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Civil War book list | Underground Railroad book list


Civil War Books for Kids


Juvenile Picture Books
Li’l Dan, the Drummer Boy: a Civil War Story by Romare Bearden
When a company of black Union soldiers tells L'il Dan that he is no longer a slave, he follows them, and uses his beloved drum to save them from attack.

The Blue and the Gray
by Eve Bunting
As a black boy and his white friend watch the construction of a house which will make them neighbors on the site of a Civil War battlefield, they agree that their homes are monuments to that war.

Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher
During the Civil War, a devoted cow follows her owner when he joins the Union Army and, despite all his efforts to send her home, stays with him and his regiment until the end of the war. Based on a true story.

The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburgby Linda Oatman High
With his father, the caretaker of Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery, off fighting in the Union Army, Fred Thorn endures the three-day Battle of Gettysburg and then helps his mother and grandfather bury around one hundred soldiers.

Seeing the Elephant: a Story of the Civil War
by Pat Hughes
Ten-year-old Izzie wants to join the war like his older brothers and go into battle against the Confederate Army, but when he meets a Rebel soldier in a hospital, he begins to see things differently.

The Promise Quilt by Candice F. Ransom
After her father leaves the family farm on Lost Mountain to be General Lee's guide, Addie finds ways to remember him--even when he does not return at the end of the war.

Freedom Ship by Doreen Rapport
Samuel and his father are slaves working on a Confederate steamship out of Charleston, South Carolina and they can see the Union ships in the distance where their freedom lies.

Juvenile Fiction
Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & Merrimac: A Civil War Novel
by Avi
Tom's job as an assistant to Captain John Ericsson, the inventor of the Monitor, makes him a target of Confederate spies.

A Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter
by Alice Turner Curtis
When she is caught up in the events that will lead to the start of the Civil War, ten-year-old Sylvia is glad for the several good friends, including a young slave girl, she has made while living in Charleston, South Carolina.

All Their Names Were Courage by Sharon Phillips Denslow
In 1862, as William Burd fights in the Civil War, he exchanges letters with his sister, Sallie, who is also writing to Confederate and Union generals asking about their horses in order to write a book.

Private Joel and the Sewell Mountain Seder by Bryna J. Fireside
A group of Jewish soldiers, and three freed slaves, have a Passover seder in 1862 on the battlefields of the Civil War.

Thunder at Gettysburg
by Patricia Lee Gauch
Fourteen-year-old Tillie becomes involved in the tragic battle of July 1-3, 1863.

Abner & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure
by Dan Gutman
With his ability to travel through time using baseball cards and photographs, thirteen-year-old Joe and his mother go back to 1863 to ask Abner Doubleday whether he invented baseball, but instead find themselves in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Gabriel’s Triumph by Alison Hart
A thirteen-year-old newly-freed slave faces the challenges of freedom and horse racing as he pursues his dream of becoming a famous jockey in Civil War Kentucky and New York.

Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run by Michael Hemphill
While participating in a reenactment of the Battle of Bull Run, twelve-year-old Stonewall Hinkleman is transported back to the actual Civil War battle by means of a magic bugle.

A Light in the Storm: the Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin
by Karen Hesse
In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father's lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.

The Journal of Rufus Rowe by Sid Hite
In 1862, sixteen-year-old Rufus Rowe runs away from home and settles in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he documents in his journal the battle he watches unfold there.

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Young Jethro Creighton grows from a boy to a man when he is left to take care of the family farm in Illinois during the difficult years of the Civil War.

The Witness Tree and the Shadow Noose: Mystery, Lies, and Spies in Manassasby K.E.M Johnston
When twelve-year-old Jake's family moves to a creepy, cramped house in historic Manassas, Virginia, on the outskirts of the famous Civil War battlefield, Jake encounters the ghost of a Confederate soldier and sets out to solve the mystery of his death.

Chance of a Lifetime
by Deborah Kent
Away from home during the battle of Vicksburg, fourteen-year-old Jacquetta returns to find her parents gone and the plantation in Yankee hands, but with help from a slave girl, she devises a plan to rescue the family's Morgan horses.

Three Against the Tide by D. Anne Love
After her father is called away from their plantation near Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, twelve-year-old Susanna must lead her brothers on a difficult journey in hopes of being reunited with him.

Jesse Bowman: a Union Boy’s War Story by Tom McGowen
At the age of seventeen, Jesse Bowman of Chicago joins the Union Army to fight in the Civil War, having only a romantic notion of what war is all about, but once he enlists he learns about both the tedium of daily life as a soldier and the hardships and cruelty of battle.

How I Found the Strong by Margaret McMullan
Frank Russell, known as Shanks, wishes he could have gone with his father and brother to fight for Mississippi and the Confederacy, but his experiences with the war and his changing relationship with the family slave, Buck, change his thinking.

The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish by Claudia Mills
While dealing with her parents' separation and her best friend's distance, Amanda is able to work out some of her anxiety through her fifth-grade project--writing a diary from the point of view of a ten-year-old girl whose brothers fight on opposite sides in the Civil War.

