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11 Books to Read for Presidents’ Day

Join us in observance of Presidents’ Day with the following titles from Astra Books for Young Readers. From historical facts about our nation’s presidents to fun election stories, the books in this collection will educate and entertain young readers.

Thomas Jefferson’s Battle for Science by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes – Thomas Jefferson is one of the most famous founding fathers, but did you know that his mind was always on science? This STEM/STEAM picture book tells how Jefferson’s scientific thinking and method battled against faulty facts and bias to prove that his new nation was just as good as any in the Old World.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by John O’Brien – Rhythmic words and whimsical illustrations capture Thomas Jefferson’s passion for the written word as well as little-known details about book collecting. Here is the first picture book on Jefferson’s love of reading, writing, and books.

Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette by Selene Castrovilla, illustrated Drazen Kozjan – Young fans of the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton” will enjoy this narrative nonfiction picture book story about the important friendship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary War. Awards for this book include A Society of School Librarians International Book Award Honor, a California Reading Association Eureka! Nonfiction Honor, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth.

Ambushed!: The Assassination Plot Against President Garfield by Gail Jarrow – In this page-turner, award-winning author Gail Jarrow delves into the fascinating story of the relationship between James Abram Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, and Charles Guiteau, who shot Garfield in July 1881. Jarrow relates the gruesome details of Garfield’s slow and agonizing death and reveals medical mistakes made in the aftermath of Garfield’s assassination, including the faulty diagnoses and outdated treatments that led to the president’s demise. Winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, a Grateful American Book Prize Honorable Mention, and a Texas Library Association Texas Topaz book.

Camping with the President by Ginger Wadsworth, illustrated by Karen Dugan – Imagine a U.S. president on a camping trip. It seems unlikely today, but in May 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt dismissed his Secret Service men to go camping with John Muir, the world-famous naturalist. For three glorious nights and four days in California’s Yosemite National Park, the two men talked about birds, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, as well as the importance of preserving wilderness for future generations. A California Reading Association Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Silver Honor Book

Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Battles Woodrow Wilson for the Vote by Barb
Rosenstock, illustrated by Sarah Green –
Cleverly framed as a boxing match, this
book provides a fascinating and compelling look at an important moment in American
history. When Woodrow Wilson was elected President, he didn’t know that he would be
participating in one of the greatest fights of the century: the battle for women’s right to
vote. The formidable Alice Paul led the women’s suffrage movement and saw President
Wilson’s election as an opportunity to win the vote for women.

Lincoln Clears a Path: Abraham Lincoln’s Agricultural Legacy by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Stacy Innerst – This picture book uncovers Abraham Lincoln’s passion for agriculture and his country as he cleared a path to better farming, improved transportation, accessible education, and most importantly, freedom.

Pete for President! by Daisy Alberto, illustrated by Blanche Sims – Pete and Joey are best friends, until they run for class president and discover that it takes more than speeches and posters and promises to win an election. The popular Social Studies Connects series links history, geography, civics, and economics to kids’ daily lives.

Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Layne Johnson – Besides being a general and the first president of the United States, did you know that George Washington was also a farmer? Here’s a look at the president as he’s rarely seen. A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, and an American Farm Bureau Foundation for Education Recommended Book.

Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle: Pandemonium and Patience in the President’s House by Beth Anderson, illustrated by S.D. Schindler  – Tad Lincoln’s restless wriggle just wouldn’t quit, much to the delight of his father President Abraham Lincoln—but not so much to anybody else! This picture book is based on the famous
first son who, despite a disability and other challenges, had compassion, intelligence,
and wisdom beyond his years.

May the Votes Be With You by Lisa Harkrader, illustrated by Jessica Warriick – Acting like an Earthling isn’t easy! In book 7 of the How to Be an Earthling series, Piper wants to change the world—one classroom at a time! She’s running against Jack for student council. Jack has razzle-dazzle… and hamsters… and sprinkles! Piper just has good ideas. Luckily, Spork has a plan for Piper that’s out of this galaxy. But is dazzling her friends really the best way to win?