The Great Depression Era for Kids

Some of the most satisfying books about the Great Depression have been these two written for kids.

The Great Depression for Kids

by Cheryl Mullenbach

This is a great resource for any age. It includes a timeline and several pages about the Roaring Twenties to set the stage for the Great Depression.

In addition to photographs, there are activities from playing the stock market to interviewing “an elder.” In the back are websites to explore, notes–chapter by chapter, a great bibliography, plus an index.

What sets this book apart is the addition of several activities to enhance learning about the era.

Cheryl Mullenbach

The author is a former history teacher and librarian, and has authored several other books.


Children of the Great Depression

by Russell Freedman

Winner of the 2005 Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction

Russell Freedman

Featuring the fine pictures from photographers hired by the Farm Security Administration of FDR’s New Deal, this narrative of the Great Depression is a great resource for any age. It includes Chapter Notes, a Selective Bibliography, and an Index.

Cheryl Mullenbach is also an endorser for Leora’s Dexter Stories: the Scarcity Years of the Great Depression.


  1. I never knew there were books like these for children. A great idea though. I know a few adults that could learn a thing or two from reading them.

  2. I’ve read in several sources that the best first step for a nonfiction writer doing research is to seek out the children’s books. (It also helps one “put the cookies on the bottom shelf,” writing in terms that everyone, not just academics, can understand.)

    • They are great with overviews. I also wanted “Leora’s Dexter Stories” readable by high schoolers, so wanted to know what’s out there. These are targeted a little younger, but are useful for every age.

  3. It was a different thing over here – but these both sound like good books, wherever you are, and it’s important to understand how we got to our current place.

    • My next book, “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression,” is about a family in a small town, which I hadn’t been able to find. They lost their farmland after WWI, jobs dried up, her husband lost strength have surgery, they were “on the dole” a lot, whooping cough took baby twins, etc. It was a different thing in small-town Iowa, as well, and needs to be shared. Hopefully by the end of May.

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