Book of the New American Nationby Howard Egger-Bovet, T. Taylor Bruce, Marlene Smith-Baranzini
Highlights the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, life in the colonies during wartime, amd important figures of the time. Includes ideas for related activities.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyCombining brief fictionalized accounts of historical events with factual information, profiles of notable women and men, and related projects, these titles adopt a playful approach to teaching American history. Revolution describes life in the 13 colonies and the road to independence, including the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge and the Battle of Yorktown. The hands-on sections include a play about the Boston Massacre, a game in which players take on the roles of a customs officer and a smuggler, and a recipe for ``Old Glory Ice Cream.'' Biographies of Phillis Wheatley and Thomas Paine, as well as sections on pirates, secret codes and an early submarine, round out an already comprehensive volume. Less focused, American Indians explores the legends, traditions and customs of the many tribes that made their homes in what is now the United States. Various spreads are devoted to coming-of-age ceremonies, Hopi architecture, the whale hunts of the Makah and other topics. Activity ideas range from weaving baskets to making spirit figures and playing traditional games. The snappy, fast-paced lessons are short enough to whet the appetite without being overwhelming; lists of books and videos and information about visiting historic sites are appended. Ages 8-12. (May)
Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotMoving from west to east across North America, readers are introduced to the legends, songs, poems, games, foods and crafts of the American Indians. Each page contains numerous black and white illustrations used to show Indian homes, clothing, plants, artifacts and more. The rich and varied text explains what is portrayed and reinforces the message of the Indians' harmony with and respect for nature. A great history and social studies adjunct and part of the Brown Paper School "USKids History" series.
Children's Literature - Judy KatshWith simulations, fictionalized historical accounts, and factual summaries and details, this latest entry in the "Brown Paper School Series" helps readers gain experience with both the lives and feelings of early Americans. While at times the progressions of stories presented seems disjointed; the author's main message is clear; the United States was built by regular people, kids included! As with other books in this series, it involves the reader as it brings the words and actions of historical figures to life.
Children's Literature - Gisela JerniganThis lively history of the Revolution presents a great deal of information combined with related activities such as: games, recipes, arts and crafts, and even a play about the Boston Tea Party. The book also does a good job of presenting a cross section of people, from the famous-Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson-to children such as the Quaker Sara Wister and a young drummer boy-and to different groups like women, African Americans, and British sympathizers. Throughout the book, straight facts are mixed with personal accounts and various activities. A great resource for teachers and families to learn together and have fun. Brown Paper School "USKids History" series includes index, bibliography, historical sites, maps and drawings.
School Library JournalGr 5-7This exciting series entry provides fascinating bits of information about the early days of our nation's history, from Washington's inauguration to the cessation of the war with Mexico. The authors make history come alive through a somewhat loose, chronologically ordered narrative that successfully combines a primary-source-based text with well-rendered, informative, black-and-white illustrations and maps. Quotations and excerpts from diaries, journals, etc. shed light upon the roles played by many of our country's first citizens; many of these entries are found in the sidebars that are distributed throughout the book. Also contributing to format's overall utility and attractiveness is the inclusion of ``bait'' for students, such as dramatic readings and poetry, a Mississippi River board game, and crafts and other activities, which could be used to supplement classroom textbooks. The index is sufficiently detailed, and an ``If You Want to Know More'' section suggests books to read, projects, and historical sites to visit. Unfortunately, experiences of fictional young people of the time are included; and for real people featured, some of their thoughts, words, and deeds are fictionalized. This is a flaw that may be difficult to forgive. Some libraries may still prefer John A. Scott's Facts on File History of the American People (Facts on File, 1989), as well as Edwin Tunis's The Young United States and Colonial Living (both Crowell, 1976).David A. Lindsey, Lakewood High and Middle School Libraries, WA
Karen HuttIn the latest entry in the Brown Paper School USKids History series, short, personalized vignettes of famous persons and common citizens clarify for middle-graders the struggles of the new American nation. From the first inauguration to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the building of the Erie Canal, students are given a firsthand look at the many and varied issues facing the new country. Sidebars effectively provide background information and balance the conversational tone of the text, with black-and-white line drawings giving visual relief to the busy but inviting format. A final "If You Want to Know More" section suggests books, crafts and projects, and historical sites to call or write to for more information.
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