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Era Reading Level Genre

A listing of books that can be used to teach American history. The selected books represent a variety of historical eras, types of books, and reading levels and the list will grow over time.

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Baseball Saved Us

Author: Ken Mochizuki
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction
Awards: Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award
Bilingual Yes

Told by a Japanese American boy, this story shows how baseball made life in the internment camps more bearable for many Japanese...


Benjamin Banneker: Pioneering Scientist

Author: Ginger Wadsworth
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction, Biography

An introduction to a free black man who contributed to science in the eighteenth century.


Betsey Brown: A Novel

Author: Ntozake Shange
Reading Level: High School
Genre: Fiction

The story of a seventh grade girl growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Civil Rights Movement.


Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin’ Cowboy

Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction

No matter how you feel about rodeo, it's hard not to admire Pickett, who was known to bring an unruly steer to its knees by...


Birdie's Lighthouse

Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Reading Level: Early Elementary School, Late Elementary School
Genre: Fiction

Inspired by the stories of real 19th-century lighthouse heroines, this atmospheric book uses a diary format to shape a portrait...


Blue Jay in the Desert

Author: Marlene Shigekawa
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction
Awards: Newbery

While a young boy named Junior and his family are interned in Arizona during World War II, Junior receives a gift from his...


Bobo's Magic Wishes

Author: Janet Palazzo-Craig
Reading Level: Pre-School, Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction

In this traditional Puerto Rican folktale, a farmer, Juan Bobo, catches a magical horse but lets him go in exchange for seven...


Brown v. Board of Education

Author: James Takach
Reading Level: High School
Genre: Non Fiction

Accounts of African-American's civil rights struggle from the Civil War to present.


Buffalo

Author: Emilie U. Lepthien
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction

A history of the presence of buffalo in America.


Buffalo Woman

Author: Paul Goble
Reading Level: Late Elementary School
Genre: Fiction

A Native American folk tale of the connection between humans and the buffalo nation.

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Award Key

Caldecott Medal

Most distinguished American picture book for children (annually).

Newbery Medal

Most distinguished contribution to American literature for children (annually).

Coretta Scott King Award

Distinguished books by authors and illustrators of African descent which promote an understanding and appreciation of the American dream (annually).

Golden Kite Award

Outstanding examples of text, illustration, fiction and nonfiction (four awards annually).

Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award

Outstanding work of historical fiction published by a U.S. publisher set in the New World.