The Century for Young People: 1901-1936: Becoming Modern America


Experience the greatest moments of the 20th century with an accessible narrative that makes history come alive.

Adapted especially for young people by Jennifer Armstrong from the #1 national bestseller!

The twentieth century was a time of tremendous change, the most eventful hundred years in human history. Join Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster for a fascinating journey back in time to experience, through...

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The Century for Young People: 1901-1936: Becoming Modern America

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Experience the greatest moments of the 20th century with an accessible narrative that makes history come alive.

Adapted especially for young people by Jennifer Armstrong from the #1 national bestseller!

The twentieth century was a time of tremendous change, the most eventful hundred years in human history. Join Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster for a fascinating journey back in time to experience, through vivid first-person accounts, the most surprising and the most terrifying events of the past hundred years. These are the voices of ordinary people—children and adults who were a part of history in the making. Their joys and sorrows, their hopes and fears provide a compelling insider's look at momentous events that have reshaped the world. The Century for Young People is a riveting read and an essential research volume. It is the story of our time for all time.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
From a student's perspective history can be one of the dullest subjects imaginable. A seemingly endless sequence of names, dates, and countless facts to memorize can easily drain the life out of what should be one of the most vibrant areas of learning. What brings history to life is the raw material of daily life that allows students to connect with the events of the past through the lives lived then. It is this first person approach that is seized by Jennings and Brewster in this three volume history of the twentieth century. In volume one the authors address the critical events of the first three decades of the century. In those years a world war was fought, the Great Depression spread across the globe, segregationist policies became embedded in America, and the plight of immigrants persisted. Through the words of a World War I infantryman, a witness to a lynching, a young girl at Kitty Hawk, a Jewish victim of the emerging Nazi threat, and others Jennings and Brewster allow readers into the world that these individuals lived in. In addition to the first person selections included in this fine work, the authors also do an excellent job of telling the story of the major happenings of the first third of the twentieth century. In this way Jennings and Brewster accomplish the difficult goal of crafting a concise history of a tumultuous time period in human history while also offering insight into the experiences of everyday people who lived during the era in question. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385737678
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 808,475
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Jennings (1938–2005) was chief anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. In more than 40 years as a broadcast journalist, he worked in most parts of the world, from the American South to Southern Africa, from the Middle East to eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Among hundreds of programs he was a part of, he treasured those he did with and for the young.

Todd Brewster was the senior editorial producer of ABC’s The Century television series. In more than 25 years as a journalist, he has covered the American national political scene and the collapse of Communism in eastern Europe, both for Life, where he was a writer and editor. He is currently the new director of the Center for Oral History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    A Great Walk through a Great Century

    Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster adapted their #1 bestseller for young readers in this series of books. The three books are listed under the name The Century for Young People with the subheadings of: Becoming Modern America: 1901 - 1935, Defining America: 1936-1961, Changing America: 1961-1999.
    Being a true history buff I was very excited to review this series of books. The twentieth century was arguably the most eventful time in history and I wanted to see how the authors would cut all the important events down into a manageable group for kids. These books take us on a journey through time and provide an excellent overview that will not tax young readers. Although this book barely scratches the surface of all the events that took place over the century, the authors do make the events come alive with personal accounts that relate the thoughts, actions and attitudes of ordinary men, women, and children that actually experienced the events at the time. You will read stories of the immigrant experience, the wars and injustices, the change in movies and sports, space exploration, bus boycotts, the New York Fair through the eyes of an electrician's daughter, the women's movement and much more. Readers can sit down and read the whole book or just read about a certain event. The books include a great index at the back to help kids use the books as a reference.
    The global events are included only from the perspective of their impact on Americans. Also, there are some events covered which may be a little disturbing to younger children (that is why I increased the age recommendation to 10 and over). However, there is a lot to be learned from history and I believe that kids can understand the past better with books that make it come to life for them. Sometimes this means making wars, depression, revolution and communism come to life in a way that makes some kids a little uncomfortable. It can open their eyes to what society is capable of at its best and worst. But hopefully it will add meaning and help change the future with the lessons they will learn. As with all books, parents should be prepared to review the books with their children and discuss anything that makes them become confused or uncomfortable. I did not find the stories disturbing, but enlightening and I think you will too. As an example, the authors talk about the Martin Luther King assassination. Rather than focus just on the facts of the event, the authors chose to relate the reaction of Robert Kennedy at a campaign rally. After announcing that King had been killed, he told them, "You can be filled with bitterness, with hatred and a desire for revenge, "he said. "We can move in that direction as a country..Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed.with an effort to understand, with compassion and love." By highlighting important quotes like this, the authors make the stories more personal and also leave the readers with a sense of hope in the future and purpose for the events. The major themes of change and race will leave the reader with the feeling that one event or person can definitely make quite a difference on our lives. It is definitely worth reading all three books. It will make you look at the past, and the future, in a different way.

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