A list of picture books featuring women and the American Revolution curated by Beth Anderson.
The Children’s Book Review
Picture Books About Revolutionary Women!
As an adult, I’m fascinated with the many aspects of the American Revolution that I never learned about as a child. A revolution is much more than men at war; it affects every aspect of life. Today, we’re fortunate to have a range of stories for children about this time period.
In anticipation of Women’s History Month in March, here are some recent picture books about revolutionary women to inspire the future and encourage young readers to see possibility.
Written by Beth Anderson
Illustrated by Susan Reagan
Ages 7+ | 48 Pages
Publisher: Calkins Creek | ISBN-13: 9781644720578
When I dug into the story of Prudence Wright and the “Minute Women” of Pepperell, Massachusetts, I found a fuller picture of the times than I’d ever had before. A picture that included consequences of choices on families, how “independence” played out in multiple aspects of life, and what was going on behind the scenes of familiar events. Discovering this personal level of history connects us, brings meaning, and widens our understanding.
When the British King imposed unfair taxes and laws, Prudence and the people of Pepperell, Massachusetts, joined with other patriots and declared independence on the home front. Women boycotted British goods and established a pattern of resistance. Tensions mounted. Alarm riders warned of a British attack. The men marched off to Concord. And when more threats endangered the town, Prudence rallied the women in defense of freedom—the first and only group of “minute women.”
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Written by Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Ages 4+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | ISBN-13: 9780316415712
You have to love this spunky woman!
Clearly, Abigail Adams had a mind of her own. She questioned, defied tradition, and worked to support her family and community. She even lent her voice to governing, asking her husband, John Adams, to “Remember the Ladies.” Barb Rosenstock, a superb storyteller, never fails to make history speak to us today!
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The musical Hamilton has brought relevance and freshness to history for all ages.
This story of Eliza Hamilton uses the letter-writing style of the period to tell the story of a woman who broke with tradition and followed her heart to marry Alexander Hamilton. The first-person narration creates an intimate telling and ties the past to a child descendant in the present. This important idea of the connection between past and present comes through in her actions to preserve the papers and legacy that later enable historians to tell her husband’s story—and ultimately to create the musical. Her eye toward the future also created her legacy in the orphanage she started, supporting and appreciating the potential of every child.
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Another book on Eliza Hamilton…
This lyrical story of Eliza Hamilton uses the metaphor of a seed growing into a sapling, its roots reaching deep, its trunk growing strong. The thread of fairness, freedom, and faith run through the narrative as she grows and shelters others through her work. Her orphanage is her “forest” where each child is loved and nurtured into the future. This sparser text is suitable for younger readers and pairs nicely with the title above to showcase varied ways of telling a story.
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Here’s a female spy…sometimes laundry is more than a chore!
Anna Smith Strong risked her life to serve as a spy for George Washington. Though she appeared to be just a woman tending her family, she found clever ways to pass messages to patriot officers about British military activity. A member of the Culper spy ring, she played an important role in the fight for independence.
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Written by Ella Schwartz
Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
Ages 5+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books | ISBN-13: 9780316298322
A new release about another bold woman who made her mark…literally.
When I first learned about Mary Katharine Goddard, I added her to my list of possible story ideas. This is a story that had to be told! And here it is! A businesswoman and newspaper publisher, Mary Goddard broke with the norms for women. She was an important part of establishing a free press and the influential role of the media. Not only was she bold enough to print the Declaration of Independence, a defiant act, she also added her name to the document as the printer!
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And I’ve got one more on the way!
I can’t wait to share my Nov. 15 release about another revolutionary, resilient, fearless woman…
Cloaked in Courage: Uncovering Deborah Sampson, Patriot Soldier is fabulously illustrated by Anne Lambelet [2022, Calkins Creek]. The book will be up for pre-order very soon with a cover reveal!
Here’s the front flap copy:
Deborah Sampson longs to break free. To be much more than a girl is allowed to be. Caught up in her country’s fight for independence, 18-year-old Deborah declares her own independence. She enlists in George Washington’s Continental Army, signing on as Robert Shurtliff. A young lady can’t battle the British, a man can! But being a soldier is hard, dangerous work. Can she keep her identity a secret? Can she prove herself in combat? Will she win her battle to choose her own path? Find out in this inspirational story of a true American rebel.
Women stepped up in many ways during the American Revolution. Their fight for independence went deeper than governance as they broke free of gender roles and pushed past traditions. I hope you’ll enjoy sharing these titles with kids
About Beth Anderson
Beth Anderson has always been fascinated by language. After years of using literature to teach English as a Second Language, she took off in pursuit of her “someday” and began writing for children. She loves exploring points of view, playing with words, and digging into history and culture for undiscovered gems. Beth is drawn to stories that open minds, touch hearts, and inspire questions. Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives near the mountains in Colorado.
For more information, visit https://bethandersonwriter.com/.
The booklist 7 Outstanding Picture Books Featuring Women and the American Revolution was curated by Beth Anderson. Follow along with our articles and reviews tagged with American History, Books About Revolutions, Revolutionary War Tales, and Women’s History.
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