History through Children’s Literature
War: Picture Books
Patricia. Pink and Say. Philomel Books: New
is beautifully illustrated, which only enhances the strong bonds of friendship
portrayed in this story. This picture book, which takes
place during the Civil War, tells the story of two boys and their fight
for a common goal, freedom.
why I chose this book is because it has the basic concept of friendship
integrated into elements of the Civil War. The story
illustrates the tone throughout the Civil War.
Harness, Cheryl. Ghosts of the Civil War. Simon and Schuster
Books for Young Readers: New York.
is uniquely told through dialogue of modern day children, which travel back
in time to the Civil War. The story is broken down battle
by battle. It explains the significance of the Civil
War and how it has influenced present day society. Throughout
the story, the children realize how their lives have changed as a result
of the Civil War. The book is beautifully illustrated.
The characters' emotion is defined through their detailed facial
I chose this picture book is because it is not the typical picture book
format and the illustrations are amazing. It includes
a detailed description of Civil War and can easily be differentiated to
fit all learners.
War: Informational Picture Books and Biographies
Kerry A. Going to School During the Civil War: The Union.
Blue Earth Books: Mankato, MN.
the education system during the Civil War in the north. Topics
include preserving the union, schools in the north, public schools, and
the importance of loyalty and support of the Union.
Book also includes photographs, maps, keywords, and Internet sites
for further research.
Graves, Kerry A. Going to School During the Civil War: The Confederate. Blue Earth Books: Mankato, MN. 2002.
the education system in the south during the time of the Civil War.
Topics include: fight for states’ right, schools in the south, education
of slaves and boarding schools, and life during the war. Book
also includes photographs, maps, keywords, and Internet sites to visit for
I choose these two books is because the two can easily be compared.
Students can learn about the Civil War while learning comparing and
contrasting skills. These books also come at the Civil
War in an unusual perspective, education.
David A. A Picture Book of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Holiday House: New York.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was
the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was one of the causes of the
Civil War. This picture books tells how Harriet Beecher
Stowe caused controversy and made people pay attention to an issue that
could no longer be avoided.
I chose this book is because it demonstrated the significance of women’s
role in the Civil War. A majority of the other books
emphasize the male heroes of the Civil War.
David A. A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln.
Holiday House: New York.
tells about Lincoln’s childhood
and family life. Tells of Lincoln’s
travels and his study of law. Book also discusses Lincoln’s
participation in the Civil War such as the Emancipation Proclamation and
the Gettysburg Address. The book is colorfully illustrated
with single page spreads.
Raymond. Where Lincoln
Walked. Walker and Company: New
is illustrated through actual photographs. Book includes
information on Lincoln’s childhood,
adult life, and presidency.
I choose these books are because Lincoln
played an important role in the progress of the Civil War and all students
should know about him.
Brendan. Martin Luther King, Jr. Minister and Civil
Rights Activist. Ferguson Publishing Company: Chicago.
includes information on Martin Luther King, Jr’s childhood, studies, organized
boycotts, his dream, the battle he had to fight to achieve his dream, and
lastly his accomplishments. Timeline and other resources
Gary. Nightjohn. Delacorte Press: New
Sarney, a young slave, makes
a trade with Nightjohn, tobacco for a chance to learn to read.
This story is simplistically written, but conveys a serious message
of what slavery really was like.
I chose this book was because not only is the physical aspect of slavery
addressed, but the emotional obstacles to remain optimistic and faithful
Shelley. Trouble Don’t Last. Alfred A. Knopp: New
is about a young slave and his friend Harrison, who decides to runaway.
Problem is “trouble follows me like a shadow.”
I chose this book is simply because the title intrigued me.
Ayers, Katherine. Stealing South: A story of the Underground
Railroad. Delacorte Press: New York. 2001
is asked to assist a runaway slaves brother out of the South.
This boo tells Will’s journey from Ohio
to Kentucky and his battle
with his conscience.
Ayers, Katherine. North by Night: A story of the Underground
Railroad. Delacorte Press:
New York. 1998.
has been helping runaway slaves since she was 12. By
reading her journal entries, the reader learners about her adventures and
her journey of becoming a young woman.
