The best children’s books about fabulous First Ladies

Who am I?

When I learned that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had helped save Grand Central I had to know more about her! This lead to being curious about other First Ladies and how they served America during and after they were in the White House. Often their contributions were overshadowed by their husbands, so with this list, I’m shining a light on little-known facts about these well-known women.


I wrote...

When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

By Natasha Wing, Alexandra Boiger,

Book cover of When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon

What is my book about?

When the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper atop the famous train terminal, Jackie knew she had to stop them. She inspired people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark – a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. This little-known story about an iconic First Lady celebrates winning in the face of great odds and how one person can make a big difference.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Leave It to Abigail!: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams

Natasha Wing Why did I love this book?

I admire women who take it upon themselves to survive through resourcefulness and despite societal norms. Abigail was a girl whose spirit was too big to contain within the rules of colonial America. And because she had gumption and curiosity, she helped advance women by influencing her husband’s political views. The artist used needlework to partially illustrate the book which gives the reader a feel for the times.

By Barb Rosenstock, Elizabeth Baddeley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leave It to Abigail! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Everyone knew Abigail was different.

Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Instead of settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Instead of leaving the governing to men, she insisted they "Remember the Ladies." Instead of fearing Europe's kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady and served as John's powerful adviser.

Leave it to Abigail-an extraordinary woman…


Book cover of Leading the Way: Women in Power

Natasha Wing Why did I love this book?

This is a collection of women who stood up and spoke out. It includes several first ladies including Abigail Adams, Betty Ford, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. What I love about this book is that it assigns power symbols to each woman that represent such things as persistence, resourcefulness, and courage. In the back, there’s a Take-Action Guide to encourage young women to be leaders in their own ways. Girls from all backgrounds will be able to see a role model in this book.

By Janet Howell, Theresa Howell, Kylie Akia (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leading the Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

In this engaging and highly accessible compendium for young readers and aspiring power brokers, Virginia Senator Janet Howell and her daughter-in-law Theresa Howell spotlight the careers of fifty American women in politics — and inspire readers to make a difference. With foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Meet some of the most influential leaders in America, including Jeannette Rankin, who, in 1916, became the first woman elected to Congress; Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress; Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court; and Bella Abzug, who famously declared, “This woman’s place is in…


Book cover of Just Being Jackie

Natasha Wing Why did I love this book?

This is the perfect companion book to my book When Jackie Saved Grand Central. Both books fill out the story of two important buildings that she restored - The White House and Grand Central Terminal. In this story, you learn more about Jackie as a child. And I’m IN LOVE with the illustrations! Denos captured Jackie’s beauty and strength in drawings that remind me of fashion sketches.

By Margaret Cardillo, Julia Denos (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just Being Jackie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning and inspirational nonfiction picture book about the life and style of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis from Margaret Cardillo and Julia Denos, the team that created Just Being Audrey. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It's a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.

Jackie Kennedy was an American icon of style and grace-but there was steel under that style. Her poise under fire, intelligence, and tireless work as First Lady earned her the respect of leaders worldwide…


Book cover of First Ladies Fact Book: The Childhoods, Courtships, Marriages, Campaigns, Accomplishments, and Legacies of Every First Lady

Natasha Wing Why did I love this book?

This is a great resource if you’re just wanting to brush up on your First Ladies trivia or if you’re needing a starting point in your research. It contains photos, quotes, and delicious details. Although it’s more of a book for grown-ups, it can be used to explore First Ladies further with your child after reading a picture book.

By Bill Harris, Laura Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Ladies Fact Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The revised and updated edition, including all-new information on Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Betty Ford America's first ladies have captured the hearts of the citizens of our country ever since its humble beginnings. This newly updated edition of The First Ladies Fact Book is a comprehensive, fascinating, and intimate look at the life of each first lady from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Each profile includes a portrait, key biographical information, and several additional photographs. Among the topics covered are childhood and upbringing, early marriage years, the path to the White House, hobbies, career, style of dress,…


Book cover of Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

Natasha Wing Why did I love this book?

This picture book truly shows the importance of art and how it can empower kids when they see themselves in art. This is one reason why I like writing picture books! Art can speak volumes when the viewer connects, and this story of an African American child named Parker seeing Michele Obama as a queen in her portrait is so beautiful in many ways. You’ll be inspired to bring your child to an art museum.

By Parker Curry, Jessica Curry, Brittany Jackson (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Parker Looks Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller!

A visit to Washington, DC's National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry's young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama's portrait.

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald's transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn't just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen-one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl's imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica…


You might also like...

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

Book cover of The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

What is my book about?

From the author of Washington’s Spies, the thrilling story of two rival secret agents — one Confederate, the other Union — sent to Britain during the Civil War.

The South’s James Bulloch, charming and devious, was ordered to acquire a clandestine fleet intended to break Lincoln’s blockade, sink Northern merchant vessels, and drown the U.S. Navy’s mightiest ships at sea. Opposing him was Thomas Dudley, an upright Quaker lawyer determined to stop Bulloch in a spy-versus-spy game of move and countermove, gambit and sacrifice, intrigue and betrayal.

Their battleground was the Dickensian port of Liverpool, whose dockyards built more ships each year than the rest of the world combined and whose merchant princes, said one observer, were “addicted to Southern proclivities, foreign slave trade, and domestic bribery.”

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Washington's Spies, the thrilling story of the Confederate spy who came to Britain to turn the tide of the Civil War-and the Union agent resolved to stop him.

"Entertaining and deeply researched...with a rich cast of spies, crooks, bent businessmen and drunken sailors...Rose relates the tale with gusto." -The New York Times

In 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, two secret agents-one a Confederate, the other his Union rival-were dispatched to neutral Britain, each entrusted with a vital mission.

The South's James Bulloch, charming and devious, was to acquire…


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