Winning Author and Illustrator

He has written over a dozen children's books, illustrated twice as many, and won over 30 awards! Smith writes about a wide variety of subjects, from science to history. He has penned books such as Grandpa Green, Madam President, and The Big Elephant in the Room

Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin Have Written Over 50 Nonfiction Books

Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin Have Written Over 50 Nonfiction Books

Their books are all for young audiences and are usually about history. They have been awarded with several prizes, such as the “Flora Steiglitz Straus Award” and the “Golden Kite Honor Plaque”. 


Ida B. West, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement and Stolen into Slavery are some of their most important books. 

Let Your Kids Pick Their Own Books!

Let Your Kids Pick Their Own Books!

It’s true that a surprise is always exciting, especially for children! But, they might engage more with a book they picked themselves. Even younger children may feel more inclined to read a book with pictures they love! At the end of the day, they will be the ones enjoying their new book.

Go Beyond History With More Books for Kids

Go Beyond History With More Books for Kids

Though your young reader may already love history, they may also want to read about other topics! Here's a list of other types of books that your child might find interesting. 

Summary

There are many reasons why it is important to encourage kids to have an interest in history. Engaging with fun, thought-provoking history books are a great way to do this! In order to find the right one for your child, it's important to keep the recommended age group, learning goals, and genre of the book in mind.


We hope we helped you find a book that will make your kid eager for their next history class!


Author: Anel Carmona


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