Article Index


Washington, D.C.

Children (Ages 2 to 7)

CAPITAL! Washington D.C. from A to Z, by Laura Krauss Melmed, illus. by Franè Lessac. Nonfiction, 5-9. An alphabetical tour of Washington, DC in lively, informative verse, with fascinating facts about the historic people and places of our nation's capital and spirited, folk-style illustrations that capture the unique brilliance of the city. [HarperCollins 2003; ISBN 0-688-17561-9; $15.99]

Doodle Washington D.C., by Laura Krauss Melmed, illus. by Violet Lemay. Non-fiction. Ages 5-9. Kids who live in, plan to visit, or just want to have fun with hands-on learning about Washington can imagine and create their way through this amazing city with more than 100 drawing opportunities. [Duo Press 2013; ISBN 978-1-938093-06-7 $12.95]

Underground Train by Mary Quattlebaum, illus. by Cat Bowman Smith. Fiction, 2-8. This poem-picture book features a ride on the Metro and the sights and sounds of our nation's capital. (Maryland Black-eyed Susan Masterlist) [Random House 1997; ISBN pbk. 0-440-41325-7 $5.99]

Older Readers (Ages 8 and up)

Auks, Rocks and the Odd Dinosaur by Peggy Thomson. Nonfiction, 7-13. Each chapter focuses on one item at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, telling how it was found or fixed or the history to be read from it--from a bone, a stone, or the tooth of a house mouse--and the book closes with a night-time treasure tour by guard dog Max. (Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, l986). [HarperCollins,1985; ISBN 0690044917/ 0690044925(lib.bdg); OP]

Broken Drum by Edith Morris Hemingway and Jacqueline Cosgrove Shields. Historical fiction, 9-13. Based on an actual person, Broken Drum is the story of Charley King, a twelve-year-old drummer boy caught up in the excitement and patriotism of the early Civil War. Mustered into the Pennsylvania Volunteers, his journey begins with the defense of Washington as part of the Army of the Potomac. Charley is involved in the transport of that huge army down the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk and then, by land, the grueling progression of the Peninsula Campaign and its disappointing retreat, eventually arriving at the battle of Antietam. [White Mane Kids, 1996; 2nd editon 2010; ISBN 978-1-57249-027-7; also available through Scholastic Book Fairs and Clubs as Drums of War, ISBN 0-439-91441-8]

Congressman's Daughter, The by Patricia Maloney Markun. Fiction, 8-12. Molly finds life on Capitol Hill and in her Quaker private school very different from the small Texas town where her father was elected to Congress. [Willowisp 1994; ISBN pbk. 0-87-406-674-3, $2.99]

Duke Ellington: Giant of Jazz by Wendie Old. Biography, 10 and up. A biography of the Jazz composer and band leader who grew up in the nation's capital. [Enslow 1996; ISBN hdbk. 0-89490-691-7 $20.95]

Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg. Fiction, 11-14. Eighth-grader Ethan Oppenheim moves to DC to live with his grandparents and becomes the only white student in school; the book also features Ethan's research on the 1968 riots. (Voya Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School). [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; ISBN pbk 080285317X $8.50]

George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides written and illustrated by Rosalyn Schanzer. Nonfiction, 8 to adult. There are two sides to every story and this contrasts contemporary attitudes and feelings about both King George and George Washington. [National Geographic, 2004, hdbk ISBN 0-7922-7349-4, $16.95 Library hdbk ISBN 0-7922-6999-3 $25.90]

George Washington by Wendie Old. Biography, 10 and up. A biography of the first president of the United States. [Enslow 1997; ISBN hdbk. 0-89490-832-4 $20.95]

