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Abigail Takes the Wheel

History for Young Children

To read a book set in the past is to live the lives of those who came before us. To know their fears, courage, and hope. Stories of adventure in history abound, and knowing about the past gives children a window into who we are now. The best news? You can check out 60 books with your Richland Library card, and when you've finished this list, just call your closest Richland library location, and the staff will help you select more great books about history.


Amazon Says: Collision in the Harbor! Abigail and her brother, Tom, travel to school every day aboard their father's freight boat, the Neptune. One day, two ships collide in the Narrows, a more...
Amazon Says: Collision in the Harbor! Abigail and her brother, Tom, travel to school every day aboard their father's freight boat, the Neptune. One day, two ships collide in the Narrows, and Abigail's father goes to their aid--leaving Abigail to take the Neptune's wheel. Can she and Tom steer the freight boat through the crowded and dangerous waters of New York Harbor alone? less...
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Amazon Says: Here is the perfect book for celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday—and a unique way to illuminate our 16th president for today’s young readers. Based on an actual incident more...
Amazon Says: Here is the perfect book for celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday—and a unique way to illuminate our 16th president for today’s young readers. Based on an actual incident that occurred when Lincoln was just a boy, it shows that he, like so many children, wished he were taller (and it came true!); that he had a mischievous streak; that he loved words; and—most important—that even as a small child he puzzled deeply over the concept of freedom. Amy June Bates’s superb illustrations capture young Abe’s personality, the warmth of his home life, and the enduring power of his one-time chance meeting with a soldier from the War of 1812.  less...
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Amazon Says: A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story. When a farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, she is at once startled and frightened. Bu more...
Amazon Says: A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story. When a farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, she is at once startled and frightened. But the stranger's fearful eyes weigh upon her conscience, and she must make a difficult choice. Will she have the courage to help him? Unspoken gifts of humanity unite the girl and the runaway as they each face a journey: one following the North Star, the other following her heart. Henry Cole's unusual and original rendering of the Underground Railroad speaks directly to our deepest sense of compassion. less...
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Amazon Says: It was a hot and buggy afternoon in the summer of 1862, when Peter Thorn, the cemetery tender of Gettysburg, left his pregnant wife and three small sons to join the Union army more...
Amazon Says: It was a hot and buggy afternoon in the summer of 1862, when Peter Thorn, the cemetery tender of Gettysburg, left his pregnant wife and three small sons to join the Union army.  In his absence, his family would bear witness to the most ferocious and bloody battle of the Civil War.  On July 1, 1863, a shell exploded in the Thorn's kitchen when the brutal Battle of Gettysburg began. The cannons sounded on Cemetery Hill, as more than 51,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured during the three day battle. For days after the battle, seven-year-old Fred, his pregnant mother, Elizabeth, and his grandfather worked to honor the dead by digging graves and burying Union and Confederate soldiers.  Neither the Thorn family nor the rest of America would be the same again after witnessing the terrible toll the battle took.  Though the Gettysburg Address paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives, this is a tribute to the family that so dutifully tended to the soldiers after they had fallen. less...
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Amazon Says: To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on... But to Dave it was clay, the plain and basic stuff upon which he formed a life as a slave nearly 200 years ago. Dave was an e more...
Amazon Says: To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on... But to Dave it was clay, the plain and basic stuff upon which he formed a life as a slave nearly 200 years ago. Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill's elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier's resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave's story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty. less...
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Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Amazon Says: All Virgie wants is to go to school with her brothers George, Will, Nelson, Val, and C. C. But they keep saying she's too little for the long, seven-mile walk, and that girls more...
Amazon Says: All Virgie wants is to go to school with her brothers George, Will, Nelson, Val, and C. C. But they keep saying she's too little for the long, seven-mile walk, and that girls don't need school. Well, Virgie doesn't agree, and she's not gonna let anything stand in her way. less...
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Amazon Says: She was the favored daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan Indians, and a girl in motion; always laughing, teasing, and dancing. But from the moment John Smith and the colonist more...
Amazon Says: She was the favored daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan Indians, and a girl in motion; always laughing, teasing, and dancing. But from the moment John Smith and the colonists of Jamestown set foot into her world in 1607, her life would change forever. She soon became an ambassador and peace keeper between the Powhatan and the colonists.  Because of her curiosity and courage, Pocahontas became the bridge between the two worlds.    Four hundred years after this world-changing clash of cultures, the true story about America's original "Founding Mother" is finally revealed.  Reunited for the first time since Wilma Unlimited, Kathleen Krull and David Diaz deliver a visually stunning, fascinating birth-to-death account of this true American Princess. less...
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Amazon Says: What do you get when you mix a fiery, red-headed girl with the high seas? Granuaile, better known as Granny O’Malley! And would she rather raid ships than learn the ways o more...
