Independence Day: Remembering the Revolution

In the United States, one of the best parts of the summer is celebrating our country’s independence on the 4th of July. We love shooting off fireworks, going to carnivals, and barbequing with friends and family, but how often do we take a moment to remember what happened all those years ago when the colonists first began to fight for freedom? This Independence Day, learn more about those who experienced the revolution first-hand, and discover what their stories can teach us about the freedom we enjoy today! For more books about the Revolutionary War or the celebration of Independence Day, try searching keywords and phrases such as “4th of July,” “George Washington,” “American colonies,” or, of course, “Revolutionary War” or “American Revolution.” Search with the subject “juvenile fiction” for fiction or “juvenile literature” for non-fiction.
Picture Books

Griffin, Kitty.
The Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy. 2010.
Recounts the legend of North Carolina teenager Betsy Dowdy, whose courageous ride on a cold December night in 1775 may have played a crucial role in the American Revolution.
[SSHEL S-Collection and SSHEL Oak Street Q. SE. G875r]

Noble, Trinka Hakes.
The Scarlet Stockings Spy. 2004.
In 1777 Philadelphia, young Maddy Rose spies for General Washington’s army by using an unusual code to communicate with her soldier brother. But when childhood games become life-and-death actions, Maddy Rose is drawn ever deeper into events that will explode beyond her imagining. As young America stands on the very brink of its fight for freedom, it becomes clear that even the smallest of citizens can play the largest of parts, and that the role of a patriot has nothing to do with age and everything to do with heart.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S. N668s]

Smith, Lane.
John, Paul, George & Ben. 2006.
A humorous look at five of our country’s founding fathers.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books SE. Sm618j]
Intermediate and Young Adult Fiction

Anderson, Laurie Halse.
Chains. 2008.
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books S. An239ch, Uni High Fiction An239b]

Anderson, M. T.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Pox Party. 2006.
Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.
[Center for Children’s Books S.An241p and Uni High Fiction An241p]

Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution. 2012.
In 1776, after witnessing the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, newly occupied by the British army, young Sophia Calderwood resolves to do all she can to help the American cause, including becoming a spy.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books S. Av51sw]

Elliott, L. M.
Give Me Liberty. 2006.
Follows the life of thirteen-year-old Nathaniel Dunn, from May 1774 to December 1775, as he serves his indentureship with a music teacher in Williamsburg, Virginia, and witnesses the growing rift between patriots and loyalists, culminating in the American Revolution.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. El586g]

Klass, Sheila Solomon.
Soldier’s Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson. 2009.
During the Revolutionary War, a young woman named Deborah Sampson disguises herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.K6662so]

Denenberg, Barry.
The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, a Revolutionary War Patriot. 1998.
William, a twelve-year-old orphan, writes of his experiences in pre-Revolutionary War Boston where he joins the cause of the patriots who are opposed to the British rule.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. D413j]

Gormley, Beatrice.
Friends of Liberty. 2013.
Sally Gifford, a Patriot shoemaker’s daughter, tries to maintain her close friendship with Kitty Lawton, the daughter of a Loyalist official, as pre-Revolutionary War tensions in 1773 Boston increase and push them apart.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. G68f]

Lagos, Alexander.
The Sons of Liberty. 2010.
Teenage runaway slaves with superhuman powers, a Hessian giant, the most evil slave owners imaginable, and Benjamin Franklin. This story of the Revolution blends fact and fantasy in an imaginative reinterpretation of a critical time in American history.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books S.741.5973 L137s]

Lavender, William.
Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution. 2002.
Fourteen-year-old Jane Prentice, orphaned daughter of an English earl, arrives in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1776 to find her family and her loyalties divided over the question of American independence.
[SSHEL Oak Street S.L386j]

Rinaldi, Ann.
Finishing Becca: A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold. 1994.
Fourteen-year-old Becca takes a position as a maid in a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker home and witnesses the events that lead to General Benedict Arnold’s betrayal of the American forces during the Revolutionary War.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.R4702fi]

Anderson, Laurie Halse.
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution. 2008.
Listen up! You’ve all heard about the great men who led and fought during the American Revolution; but did you know that these men only make up part of the story? What about the women? With page after page of superbly researched information and thoughtfully detailed illustrations, this book answers that question in this entertaining, informative, and long overdue homage to those independent dames!
[SSHEL S-Collection S.973.3082 An2394i]

Bobrick, Benson.
Fight for Freedom: The American Revolutionary War. 2004.
From the first stirrings of unrest under British rule at the Boston Tea Party, to the treachery of Benedict Arnold at West Point, to George Washington’s Christmas Eve surprise attack at the Battle of Trenton, to the British surrender at the Battle of Yorktown, Fight for Freedom explores the war that created one independent nation out of thirteen diverse colonies.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.973.3 B6308f]

Castrovilla, Selene.
Upon Secrecy. 2009.
In 1780 France entered the American Revolution. A French fleet was bringing crucial aid to the patriots. Did the British know? Would they intercept? George Washington needed answers–fast. To get them, he turned to his most trusted spies. Upon Secrecy follows the members of the Culper Spy Ring on their most daring and important mission. Washington couldn’t outfight the British. Could he outspy them?
[SSHEL S-Collection S.973.385 C279u]

Cheney, Lynne.
When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots. 2004.
Christmas night, 1776, was a troubled time for our young country. It looked as though our struggle for independence might be doomed when Washington made a bold decision. He would lead the main body of his army across the Delaware River and launch a surprise attack on enemy forces, changing the course of history forever.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.973.3 C421w]

Fradin, Dennis Brindell.
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution. 2005.
Offers a detailed account of the first two battles of the American Revolution and the people involved in the conflicts.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books Q. S.973.3 F841l]

Freedman, Russell.
Lafayette and the American Revolution. 2010.
An account of Marquis de Lafayette, a young French nobleman, who helped bring victory at Yorktown and became a lifelong friend of George Washington.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books Q. SB. L1612f]

Hale, Nathan
One Dead Spy: The Life, Times, and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America’s Most Famous Spy. 2012.
Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British. In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Talesseries, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.741.5973 H134o]

Harper, Judith E.
African Americans and the Revolutionary War. 2001.
Portrays the treatment and struggles of African Americans during the Revolutionary War and their contributions to the war effort.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.973.308996073 H232a]

Schanzer, Rosalyn.
George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides. 2004.
Explores how the characters and lives of King George III of England and George Washington affected the progress and outcome of the American Revolution.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books S.973.3 Sch165g]