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These Surprisingly Cool Children’s Books Show a Different Side of American History

Thought you couldn’t get kids excited about the real, diverse history of the United States? Think again! Getting tweens psyched about the American Revolution, as it turns out, was as easy as writing a genre-redefining, record-breaking Broadway show. (Now if only we could get Lin-Manual Miranda to lend his genius to algebra.) But even if your kid hasn’t caught Hamilton fever, there’s no bad time to raid your library or fill up your shopping cart with some history books about U.S. heroes of yore — you know, back when presidents knew how to lead. Like, in 2015. Sigh. We’ve rounded up a lucky 13 of the best books that bring early American history to life for kids of all ages.

And in case it’s been a while since you struggled through Johnny Tremaine in seventh-grade history, know that there are tons of great books out there these days that go beyond the oversimplified versions of U.S. history (you know, the ones that also happen to be almost all white and all male). Some are richly rendered historical fiction adults will want to borrow. Other books bring little-known facts to life. In other words: Everyone, regardless of their age, is likely to learn something from this lineup.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. 

A version of this story was originally published in February, 2020.

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