Independence Day will soon be here and one way to celebrate the holiday is to read and inform the next generation about our correct American history. The majority of these books are geared for ages nine through adult. The first three are picture books and are good for all ages.
Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, by Jeff Gottezfeld, and gorgeously illustrated with intricate detail using pencil and digital painting by Matt Tavares, honors those who fought and fell nameless to all but God. This tremendous picture book also honors the sentinels who march in precise order and precision protecting this tomb. The text flows as does the incandescent art that will stay with you long after reading through this book. It begins with “The Sentinel’s Creed” and ends with more factual information. We owe so much to those who have given their lives. This picture book exemplifies just this and is good for all ages.
Let Liberty Rise! How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty, by Chana Stiefel, and brightly illustrated in gouache, pencils and Photoshop, brilliantly conveys what happens when people come together for a cause. In 1885, the statue arrived from France in pieces at New York Harbor. However, America needed a pedestal to place her on. This would require a great amount of money needing to be raised. The fundraiser energized schoolchildren across the country which helped complete what stands today. Be sure to check out the timeline and interesting background information found at the back of the book. This picture book is geared for all ages.
Hold the Flag High: The True Story of the First Black Medal of Honor Winner, by Catherine Clinton, and richly painted by Shane W. Evans, reveals the strength, true dedication and love of his country as Sergeant Carney kept the flag from touching the ground during battle even though he’d been shot several times. The story captures, through both text and illustrations, the bravery of men who fought greatly for our country. This picture book is good for all ages.
We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance, by Deborah Hopkinson, is a comprehensive and well researched nonfiction that should be in every household to help us appreciate our freedoms here in America, as well as helping us never forget what took place to the Jewish people during World War II. It is important that every generation grasp what took place during that war so that it will never happen again. The book is full of true untold stories once lost about the struggles, obstacles and tremendous challenges that took place. The book is divided into three sections: Fleeing From Evil, Hiding From Horror and Families Torn Apart. There are photos, testimonials and even links to audio recordings found throughout the book. The author is renowned for her nonfiction books geared for the younger generation.
Rescue, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, is another thrilling World War II historical fiction by this excellent author! Meg and her father would play games deciphering codes but now he has recently left France to help fight with the resistance against the Nazis. She is unsure if she will ever see him again. But now she has a chance to save some German refugees, but they must cross over mountains and difficult territory to neutral Spain. The danger she and her group faces will have you turning page after page to get to the end! If you have never read the author’s other books, you are in for some amazing books! Other books include Words on Fire, Resistance and A Night Divided.
Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11, by Alan Gratz, is quite an amazing historical fiction and will grip you from the first page to the end. The story begins on September 11, 2001, with nine-year-old Brandon as he goes with his father to where his father works in the New York World Trade Center. As the story continues another narrative is also taking place with Reshmina living in her native country, Afghanistan, and it’s now nineteen years later. The parallels and challenges both of the protagonists face are what propel the story. Be sure to read the author’s note at the back of the book. The author is a favorite historical fiction author of mine. Every single book he has written (which includes Allies and Code of Honor) is excellent!
Spy School Revolution, by Stuart Gibb, is the eighth book in this fabulous mystery series. You do not need to read the others to enjoy this book. However, chances are you will devour all the books after you read Gibb’s newest edition. This book involves the same main character as in the other books, Ben Ripley. Ben is a super-spy in training. As he is investigating a long-ago colonial insurgent group, he discovers much about the beginning of America. There are codes to break and early American history as well as George Washington, woven throughout. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the back of the book as well as checking out the map of Washington D.C. on the end-pages.