The reason I chose Katherine
Ayers novels is because the two stories are told from different perspective,
a young girl and a young boy, and how they assist runaway slaves escape
Ayers, Katherine. Macaroni Boy. Delacorte Press: New York. 2003.
Michael Coasta, a 12-year old boy, lives
in the time of the Great Depression. Michael's grandpa becomes ill
and he determined to figure out how. He realizes his grandpa is not
the only one with this illness, but so do two hobos down the street.
Is there a connection between these deaths and the large amount of dead
rats in the warehouse?
Young, C. Coco. A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt. Delacorte
Press: New York.1999.
This novel tells a story
about a young girl named Margo and how she admires Eleanor Roosevelt.
As a result of the Great Depression, Margo’s family begins to struggle
financially, so Margo writes a letter asking for assistance from Mrs. Roosevelt.
An inspirational story.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. Delacorte Press: New York. 1999.
Bud is on a mission to find
his father, a jazz musician, or so he thinks. This story
describes the Great Depression through music and art. Bud,
Not Buddy is a Newberry Metal award winner.
I chose this book is because it seems to take a lighter approach to the
Great Depression even thought it is a serious topic.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. Ellis Island
Land of Hope. Bantam Books: New York. 1992.
and her family flee Russia
in search of a better life. On the ship ride to American
she befriends Kristin and Rose. Rebekah realizes that when they arrive in
American, their friendship will end and they will go their separate ways.
I chose this book is because throughout the story the girl illustrate the
different obstacles American immigrates have to face and overcome.
The book also shows three cultures coming together Irish, Swedish,
and Russian and forming a friendship.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Nory Ryan’s Song. Delacorte Press: New York. 2000
is about Nory’s struggle to get through the potato famine in Ireland
as opposed to going to America
and starting a new life with her family.
I chose this book is because it illustrates a different perspective and
how important culture is in the topic of immigration.
II: Novels and Picture Books
Bradley, James. Flags of our Fathers: Heros of Iwo Jima.
Delacorte Press: New
American Marines, many of them teenagers, fought to raise the American Flag
in the battle at Iwo Jima.
gives a sense of American pride, glory, and heart break all in one story.
This book is based off the adult novel and has been adapted for younger
readers by Michael French.
Ken. Baseball Saved Us. Lee & Low Books Inc: New
real event in Japanese American interment camps during World War II, “Shorty”
gains respect and dignity through playing baseball.
This story has historical
truth and makes you aware of the finer things in life, which is why I chose
to incorporate it.
Coerr, Eleanor & Ed Young. Sadako. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York. 1993.
legend says that if an ill person makes 1000 paper cranes, the gods will
grant that person a wish.
tells about the atomic bombing in Hiroshima
and the long term effects it had on the Japanese people. A
moving and inspiration story.
Picture Book and Novel
Miriam. Flowers on the Wall. Margaret K. Mc Elderry Books:
New York. 1996.
and her family decide to paint flowers on the wall of their apartment to
brighten it up in Warsaw, Poland
during World War II. The family eventually gets taken
to a Jewish ghetto and fades just as the flowers on the wall.
portrays the powerful and haunting feelings of what is was like to live
throughout the time of the Holocaust in simplistic language.
Irene Gut. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer.
Alfred A. Knopp: New York.
hated working for the Germans during World War II, so she decided to take
advantage of the information she knew by rescuing and freeing Jews from
The reason I chose this book
is because I was intrigued by the cover and summary provided on the book.
Robert D. The Making of America:
The history of the United States
from 1492 to the Present. Nation Geographic:Washington
is written in a simplistic way and divided by time period, so it is easy
for children to use for research.
Wanda J. U.S.
History through Children’s Literature: from the Colonial Period to
World War II. Teacher Ideas Press: Englewood,
gives whole group and small group readings ideas, as well as End-of-Unit
Shan. Caldecott Connections to Social Studies. Libraries
Unlimited: Englewood, CO.
provides an endless array of activities to integrate literature and social
studies. Includes how to introduce biographies, cultures,
composition ideas, and culminating activities.
website for educators, parents, and students. This website has a wide
variety of activities and lessons for all grade levels.
search engine for students. Students are able to get homework help,
play games, do research, and other fun things.
Great website to look
and review literature for your classroom.
Endless amount of animated graphics covering every topic imaginable.
By: Gina Di Figlio
Elmhurst College Preservice Teacher