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11 Patriotic Books That are Sure to Get You into the Fourth of July Spirit

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The sun is shining, the barbeque is sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, and you have a cooler full of delightful refreshments. Can the Fourth of July get any better than that? You put your feet up and lean back in your favorite chair without a care in the world. There are a few more hours until the ball game is on so how about killing some time with a nice book about the great ‘ol US of A?

Take a look at these 12 reads that are sure to get you into the Fourth of July spirit.

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Here’s a book for the kiddos to read while they sit next to you enjoying the sun today. Johnny Tremain is a fourteen-year-old living in the Revolutionary War era. After injured on the job as a silversmith apprentice, Johnny soon finds himself delivering letters to the Sons of Liberty.

Book of Ages by Jill Lepore

Get to know Benjamin Franklin’s sister, Jane, in Jill Lepore’s award-winning book, Book of Ages. Ahead of her time, Jane was able to read and write. Her personality shines through in the letter exchanges between her and her brother. 

Civil War Nurse by Hannah Ropes

Discover the medical history of the Civil War through diary entries and letters from the chief nurse in the Union Hospital in DC. In this book, you’ll see how women nurses contributed to the war effort.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

Here’s one rare account of a narrative published in 1861 by a former female slave. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl recounts Harriet Ann Jacobs life living in the south and her escape from her violent master. This is one book about America’s past that everyone should read.  

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, David McCullough tells the dramatic story of how two brothers from Ohio took flight on a winter’s day in North Carolina in 1903. Inside this book’s pages, you’ll find journal entries, notebooks, and family letters from the Wright brothers. A fascinating read!

The Journals of Lewis and Clark by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis

President Thomas Jefferson has officially given the orders to William Clark and Meriwether Lewis to set out and find a river passage to the Pacific Ocean. Read the details of the journey from the very own Lewis and Clark themselves in the journals they kept. 

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

As the Revolutionary War draws near, the highly esteemed Schuyler family is about to host one of the largest events in New York. Word comes that young dashing Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s right-hand man, is heading towards that part of the country and daughter Eliza can hardly wait to meet him! A heartwarming tale of romance, Alex & Eliza tells the story of how Alexander Hamilton met his one true love, Eliza Schuyler. 

Private Yankee Doodle by Joseph Plumb Martin

Walk through the day of a Revolutionary soldier. Joseph Plumb Martin does an excellent job recreating everyday life from the agonizing marches without rest to the occasional pranks soldier played on one another.

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson

Where exactly did the great inventor Benjamin Franklin get his great ideas? It turns out, a mouse name Amos played a role! A funny family favorite for years, Ben and Me is a must read this Fourth of July.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

Newspaper editor, abolitionist, and former slave Frederick Douglas details his life in his first autobiography. Today, Narrative is one of the most inspirational reads of someone who experienced the horrors of slavery and overcame it to become the successful and inspirational man we know as Frederick Douglass.

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

The Fourth of July wouldn’t be complete without reading the history of America’s first president. Ron Chernow takes you through Washington’s years presiding over the Continental Army, role in writing the Constitution, and his presidency. Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Biography shines new light on Geroge Washington’s life.

Happy Fourth of July from all of us at Iris Reading! We hope you enjoy some of our reading suggestions for a nice relaxing holiday. What other books have you read that get you in the patriotic mood? Let us know in the comments!

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