This 4th of July head out to your local parade to watch boy scout troops, little leaguers and firetrucks make their way through town. Toss a couple hot dogs on the grill, throw together a quick pasta salad, and slice up a watermelon. Enjoy an ice cream cone and when dusk falls load up on bug spray and watch a fireworks show. Celebrate America’s birthday by checking out different perspectives on the founding of our nation in these patriotic reads. Or plan a trip where history happened by visiting the recommended sites beneath the booklist.
The Story of America’s Birthday by Patricia A. Pingry – From the Declaration of Independence through the Revolutionary War, the basic text in this board book introduces the youngest readers to the reason for the 4th of July. PB
The Story of George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry- A simple board-book story that introduces the life of George Washington to the littlest readers. PB
George Washington and the General’s Dog by Frank Murphy – When General George Washington discovers a lost dog on the battlefield he works to return him to his owner. This little known tale of George Washington’s love of animals will delight beginning readers. ER-1
Magic Tree House #22: Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osbourne – Jack and Annie find themselves in General Washington’s Army during the turning point in the Revolutionary War. But will bad weather ruin the attack? Find out how Jack and Annie keep history on track! Also check out the American Revolution: A Nonfiction Companion to Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House Research Guide Series) for more cool facts about the Revolutionary War. ER-1/2
The Rescue Begins in Delaware by Cheri Pray Earl – It’s 1776 in Delaware and George and Gracie, who’ve traveled back in time to rescue their parents, become important players in the quest to get the Declaration of Independence signed. ER-3/4
Judy Moody Declares Independence by Megan McDonald – On a trip to Boston Judy gets Revolutionary fever and decides to declare her own independence! By staging her own rebellion, as only Judy can, will she gain more rights and respect? Or will her plan backfire? ER-3/4
George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff – Five friends travel back in time to the Battle of Trenton where they get a first hand lesson in the struggle for American independence and witness the true cost of freedom. Continue the adventure with the sequel George Washington’s Spy . MR-4
Mr. Revere and I: Being an Account of certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere,Esq. as Revealed by his Horse by Robert Lawson – Get a first hand account of Paul Reveres’ Midnight Ride from someone who was there! Told from the perspective of Scheherazade, the pony that made the infamous ride, this story gives new insight into one of the most iconic moments in our nation’s history. MR-4
Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi – Sophia, a patriot girl, witnesses the defeat of the Continental Army, the hanging of Nathan Hale, and must endure the occupation of her home, New York City by the British Army. When she befriends a British soldier she almost loses sight of her dream of American independence, but tragic events bring his true nature to light. With renewed dedication Sophia takes on the risky role of patriot spy and finds herself an integral part of of the biggest betrayal in the new country’s history. The occupation of New York City during the Revolution is brought to life through the unique perspective of a young girl. MR-5
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier – Tim’s brother Sam joins the Revolutionary Army, but their father supports the British. In this coming of age classic, Tim struggles with his political beliefs, personal loyalty, and what truly defines his character. Set against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War Tim embarks on a journey filled with tragedy and heartbreak. Newbery Honor Book MR-6
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson – Isabel is a slave in British occupied New York City during the American Revolution. When her Tory owners sell her sister, Ruth, and she befriends a fellow slave with ties to the patriots, Isabel realizes she will do whatever it takes to help the side that will give her the best chance at freedom. A riveting perspective on the American fight for independence. Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Historical Fiction, National Book Award Finalist. Continue Isabel’s story with Forge. MR-6
Trip It: Visit these locations and see the Revolutionary War come to life.
The Freedom Trail, Boston, MA – Walk the 2.5 mile route to see 16 historically significant sites from Revolutionary era Boston including the site of the Boston Massacre, Old North Church, Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, USS Constitution, and the Granary Burying Ground with the graves of John Hancock, Sam Adams and other notable Patriots.
Minute Man National Park, Lexington and Concord Battlefield, Lincoln, MA – Visit the site of the first battle of the Revolution.
Fraunces Tavern Museum, New York City, NY – Located in lower Manhattan this museum, housed in a building from 1719, preserves and educates about New York City during Colonial and Revolutionary War times.
Valley Forge National Park, King of Prussia, PA – Site of the winter encampment of the Continental Army in 1777-1778.
Independence Hall National Park, Philadelphia, PA – The birthplace of America, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.
National Archives, Washington, DC – Visit the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution.
National Park Service American Revolution Website – Get information on all the National Park Sites. Click on Revolutionary Parks and Tour the Revolution to take a virtual tour of the Revolutionary era historic sites from Florida to Maine.