Top 5 Books to Read Aloud this 4th of July

July 3, 2022

​​Fourth of July is an extra special time for military families. We come together to celebrate our independence, patriotism, and service to our country. We pay tribute to the men and women of today and yesterday who protect those freedoms. United Through Reading has several options on our book list to help children better understand American history, our great nation’s leaders, and our military. The books we selected have positive messaging and are engaging, compelling, and fun stories that will resonate with military children. Here’s our Top 5 Books to Read Aloud this 4th of July

Brave Clara Barton is the story of an American woman who outgrew her childhood shyness to become a fearless “Angel of the Battlefield!” This Step 3 biography written by Frank Murphy follows Clara Barton as she helps her brother recover from a terrible injury, overcomes her timidity, works as a teacher, and finally fights her way to the front lines of the Civil War, where she helps soldiers wounded in battle. Clara’s story is a testament to the strength, grit, and persistence of women; Clara Barton is a role model who transcends history. Brave Clara Barton is recommended for readers aged 5-8 years old. Her story will inspire young readers and create conversations about helping others. 


If I Ran for President will spark your child’s interest in American politics. In the book, a multicultural cast of children imagine what it would be like to run for president. Will they star in commercials and travel in their campaign bus? Will voters see your child’s face on bumper stickers and T-shirts?! If they ran for president, you would get to do these and other fun things, but you would also have to do a lot of hard work. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process. If I Ran for President was written by Catherine Stier and is recommended for 6-9-year-old readers. 

Escape North!: The Story of Harriet Tubman is an easy-to-read history book by Monica Kulling. The remarkable true story brings to life one of America’s greatest female role models. The story begins during Tubman’s childhood in slavery and covers the years she was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. There is also great detail about her later work as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. Her story of triumph is sure to prompt questions from your child. Escape North!: The Story of Harriet Tubman is recommended for readers 7-9 years old. 

Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was written with readers aged 7-10 in mind. The book, by Jeff Gotesfeld, goes into great detail about keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Gotesfeld describes how every step and turn of the sentinel guards honors and remembers America’s fallen. They protect fellow soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, ensuring they are never alone. To stand there—with absolute precision, in every type of weather, at every moment of the day, one in a line uninterrupted since midnight July 2, 1937—is the ultimate privilege and the most challenging post to earn in the United States Army. Everything these men and women do is in service to the Unknowns. We suggest you check out the discussion guide from Candlewick Press to help you lead a conversation with the child in your life.

Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? details thrilling flight missions and the grueling training sessions the Tuskegee Airmen underwent, and also shines a light on the lives of these brave men who helped pave the way for the integration of the US armed forces. During World War II, black Americans fought for their country and freedom in Europe. Yet, they had to endure a totally segregated military in the United States, where they weren’t considered smart enough to become military pilots. After acquiring government funding for aviation training, civil rights activists were able to kickstart the first African American military flight program in the US at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? was written by Sherri L. Smith and is recommended for readers 8-12 years old. Talk to your child about diversity in our military after this read. 

All of the Best Books to Read Aloud this 4th of July have been sent to our story stations over the last year and are available to order through the United Through Reading App