Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877

Overview

After the destruction of the Civil War, the United States faced the immense challenge of rebuilding a ravaged South and incorporating millions of freed slaves into the life of the nation. On April 11, 1865, President Lincoln introduced his plan for reconstruction, warning that the coming years would be “fraught with great difficulty.” Three days later he was assassinated. The years to come witnessed a time of complex and controversial change.
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Cause: Reconstruction America 1863-1877

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Overview

After the destruction of the Civil War, the United States faced the immense challenge of rebuilding a ravaged South and incorporating millions of freed slaves into the life of the nation. On April 11, 1865, President Lincoln introduced his plan for reconstruction, warning that the coming years would be “fraught with great difficulty.” Three days later he was assassinated. The years to come witnessed a time of complex and controversial change.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Every since spending a semester studying Reconstruction in a history class years ago I have thought that kids needed more exposure to this pivotal period. I even contributed to that end with my book Robert Smalls: From Slave to Civil War Hero (Dutton), a biography about a black South Carolina congressman during the decade after the Civil War. But now, as then, most of us are more interested in the era's dramatic westward expansion and the excesses of the Gilded Age rather than the persistent problems caused by American slavery. In Cause, Tonya Bolden is attempting to refocus our attention on the complex political history of 1865 to 1877. Many of today's popular histories tend to rely on narrative, but Bolden's book reads like a textbook touching on major events and personalities of that period. The author affects a breezy tone by referring to Fred rather than Frederick Douglass and to Andy rather than Andrew Johnson, and by using colloquial expressions, such as "put the kibosh," "geared up," and "put a monkey wrench into the investigation." This might appeal to kids, which of course is the idea, but it is off putting for this reviewer. Cause is not an engaging narrative, but a dense overview of the Reconstruction period illustrated by great black-and-white illustrations from period periodicals. 2005, Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, Ages 10 up.
—Michael L. Cooper
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This examination of America during Reconstruction covers Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the troubles of freed slaves, the expansion of the nation and the plight of Native Americans, the 15th Amendment, and the women's suffrage movement. While this is well-documented nonfiction, Bolden writes in the voice of a storyteller. The excellent graphics include archival photos, political cartoons, and primary resources. Lengthy captions explain each image and why it is included. Each chapter title is a quote, which personalizes the narrative but may confound report writers looking for specific information. For example, one chapter is titled, "Why Is This, Ma?" which refers to a question put to a black Memphis schoolteacher by one of her children over their poor treatment at a train depot; the chapter largely deals with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Overall, this is a well-written and visually appealing title, but it's better for general-interest reading than for research.-Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park High School, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375827952
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

TONYA BOLDEN is the author of several books for young readers, including Rock of Ages: A Tribute to the Black Church and The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali. She is also the editor of two books in the bestselling 33 Things series and the adapter of American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm.
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