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Civil War Booklist

Printable Civil War Booklist (.pdf) compiled by Linda Williams, Connecticut State Library, November 2010

Picture Books


Li’l Dan, the Drummer Boy by Romare Bearden
When a company of black Union soldiers tells L’il Dan that he is no longer a slave, he follows them, and uses his beloved drum to save them from attack. (K-Grade 3)

Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher
During the Civil War, a devoted cow follows her owner when he joins the Union Army and, despite all his efforts to send her home, stays with him and his regiment until the end of the war. Based on a true story. (K-Grade 3)

Seeing the Elephant by Pat Hughes
Ten-year-old Izzie wants to join the war like his older brothers and go into battle against the Confederate Army, but when he meets a Rebel soldier in a hospital, he begins to see things differently. (Grade 2-4)

Red Legs by Ted Lewin
The night before a battle in the Civil War, drummer boy Stephen thinks of home and the next day’s fight. The next day he bravely marches into battle with his regiment. (Grade 2-4)

Cecil’s Story by George Ella Lyon
A boy thinks about the possible scenarios that exist for him at home if his father goes off to fight in the Civil War. (K-Grade 3)

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops. Based on a true story about the author’s great-great-grandfather. (Grade 2+)

The Promise Quilt by Candice F. Ransom
After her father leaves the family farm on Lost Mountain to be General Lee’s guide, Addie finds ways to remember him– even when he does not return at the end of the war. (Grade 2-4)

The Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber
As a Confederate family prepares for Passover the day after the Civil War has ended, a Yankee arrives on their Virginia doorstep and is invited to share their meal, to the dismay of ten-year-old Jacob. (K-Grade 5)

Early Readers


Billy and the Rebel by Deborah Hopkinson
During the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, a mother and son shelter a young Confederate deserter.

From Slave to Soldier by Deborah Hopkinson
A boy who hates being a slave joins the Union Army to fight for freedom, and proves himself brave and capable of handling a mule team when the need arises.

The Monitor by Gare Thompson
Discusses the Monitor and the Virginia, ironclad warships that confronted each other at the Civil War battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia, detailing what became of the ships after the battle and how the sunken Monitor was later investigated by scientists.



The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan by Jennifer Armstrong
Mairhe, who lives in an Irish slum in Washington, D.C., in the 1860s, struggles to come to grips with the impact of the Civil War on her family. (Grade 7-12)

Iron Thunder by Avi
Tom’s job as an assistant to Captain John Ericsson, the inventor of the Monitor, makes him a target of Confederate spies. (Grade 5-8)

With Every Drop of Blood by James Lincoln Collier
While trying to transport food to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Johnny is captured by an African American Union soldier. (Grade 6-10)

Evvy’s Civil War by Miriam Brenamen
In Virginia in 1860, on the verge of the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Evvy chafes at the restrictions that her society places on both women and slaves. (Grade 6-10)

Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War. (Grade 5-12)

Riot by Walter Dean Myers
In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy “swells” of New York City. (Grade 7-12)

How I Found the Strong by Margaret McMullan
Frank Russell, known as Shanks, wishes he could have gone with his father and brother to fight for Mississippi and the Confederacy, but his experiences with the war and his changing relationship with the family slave, Buck, change his thinking. (Grade 5-9)

Across the Lines by Carolyn Reeder
Edward, the son of a white plantation owner, and his black house servant and friend Simon witness the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War. (Grade 4-8)

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen
Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has achange of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat. (Grade 7+)

Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells
As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn’t know she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known. (Grade 6-9)



Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent by Thomas B. Allen
Tells the story of Harriet Tubman and other slaves and free African-Americans who risked death to gather information about the Confederacy for the Union during the Civil War. (Grade 5-8)

Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen
Lincoln knew that winning the war would take more than the same old strategies and maneuvers. It would require using technology to create new ways of waging war. Lincoln worked to make sure his soldiers and sailors had the best and latest hardware. By combining new tools with time-tested tactics, he helped revolutionize warfare. (Grade 6-10)

Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson
From uniforms and submarines to potato cannons and regimental flags, this interactive book explores the history and inventions of the Civil War by providing building projects and activities. Detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for each project are interspersed with historical facts, biographies, anecdotes, and trivia about the real-life models. (Grades 7-10)

Photo by Brady by Jennifer Armstrong
Presents an account of the Civil War using photographs taken under the direction of Mathew B. Brady, a famous New York photographer of the day, and provides information on the life and times of Brady as well as the Civil War. (Grades 6-10)

Abraham Lincoln by Amy L. Cohn
A simple biography of the Illinois lawyer who served the country as president through the difficulties of the Civil War. (Grades 2-5)

The Brothers’ War by J. Patrick Lewis
Presents poems that adopt the voices of soldiers, commanders, and slaves and other civilians during the Civil War, pairing each poem with a period photo, and includes facts on the conflict. (Grades 5-9)

Unconditional Surrender by Albert Marrin
An account of Grant’s life, focusing on his role in the Civil War. (Grade 7-10)

Fields of Fury by James M. McPherson
Richly illustrated with photographs, paintings, and maps, this book examines the causes, events and effects of the American Civil War. (Grades 5-8)

Duel of the Ironclads by Patrick O’Brien
A description of the construction, battles, and historical impact of the Civil War battleships, the Monitor and the Virginia, known to Union forces as the Monitor and the Merrimack, which focuses on the Battle of Hampton Roads. (Grades 2-6)

I’ll Pass for Your Comrade by Anita Silvey
Profiles the lives and service of a number of women who disguised themselves as men and fought during the Civil War. (Grade 5-9)

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker
Tells the story of the “H. L. Hunley,” the Confederate submarine that in 1864 became the first to ever sink an enemy ship but lay missing on the ocean floor for more than a century, describing its creation, its discovery, skeletons and objects found onboard, and facial reconstructions of several crew members by forensic anthropologists. (Grade 5-8)

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