My Favorite Books for AP Government

I’ve always been a reader, ever since I pretended to need a nightlight so that I could keep reading after my mom made me go to bed. When I want to learn something, I immediately go to books. As someone whose teacher program trained her to be an early childhood educator, moved to junior high, and then to high school, I learned a lot by reading. I also love children’s literature in AP classes, but that’s another post because, yes, I read children’s books to my seniors.

We have a library full of books, but these are my top books for AP Government

Here are my top books for AP Government. Please consider buying these from a small, local, independent bookstore. My favorite is Changing Hands. I’d suggest buying it because you’ll want to write in them, annotate them, and have them in your classroom. I have tons of books that I love and recommend, but here are my top picks if you are starting your library.


The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda Monk

I’ve had several copies of this book and wore one of the spines out. I used it almost daily in class and let students use it. It was the book I recommended to them if they wanted extra readings. It’s written in a way for all to understand how the Constitution plays in our everyday life. If you only buy one book, get this one. PS She’s my favorite author and active on Twitter.

The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide by Linda Monk

Again, I enjoy Linda Monk, and this book was terrific for Unit 5: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. It goes through the Bill of Rights, as well as the 14th Amendment. Again, it helped make things clear and was very student-friendly. Plus, the forward is from Justice Ginsburg.

The Supremes’ Greatest Hits, 2nd Revised Updated Edition: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life by Michael G. Trachtman

This book was a good one to help me dig into some Supreme Court cases, especially Citizen’s United. This book helped me wrap my head around the SCOTUS comparison FRQ and write some for my students. There is a whole chapter on the Presidency and SCOTUS.

“Have to” History: Landmark Supreme Court Cases by Dallas Koehn

Dallas reached out to me and sent me a copy of the book. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t like it, and I liked it. Supreme Court cases that are easily excerpted, breakdowns of Supreme Court cases in easy to read formats, and extras you didn’t know you needed. Plus, I love to support other teachers who have a passion for the subject!

My current reading list

The Handy History Answer Book by David L. Hudson Jr.

I used this book to study for my National Board Certification test, and let me tell you, it was super helpful for Economics and World History, both of which have a place in AP Government. Social sciences and studies should intertwine. This book helps do that. Chapters such as Political and Social Movements, Law and Famous Trials, War and Conflict, Economics and Business, and Religion have a place in our curriculum. The pieces are short and to the point, which is helpful when questions arise, and you want to learn about it or want your students to look! 


You can Google search to your heart’s content, but nothing beats a good book. What is your favorite book for AP Government?

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