9 Patriotic Books To Celebrate Independence Day

Ahh, the Fourth of July! When citizens across the country gather to celebrate America’s birth as a nation. This Fourth of July will be a bit different than most, but it’s still a prime time to delve into the rich history of the people and places that make this nation special. A mix of fact and fiction, these nine picture books will undoubtedly enrich your family’s summer reading.

no no 9780385390170 Independence Cake by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Giselle Potter

Amelia Simmons, orphaned in the late 1800s, was sent to live with the Bean family and work as their domestic servant. In addition to scrubbing, spinning, and laundering, Amelia learned how to cook. Her baking skills quickly became known throughout her community, earning her the prestige of a special commission — contributing thirteen cakes (one for each colony) to celebrate George Washington’s inauguration. She eventually went on to publish the first American cookbook, American Cookery, in 1796.

9780385752930 How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman

This book opens to a map of the U.S. and a cherry pie recipe. Follow one girl as she gathers the essential items to make a pie: a bowl, a rolling pin, a pie pan, potholders, and more. However, if those items aren’t on hand, one can simply buy them from a Cook Shop. But if the Cook Shop is closed, well, then you’re destined to traipse across the country, stopping at various states along the way to gather raw materials that will eventually result in a patriotic dessert. A scavenger hunt akin to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, this book is fun for the whole family.

RELATED: Children’s Books That Traverse the United States

9780803737006 Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Though sparsely worded, Blue Sky White Stars features an array of hopeful and diverse faces, interspersed with expansive landscapes and historic events. Each poignant spread showcases the many citizens that have contributed to shaping the heartbeat of a nation. Indeed, you’ll soon discover that this book becomes more meaningful with each read.

9781680106930 America from A to Z by Amelia Hepworth, illustrated by E. Rodriquez

Explore the United States with your little one as you work your way through the alphabet. This board book features people, places, and historical events that made America the country it is today. From apple pies and country music to baseball and New York City, this cute book highlights some of America’s most beloved things.

9781524770334 My Little Golden Book About the Statue of Liberty by Jen Arena, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

Introduce your child to the Statue of Liberty and with this delightful picture book. Readers will learn about the statue’s history and significance — and everything she represents to Americans.

RELATED: There’s a Little Golden Book for That

9780517709474 We Came To America by Faith Ringgold

“We Came to America, every color, race, and religion, from every country in the world.” Award-winning author Faith Ringgold pays homage to each of our ancestors and their journeys in this important and inclusive book dedicated to all the children who immigrate to America. Especially timely for today’s youth, it would make an excellent addition to any school classroom or home library.

9780385392099 Grover Cleveland, Again! by Ken Burns, illustrated by Gerald Kelley

From celebrated historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns comes a thorough reference guide of U.S. presidents. Complete with biographical information and famous stories, the entertaining title brings each Commander in Chief to life through compelling illustrations and thoughtful anecdotes. If you have an avid older reader, this nonfiction title is the ultimate summer companion.

RELATED: All the Presidents Books: Fantastic Kids’ Books About U.S. Presidents

9780823442881 My Fourth of July by Jerry Spinelli, illustrated by Larry Day

A young boy wakes to NOISE! Still clad in pajamas, he rushes outside to join the merry band of neighbors all parading through town and eager for the day’s festivities — a day when Dad stays home all day and Mom makes a picnic fit to feed an army. Wagon loaded, the family passes a festooned train and finally arrives at the park to claim their picnic table amongst the crowd. Beautifully paced with energetic illustrations, this book is bound to become a seasonal favorite.

9780448487120 The Night Before the Fourth of July by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer

This rhyming poem follows a young family as they head off to the parade while donning red, white, and blue. What follows are familiar holiday rituals and an unwanted afternoon thunderstorm. This book is a great primer to introduce the Fourth of July to little ones who may be experiencing all the delights for the first time (including staying up past bedtime!).

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2024.

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