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Thorndyke Thoughts: The United States of All of Us

Thorndyke in Uncle Sam Hat


Hey Kids,

Did you know that the United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4th? It's such a fun holiday. Usually there are fireworks and picnics and parades, and all of these are great ways to come together as a country. To get yourself in the mood for truly unifying festivities, I have a few book suggestions for you. Don't forget to share your favorite patriotic reads below in the comments.

Bear Hugs and Happy 4th!


A celebration of "America the Beautiful" combines presidential quotes with artwork by ten artists.

One today by Richard Blanco

A lush and lyrical, patriotic celebration of America from dawn to dusk and from coast to coast. One Today is a tribute to a nation where the extraordinary happens every single day.

It takes a village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Also available in: e-book

A community coming together--believing in each other, helping each other, and sharing burdens and joys--can make a difference.

Her right foot by Dave Eggers

Presents facts about the Statue of Liberty, describing its creation in France, assembly in the United States in 1886, and the symbolism of its right foot which appears to be breaking free from chains.

Whoever you are by Mem Fox

Despite the differences between people, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love.

My America by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

An illustrated children's poem celebrating the diversity of America.

I, too, am America by Langston Hughes

Presents the poem of Langston Hughes in which highlights the courage and dignity of the African American Pullman porters in the early twentieth century.

Blue sky white stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus

A stirring poetic tribute to the beauty and wonder of America's symbols, history, landscape.

A moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, the traits of these heroes appear within all of America's children.

Red, white, and boom! by Lee Wardlaw

Parades, beach picnics, and fireworks in the park are some of the ways Americans celebrate the Fourth of July.

Rhyming text and illustrations present a recipe for how to bake a pie from all the things that make America great.

Poems explore the diversity in people, wealth, dreams, and desire that make up the United States and give it the unique character, charm, and beauty revered and respected all over the world.

Explains how America got the nickname "land of the free" and shares facts on subjects ranging from the Constitution and abolition to suffrage and the four freedoms, while offering insight into the progression and setbacks of democracy.

Illustrations and the words to the Pledge of Allegiance are accompanied by simple explanations of their meaning. For more information on the history of the Pledge, try The Pledge of Allegiance by Kathryn Clay.

I have a dream by Martin Luther King

Presents the text of the famous speech given on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by Martin Luther King, Jr., complemented by paintings illustrating the ideals the civil rights leader described.

The songs of America are as much a part of the country's proud history as the Declaration of Independence. From songs commemorating events from the Revolutionary War to the Gold Rush as well to Broadway standards beloved around the world, this enduring music captures the true spirit of the land of the free, and celebrates the American people, landscape, triumphs, and tragedies. 

America is-- by Louise Borden
Also available in: e-audiobook

Readers of all ages will join in this salute to the place we call home, celebrated here in a simple, inspiring text and in lovely, atmospheric, full-color pictures.

Heroes come in all sizes, colors, and ages, and 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet introduces readers to a cast of great Americans. These remarkable stories are informative and inspiring.

Unsung heroes of US history by Todd Kortemeier

From daring war spies to revolutionary politicians, this book introduces remarkable individuals in US history whose contributions were often overlooked. 

A history of the American Revolution, focusing on the roles played by often overlooked groups.

Examines the important contributions of various women, Patriot and Loyalist, to the American Revolution, on the battlefield, in the press, in the political arena, and in other areas and shows how they challenged traditional female roles.

A fresh look at the greatness and fallibility of our leaders and how each one of us, no matter who we are, have the power to make a difference. 

Originally a gift from France to celebrate our shared national struggles for liberty, the Statue, thanks to Emma's poem, slowly came to shape our hearts, defining us as a nation that welcomes and gives refuge to those who come to our shores.