Did you think you couldn’t get kids excited about the real and diverse history of the United States? Think again ! Turns out, getting tweens excited about the American Revolution was as easy as writing a genre-defining, record-breaking Broadway show. (Now if only we could get Lin-Manual Miranda to lend his genius to algebra.) But even if your kid didn’t understand Hamilton fever, there’s no bad time to raid your library or fill your shopping cart with history books about America’s heroes of old — you know, back when presidents knew how to lead. Like, in 2015. Sigh. We’ve rounded up 13 of the best lucky books that bring early American history to life for kids of all ages.
And in case it’s been a while since you wrestled Johnny Tremaine in the history of seventh grade, know that there are tons of great books these days that go beyond oversimplified versions of United States history (you know, ones that are also almost all white and all male). Some are richly rendered historical novels that adults will want to borrow. Other books bring little-known facts to life. In other words: everyone, regardless of age, is likely to learn something from this programming.
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A version of this story was originally published in February 2020.