5 Books for Kids About the Attack on Pearl Harbor

How do we understand our present when we don't know about our past? Events that occur determine the path we take and shape our future. One event that had changed the path America would take and shape her future was the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would "live in infamy."

Even children as young as 5 or 6 can learn about this event and how it changed the world forever.

Pearl Harbor : Ready to Read Level 3

Pearl Harbor : Ready To Read Level 3


It's not easy to create a children's book about a devastating historical event, but this book does a good job informing children about the attack on Pearl Harbor without being disturbing. Of course, a children's book isn't going to be a full accounting of the event, but this book serves as an excellent introduction.

The book explains how the Great Depression prevented the United States from getting completely involved in the World War that was raging in Europe, although President Roosevelt was willing to help the allies. It also explains the reason behind the attack and Japan's mistaken belief that the United States would not retaliate.

The attack itself is described so that children understand how devastatingly destructive it was, but will not be unduly upset by it. The drawings do a good job of illustrating the events in the story.

Ages 6 and up

Day of Infamy Attack on Pearl Harbor (Graphic History)

Day of Infamy Attack on Pearl Harbor (Graphic History)


What is a graphic history? It's just history presented in a graphic-novel format. What's a graphic novel? Think comic book. If you know what a comic book looks like, you'll know the format of a graphic novel. But don't think that because it uses this format, it isn't informative.

This book provides considerable details and helps kids understand the sequence of events and the cause and effect relationships of those events.

Ages 7 to 9

The Attack on Pearl Harbor (Cornerstones of Freedom)

Attack on Pearl Harbor


This book provides a fairly detailed account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Instead of drawings, pictures are included. They are not pictures that might be disturbing to young children, but they do provide an understanding of the events that you can't get from illustrations.

There is, for example, a photo of Japenese bombers in the sky surrounded by black puffs of smoke from anti-aircraft fire and a photo of fireboat crews attempting to put out the fires on the USS West Virginia, one of the ships hit by the bombers.

One of the best sections in the book is the almost minute-by-minute timeline account of the attack, starting at 4:30 a.m. on December 7th when the Japanese bombers were just 270 miles from Hawaii.

Ages 9 and up

Remember Pearl Harbor: Japanese And American Survivors Tell Their Stories

Remember Pearl Harbor: Japanese And American Survivors Tell Their Stories


This book doesn't provide the same level of detail about the attack on Pearl Harbor as some other books, but it does provide an overview.

What this book provides that others don't is the perspective of the attack from those who witnessed and were involved in it. There are first-person accounts of those involved, and not just on the American side. Children can read first-person accounts of the Japanese who were involved as well, getting a perspective often missing from most historical accounts.

The book also contains numerous historical photos to help readers understand the event.

Ages 10 and up

Sterling Point Books: Pearl Harbor Attack

Sterling Point Books: Pearl Harbor Attack


This well-researched account of the attack on Pearl Harbor was written by Edwin P. Hoyt, who had served in the military during World War II, specifically in the Pacific theater and who later became a war correspondent.

In addition to providing details of the attack, the book also provides some in-depth information about those who were involved. Maps, charts, and historical photos are included.

Ages 12 and up

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