Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Other Stories About the Revolutionary War

As much as I love the American Girl stories and using them in our homeschooling journey, they are not the only books out there about history. In fact, they aren't always the best. I love them as an introductory tool for periods in history, but they are that. An introductory tool. They don't really delve into the nitty gritty of much of history, and I feel that it's important to do that. History has beautiful periods, but also extremely disturbing events. I feel it's important for our children to know about those too or else we run the risk of history repeating its self. I hope I'm not alone in saying that there is much of history that I never want to see in person.

I also love teaching through literature. There are many things I have forgotten from my own education, but many of the things that still stand out to me are lessons that my teachers enriched with stories. I use many different books for almost every lesson we have, and thought that people might appreciate it if I shared those here.

Here are some other stories that can be used in a Revolutionary War unit. Please know that this list contains books for multiple age ranges. Some of these books would not be suitable for younger or more sensitive children. Know your children, and review the books before sharing them in your classroom.

Please, I am always looking to add to our library. If you know of any books you think belong on this list let me know. Leave a comment or send an email to Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com. 

  1. My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier   This is one of those books that always stuck very strongly in my mind after we read it as a class in 4th or 5th grade. A family torn by war and loyalties divided, young Tim Meeker finds himself with an impossible choice. 
  2. The Fighting Ground by Avi   A first hand look at the horrors of participating in a battle of the Revolutionary War. Jonathan in this book reminds me very much of Ben in the Felicity books. So eager to fight without really knowing what that means.
  3. Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes   Winner of the Newbery Medel, Johnny Tremain tells the story of a young man who finds himself in the center of events leading up to the Revolutionary War. 
  4. Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Dear America) by Ann Turner   Those familiar with the American Girl books have also probably heard of the Dear American books. Through her diary Prudence tells of the beginning of the Revolutionary War through a Tory family's perspective. 
  5. The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot (My Name Is America) by Barry Denenberg   The "boy version" of the Dear American books (though I have no idea why we have to try to divide books with some unseen gender line), this story follows a young man who becomes a spy for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. 
  6. The Winter of Red Snow: The Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Dear America) by Kristiana Gregory   Another Dear American book, The Winter of Red Snow tells of Abigail's life in Valley Forge Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777. 
  7. Cannons at Dawn: The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Dear America) by Kristiana Gregory   The second story of Abigail Stewart and her family follows them as they become camp followers of the Continental Army in 1779. 
  8. Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz   A slightly humorous volume following the life of King George of England. 
  9. George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer   A look at the Revolutionary War from two sides. 
  10. Chains (Seeds of American Book 1) by Laurie Halse Anderson   Chains offers up a viewpoint not commonly seen in Revolutionary War stories. Thirteen year old Isabel is a slave trying to navigate her way to freedom...Both her countries and her own. 
  11. Forge (Seeds of America Book 2) by Laurie Halse Anderson   The second book in the Seeds of America trilogy, Forge is a story about escaped slave Curzon. Fighting with the Patriots, Curzon lives in constant fear that they will discover that he is an escaped slave instead of a free man while he fights for the freedoms of his fellow countrymen. 
  12. Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi   After witnessing something horrible, Sophia vows to do everything she can to help the cause of the Patriots in the revolution. When her vow puts her life in danger though, what will Sophia choose? 
  13. George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff   A book about time traveling lands five children back in time smack dab in the middle of the Revolutionary War. What will they learn about the cost of freedom...and how will they get home safely?  
  14. Hope's Crossing by Joan Elizabeth Goodman   Taken captive by a group of Tories raiding her family home, Hope Wakeman must set out on a journey into war torn Manhattan. What will she find out about herself along the way?
  15. Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House Book #22) by Mary Pope Osborne   I love the Magic Tree House books and how they introduce different time periods and historical events to young children! We've been reading them in our home since the oldest two were a mere 4 and 1. Revolutionary War on Wednesday takes brother and sister team, Jack and Annie, back in time to General Washington's side on the eve of a huge attack. Can they help the General keep history on track?
  16. American Revolution: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #22 by Mary Pope Osborne   Many (if not all) of the Magic Tree House books come with nonfiction companion novels that I love to use in our classroom. 

The above list is just a few of the numerous books out there for children discussing the Revolutionary War. Please, check your local libraries, Amazon, Goodreads, Scholastic, and any of your favorite search engines or web sites for more. As always, please share anything you feel should be on this list with me! I'm always looking for more. 

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