With the 2020 presidential election coming up, I wanted to create a list of children’s books about voting and elections to help answer questions children might have about it. I picked out books that highlighted the election process and addressed the history of voting rights in the U.S. Here is the list of books:
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery.
The Night Before Election Day by Natasha Wing, Illustrated by Amy Wummer
Yes! It’s almost here. And the big question is: Who will be our next president? Will our leader be a he or a she? A young citizen gives her take on politics and Election Day in this charming story
A Vote is a Powerful Thing by Catherine Stier, Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Callie knows there’s a presidential election coming up. Her class is having an election, too, about an issue that affects them all—the class field trip! She’s about to witness first-hand what a difference a vote can make—even a single vote—and along the way will find out about the election process and why people have fought for the right to vote throughout history.
Shirley Chisholm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers, Illustrated by Rachelle Baker
Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct.
If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier, Illustrated by Lynne Avril
A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to run for president. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process. A note about this process accompanies the story.
Today on Election Day by Catherine Stier, Illustrated by David Leonard
The school gym is a polling place and Bailey, Ren, David, Meg, Aiden, and Isabella know all about Election Day and voting! Bailey helped her Aunt Julia run for a seat on the city council. Aiden goes with his grandpa to vote. David’s brother Jake will be voting for the first time. Meg talks about how years ago, some citizens were not permitted to vote.
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to be the nation's first and immediately jumpstarts her political career by running in her school's mock election! The race is tougher than she expected: her popular opponent declares that he's the "best man for the job" and seems to have captured the votes of all of the class's boys. But Grace is more determined than ever. Even if she can't be the best man for the job, she can certainly try to be the best person!
*All of the summaries for the books above were written by the publishers of each book.