Books About the French Revolution For Middle and Elementary School

Finding books about the French Revolution for elementary and middle school kids is not easy!

I know because I tried.

My kids loved the movie Peabody and Mr. Sherman.  We watched it once at the movie theater and again at home once it came out on video.  To my surprise they recognized most of the historical figures.  They were quite taken with Marie Antoinette, her party and her loud declaration of "let them eat cake!"

They started asking all sorts of questions and my middle son asked if we could learn about the French Revolution for history.  

Of course I said sure!  I then set to work looking for books that they would enjoy.

I had no idea how hard that would be!  Most of the books written about the French Revolution are geared towards older audiences and the vast majority look like (and are written in the dry language of) text books.

But I kept searching, determined to find some "fun" picture books and chapter books that would be age appropriate and keep their interests.

Here are the books we found:

1.  Moi & Marie Antoinette-- a cute picture book story about Mari Antoinette and her dog.

2.  Who was Marie Antoinette-- We love these Who was... series of books and this one took us through Marie Antoinette's life from birth to death.

3.  You Wouldn't Want to be an Aristocrat in the French Revolution-- We loved this book! While a bit gross at times we learned what life during the French Revolution for the peasants and the aristocrats; how mob rule took over and how the French King's support of America during the revolutionary war was primarily responsible for the start of everything.

4.  A Tale of Two Cities--  We found a few illustrated and abridged versions of Dickens' book about the French Revolution and I thought the boys would enjoy and understand the most famous starting quote "It was the best of times. It was the Worst of times."

5.  Robespierre Master of the Guillotine-- Part of the Wicked History series by Scholastic this book showed us the life of Robespierre.

6.  In the Reign of Terror-- This historical fiction chapter book takes the reader into the French Revolution following young Harry as he tries to free his boss, the Marquis, from imprisonment in the Bastille. 


  1. Thanks for putting these together! I'm definitely a francophile, so this makes me happy.


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