A Kid’s Guide to the White House by Betty Debman (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1997)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-7
This informal guide to the White House opens with its construction and includes a tour of its public spaces, as well as information about some of its residents (and their pets) current to the year of publication.
A Kid’s Guide to Washington, D.C. (Harcourt, 2008 revision)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-7
Learn more about Washington, D.C., and its many sights, from the White House to its presidential monuments. This lively guide is full of games and trivia sure to engage, whether or not the visit is in person.
The President’s House: 1800 to the Present, The Secrets and History of the World’s Most Famous Home by Margaret Truman (Ballantine, 2005 ed.)
Ages 15 to adult, high school +
Novelist and First Daughter, Truman invites readers into the White House by revealing its history in stories filled with both drama and humor. Color- and black-and-white photographs seal the invitation.
The Story of the White House by Kate Waters (Scholastic, 1994)
Ages 5-8, grades K-3
An easy-to-read introduction to the White House and its history, generously illustrated with photographs and historical engravings.
The White House: An Illustrated History by Catherine O. Grace (Scholastic, 2003)
Ages 10-14, grades 4-9
Created in conjunction with the White House Historical Society; contemporary and historical photographs chronicle the history and various functions of the presidential mansion.
The White House by Leonard Everett Fisher (Holiday House, 1989)
Ages 11-13, grades 5-8
Black-and-white photographs of many of its residents as well as various architectural plans bring the official presidential mansion to life. Careful research and use of primary source material allows this to remain useful despite ending with Reagan’s term.
The official website for the White House, this rich resource includes information about Presidential activities, biographical information about the presidents and their families, recent events, and much more.
An offshoot of the official White House website, these pages are interactive, and designed to engage and inform children with games and lively information.
Even if you can’t come to Washington, D.C., to see the White House, you can make a virtual visit through this website.
For those who do come to Washington, D.C., the National Park Service has maps and a brief history of the President’s Park.
Mr. Lincoln’s White Househis difficult life and times before and during the Civil War.
Meet George Washington and his family; and learn about his estate on the Potomac River.
Mr. Jefferson’s Virginia residence is presented in an interactive website, featuring the “Monticello Classroom.”
The National Park Service maintains Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield home. Take a virtual tour.
Woodrow Wilson’s home in Washington, DC, in a section called Kalorama, where he lived the last three years of his life, can be visited in person or online.
Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington 1837-1963 by Cheryl Harness* (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2003)
Ages 8-11, grades 4-6
This picture book biography continues from the author’s Young Abe Lincoln (1998) and explores the later portion of Lincoln’s life. An informal style makes difficult topics clear.
*Harness introduces other U.S. Presidents in biographies for 8-11- year-olds, as well as for older readers.
American Presidents: Life Portraits is a website developed by C-Span to complement a television series. Find information about each U.S. President, where they lived, and additional material at:
www.americanpresidents.org [Note: information is current through 2000].
The Buck Stops Here by Alice Provenson (HarperCollins, 1997 edition)
Ages 7-9, grades 2-4
The first forty-one U.S. Presidents are introduced in this appealing, handsomely illustrated, large-format book.
First Children by Katherine Leiner, illustrated by Katie Keller (Tambourine, 1996)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-7
Meet some of the children and young adults who have lived in the White House. Features engaging (sometimes fictionalized), episodic narrative and scratchboard illustrations interspersed with period illustrations.
First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends by Roy Rowan and Brooke Janis (Algonquin, 1997) Ages 13 to adult; grades 8+
Dogs in the White House have been, as Truman suggested, the best friend a president could have in Washington. Here, hounds bring history into focus in a winning way.
George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War by Thomas Allen (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2004)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-8
Espionage played an important role in defeating the British, as is demonstrated in this cleverly-formatted, intriguing book. For older readers (high school to adult) try Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose (Bantam, 2007)
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora, illustrated by Brock Cole (FSG, 2003) Picture book/history; Grades K-3, ages 5-8 (and older)
A larger-than-life historical figure comes to life with verve and humor in this rhyming look at how George Washington’s teeth fared.
If the Walls Could Talk by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Gary Hovland (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2004) Picture book/history; aages 9-12, grades 4-7
Snippets of information about White House residents from George Washington to George W. Bush are presented in this highly illustrated, playful book.
John, Paul, George, & Ben by Lane Smith (Hyperion, 2006)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-7
Four (well, actually five) lads who were very independent and who were destined to become Founding Fathers of a fledgling nation are introduced here with humor in a bit of well-differentiated fiction. Two of them would go on to become U.S. Presidents!
Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Feedman (Clarion, 1987)
Biography; ages 9-adult, grades 4+
In his own words and photographs, Lincoln comes alive for readers.
Lives of Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Katherine Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)
Collective biography; ages 9-12, grades 4-7
Glimpses of their lives (including some scandalous behavior) humanize White House residents through Bill Clinton in this collective biography.
Mary Lincoln’s Dressmaker: Elizabeth Keckley’s Remarkable Rise from Slave to White House Confidante by Becky Rutberg (Walker, 1995)
Ages 12-15, grades 7-10
Primary sources are used to relate the life of an enslaved woman who achieved freedom to become Mary Todd Lincoln’s highly esteemed dressmaker and friend. For older readers (high school and up), try Behind the Scenes in the Lincoln White House: Memoirs of an African American Seamstress written by Elizabeth Keckley (Dover Publications, 2007).
Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers by Karen Winnick (Boyds Mill, 1996)
Picture book/history; ages 7-9, grades 2-4
Candidate Abraham Lincoln did not have a beard until he received a letter from an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell. This highly illustrated peek at an event may help children realize that history is alive and that they are living it now.
Presidents’ Day by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzie Rockwell (HarperCollins, 2007)
Picture story book/facts imbedded; Grades K-3, ages 5-8
With this introduction to the holiday honoring Presidents Washington and Lincoln, young children will come to understand and appreciate why we celebrate this day and the impact of individuals.
So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small (Philomel, 2004 rev)
Ages 8-13, grades 4-8
Illustrations reminiscent of political cartoons, combined with intriguing information about the presidents, provide a memorable portrait.
Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit by Betsy Harvey Kraft (Clarion, 2003)
Biography; ages 11-14, grades 6-9
From asthmatic childhood to robust adulthood, the determined lifeboth personal and professionalof Theodore Roosevelt is presented in an authoritative, attractive, and appealing biography.
Wackiest White House Pets by Katherine Gibbs Davis, illustrated by David Johnson (Scholastic, 2004)
Ages 7-10, grades 2-5
Lighthearted illustrations combine with an informative but equally witty text to introduce animalsfrom alligators to sheepthat have lived in and around the White House.
What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven (Atheneum, 2004)
Picture book/biography; ages 8-12, grades 3-7
The stuff of which presidents are made, is presented in illustrations made up of objects that allude to the information provided textually. Readers are encouraged to compare created portraits to official portraits.
When John and Caroline Lived in the White House by Laurie Coulter (Hyperion, 2000)
Ages 9-12, grades 4-7
The first children to inhabit the White House in many years are presented in photographs and other primary source material for a riveting portrait of the Kennedy family.
White House Ghosts: Presidents and their Speechwriters by Robert Schlesinger (Simon & Schuster, 2008)
This highly readable history presents a fascinating, anecdotal look at the words of presidentstheir own and those of their speechwriters.
A Big Cheese for the White House: The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar by Candace Fleming, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Farrar, 1999)
Picture book/historical fiction; ages 7-11, grades 2-5
The residents of Cheshire, Massachusetts, decided to provide President Thomas Jefferson with a better cheese to serve to his White House guests. An author’s note differentiates fact from fiction in this funny and mostly true tale.
A Christmas Tree in the White House by Gary Hines, illustrated by Alexandra Wallner (Holt, 2001)
Picture book/historical fiction; Ages 5-8, grades K-3
How Theodore Roosevelt’s children managed to get a real tree into the White Houseagainst their father’s wishes. A good-natured tale based on Roosevelt’s beliefs and actual events.
First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins (Dutton, 2008)
Fiction; ages 12-14, grades 7-9
Sameera, adopted daughter of a U.S. President, continues to adjust to her new life in the White Houseas she confronts very contemporary issues.
George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Paul Galdone (Putnam, 1984)
Fiction/facts imbedded; ages 9-12, grades 4-6
A contemporary boy named George W. Allen tries to find out what the country’s first president ate for breakfast and along the way learns a great deal about the details of his life,
The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George (Holiday House, 2007)
Fiction; ages 9-12, grades 4-6
After their mother’s inauguration, KayKay and Annie move into the White House, where they learn that Abraham Lincoln may be a resident ghost.
Look Out, Washington, DC (Polk Street Special) by Patricia Reilly Giff (Yearling, 1995)
Fiction; ages 7-9, grades 2-4
Join Ms Rooney and her Polk Street class as they visit Washington, D.C., and see all of its sightsincluding the White House.
Murder in the White House by Margaret Truman (Fawcett, 2001 ed)
Ages 14 to adult, grades 9 up
The daughter of former President Harry S Truman uses her personal knowledge of the White House to add to her Capital Crimes series.
A Spy in the White House by Ron Roy, illustrated by Tim Bush (Random House, 2004)
Fiction/series; ages 7-10, grades 2-5
When KC’s mom marries the U.S. president, KC and her friend, Marshall, solve the mystery of a spy in KC’s new home.
Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major (based on the play by Tom Isbell) by Ronald Kidd, illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Aladdin, 2008)
Ages 7-10, grades 3-5
Archie Roosevelt is a typical kid whose father just happens to be the president of the United States. Archie and his siblings find a mystery and a treasure map that they follow throughout the White House.
Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines, illustrated by Alexandra Wallner (Holt, 2003)
Ages 6-9, grades 1-3
Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday when Lincoln was president and it is because of young Tad Lincoln that a turkey is “pardoned” each year.
White House Ghosts by Cheryl Harness (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
Fiction/historical; ages 9-12, grades 4-7
Sara is pleased to meet the ghost of George Washington who takes her on a different (but informative) tour of the White House, introducing her to other presidential ghosts.
Wilky the White House Cockroach by Howie Schneider (Putnam, 2006)
Picture story book; ages 5-8, grades K-3
When Wilky, a cockroach with wanderlust, evades even the White House exterminator, he is declared an official resident in this slapstick picture book for younger readers.
What to Do About Alice: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! By Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, 2008)
Age 7-10, grades 2-5
Alice, the independent daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, lived in the White House with a particular joie de vivre shown here in lighthearted illustrations and fun-filled text. An author’s note provides additional information about Alice.