Issues/ Trends: Book List

Below is a book list to help you think about what books you would like to include in your classroom. Either as teaching focuses, or just interesting books to keep in your classroom for those students that love to read, this list will be sure to help. The books below are listed in APA format for easy searching on the web. Enjoy!


The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, is a fantastic book, that was written by Lawrence Wright in 2006, and has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer. The book is essentially broken into three sections, the origins of radical Islam from Sayyid Qutb, the life of Osama bin Laden, including the creation of his terror organization, and lastly the failings of the United States intelligence community to respond to their information prior to the attacks.

Joseph J. Ellis’, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, is a fantastic book that tells several short stories about pivotal moments in the founding of the United States. From Hamilton’s and Burr’s duel, the Capitol dinner decision, to the interesting friendship of Adams and Jefferson, this book does a great job of retelling, and adding in new insight, to great American stories but not in the traditional dry-writing of historical texts.


Night, by Elie Wiesel, is one of the most powerful books your students can read during their time in school. A first-hand account of the German concentration camps, Elie Wiesel takes the reader through a terrifying journey of death and survival.

5th Grade:

  1. Sullivan, G. (2000). In their own words: Abraham Lincoln. New York: Scholastic.
  2. Venezia, M. (2009). Albert Einstein: Universal Genius. New York: Children’s Press.
  3. Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books.
  4. Venezia, M. (2009). Alexander Graham Bell: Setting the Tone for Communication. New York: Children’s Press.
  5. Gregory, J. (2013). Bill and Melinda Gates (A True Book™—Biographies). Scholastic.
  6. Venezia, M. (2010). Jane Goodall: Researcher Who Champions Chimps. New York: Children’s Press.
  7. Venezia, M. (2010). The Wright Brothers: Inventors Whose Ideas Really Took Flight. New York: Children’s Press.
  8. Fritz, J., & DePaola, T. (1997). Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution. New York: Putnam.
  9. Fritz, J., & Hyman, T. S. (1997). Will you sign here, John Hancock? New York: Puffin Books.


6th Grade:

  1. Venezia, M. (2010). Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists: Jane Goodall Researcher Who Champions Chimps. New York: Children’s Press.
  2. Sonneborn, L. (2012). Ancient China (The Ancient World). New York: Children’s Press.
  3. Yomtov, N. (2012). Ancient Egypt (The Ancient World). New York: Children’s Press.
  4. Lassieur, A. (2012). Ancient Mesopotamia (The Ancient World). New York: Children’s Press.
  5. Evslin, B., Evslin, D., & Hoopes, N. (1966). The Greek Gods. New York: Scholastic.


7th Grade:

  1. Jiang, J. (1997). Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
  2. McCollum, S. (2010). Joseph Stalin (A Wicked History™—20th Century). Franklin Watts.
  3. Price, S. S. (2010). Adolf Hitler (A Wicked History™—20th Century). Franklin Watts.
  4. Rinaldo, D. (2015). Julius Caesar: Dictator for Life. C. Press/F. Watts Trade.
  5. O’Connor, J. (2002). The Emperor’s Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China. New York: Viking.
  6. Wilhelm, D. (2015). Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World (A Wicked History). C. Press/F. Watts Trade.


8th Grade:

  1. Greitens, E. (2012). The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming A Man of Compassion and Courage. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  2. Copeland, M. (2014). Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. Touchstone.
  3. Stone, T. L. (2013). Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers. Candlewick.
  4. Myers, W. D. (1993). Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks.
  5. Wilson, C. (2010). Civil War Spies: Behind Enemy Lines. New York: Scholastic.
  6. Sheinkin, S., & Robinson, T. (2008). Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the Civil War. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
  7. Allen, T. B. (2006). Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
  8. Sheinkin, S. (2012). Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Flash Point.
  9. Swanson, J. L. (2009). Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. Scholastic Press.
  10. Johnson, J. (2010). Gettysburg: The Bloodiest Battle of the Civil War. New York: Franklin Watts.
  11. Freedman, R. (1992). Indian chiefs. New York: Holiday House.


High School: Admittedly, some of these books would be used more for specific chapters or targeted readings as the complexity or length of the full books are more of a collegiate level.

  1. Wright, L. (2007). The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York: Vintage Books.
  2. Glain, S. (2011). State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire. New York: Crown.
  3. Sandler, M. W. (2014). Lost to time: Unforgettable Stories That History Forgot. New York: Sterling.
  4. Ellis, J. J. (2002). Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Vintage Books.
  5. Foner, E. (2010). The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. New York: W.W. Norton &.
  6. Wiesel, E. (1982). Night. New York: Bantam Books.
  7. Frank, O. M., & Mooyaart, B. M. (1997). Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. Place of publication not identified: Bantam Books.
  8. Auerbacher, I. (1993). I Am A Star–Child of the Holocaust. Puffin Books.
  9. Johnson, J. (2009). The Vietnam War (Profiles). Franklin Watts.
  10. Murphy, J. (2009). Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting. Scholastic Press.
  11. Nardo, D., Sandmann, A. L., & Baxter, K. (2011). Migrant Mother: How A Photograph Defined the Great Depression. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books.
  12. Olson, T. (2008). Leopold II: Butcher of the Congo (A Wicked History). Children’s Press.
  13. Blumenthal, K. (2002). Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 (Wall Street Journal Book). New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
  14. Sandler, M. W. (2013). Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II. Walker Childrens.
  15. Giblin, J. C., & Frampton, D. (1995). When Plague Strikes: The Black Death, Smallpox, AIDS. New York: HarperCollins.
  16. Dougherty, S. (2010). Pearl Harbor: The U.S. Enters World War II (24/7 Goes to War). New York: Franklin Watts.
  17. Swanson, J. L. (2013). “The President Has Been Shot!” The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Scholastic Press.
  18. Lester, J., & Feelings, T. (2000). To Be A Slave. Puffin Books.
  19. Stokes, J. A., Wolfe, L., & Viola, H. J. (2008). Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me. Washington, DC: National Geographic.