Books You Need To Share on Columbus, Independence, 9/11, Memorial and Veterans Days

Books to read aloud on 4th of July, Independence Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day

Books to Share with your Students on Columbus Day, Independence Day, 9/11, Memorial Day and Veterans Day

Our country doesn't have the kindest past.  Celebrating America can be hard because of the way our founders treated those who were different from themselves and the ways we've continued to allow racism and fear to dominate our story.

We need to teach our students about this past so they know the truth, but we also need to celebrate the present beautiful diversity of a country filled with different cultures and traditions.

If you're like me, you sometimes wait until the last minute to find a holiday themed read aloud to share with your students, and then realize you don't have time to locate or order that perfect book. I've been there.

To solve this problem for our future selves, I've put together a list of my favorite books to read aloud on all of the American themed holidays - Independence Day, Columbus Day, 9/11, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Check out the list below and pin it for future reference.

Columbus Day

Picture book to share with your students on Columbus Day

Our students need to know the true story of how America was discovered by the Europeans and how those explorers treated the native people who lived here first.  I love sharing this book on Columbus Day with my students so they understand the truth about our country's founders.

This is a story of how a young Taino boy tried to warn his people against welcoming the European strangers onto their land. This encounter led to the destruction of the Taino people and their culture by the colonizers.

Independence Day or During the Study of American History

Book to share with your students on Independence Day

I enjoy sharing this important book with my students because it doesn't just focus on one perspective of being American. It enforces the idea that everyone in America deserves to be treated equally and with fairness and kindness.

This book celebrates that Americans have the freedom to choose "who they love, what they believe, what they do and where they live."

Book to share with your students about American Flag and diversity

Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus

A must in every classroom, this book is simply beautiful.  My students love the gorgeous illustrations and it brings tears to our eyes every time I share it.

Blue Sky White Stars is an inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people.

book to share with your students about african american history

I'm a super-fan of anything written by Kwame Alexander, and so are my students.  This story educates about the history of black life in America.

It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of our country's greatest heroes.

book to share with your students on american history or women's history month

50 Fearless Women Who Made American History by Jenifer Bazzit

Short engaging biographies are a great way to teach about America's past. Women have always been at the forefront of American history.

This look into American history for kids is bursting with engaging biographies that explore the lives of these inspiring women from different backgrounds and a wide array of fields.

book to share with your students about the story of african americans

Kadir Nelson is becoming a favorite author/illustrator of mine. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. 

This is a beautifully illustrated history of America's story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

To Remember September 11th

book to share with your students on september 11th, 9/11

I'm always searching for good books about 9/11 to educate my students about what happened but also to teach them about the heroism of America on that terrible day. This one does both.

It's an engaging but heartbreaking story of a hero who saved many lives but didn't survive himself. It really makes you think about how terrible the attacks were and how many lives were lost. 

Memorial and Veterans Day 

book to share with your students on veterans or memorial day

This biography tells the story of Moina Belle Michael who established the Poppy as a universal symbol of tribute and support for veterans and their families during World War I and II. 

Known as the Poppy Lady, Michael dedicated her life to servicemen and women, buying and placing fresh flowers in rooms where they would gather before heading overseas.

book to share with your students on memorial or veterans day

I love sharing this book near Veteran's or Memorial Day with my students. It offers an insightful look into what veterans and their families go through. The story tells of the beautiful white table tradition that honors all those who serve our country. 

book to share with your students on memorial or veterans day

Another one by a favorite author of mine.  This stunning, rhyming story by Messner is a beautiful tribute to America's veterans.

This is a story of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom in Washington DC that pays tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.  It honors the bravery and sacrifice of our American heroes - the ones who have returned home, and the ones who haven't.  

Thanks for reading about my favorite American stories to share with my students.

What are your favorites that I can add to my list?  Let me know if the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links that earn me a small profit which I use to buy books for my students.  Thank you for your support.


  1. September Roses by Jeannette Winters is a wonderful story about 9/11. It shows how some good can come from something so tragic. The book was in limited print and can be hard to find.

  2. Thanks for your recommendation, I will definitely check that one out!