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Reflections on U.S. History from a Purposefully Patriotic Parent

A phenomenal selection of children’s American literature exists that will make you, your kids, and your entire family fall more deeply in love with our nation and its history, heroes, and founding principles.


I was recently at a dinner gathering with a group of my friends. In light of current events, the topic of our great nation came up -- its history, the vision of our Founding Fathers, the future of America . . . basically all things “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I found myself speaking with great authority on everything from Paul Revere, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson to Western expansion, Lewis and Clark, and the first Thanksgiving.


I stopped for a moment to catch a breath between my impressively didactic musings. And I asked myself, “How do I know all this? What is the source of my knowledge that is flowing so freely?” Then it hit me and I had to laugh out loud. Everything I was speaking about so authoritatively is information I’ve acquired from children’s books that I’ve read over the years to our two kids. No, not from my high school AP History class, or from my brilliant professors at my alma mater SMU, or from 1000-page historical nonfiction tomes. CHILDREN’S books! I quickly outed myself to my peers, and we all had a good laugh about the true source of my deep knowledge of American history.


This realization set me on a journey. Over the next few weeks, I took a closer look at our home’s bookshelf collection from which I’ve read regularly to our now six- and seven-year-old children. What I found was GOLD. A phenomenal selection of children’s American literature exists that will make you, your kids, and your entire family fall more deeply in love with our nation and its history, heroes, and founding principles.