Fun President’s Day reads

Happy President’s Day! Here are some of my favorite reads that allow middle graders to learn secrets, little-known facts, and fun trivia about our presidents.

Presidential Pets: The Weird, Wacky, Little, Big, Scary, Strange Animals That Have Lived in the White House, by Julia Moberg. Inside this entertaining book, readers will find out that John Quincy Adams kept an alligator in the bathtub and Andrew Jackson had a parrot with quite the potty mouth. There are forty-three anecdotes about the pets presidents kept, and the book is written in rhyming prose, with hilarious accompanying illustrations.

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents, by David Stabler. Funny, offbeat biographies and colorful illustrations show how George Washington, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and others faced problems and overcame hurdles when they were kids. John F. Kennedy, for example, didn’t like his big brother and got some pretty bad report cards. Lyndon Johnson was the class prankster. Bill Clinton was clumsy — he broke his leg while jumping rope — and Barack Obama was bothered by bullies.  The writing style is lighthearted and easy to read. “Just like history class,” says author Tim Federle, “only hilarious.”

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barack Obama, is a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From Georgia O’Keeffe to George Washington to Albert Einstein, the descriptions of their contributions to the world in comparison to a child’s budding imagination, intelligence, and creativity are tender, beautiful and inspiring.



Weird But True Know-It-All: U.S. Presidents by Brianna DuMont has wild and wacky facts about our presidents, including that Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket while riding his horse — twice! Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity. And who knew Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? The book also includes easy to digest facts about government, elections, The White House, and presidential history.



1,000 Facts About The White House by Sarah Wassner Flynn takes readers behind the scenes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. With a treasure trove of material from the White House Historical Association, this colorful, easy to read book gives a fascinating history of the building and the people who have lived in it for more than 200 years.


Happy presidential reading!


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Michele Weber Hurwitz
Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of Ethan Marcus Stands Up (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days and Calli Be Gold (both Penguin Random House). Visit her at