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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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Vejigante Masquerader

Author: Lulu Delacre
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction
Bilingual Yes

Learn about Puerto Rican Carnival with Ramon, who longs to masquerade along with the older boys, the vejigantes, in the...


Wagon Wheels

Author: Barbara Brenner
Reading Level: Late Elementary School
Genre: Fiction

An African-American family moves to Kansas after the Civil War to create a new life.


Weedflower

Author: Kadohata Cynthia
Reading Level: Late Elementary School, Middle School
Genre: Fiction

Story of a Japanese American girl and a Native American boy who become friends in an internment camp on a reservation


Whatever Happened to The Pony Express

Author: Verla Kay
Reading Level: Pre-School, Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction

A family's cross-country communication changes during the development and demise of the Pony Express. Told in rhyme.


What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?

Author: Jean Fritz
Reading Level: Late Elementary School, Middle School
Genre: Non Fiction, Biography

A brief biography of the 18th century inventor, printer, and statesman who played an influential role in the early history of the...


When Clay Sings

Author: Byrd Baylor
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Fiction
Awards: Caldecott

Baylor uses prose-poetry to tell the story behind the broken clay pots scattered across the southwestern hillsides.


When Jessie Came Across the Sea

Author: Amy Hest
Reading Level: Late Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction

A thirteen-year-old Jewish orphan reluctantly leaves her grandmother and immigrates to New York City, where she works for three...


When John and Caroline Lived in the White House

Author: Laurie Coulter
Reading Level: Early Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction

A photo-essay of the Kennedy children's lives in the White House.


When Marian Sang

Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Reading Level: Early Elementary School, Late Elementary School
Genre: Non Fiction, Biography

A picture book that tells the story of Marian Anderson, including the successes and challenges she found in the United States and...


When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement

Author: Robert H. Mayer
Reading Level: Late Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Genre: Non Fiction

This deliberate and detail-oriented book focuses on the tremendous efforts made by the civil rights workers to end segregation in...

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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.