Love history? Hate it? Doesn’t matter. Just about any kid will be able something to connect with in one (or more) of these books.
The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale. Published by Harry N. Abrams.
You know those 11-year-old boys who really love history? Give them Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, impeccably researched graphic novels. The Underground Abductor, the story of Harriet Tubman, is number five in the series. (And don’t worry, girls will like them, too, especially this one.)
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Published by Schwartz & Wade.
This is one of my all-time favorite books of the year. The concept is simple: four families from different time periods in American history make a dessert called blackberry fool. But the execution is so cool, with loads of details about period clothing, technology, and social norms. It’s a book to be savored, just like the treat it describes.
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno. Published by Candlewick.
Oh, that Benjamin Franklin! What eighteenth-century pie didn’t he have a finger in? This book tells the story of how he debunked mesmerism, a practice the was sweeping France when Franklin was over there drumming up support for the American Revolution. It’s also a good example of the scientific process, and has amazing illustrations to boot.
The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Barry Blitt. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
If you want in-depth information about the founding fathers, look elsewhere. If you want a book chock-full of interesting facts and tidbits about George, Ben, John, Thomas (and a few others you might not be familiar with), set aside a good chunk of time to spend with The Founding Fathers.