Teach the American Civil War with these American Civil War picture books about slavery, the war, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, and more.
American Civil War Picture Books
Follow Gabe, a bugler for the Union Army who struggles to understand the meaning of his service after seeing his brothers and so many around him perish. This touching story of a young boy continuing to serve while also searching for the meaning behind honor is a great way to dig deeper into the Civil War.
This kid’s version of Clara Barton’s biography tells of her time as a Civil War nurse and how she founded the American Red Cross. This story introduces readers to all that Clara attributed to the Civil Rights Movement while also helping with reading comprehension!
Henry has heard of birthdays, but doesn’t have one himself since he’s not free. Though he hopes to be and one day, finds just the way to get there. Read along as Henry makes the journey to freedom in one of the most unique ways; through mailing himself north.
This story, which was passed down to Patricia through her family reminds us of the severity of the Civil War. Read about two Union soldiers who may appear different, but have the same problem of being in Confederate territory.
Clara, like other slaves, dreams of freedom and when she hears word of the Underground Railroad, she hopes this dream can come true. Using her quick thinking and the materials around her, she fashions a quilt with the escape plan on it, keeping her plans hidden from her master. Read this inspirational story that shows what hope and determination can lead to.
We always use the phrase “put yourself in their shoes” and this book allows kids to do just that! Learn about the historical facts and the reality of the Civil War through becoming the main character in this book.
While many know of the history behind the Civil War, they may not understand the reality of the tension within the United States during this period. This story of two friends who are on opposite sides of the fight provides a new way for us to understand this tumultuous time in history.
Picture Books About Abraham Lincoln
In this inspiring story for early elementary students, learn how Lincoln’s bravery led to abolishing slavery.
He is on the penny and the $5 dollar bill, but who really is Lincoln? A young girl finds out! For younger kids interested in history, Looking at Lincoln brings our 16th president alive, instead of just another name and face in a history book. No book on the American Civil War can completely avoid slavery, bigotry, and death; but this can be a gentle conversation starter, aimed at preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Polacco brings history to life in a way that readers can easily understand in this adventurous story. While on a visit to a Civil War museum, two boys are introduced to Abraham Lincoln and life as it was in 1862.
Many have read books on Abraham Lincoln as our sixteenth president, but not about his life as a child. Abe loved to read. Learn about how that passion led him to be one of our nation’s great leaders!
Picture Books About Harriet Tubman
This Caldecott Honor book has wonderful illustrations and tells the story of Harriet Tubman through poetic text.
Brad Metzler’s bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series is fun for kindergarteners to third graders. The stories are short and filled with impactful lessons on great historical figures.
In this Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, we learn about Harriet Tubman looking back at her life. This book is not text-heavy and has beautiful illustrations. It is highly recommended. Grab the book guide here.
David Adler’s A Picture Book series is a classic. From being born into slavery to courageously going back to help her people, this is a great tribute to Harriet Tubman.