We went a little all out for 4th of July this year and have a fun Independence Day Booklist to share with you! It may be that Thorin finally started sleeping through the night and I have found myself with unknown (and unremembered) amounts of new energy OR it could be the fact that my pre-school age children LOVE LEARING ALL THE THINGS ABOUT HOLIDAYS. Either way, I fully embraced it because holidays are my thing!
We’ve been trying to rent books from the library for the holidays but it is so hard to get on the list in time and more often than not, we have been getting the books several weeks after said holiday (if not months later!) This time I shopped Amazon & Thriftbooks for the best prices and stocked up my own collection. We already do this with Christmas & Easter books and, especially since we are homeschooling, it just felt right to put a little money toward an Independence Day book collection that would be able to keep giving year after year. Like the other two holidays, we will probably pick up a new book or two each year to add to the decorations and festivities!
I also picked up an American read for myself and enjoyed reading something on theme over the holiday weekend! It was so much fun that I am going to have to read themed novels for all the holidays now 😉 So typical me!
4.5 Stars: I figured a book titled “The All-American” would be the perfect fit for the 4th of July holiday weekend. Taking place in Michigan in the early 50’s during the Red Scare, this book is a peek into the life of an “all-American” family – their struggles, their dreams, their connections, their relationships with others and each other, their mistakes, their achievements. While there is definitely a story arch, much of the story is really just a snapshot of this season in the lives of a family. There are many questions that go unanswered and feelings left unexplored because that is life – we don’t know all the things and not everything gets wrapped up in the end with a pretty bow. Although, gratefully, there is a delightful ending after quite a bit of heartbreak!
Flossie is by far the best character! I adore how she is written and she even gets the epilogue suggesting she was the main character the whole time. Good books about good books are always some of my favorites and I love how Flossie related to stories and characters in her everyday life. I enjoyed the baseball (how American is that) and the life of an author/ small town celebrity. Nearly every character was likable and complex and I would have loved a book on each of them to dig into who they really are! Overall, a great historical fiction read of a not often explored time period (because it turns out not all historical fictions are WW2 😉 )
5 Stars: With simply charming illustrations, this historical fiction picture book not only brings to light what life was like for a young orphan after the Revolutionary War, but also tells the story of the creation of the first American cookbook and the recipe for Independence Cake! In a sweet story, Amelia Simmons life is imagined with what is little known about her. My girls enjoyed the story! I wish a recipe was included to make just one Independence Day cake (instead of all 13!) Good book to read to ages 3+
5 Stars: This is a fun, festive, and a bit frantic 4th of July book! But isn’t that what holidays are as a child (and even as an adult) – long, full-to-the-brim, exciting, filled with too much yet not enough? My girls really enjoyed this book and it was fun to talk about how we celebrate as a family and the things we had planned! This is a great read aloud for little kids of all ages!
5 Stars: I honestly just learned while reading this book out loud to my kids that there were more verses in the Star-Spangled Banner. “And the hoooome of the Braaavee!” is not the ending! Just like a good Hymn, there are verses we don’t often sing but are still packed with beautiful imagery and depth. The illustrations are what makes this book so special, each page with only a line or two of the song and so much said through the artwork. I also learned about when the song was written (I assumed it was during the Revolutionary war but that’s wrong!) so it was a learning experience for both me and my children! Great book that we will read every 4th of July!
5 Stars: The illustrations in this book are nostalgic and quintessential 4th of July! This story geared to teaching children the historical significance of this holiday is well written and informational. Again, a bit long for my 3 & 4 year-olds, but it actually was super helpful in explaining the holiday and giving them some reference (more than fireworks 😉 )
5 Stars: This is an informational book about America’s symbols and landmarks. Very informational and engaging. This is best for elementary ages and up although my girls liked looking through the pictures and asking me about what they saw. This book shares information on so many American historical things like Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty, the American Flag, Ellis Island, the Liberty Bell, Bill of Rights, National Anthem, Washington monument, etc. I’m glad we own this book – we will be pulling it out for history projects and research in the future!
We read this book through several times within the same week because the girls loved it book so much. Honestly, I did too! It tells the story of a immigrant who comes to America & becomes a tailor. He makes a coat for his wedding day and as the generations continue, the coat is repurposed into new things with new stories. Beautiful, inspirational, and heartwarming.
4 Stars: My girls think this book (and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World) is so funny. Clearly it is much easier to make a cherry pie, but the story takes us all over trying to get the materials to make all the things we need! Its great way to visualize the United States of America and also learn about the industry and diversity all around us as a country. It also lends itself to continue the story through crafting or baking together. We made cherry pies out of clay and turned them into magnets and also made cherry pies out of paper plates and tissue paper! As well as made a real cherry pie with all the ingredients 🙂 The map not only charts out the journey we went on to make a Cherry pie, but is also fun to point out where family lives and where we call home! A good one for ages 3+
4 Stars: This is a great history picture book explaining what happened after the war and the American Constitution. I tried to read this with my girls this year but I think it is better for elementary age. Great information presented in an easy to read and understand way! The art is also nice and helps the time period come alive! I love the additional information include at the end as well!
4 Stars: While not a book about American history per say,, it does cover some of the history of America and the changes that happened over time. Blackberry Fool (the dessert made throughout generations and included recipe) also makes a great 4th of July treat! Be ready to talk to your kids about slavery when you are in the 1810 story. It doesn’t go deep into it during the story, but there is room to have a discussion about America’s history there. I do wish somehow it was the same family passing down the recipe hundreds of years later – it would have felt more cohesive and nostalgic . And I really wish that the 2010 showed a family instead of just a father & son on their own. It would have been so sweet of him to make the treat for his pregnant mom and little sister or something like that. It’s sad to see family not being central to the home in modern years. The art is the best part of this book – so beautiful.
4 Stars: The Poppy Lady is a picture book telling the story of Moina Belle Michael and her tribute to Veterans. I was moved to tears while reading the story, “But Moina needed to do even more…” and so enjoyed learning about her (and reading all the extra information in the back!) The book was a bit long for my kids (age 3 & 4) but it’s a great book about WW1 and veterans! I also loved the illustrations. This would be great for elementary ages and older!
Did we miss some of your favorite 4th of July books? Let me know and I will add them to my list for next year!!