The Century for Young People: 1936-1961: Defining America [NOOK Book]


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

Adapted from the #1 national bestseller especially for young readers!

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 ...
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The Century for Young People: 1936-1961: Defining America

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

Adapted from the #1 national bestseller especially for young readers!

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 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 resouce. It is the story of our time for all time.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Imagine storming the beaches at Normandy as part of the invasion of Nazi occupied Europe. Think about living in age of the Dust Bowl and what it must have been like to experience the Great Depression. Contemplate what being one of the first African-Americans to defy conventions and enter a "whites only" diner. These are the memories that help make history come to life. It is first person accounts such as these which enliven book two of this three volume history of the twentieth century. In this book readers are given an overview of the middle decades of the past century. During that time period Hitler came to power, World War II was fought, the Cold War emerged, the Baby Boomer generation was born, and America went through wrenching issues linked to McCarthyism and racial segregation. It is these subjects that make up the lion's share of this fine historical work. All through the text the authors include primary source materials in the form of remembrances that bring the subject matter to life. This "you are there" approach works well and results in a compelling look at an age that engendered historically earth shaking changes and events. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375893964
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,182,428
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Peter Jennings (1938-2005) was chief anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. In more than forty 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 the hundreds of programs he was a part of, he treasured those he had done with and for the young. 

Todd Brewster was the senior editorial producer of ABC's The Century television series. In more than twenty-five 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 director of the Center for Oral History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Worth a Read just to witness the personal stories!

    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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