Aside from maybe Abraham Lincoln, there’s no president more recognizable to kids than George Washington, and for good reason. He’s on our money, our capitol is named after him, and he is celebrated both as a Revolutionary War hero and the father of our country.
Beneath all the folklore and falsehoods that have been passed down about Washington over the years, there lies a story of a shy and quiet young man who rose to become a great leader. These books will help you learn more about the man behind the myths, and will increase your respect for America’s earliest leader.
If your kids enjoy learning about the Founding Fathers, they may like these books about Alexander Hamilton.
7 Children’s Books About George Washington
A Picture Book of George Washington by David A. Adler — Adler’s Picture Book Biographies are always our go-to for picture books about historical figures, and this one is just as great as the rest. A simple and honest telling of Washington’s life, with gorgeous illustrations.
Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards — Likewise, our go-to for biographical chapter books is the Who Was series. My second grader has read this book on Washington multiple times, and really enjoys the sections about his early life, and the “fun facts” the book includes along the way.
I Am George Washington by Brad Metzler — Metzler’s I Am series uses the heroes of history to show children how we can all be heroes. This book focuses on Washington’s bravery and how he used it to help found our nation. These books are fun for kids to explore, with adorable cartoon illustrations.
Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette by Selene Castrovilla — I borrowed this from our Alexander Hamilton list, but I adore this look at a very specific part of Washington’s life. This book highlights the friendship between the two friends, and how Lafayette and the French helped Washington win the Revolutionary War.
George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz — George Washington Allen is a little boy named after the first president. He wants to know all about his namesake, and he learns a lot…but who can tell him what Washington ate for breakfast? This book features illustrations from Tomie dePaola, and is great for middle grade readers.
Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington by Anne Rockwell — Before he was a distinguished general or the first president, George Washington was a young man who was very shy and quick to anger. This book humanizes Washington and shows how he learned to control his anger and use his bravery for good. I love to read this book with kids that are elementary school age, to help them understand that our leaders are people, too!
The Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McClafferty — This book for older kids is a fascinating read for adults as well. It uses forensic science to answer the question, “What did George Washington look like?” and shows how our perceptions of him may not be accurate.
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