Great American Memorials Series by Brent Ashabranner, photographs by Jennifer Ashabranner. Nonfiction, 10 and up. This five-book series on memorials, all set in our nation's capital, includes Their Names to Live: What the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Means to America (1998), A Date with Destiny: The Women in Military Service For America Memorial (2000), The Washington Monument, and Remembering Korea: The Korean War Veterans Memorial (2001). [Twenty-first Century; ISBN hdbks. 0-7613-3235-9, 0-7613-1472-5, 0-7613-2156-X, respectively, each $24.90]

Here We Go Round by Alice McGill, In the summer of 1946, seven-year-old Roberta is sent from Washington, D.C. to stay with her grandparents in rural North Carolina until after the birth of her new baby brother or sister. [Ages 7 to 10; 2002, Houghton Mifflin; $15.00. ISBN 0618160647]

House of Spies by Margaret Blair. Fiction, 8 and up. This time the Henry brothers and their friend Sarah time travel back to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1861, where they become involved with the Civil War espionage, through meeting high-society Confederate spy Rose Greenhow and Union Army balloonist Thaddeus Lowe. [White Mane 1999; ISBN pbk. 1-57249-161-2 $8.95]

It Happened in the White House: Extraordinary Tales from America's Most Famous Home by Kathleen Karr, illus. by Paul Meisel. Nonfiction, 8 and up. Ghosts, dinosaur bones, and more: get the lowdown on what was truly going on in the President's House during its 200-year history! [Hyperion 2000; ISBN hdbk. 078680369-X $16.99, pbk. 0-7868-1560-4 $5.99]

Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop by Mary Quattlebaum. Fiction, 8-12. Jackson and his friends battle developers for their city community garden, learn about historic gardens at Georgetown's Tudor Place, and take on the neighborhood bully. (Notable Social Studies Trade Book) [Random House 2004; ISBN 0-385-73114-0 $15.95]

James Monroe by Wendie Old. Biography, 10 and up. A biography of the fifth president of the United States. [Enslow 1998; ISBN hdbk. 0-89490941-X $20.95]

Jay Grows an Alien by Caroline Levine. Science fiction, ages 8 and up. When Jay, who has Asperger's Syndrome, grows a cyborg from a toy capsule, their friendship helps him come to terms with his condition, even appreciating its positive aspects. [The Autism Asperger Publishing Co. 2007; ISBN 13:978-1-931282-29-1]

Keepers and Creatures at the National Zoo by Peggy Thomson, photos by Paul Conklin. Nonfiction, 7-13. Here chapters focus on bathing elephants, on training sea lions (to challenge them and keep them safe too), on teaching sign language to a fragile orangutan--all done by keepers who are keen observers and loving caregivers and know how to cope with complex emotions and with mess. (1988 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children). [HarperCollins, 1988; ISBN 069004710X/ ISBN 0-690-04712-6 (lib.bdg); OP]

Keeping Secrets: The Girlhood Diaries of Seven Women Writers, by Mary E. Lyons, ages 12-16. Collective biography. One chapter relates the life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, wife of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. A poet, short story writer, and newspaper columnist, she lived in Washington, D. C., and Wilmington, Delaware. (Bank Street College Children's Books of the Year) [Henry Holt & Co., 1995; ISBN: 0-8050-3065-4]

My Best Friend, the Atlantic Ocean and Other Great Bodies Standing Between Me and My Life With Giulio, by Jane Harrington. Fiction, ages 11 and up. Totally fun chick-lit for tweens and teens, centering around high school life in the Nation’s Capital. (Junior Library Guild selection) [Lerner/Darby Creek Publishing 2008; ISBN 978-1-58196-070-9 $16.95]

President Lincoln, Willie Kettles, and the Telegraph Machine by Marty Rhodes Figley, illus. by David Riley.  Historical Fiction with Reader’s Theatre included, Grades 2-4.  Tells the little known story of President Lincoln and the his relationship with the telegraphers in the War Department and how 15-year-old Willie Kettles takes one of the most important telegraph messages during the Civil War—Richmond has fallen! [LernerClassroom, 2010, ISBN pbk. 0-7613-6131-6]

