The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites people of all ages to discover the fascinating people, places and events that await you whenever you read.

The Exquisite Corpse Aesop's Fables The Rocket Book

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Walter Dean MyersWalter Dean Myers is the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, appointed by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in January 2012. Myers will serve in the position through 2013. He succeeds Katherine Paterson, who served in 2010-2011, and Jon Scieszka, who served in 2008-2009. The award-winning Myers has chosen “Reading Is Not Optional” as the theme for his platform.

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Booklists presents a sampling of suggested books that will spark the imagination and transport readers to new and exciting places. Look for these books in your local library. The books supplement the online resources in the American Memory website. Following each list is a link to the corresponding online resources. 

Other booklists from the Library of Congress include:

U.S. Presidents

  • Collins, Mary. “Mount Vernon.” Children's Press, 1997.
  • Blumberg, Rhoda.What's the Deal? Jefferson, Napoleon, and the Louisiana Purchase.National Geographic Society, 1998.
  • Freedman, Russell. “Lincoln: A Photobiography. Clarion Books, 1987.
  • More Books on U.S. Presidents


  • Robinson, Sharon. “Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson.” Scholastic Inc., 2009
  • Gutman, Dan. “Honus and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure.”Avon Books, 1997.
  • Ritter, Lawrence S. “Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Baseball Leagues.” Morrow Junior Books, 1995.
  • More Books on Sports

Civil War

  • Chambers, Catherine. “All About Maps.” Franklin Watts, 1998.
  • Moore, Kay. “If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War.” Scholastic, 1994.
  • Murphy, Jim. “The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War.” Clarion Books, 1990.
  • More Books on the
    Civil War

American Inventors

  • Adler, David. “Thomas Alva Edison: Great Inventor.” Holiday House, 1990.
  • Parker, Steve. “Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone.” Chelsea House, 1995.
  • Hays, Wilma Pitchford. “Samuel Morse and the Electronic Age.” Watts, 1966.
  • More Books on American Inventors


  • Bacon, Josephine. “The Doubleday Atlas of the United States of America.” Doubleday, 1990.
  • Clouse, Nancy L. “Puzzle Maps USA.” Henry Hold and Co., 1990.
  • Glickman, Jane. “Cool Geography.” Price Stern Sloan, 1998.
  • More Books on Maps

National Parks

  • Duncan, Dayton and Ken Burns. “The National Parks: America's Best Idea.” Knopf Doubleday, 2009.
  • Kent, Deborah. “Yellowstone National Park.” Children's Press, 1994.
  • Knowlton, Jack. “Maps and Globes.” Children's Press, 1997.
  • More Books on National Parks


WETA's Reading Rockets is sponsoring a 2012 Writing Challenge/Writer's Quest with Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of "John Carter."
WETA's Reading Rockets is sponsoring a 2012 Writing Challenge/Writer's Quest with Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of "John Carter." Read the book and enter the contest for some great prizes!

Winners: Letters About Literature

“Dear L. M. Montgomery,
One of the greatest influences from books I've read this year came from your book Anne of Green Gables. Anne's knack for turning ordinary things into extra ordinary things caught my eye. She is clever, fun-loving, creative, determined and occasionally a little bit absentminded. All of these qualities remind me of me and helped me realize that a little bit of romance, or imagination should always be a part of all of us, and can brighten up many an unpleasant day. …

Read this winning letter