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Our 5 (Current) Favorite History Books for Children

Our 5 (Current) Favorite History Books for Children

By Sound Town

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
– Rudyard Kipling

When anything is taught in the form of a story, it has a much better chance of being remembered.

Because of that, reading illustrated history books for children at bedtime has always been my favorite way to teach new things. Children’s books are powerful sources of information and exposure for growing young minds. They’re full of wonderful, subtle moral lessons, and they are often gorgeously illustrated, firing up an appreciation for art and beauty.

Below are a few of our current favorite history books for children. With amazing new books coming out every day (and thousands of oldies-but-goodies), we could make a list a month. So here are just five. Enjoy!


Our 5 (Current) Favorite History Books for Children


 1. The Babe and I


The Babe and I book cover


In The Babe and I, written by David Adler and illustrated by Terry Widener, a young boy who discovers that his dad doesn’t actually have a job, and is instead selling apples on the side of the street. Determined to help support his family, and help his dad keep his pride, the boy starts selling newspapers. It’s the heartfelt story set against the backdrop of New York City during the Great Depression.


2. Me. . . Jane


Me . . . Jane Book Cover


Patrick McDonnell’s illustrations in this book are precious. Me . . . Jane is a story about Jane’s childhood love of nature and encourages adventure, curiosity, and spending time outside. It’s perfect for your budding scientist or conservationist.


3. I am Amelia Earhart


I am Amelia Earhart book cover


While all of the Ordinary People Change the World series is amazing, our particular favorite is I am Amelia Earhart, by Brad Meltzer. Amelia is so cute and spunky as a kid. And as an adult, she’s a powerful example of perseverance and following your dreams. As she says in the book, “Never let anyone stop you. Whatever your dream is, chase it.”


4. The Story of Ruby Bridges


Story of Ruby Bridges Book Cover


The Story of Ruby Bridges is a simple, age-appropriate, telling of the desegregation efforts of the early 1960s. It tells the story of 6-year-old Ruby’s first year of school at an all-white elementary school and is a stunning look at a young girl’s bravery and faith in the face of hate.


5. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush


Legend of Indian Paintbrush Book Cover


The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, written and illustrated by the masterful Tomie dePaola, is the retelling of an old legend of how this striking flower, the Indian Paintbrush, got its name. Set on the Great Plains of the United States, the story is about a young Native American boy who has a vision that one day he will paint the sunset with the purest colors. It’s an ode to dedication and to discovering what gifts each of us bring to the world.