After the Rain by Mary Pope Osborne
In her diary, a ten-year-old girl writes about her family's experiences living in Washington, D.C., in 1864-65, during which time the Civil War comes to an end and President Lincoln is assassinated.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figgby W. Rodman Philbrick
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops.

Meet Addy: An American Girl by Connie Rose Porter
Nine-year-old Addy Walker escapes from a cruel life of slavery to freedom during the Civil War.

Joseph: A Rumble of War, 1861 by Bonnie Pryor
After his stepfather becomes an abolitionist, ten-year-old Joseph struggles with his own thoughts about slavery as he sees its divisive power in his small Kentucky town.

Before the Creeks Ran Red by Carolyn Reeder
Through the eyes of three different boys, three linked novellas explore the tumultuous times beginning with the secession of South Carolina and leading up to the first major battle of the Civil War.

Juvenile Nonfiction
Weapons of the Civil War by Matt Doeden
Describes the weapons of the Civil War, including small arms and larger weapons.
J 355.809 Doeden

Going to School During the Civil War, the Confederacy by Kerry A. Graves
J 370.973 Graves

Going to School During the Civil War, the Union by Kerry A. Graves
J 370.973 Graves

Civil War Recipes: Adding and Subtracting Simple Fractions by Lynn George
Gives several examples of recipes used during the Civil War, such as gingerbread, groundnut soup, gumbo, and hardtack, and shows how to add and subtract fractions to double or halve the ingredients.
J 513.26 George

Addy’s Cook Book: A Peek at Dining in the Past With Meals You Can Cook Today
Recipes and social customs such as Addy might have enjoyed in 1864.
J 641.5123 Addy’s

Food and Recipes of the Civil War by George Erdosh
Briefly describes some of the foods eaten in the North and South before and after the Civil War and the impact of the war on what foods were available and how they were prepared. Includes recipes.
J 641.5973 Erdosh

Music in the Civil War by Stephen Currie
Explores the important role of music in the Civil War as it reflected the passions and propaganda of both the North and the South.
J 780.973 Currie

Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877) by Jody Cosson
Profiles the presidents of the United States during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
J 973.009 Cosson

The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War by Robin Friedman
J 973.3 Friedman

Great Civil War Projects: You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson
From uniforms and submarines to potato cannons and regimental flags, this interactive book explores the history and inventions of the Civil War through building projects and activities.
J 973.7 Anderson

B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet by Patricia Bauer
This alphabet book gives facts on the Civil War from A to Z.
J 973.7 Bauer

African Americans During the Civil War by Deborah H. DeFord
During the Civil War, slaves faced a quickly changing environment, caught between the opposing sides. While Northern African Americans eventually were permitted to join the battle for the Union, some Southern African Americans revolted against their owners. Whatever their opportunity for involvement in the war effort, African Americans struggled for a Union victory that would bring them closer to freedom.
J 973.7 Deford

The Civil War for Kids: a History with 21 Activities by Janis Herbert
Teaches about the Civil War from the secession debates to Appomattox, by means of activities like making butternut dye, decoding wigwag, and baking hardtack.
J 973.7 Herbert

The Diary of Susie King Taylor, Civil War Nurse edited by Margaret Gay Malone
Excerpts from the diary of a woman who served as nurse to a regiment of black soldiers fighting for the Union during the Civil War, including her observations on the treatment of "coloreds" after the war.
J 973.7 Taylor

The Diary of Sam Watkins, a Confederate Soldier edited by Ruth Ashby
Excerpts from the diary of a Confederate soldier from Tennessee, describing the battles he fought in during the Civil War.
J 973.7 Watkins

Civil War A to Z: A Young Reader’s Guide to Over 100 People, Places, and Points of Importance by Norman Bolotin
J 973.703 Bolotin

Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Civil War by Catherine Clinton
Traces the course of the Civil War, year by year, using profiles of important people, eyewitness accounts, and period art.
J 973.703 Scholastic

Red Legs: A Drummer Boy of the Civil War by Ted Lewin
In a tribute to the Civil War soldiers and the dedicated reenactors, the author tells the story of Stephen, a drummer boy in the "Red Legs" regiment.
J 973.7038 Lewin

I’ll Pass For Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Anita Silvey
The fact that women disguised as men served in both the Union and Confederate armies is one of the best-kept secrets of the Civil War. [This] book brings together the nuggets of available information about these women and explores why they went to war, how they managed to pass for men (and how we know that they did), their experiences as combat soldiers, and what happened to them afterward.
J 973.7082 Silvey

Welcome to Addy’s World, 1864: Growing Up During America’s Civil War by Susan Sinnott
Describes the conditions of African Americans in the North and the South during and immediately after the Civil War.
J 973.71 Sinnott