Kidding Around Washington, D.C (2nd ed.) by Debbie Levy. Picture and activity book, 8 and up. Young people have a travel book of their own in this guide for getting the most out of the city, packed with information and stories about Washington’s best museums, parks, and other fun places, as well as dozens of games, puzzles, and illustrations. [John Muir Publications/Avalon Travel Publishing 2000; ISBN 1-56261-588-2 $8.95]

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote, by Kathleen Karr, illus. by Malene Laugesen. Fictionalized true story, 5-9. The suffragists' struggle for the vote in World War I Washington is told from the tongue-in-cheek point of view of young Susan Elizabeth, whose mama is at the forefront of the battle. (ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List 2006) [Hyperion 2005; ISBN 078680593-5; $15.99]

Marian Wright Edelman: Fighting for Children's Rights by Wendie Old. Biography, 10 and up. A biography of the advocate for children's rights who lives and works in the nation's capital. (CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Sciences) [Enslow 1995; ISBN hdbk. 0-89490-623- $20.95]

Mystery of Mary Surratt, The by Rebecca C. Jones. Nonfiction, 9 and up. A true mystery about the Maryland woman who was hanged for her part in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. [Tidewater. ISBN pbk. 0-87033-560-X $9.95]

Nine-Ton Cat, The by Peggy Thomson, with Barbara Moore. Nonfiction, 9 and up. A conversational tone and fascinating facts bring alive this walk through the workrooms of the National Gallery of Art where lighters, conservators, carpenters, guards, curators, and engineers embark on the work of their day. (Horn Book starred review) [Houghton Mifflin 1997; ISBN hdbk. 0-395-82655-1 $21.95, pbk. 0-395-82683-7 $14.95]

President Has Been Shot, The by Rebecca Jones. Nonfiction, 8 and up. True stories of assassinations and attempts on the lives of U.S. Presidents. [Dutton 1996; ISBN hdbk. 0-525-45333-4 $14.99, pbk. 0-14-038505-3 $7.99]

Saving Grace by Priscilla Cummings. Historical fiction, 8-12. When Grace's family is evicted from their Washington D.C. apartment just before Christmas 1932, and she and her younger brothers are sent to a mission, Grace wonders what will become of her sick older brother, her pregnant mother and her out-of-work father. (A Junior Library Guild Selection).[Dutton 2003; ISBN 0525471235; hbk $16.99]

Spy in the Sky by Kathleen Karr. Historic fiction, 7-10. Orphan Ridley Jones becomes assistant to the famous balloonist Thaddeus Lowe in this Civil War adventure about how they convince Abraham Lincoln to start a Balloon Corps. (Virginia State Reading Association's Young Reader's Program) [Hyperion 1997; ISBN hdbk. 0-7868-2239-2 $13.89, pbk. 0-7868-1165-X $3.95]

Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, A by Michelle Y. Green. Biography, 10-14. Mamie is the first woman to pitch professional baseball in a men's league. One of only three women to play in the Negro Leagues, Mamie overcame the obstacles of gender and race to pitch three winning seasons with the Indianapolis Clowns. Historical photos of Washington, D.C. Settings include D.C. and Maryland. (Junior Library Guild selection, Kirkus Review) [Dial Books for Young Readers. 2002; ISBN hdbk. 0-8037-2661-9 $15.99]

Thomas Jefferson by Wendie Old. Biography, 10 and up. Biography of the third president of the United States. [Enslow 1997; ISBN hdbk. 0-89490-837-5 $20.95]

Washington is Burning by Marty Rhodes Figley, illus. by Craig Orback. Easy-read historical fiction, grades 2-4. The burning of Washington during the War of 1812 is told from the viewpoint of Paul Jennings, James Madison’s fifteen-year-old African American slave and personal valet, who later wrote the first White House memoir. [Millbrook Press 2006; ISBN hdbk. 1575058758 $23.93]





Author Visits

Book Trailers