Topic | Favorite Civil War Living Books

This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  2flowerboys 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • 2flowerboys

    We are ending up our study of the West,and we will be heading into the Civil War! Any suggestions? 🙂

    And do you have a favorite book for Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, or the Wright Brothers?

    Many Thanks!



    My son, who is 11, loved The Boys War and is enjoying Henty’s With Lee in Virginia for the Civil War.  He really liked Russell Freedman’s book about The Wright Brothers and I would bet SCM’s new book about Edison would be top-notch, though I have not seen it yet.  We have read the Childhood of Famous American’s books about Edison and Ford and all my younger children enjoy those.



    Not remembering the ages of your children, I’ll take a stab at it:

    Underground Railroad

    David Adler. Picture Book of Harriet Tubman; Picture Book of Frederick Douglass; Picture Book of Sojourner Truth

    Levine. If You Lived on the Underground Railroad

    Clara and the Freedom Quilt (youngers)

    Minty: a Story of Harriet Tubman by Schroeder

    The Drinking Gourd by Monjo

    Civil War

    Abraham Lincoln by D’Aulaire or Lincoln: a Photobiography by Russell Freedman (check spelling)

    Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (middle school and up, maybe 6th grade or so)

    Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (middle school and up)

    Cornerstones of Freedom series: Bull Run; Shiloh; Gettyburg Address

    McGovern. If You Grew up with Abraham Lincoln

    Adler. Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln; Picture Book of Robert E. Lee

    Thomas Edison

    The only one we’ve read so far is A Picture Book of Thomas Edison by Adler

    Wright Brothers

    Marquardt. Wilbur and Orville and the Flying Machine

    Shea. First Flight




    The Last Brother by Trinka Hakes Noble. My boys LOVED it.

    Jane Yolen wrote a good book about the Wright Brothers, from their sister’s perspective.

    Rachel White

    I suggest a resource on NIkola Tesla to go alongside Edison, depending upon the ages of your children, there’s a PBS special about him that can be watched online:

    Are you interested in only American History or some World, too?

    Up till WW II or WW I?


    We really enjoyed Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder when we studied the Civil War.

    Rachel White

    And for what ages?

    Katrina in AK

    I really like Patricia Polacco’s books. They are picture books, but some have very poignant themes. For the Civil War, I would suggest her books Pink and Say, and Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln.

    Kate Mom of 1

    I recommend the Childhood Biographies of Famous Americans. My daughter loves them! 


    This is great! Thx ladies! 🙂 We also love Childhood of Famous Americans…guess I will check into some more for sure!

    Ages would help 🙂 8 and 10

    @rachel, only into WWI right now! Thank you!


    I would like to also recommend the Patricia Polacco books listed above. I have yet to read any book by this author that is not a true living books. The ones listed above are the best ones for civil war. Many of her books have history woven through it in a very personal way. When I read her books I feel like one of the family! I have laughed and cried with them! Some of my favorite for World War 2 are, “The butterfly” and “The Keeping Quilt”. And I believe one makes reference to Vietnam soldier that doesn’t return, “when lightning comes in a jar”. These are very beautiful stories! I wish I owned them all!


    We loved the story about “The Wright Brother’s and their sister”  at least I think that is what it was called. It has been some time since we’ve read it.  It was a very good book and my kids all loved it.  I may have the title wrong if someone wants to correct me feel free. 🙂  

       The story was about their younger years. How they took potatoes and made a stove out of old coffee cans to cook their potatoes when they were away from home.  It talked about getting money for scrap metal and having their own business. How they brought their sister into their business. I won’t mention any more so you can read the book. 🙂  It was a wonderful living book! 🙂

    Rachel White

    For just American His. or parallel World history, too?


