California History for Kids: Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State, Includes 21 Activities

Overview

The story of California is the story of dreamers—explorers, gold miners, immigrants, ranchers, moviemakers, farmers, and everyday Americans who headed west for a fresh start. The first native inhabitants arrived 9,000 years ago, ancestors of the tribes who would greet the Spanish in the 1700s. Father Junípero Serra later established a chain of missions along the coast, expanding European and Mexican influence. But when gold was discovered in 1848, the rush was on, and two short years later California became a ...

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Overview

The story of California is the story of dreamers—explorers, gold miners, immigrants, ranchers, moviemakers, farmers, and everyday Americans who headed west for a fresh start. The first native inhabitants arrived 9,000 years ago, ancestors of the tribes who would greet the Spanish in the 1700s. Father Junípero Serra later established a chain of missions along the coast, expanding European and Mexican influence. But when gold was discovered in 1848, the rush was on, and two short years later California became a state. After the gold ran out, other rushes followed, from agriculture to industry, Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

            California History for Kids includes a time line of significant events, a list of historic sites to visit or explore online, and Web resources for further study. And to get a better idea of the scope of California history and the lives of its citizens, readers can:

* create a Chumash rock painting

* play the Miwok Hoop-and-Pole game

* bake and eat hardtack like a gold miner

* design a cattle brand

* decode a railroad cipher

* immortalize their handprints in plaster

* assemble an earthquake preparedness kit

* and more

            Author Katy Duffield tells the rich story of the men and women who, despite challenges and occasional hardships, settled and built the vibrant cities and bountiful farms, ranches, and orchards of the Golden State.

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[California History for Kids] covers all of the state's history and places it within the larger context of American history, making it a good classroom or library resource."  —School Library Journal
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Duffield's well-written history opens with an overview of California's prehistoric fauna and pre-Columbian Native tribes. Subsequent chapters cover the exploration and mission periods, American takeover, Gold Rush and statehood, construction of the transcontinental railroad, and development of California agriculture. Duffield also discusses the state's rapid economic and population growth during the 20th century and explains their attendant benefits and problems. She concludes that despite its current issues, the state remains a place of promise and optimism. Throughout, she examines the treatment of the many ethnic groups that have been part of the state's history and, while not minimizing the discrimination and hardships they faced, emphasizes that its abundant natural resources and seemingly endless growth have led to increased opportunities and success for many of its residents. Sidebars profile influential Californians or expand on topics mentioned in the main text, which is supplemented with captioned period photographs, illustrations, and maps. There are 21 student activities and many, such as designing cattle brands, making model ships, and signaling in Morse code, could be done independently, while others, such as cooking, require adult supervision. There is no documentation, but there is an extensive list of resources that recommends books, websites, and places to visit. This book covers all of the state's history and places it within the larger context of American history, making it a good classroom or library resource.—Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO
Kirkus Reviews
The title says it all, almost, about "The Golden State," from early history to the near-present. Covering many topics with sidebars and illustrations to supplement the main text, as well as supplying 21 activities, largely crafts, such a book might be used as a text for elementary-school classes. But there are many elements that weaken its usefulness. The inclusion of facts seems scattershot; for instance, the book contains a "California First Facts" that lists the "Number of Dentist Offices (2008)" but does not mention the state flower, state bird, state animal or state flag--surely of more use and interest to students than dentists. Throughout, information is abbreviated and feels dumbed down, though the author has been fair in discussing issues about Junípero Serra, the internment of Japanese-Americans, the anti-foreigner laws during the Gold Rush and after, the treatment of minorities and the destruction of native populations by Anglo and Spanish invaders. But without a tribal map, how can readers know what areas the Maidu or Kashia or Coast Miwok or Ohlone inhabited? Without a general state map and/or textual description, how can readers know what areas are covered by geographical terms such as northern, southern or central California? As for the activities, they are poorly planned and do little to enhance the straightforward (one might say dull) prose. Caveat emptor. (bibliography, websites, index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569765326
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Series: For Kids Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 500,496
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Katy Duffield is the author of the picture book Farmer McPeepers and His Missing Milk Cows and five nonfiction library reference books for older readers. She has also written for numerous children’s magazines including Highlights for Children, Appleseeds, Hopscotch, and Clubhouse.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Fantastic book for homeschoolers!

    We are so happy with this book! The history is detailed and interesting enough to hold my 4th grader's attention, without the droll details of a standard text. The activities keep the history engaging and exciting. Well worth the purchase!

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