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Get Patriotic this 4th of July! 10 Books about the Revolutionary War

Fireworks, barbecues, beach – and books! Make some time to celebrate Independence Day this year with a good read about well-known—and not too well-known—Revolutionary War figures who fought and sacrificed to grow our country.

Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette by Selene Castrovilla, illustrated by 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.

Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold by Selene Castrovilla, illustrated by John O’Brien

Unfolding like a play, this riveting nonfiction picture book tells the tense and suspenseful story of Major General Benedict Arnold and Major John André, two critical figures from American History. Featuring intrigue, betrayal, and high drama, here’s the story of two revolutionary rogues who almost brought down Commander in chief George Washington and the Continental army.

Revolutionary Prudence Wright: Leading the Minute Women in the Fight for Independence by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Susan Reagan

Here is the first-ever picture book about female Revolutionary War activist Prudence Wright, who rallied the first and only group of “minute women” to fight the British, changing history in the process. This untold story of a courageous and brave woman continues to inspire today.

How Benjamin Franklin Became a Revolutionary in Seven (Not-So-Easy) Steps by Gretchen Woelfle, illustrated by John O’Brien

How did Ben Franklin become an outspoken leader of the American Revolution? Learn all about it in seven (not-so-easy) steps in this humorous, accessible middle-grade chapter book that focuses on Ben’s political awakening.

Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Stacy Innerst

Thomas Jefferson was more than a president and patriot. He was also a planter and gardener who loved to watch things grow—everything from plants and crops to even his brand-new nation.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by John O’Brien

Young readers of all ages will love this story about President Thomas Jefferson, who found his passion as soon as he learned to read: books, books, and more books! Fun fact: Thomas Jefferson’s collection of books started the Library of Congress!

Cloaked in Courage: Uncovering Deborah Sampson, Patriot Soldier by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Anne Lambelet

Here is the remarkable story of Deborah Sampson, a woman who fought in the American Revolution disguised as a man—and who ends up finding her true identity and purpose in life.

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 America’s first President as he’s rarely seen.

Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution by Gretchen Woelfle, illustrated by Greg Christie

During the Revolutionary War, African Americans took up their own fight for freedom by joining the British and American armies; preaching, speaking out, and writing about the evils of slavery; and establishing settlements in Nova Scotia and Africa. These thirteen stories spotlight charismatic individuals, focusing on the choices they made and how they changed America both then and now.

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.

Updated June 2024