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Book Suggestions for Modern History - 3rd grade and 6th


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We will be using (some of) SOTW 4 for history this year and was wondering if anyone has some good book suggestions for 3rd graders for the Modern History time period.  The activity guide seems to have suggestions for slightly older kiddos.  My girls read well, so I'm not so much looking for books on a 3rd grade reading level, but books with 3rd grade content. :)  Any suggestions for any books in general for this time period would be great (even for the 6th grader)! :)

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Here is our list for 3rd grade...which covers modern too.



For Reading Aloud:

  • Good Queen Bess by Diane Stanley
  • Peter the Great by Diane Stanley
  • And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz
  • What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz
  • Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln by Jean Fritz
  • Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat by Stephen Kroll
  • Life on a Plantation by Bobbie Kalman
  • Florence Nightingale by Margaret Leighton
  • A Boy Named FDR: How Franklin D. Roosevelt Grew Up to Change America by Kathleen Krull
  • Gandhi by Primo Levi
  • Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg by Joann J. Burch
Independent Reader Suggestions:
  • A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
  • Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling
  • The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk by Donald J. Sobol
  • Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky




We don't match all of our literature to our history time period, but much of it does for this year. I've included only those that match. :)

American Tall Tales by Adrien Stoutenburg

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher


Sorry, this is messy, but I'm copying and pasting a bit.


I can come back in a bit and share the 6th grade list, which is also modern.


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Here is the 6th grade list:


I've included fiction and nonfiction, because I wasn't sure if you would like both or not.



  • Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Great Tales from English History (V. 3) by Robert Lacey
  • Children of the Wild West by Russell Freedman
  • Andrew Carnegie and the Age of Steel by Katherine Shippen
  • Famous Twentieth Century Leaders by Frank Donovan
  • The Man Who Changed China: The Story of Sun Yat-sen by Pearl S. Buck
  • Anastasia's Album by Hugh Brewster
  • Eleanor Roosevelt by Russell Freedman
  • The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
  • The Great Adventure: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Modern America by Albert Marrin
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Corresponding Literature:

  • Young-Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War by Bertha Whitridge Smith
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
  • Shipwrecked!: The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy by Rhoda Blumberg
  • Su-Mei's Golden Year by Margueritte Harmon Bro
  • Born in the Year of Courage by Emily Crofford
  • Angel on the Square by Gloria Whelan

Additional Suggestions:

  • In Flanders Field: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae by Linda Granfield
  • Where  Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion by Linda Granfield
  • Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp by Jerry Stanley
  • Women of Courage by Adele Gutman Nathan (Landmark)
  • America's First World War: General Pershing and the Yanks by Castor
  • Winston Churchill by Quentin Reynolds
  • Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret
  • Mao Tse-Tung and His China by Albert Marrin
  • China's Long March by Jean Fritz
  • Underground by David Macaulay
  • Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang


  • The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe 
  • Treasure Island by Robert L. Stevenson 
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling 
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 


  • Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt
  • Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by Roessel and Rampersand
  • Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg edited by Bolin



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