    American History:) Thx

    Rachel White

    In addition to the pbs special on Tesla that I think your 10 yr. old could learn from, you can find good ones on the Titianic (not written about much). Also, in discussing H. Ford, you may or may not currently want to discuss the anti-semitic propaganda that he engaged in; not only did he mass-produce cars, but he mass-produced hate:

    It’s great to honor someone for their acheivements, but we mustn’t put them on a pedestal. We need to be willing to see the whole truth-the real history and impact of an individual’s life on his surroundings and in the case of some, the very substantial effects.

    There are very few George Washington’s.

    Your 8 yr. old would probably enjoy the Cheryl Harness books approprate to the time span:

    and the D’Aulaires if not already read.

    Civil War:

    Lincoln and Douglass: The Years of Decision – Landmark Books

    Abraham LIncoln’s War – Foster

    The Boy’s War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk about the Civil War – Jim Murphy

    Frederick Douglass bio (listen on Librivox, I think)

    Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship – Russell Freedman

    Lincoln: A Photobiography – Russell Freedman

    Henty audio – With Lee in Virginia

    Among the Camps and Two Little Confederates – Thomas Nelson Page

    Best Little Stories from the Civil War – B. Kelly

    Robert E. Lee and the Road of Honor – Hodding Carter (Landmark)

    Stonewall Jackson – Jonathan daniels (Landmark)

    Post- War Between the States to WW I:

    They Called Themselves the KKK – Susan Campbell Bartoletti

    Freeland and/or Young Pioneers – Rose Wilder Lane

    Wright Brothers: How they Invented the Airplane – Russell Freedman

    Indian Chiefs – Russell Freedman

    Kids at Work: Lewis HIne and the Crusade against Child LAbor – Russell Freedom

    Lerner’s in America Series

    Children of the Great Depression – Russell Freedman

    Years of Dust – Albert Marrin

    Mill – David MacCauley

    True Stories of the First World War- Paul Dowswell

    World War I: “The War to End Wars” (American War Series) – Zachery Kent

    Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting – Jim Murphy

    A page with choices:


    The Monitor and the Merrimac by Pratt, #16 (1862)

    Gettysburg by Kantor, #23 (1863)

    Lee and Grant at Appomatox by Kantor, #8 (1865)

    The First Transatlantic Cable by Nathan, #88 (1865)

    Wild Bill Hickok Tames the West by Holbrook, #25 (1860’s – 70’s)

    The Golden Age of Railroads by Holbrook, #93 (1830-1920) Hard to place exactly.

    The Building of the First Transcontinental Railroad by Nathan, #9 (1863-1869)

    Custer’s Last Stand by Reynolds, #20 (1876)

    Mr. Bell Invents the Telephone by Shippen, #30 (1876)

    The Texas Rangers by Henry, #72 (1880’s)

    Wyatt Earp: U.S. Marshall by Holbrook, #67 (1881 OK Corral, death 1929)

    Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross by Boyleston, #58 (1882)

    Buffalo Bill’s Great Wild West Show by Havighurst, #73 (Began 1883)

    The World’s Greatest Showman: P.T. Barnum by Bryan, #64 (1889 – Peak of Fame)

    Disaster at Johnstown: The Great Flood by Dolson, 109 (1889)

    Up the Trail from Texas by Dobie, #60 (1866-’94)

    The Alaska Gold Rush by McNeer, #92 (1897-99)

    Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders by Castor, #41 (1898)

    Women of Courage by Nathan, #107 (Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906 through Margaret Mead 1901-1978) Don’t know how this treats them as they were pro-life and weren’t necessaritly as they are currently depicted.

    The Wright Brothers by Reynolds, #10 (1903)

    The Copper Kings of Montana by Place, #95 (1903)

    The Story of San Francisco by Jackson, #59 (1906, earthquake)

    The Conquest of the North and South Poles by Owen, #27 (North 1909 & South 1929)

    The Story of Thomas Alva Edison by Cousins, #110 (1869-1910 greatest achievements)

    The Panama Canal by Considine, #18 (1913)

    America’s First World War: General Pershing and the Yanks by Castor, #77 (1918)



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