The Story of The White House

 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500 is probably the most famous address in America. It is the location of  The White House,  which is official residence of the president of the United States. Given it's age, over 200 years old, it has many stories to tell. 

For example, did you know that the architect, James Hoban, was born in Callan, Ireland? It may also surprise you that slaves helped with the construction of the building, it has held three names, and that the British burned it down. History is a great storyteller so pick up a book at the library today.  


"I consider history - our history - to be a source of strength to us here in the White House and to all of the American people. Anything which dramatizes the great story of the United States, as I think the White House does, is worthy of the closest attention and respect by the Americans who live here and who visit here and who are part of our citizenry."  -  President John F Kennedy

The House That George Built Suzanne Slade 

Shares the story of how George Washington had a home built for the future presidents. Lovely, watercolor and ink illustrations breath life into the home of our Nation. The back of the book includes author notes and shows the many changes that have been made to the White House over the years. 

 The White House: an American Symbol  Alison and Stephen Eldridge.

Where does the president live? How many rooms are in the White House? Why is it a symbol of America. Learn all about this important building in this easy-to-read title.


The White House by Denise Rinaldo,

Was the White House always white? Did someone actually burn down the White House? Is it true that a person went skinny-dipping in a White House fountain? More than 200 years old, the White House is no ordinary house. The site of many significant moments in American history, this is certainly a home of great importance. Get an insider's tour of the president's mansion, with the fun facts, stories, and photos.
First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew Robbin Gourley

The White House kitchen garden, part of Michelle Obama's campaign to encourage healthful eating, was established in 2009. This book tells the story of Mrs. Obama's garden, as well as the story of the White House grounds, the other gardens (including Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden in World War II) that came before, the White House children who have played there, and the teamwork, involving local children as well as the Obama family and White House staff, that led to the garden now flourishing on the South Lawn. This is a lighthearted, entertaining, and lavishly illustrated introduction to an inspiring and much-publicized project, and concludes with a list of favorite White House recipes.     

Our White House : Looking in, Looking Out

Created by 108 renowned authors and illustrators and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance; [with an introduction by David McCullough].

More than one hundred leading authors and illustrators donate their talents in a creative tour de force that is making history. Conceived and co-created by the National Children's Book and Literary Alliance, this incomparable collection of essays, personal accounts, historical fiction, and poetry melds with an equally stunning array of original art to offer a multifaceted look at America's history through the prism of the White House.

Starting with a 1792 call for designers to plan a presidential mansion and continuing through the present day, Our White House, takes in everything from the amusing antics of presidents' children and pets to the drama of the White House ablaze and the specter of war; from the role of immigrants, African Americans, and Native Americans to the thoughts and actions of many presidents themselves. These highly engaging writings and illustrations, expressing varied viewpoints and interwoven with key historical events, are a vital resource for family sharing and classroom use, and a stirring reminder that the story of the White House is the story of every American.


What to learn more? Get additional information through our online World Book Encyclopedia database. To access You will need to enter your Harris County Public Library card. 

"Library cards are free for everyone (children and adults). You must provide proof of your mailing address when applying for a library card. Parents must sign the library card application for children under 18 years of age.  The first library card is free.  Replacement cards are $1. Cards are issued at the time of application, at all branch locations and may be used at any of our branches, and you may check out immediately. - Click Here  to obtain a  registration form. These forms can be filled out online! You may type in your information and print. You will not be able to save your data.You still must bring the completed form along with proof of mailing address to a branch library to obtain your card." 


Additional Activities

Paper Crafts for Presidents' Day Randel McGee.

Resource for Parents

The White House Historical Association 

National Center for White House History at Decatur House

James Hoban

Teacher Resources

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
Michelle Obama.

In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden on the White House's South Lawn. It is a garden with roots in the American past, stretching back to George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, but it is also a garden very much designed for America's future. As fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs sprouted from the ground, this White House Kitchen Garden inspired a new conversation all across the country about the food we feed our families and the impact it has on the health and well-being of our children.

A sumptuously photographed guide by the first lady describes how her daughters and she planted a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn as part of an initiative to raise awareness about childhood obesity, in a reference that shares gardening tips, recipes and advice for making healthier food choices.

White House Tours

White House Kitchen Garden Tours 

Annual White House Easter Egg Roll

Holidays at the White House