On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to approve the newly written U.S. Constitution. That action set the stage for the state's nickname—"The First State," which continues to remain in place. Delaware has a rich and interesting colonial history. Originally the homeland of a group of Native people whom European settlers generally described as the Delaware, the coming of European colonists soon set the stage for their displacement. Delaware's first European settlers were primarily from Sweden. Then, decades later, Dutch colonists moved into the area and took control of it. Finally, in the late 17th century, English military force exerted itself and Delaware became a Crown Colony, first as a portion of Pennsylvania, and then as an autonomous settlement. Over the years, residents of Delaware saw themselves moving from the role of loyal subjects to that of active rebels. In 1775, Delaware joined the other Thirteen Colonies in their break from King George's reign. Muriel L. Dubois briefly touches upon all these topics, and more, in this chapter of the illustrated "American Colonies" series. In this elementary-aged social studies text, Dubois also interjects some interesting side notes about slavery, the lot of indentured servants, and childhood in the Delaware colony. Taken as a whole, this is a thoughtful little book that could well augment the study of the colonial history of this eastern state. Part of the "Fact Finders" series.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Basic historical overviews. Each title looks at "First People" (Native Americans who lived in the area), "Early Settlers," "Colonial Life," "Work and Trade," "Community and Faith," and "Becoming a State." The information is presented in large type and short paragraphs, making it accessible to emergent readers. The format is inviting, making good use of color and illustrations without being overly busy. Each book has a link to publisher-selected Internet sites, and three titles for further reading. For depth of information, these titles cannot compete with the more detailed and longer treatments in the "Life in the Thirteen Colonies" (Children's Press) or "The Thirteen Colonies" (Facts On File) series. However, for younger students needing a brief introduction to the topic, these books are serviceable additions.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.