What To Read After Watching “Hamilton”

Can’t get enough of the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton”?  We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite “Hamilton” read-alikes — historical accounts, fiction reads, graphics novels, and more — for a variety of ages!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hamilton: The Revolution

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

A backstage pass to the groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, including the award-winning libretto, behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, and exclusive footnotes from composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda

Audience: All 

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

by Melissa De La Cruz

1777. Albany, New York. It’s one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Eliza Schuyler can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Alex is an orphan, and a bastard one at that; only his association with Washington puts him in such esteemed company. And he has arrived at the ball as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers. But when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Audience: Teen & up

Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow

The book that inspired the musical! Chernow offers the whole sweep of Hamilton’s turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

Audience: Adult

Duel With The Devil

by Paul Collins

The true story of how Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr teamed up to take on America’s first sensational murder mystery.

Acclaimed historian Paul Collins’ remarkable true account of a stunning turn-of-the-19th century murder and the trial that ensued — a showdown in which iconic political rivals Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr joined forces to make sure justice was done.

Audience: Adult

Eliza Hamilton

by Tilar J. Mazzeo

A comprehensive and riveting biography of the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days. Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton–Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife–in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story.

Audience: Adult

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

by Jonathan Hennessey

This complete graphic novel-style biography presents the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in United States history. Alexander Hamilton was on hand for the Revolutionary War, the development of the Constitution, and the establishment of the Treasury and banking as we have come to know them today.

Audience: Teen & up

Gmorning, Gnight!

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos! Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection.

Audience: Teen & up

I, Eliza Hamilton

by Susan Holloway Scott

In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza–a fascinating strong-willed heroine in her own right and a key figure in one of the most gripping periods in American history.

Audience: Adult

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year! | Non-Fiction Books

Happy Chinese New Year February 12th, 2021 / The Year of the Ox

Celebrate the bovine bash with an exploration of Chinese influence and rich culture in cuisine, art, history, philosophy, poetry and music through these suggestions—

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese Painting

by James Cahill

The history and development of Chinese painting from the Han Dynasty, 206 b.c. through the 18th century.

1434: the year a magnificent Chinese fleet sailed to Italy and ignited the Renaissance

by Gavin Menzies

The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world’s most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The Path: what Chinese philosophers can teach us about the good life

by Michael Puett

For the first time, an award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how ancient ideas—like the fallacy of the authentic self—can guide you on the path to a good life today.

Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: from early times to the thirteenth century

by Burton Watson

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry presents translations of more than 420 poems by 96 poets drawn from the great ages of Chinese poetry. It begins with selections from the Book of Odes, the oldest anthology of Chinese poetry compiled around the seventh century B.C., and covers the succeeding generations down to the end of the Sung dynasty in A.D. 1279.

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: quick and easy dishes to prepare at home

by Diana Kuan

America’s love affair with Chinese food dates back more than a century. Today, such dishes as General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Egg Rolls are as common as hamburgers and spaghetti. Probably at this moment, a drawer in your kitchen is stuffed with Chinese takeout menus, soy sauce packets, and wooden chopsticks, right? But what if you didn’t have to eat your favorites out of a container? 

Breathing Spaces (CD)

by Jiang Xiao-Qing

Download and enjoy from Freegal Music:  This beautiful Chinese GuZheng (Koto) album performed with grace and sensitivity.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 12th, and it’s the Year of the Ox!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

In Honor of Black History Month: 15 Picture Books about Black Heroes and Icons for Kids!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights picture books on black heroes and icons!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church. Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

by Bethany Hegedus

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who turned a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Sisters: Venus and Serena Williams

by Jeanette Winter

Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

by Andi Diehn

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her. Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

by Deloris Jordan

From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World

by Jonah Winter

Provides a profile of this legendary and flamboyant boxer and the complicated life he led, from changing his religion and his name to dodging the draft during the Vietnam era and fighting his way to regain a stripped title.

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture book biography of Kamala Harris.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

by Nikki Grimes

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When Rosa Parks Went Fishing

by Rachel Ruiz

No discussion of the Civil Rights Movement is complete without the story of Rosa Parks. But what was this activist like as a child? Following young Rosa from a fishing creek to a one-room schoolhouse, from her wearing homemade clothes to wondering what “white” water tastes like, readers will be inspired by the experiences that shaped one of the most famous African-Americans in history.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!