Grateful American Kids

Best History Books for Kids

  • “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok

    It’s the spring of 1944 and fifteen-year-olds Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders have lived five blocks apart all their lives. But they’ve never met, not until the day an accident during a softball game sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon these two boys—one expected to become a Hasidic rebbe, the other at ease with secular America—are […]

  • “Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes

    Reviewed by Ed Lengel After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the United States was propelled into World War II. The following day, Esther Forbes started writing Johnny Tremain. Published in 1943, this timeless historical novel for young adults is imbued with the spirit of the times: balancing a sense of […]

  • “Outrun the Moon” by Stacey Lee

    Reviewed by Ed Lengel As Outrun the Moon opens, fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong has unintentionally hitched a solo, out-of-control ride on the air balloon of her friend, Tom. Mercy, it seems, has a penchant for getting herself into trouble, and only after a breakneck journey over the countryside outside of San Francisco does she return safely […]

  • The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor (Young Readers’ Edition)
    by Sonia Sotomayor

    Sonia Sotomayor was just a girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge even though she’d never met one of either, and none lived in her neighborhood. Sonia did not let the hardships of her background—which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York […]

  • Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer

    Reviewed by Ed Lengel Scientists describe “homeostasis” as the process by which a living being maintains equilibrium within a changing environment. Greek in origin, it is another word for “steady,” or “same,” but for twelve-year-old Lucy Rossi, it defines the struggle to hold her balance in a turbulent world decimated by war. Survival, she eventually […]

  • Abigail & John By David Bruce Smith

    The inaugural book of The Grateful American Book Series. Available wherever books are sold. By David Bruce Smith Illustrated by Clarice Smith Abigail & John offers readers the opportunity to view prominent scenes in American history through the remarkable lives of one of the country’s most beloved couples—the Adams’s. Exploring the historical significance of a partnership […]

  • “My Name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok

    Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe. Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels, even when it leads him to blasphemy. In this stirring and often […]

  • “Maiden Voyage: A Titanic Story”
    by Sarah Jane

    Reviewed by Ed Lengel Three remarkable young lives intersect in this thrilling tale, set in April 1912 during the last days of the doomed luxury liner, Titanic. Isabella James is an unwilling passenger. Her poor but loving parents purchase for her a third-class berth from London to New York—it’s all they can afford. But they […]

  • “Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work”
    by Victoria Ortiz

    The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of her landmark cases that moved the needle on legal protection of human rights, illustrated with black & white archival photographs.

  • “Susan B. Anthony” (The Making of America Series) by Teri Kanefield

    In the fourth installment in the Making of America series, “Susan B. Anthony,” Teri Kanefield examines the life of America’s famous suffragette. Anthony was born into a world in which men ruled women: A man could beat his wife, take her earnings, have her committed into an asylum based on his word, and take her […]

  • Fortitude

    by Carrie Dalby Growing up with a Creole best friend, sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell held little regard for the Jim Crow laws and the consequences of befriending those of a different color. But once she leaves the haven of her home on Dauphin Island, the reality of racial intolerance can no longer be ignored. Though she’s […]


    by Jennifer Latham When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past, the present, and herself. One hundred years earlier, a single violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. […]

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