When Harriet Met Sojourner by Catherine Clinton
Two women with similar backgrounds. Both slaves; both fiercely independent. Both great, in different ways. Harriet Tubman: brave pioneer who led her fellow slaves to freedom, larger than life . . . yearning to be free. Sojourner Truth: strong woman who spoke up for African American rights, tall as a tree . . . yearning to be free. One day in 1864, the lives of these two women came together.
J 973.7115 Clinton

The Civil War: An Illustrated History by Catherine Clinton
Traces the course of the Civil War, year by year, using profiles of important people, eyewitness accounts, and period art.
J 973.73 Clinton

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Civil War Soldier!: A War You’d Rather Not Fight by Thomas M. Ratliff
J 973.73 Ratlif

Fort Sumter: Where the Civil War Began by Ira Wood
J 973.731 Wood

Under Siege!: Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg by Andrea Warren
This book looks at the 1862-63 battle for Vicksburg through the eyes of three children: ten-year-old Lucy, the daughter of a Vicksburg merchant; eleven-year-old Willie, the son of a minister; and twelve-year old Frederick, the son of Ulysses S. Grant.
J 973.7334 Warren

A Savage Thunder: Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom by Jim Murphy
Uses archival photographs, maps, and firsthand accounts to recreate the September 1862 battle at Antietam Creek, one of the most significant battles of the Civil War.
J 973.7336 Murphy

William McLean and the Civil War Surrender by Candice Ransom
J 973.738 Ransom

Slaves to Soldiers: African-American Fighting Men in the Civil War by Wallace B. Black
Explores the circumstances of African-Americans who fought in the Civil War, including slaves, free southerners, and northerners.
J 973.7415 Black

Hold the Flag High by Catherine Clinton
Describes the Civil War battle of Morris Island, South Carolina, during which Sergeant William H. Carney became the first African American to earn a Congressional Medal of Honor by preserving the flag.
J 973.7415 Clinton

You Wouldn’t Want to be in the First Submarine!: an Undersea Expedition You’d Rather Avoid by Ian Graham
J 973.757 Graham

The Story of the H.L. Hunley and Queenie’s Coin by Fran Hawk
J 973.757 Hawk

Shipwreck Search: Discovery of the H.L Hunley by Sally M. Walker
Discusses the mysterious disappearance of the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley, and its recent recovery from deep in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.
J 973.757 Walker

Women Civil War Spies of the Confederacy by Larissa Phillips
Details the lives of six women who fought to preserve the Confederacy and the Southern way of life by serving as spies during the Civil War.
J 973.786 Phillips

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Explore the Underground Railroad

Picture Books
Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad by Pamela Duncan Edwards

Ain’t Nobody a Stranger to Me by Ann Grifalconi

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Almost to Freedom by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Liberty Street by Candice F. Ransom

Night Boat to Freedom by Margot Theis Raven

Secret Signs Along the Underground Railroad by Anita Riggio

Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold

The Patchwork Path: a Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud

Friend on Freedom River by Gloria Whelan

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter

Juvenile Fiction
Who Comes with Cannons by Patricia Beatty
In 1861 twelve-year-old Truth, a Quaker girl from Indiana, is staying with relatives who run a North Carolina station of the Underground Railroad, when her world is changed by the beginning of the Civil War.

The Spirit and Gilly Bucket by Marine F Dahlberg
In 1859, when Gilly's father goes to search for gold in the Rocky Mountains, the eleven-year-old is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle in Virginia, where she befriends one of her uncle's slave girls, finds out about the Underground Railroad, and discovers that people are not always exactly as they seem.

Bright Freedom’s Song: a Story of the Underground Railroad
by Gloria Houston
In the years before the Civil War, Bright discovers that her parents are providing a safehouse for the Underground Railroad and helps to save a runaway slave named Marcus.

A Picture of Freedom: the Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl by Pat McKissack
In 1859 twelve-year-old Clotee, a house slave who must conceal the fact that she can read and write, records in her diary her experiences and her struggle to decide whether to escape to freedom.

January’s Sparrow
by Patricia Polacco
After a fellow slave is beaten to death, Sadie and her family flee the plantation for freedom through the Underground Railroad.

Meet Addy: An American Girl by Connie Rose Porter
Nine-year-old Addy Walker escapes from a cruel life of slavery to freedom during the Civil War.

The Ever-After Bird
by Ann Rinaldi
In 1851, thirteen-year-old Cecilia has her eyes opened to the horrors of slavery when she accompanies her ornithologist uncle on an expedition in search of the rare "Scarlet Ibis," and watches as he shows slaves the way to the Underground Railroad.

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder
Young Harriet Tubman, whose childhood name was Minty, dreams of escaping slavery on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s.

Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad by Elvira Woodruff
In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his black friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

Message in the Sky by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Ten-year-old Corey Birdsong, a former slave, becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad by helping to bring a mother and daughter, runaway slaves, to his family's Amherstburg, Ontario, farm in 1859.

Freedom’s Wings by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
A nine-year-old slave keeps a diary of his journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad in 1857.

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