Amazon Says: What do you get when you mix a fiery, red-headed girl with the high seas? Granuaile, better known as Granny O’Malley! And would she rather raid ships than learn the ways of a woman? Yes. And though a woman, would she become captain of her own crew and take to pirating and plundering every English merchant ship that dares sail by? Indeed. But Red Liz, the Queen of England, isn’t going to take Granny O’Malley’s filching without a fight. When she imprisons Granny’s son, the pirate and the Queen come face to face—and neither feisty female is prepared for what happens next! Matt Faulkner sets readers sailing on a pirating adventure that guarantees you’ll never forget the name Granny O’Malley. less...
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One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor
Amazon Says: A band of men sat huddled in a cave Where coals of fire glowed warm and red. Boy lay curled on a bed of leaves But he sat up when an old man said: "This thought keeps spinn more...
Amazon Says: A band of men sat huddled in a cave Where coals of fire glowed warm and red. Boy lay curled on a bed of leaves But he sat up when an old man said: "This thought keeps spinning in my head. There must be caves just like our own Somewhere And other axes made of stone Somewhere And other men like me." Though only Boy shares his dream, the old man leaves the tribe to search for what the world may hold. Boy does the old man's work in his absence and watches hopefully for his return... For any good thing Can happen when The world is full of Tribes of men Who know that they have brothers. First published in 1965 and long out of print, Byrd Baylor's powerful story is newly illustrated with Ronald Himler's vigorous yet tender pictures. less...
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Amazon Says: A comic romp through Shakespeare's London featuring an intrepid little boy, a friendly bear, and-in the role of dastardly villain-the Bard himself. What happens when a more...
Amazon Says: A comic romp through Shakespeare's London featuring an intrepid little boy, a friendly bear, and-in the role of dastardly villain-the Bard himself. What happens when a boy bursts through the curtain of a deserted theatre and onto the world's most famous stage? He lands on the Bard himself and the chase is on-through the streets of Shakespeare's London. This is a rare and inventive visual feast-a runaway story about a curious boy, a magic cloak, a grumpy bard, a captive bear and a baron bound for the chopping block. It is also a richly illustrated, dramatic and very funny tale of adventure and friendship. less...
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The First Dog by Jan Brett
Amazon Says: Kip the Cave Boy offers to share all his woolly rhino ribs if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. When Paleowolf agree more...
Amazon Says: Kip the Cave Boy offers to share all his woolly rhino ribs if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. When Paleowolf agrees with a bark and a wag of his tail, Kip names his new friend Dog. less...
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Amazon Says: A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist. Henry Brown does more...
Amazon Says: A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist. Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom. less...
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Hope's Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons
Amazon Says: A poignant story celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation It’s 1862 and the Civil War has turned out to be a long, deadly conflict. Hope’s fathe more...
Amazon Says: A poignant story celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation It’s 1862 and the Civil War has turned out to be a long, deadly conflict. Hope’s father can’t stand the waiting a minute longer and decides to join the Union army to fight for freedom. He slips away one tearful night, leaving Hope, who knows she may never see her father again, with only a conch shell for comfort. Its sound, Papa says, echoes the promised song of freedom. It’s a long wait for freedom and on the nights when the cannons roar, Papa seems farther away than ever. But then Lincoln finally does it: on January 1, 1863, he issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, and a joyful Hope finally spies the outline of a familiar man standing on the horizon. Affectingly written and gorgeously illustrated, Hope’s Gift captures a significant moment in American history with deep emotion and a lot of charm. less...
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Amazon Says: This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature styl more...
Amazon Says: This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller's life and legacy, making Helen's Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America-and the world-forever. less...
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Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Amazon Says: In a true story, Pinkus Aylee, a black Union soldier, finds Sheldon Curtis left for dead and carries him home to be tended by his mother, but when the two boys attempt to rejo more...
Amazon Says: In a true story, Pinkus Aylee, a black Union soldier, finds Sheldon Curtis left for dead and carries him home to be tended by his mother, but when the two boys attempt to rejoin the Union troops, they are captured and sent to Andersonville Prison. less...
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Amazon Says: Through Three Continents in the Twelfth Century Imagine a time when streets were narrow and dirty, towns were surrounded by walls, brigands lurked alongside roads that were t more...
Amazon Says: Through Three Continents in the Twelfth Century Imagine a time when streets were narrow and dirty, towns were surrounded by walls, brigands lurked alongside roads that were treacherous and few, bridges over rivers were rare, and a man setting out on a journey never knew if he would return alive. It was the year 1159 when the medieval Jewish traveler Benjamin left his native town of Tudela in northern Spain on an adventure to see the places he had read about in the Bible. He traveled for fourteen years - from Rome to Constantinople to Jerusalem to Baghdad, among others - by ship, by cart, and on foot, enduring great hardships in his quest for knowledge of other places and people. Working from Benjamin's original chronicle, written in Hebrew, as well as other sources on the period, Uri Shulevitz captures the true spirit of this amazing adventurer, using a text written in the first person and superlative illustrations. The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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