20 Books For Your U.S. History Block

20 books that are sure to make your U.S. History block come alive!
Are you looking for ways to incorporate more literature into your United States History block? With more and more needing to be fit into our classrooms each day the only way to get it done it through content integration. In addition to saving time, reading books about United States History builds engagement with out students and gets them excited to read and learn more about our country.  The following are all books that I have shared with students that we have all loved. 

The links included in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click and decide to buy Amazon gives me a little back without increasing the cost to you. This helps me to maintain this blog. 

Some of the books included on this list are nonfiction and others are historic fiction. I have found that using a good mix of genres that pertain to history encourage students to learn more. Click on the title of each book to be taken to the Amazon listing. 

The Guts & Glory series.  This series covers a variety of American history events with high interest topics such as the American Revolution and the Civil War. My students were totally entranced by this series and continued to check out more and more of them over various history topics throughout the year.

Our 50 States is a beautifully illustrated story of travel through the 50 states and features unique qualities of each of them. This book is a great way to get students a lot of information about sights in different areas of the country in a concise way.

By the same author is America an alphabet book which is a fun way to start the year of American History.

When it is time to discuss the formation of our country and founding fathers some of my favorite choices are:

Another GREAT high interest series that students are sure to love are the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series. These graphic novels will get even your most reluctant learners excited about reading and learning their history. The first one that I read was Big Bad Ironclad, but soon my students were begging for more to be added to our classroom library. 

Yet another wonderful series for getting students excited about history and placing them in the shoes of historical figures is the You Wouldn't Want to Be a... series

This series covers topics such as life on the Mayflower, as an American colonist, during the American Civil War, and a part of the Boston Tea Party among other topics.

This series was always highly sought after in my our classroom and spent very little time on the shelves.

I have found that one of the surefire ways to get students interested in history is to talk or read about some of the shall we say grosser parts of history.

This book, The Dreadful, Smelly Colonies is a great way to capture all the "ewwwws" and "ah grosses" that you kids have to offer. Make no mistake though, later they will all be rushing to check this one out to read more about how terrible life in the colonies way.

 Are you done hearing about series yet? I sure hope not, because the
If You... series is another great, historically accurate series with topics that will take you all the way from Colonial America to Westward Expansion.

This series has great illustrations that capture the imagination of students and lead to amazing discussions that will have students digging deeper into history.

One period of history for which there is a ton of amazing literature is the time period surrounding the Civil War and the history of slavery in the United States. Some of my absolute favorite books to share with students take place during this period, and I never seem to be able to fit them all in. My favorites include:

There are also an amazing collection of books for the Civil Rights era. These books are amazing for showing the triumph of the human spirit as well as the diversity that makes our country so great. By sharing stories of the difficulties that people have suffered through in order to make their lives, and the lives of those around them better we can encourage our students to always strive for better.

If you are keeping count, I missed the mark by a couple, but I just couldn't help myself! I can only hope that your students will be as excited by these books as well! 
20 books that are sure to make your U.S. History block come alive!


  1. I use many of these but I also use whole class novels. The ones I'm using this year are: Blood on the River:Jamestown 1607, Woods Runner and Mr. Tuckett


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