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.

The books I picked & why

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

By Barb Rosenstock, Elizabeth Baddeley (illustrator),

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

Why 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.

Leading the Way: Women in Power

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

Book cover of Leading the Way: Women in Power

Why 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.


Just Being Jackie

By Margaret Cardillo, Julia Denos (illustrator),

Book cover of Just Being Jackie

Why 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.


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

By Bill Harris, Laura Ross,

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

Why 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.


Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

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

Book cover of Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

Why 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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in American first ladies, First Ladies of the USA, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about American first ladies, First Ladies of the USA, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

American First Ladies Explore 18 books about American first ladies
First Ladies Of The USA Explore 10 books about First Ladies of the USA
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Explore 7 books about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like America's Queen, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Portia if you like this list.