Don't Know Much About American History

Don't Know Much About American History

3.3 8
by Kenneth C. Davis, Matt Faulkner
     
 

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As best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis knows, history can be fun, fascinating, and memorable. When his don't know much about history was published in 1990, it was a sensation. The book delivered a fresh take on history with its wit and unusual detail. Davis now does for young people what his earlier book did for adults. In his trademark question-and-answer style --… See more details below

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Overview

As best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis knows, history can be fun, fascinating, and memorable. When his don't know much about history was published in 1990, it was a sensation. The book delivered a fresh take on history with its wit and unusual detail. Davis now does for young people what his earlier book did for adults. In his trademark question-and-answer style -- peppered with surprising facts, historic reproductions, and Matt Faulkner's lively illustrations -- Davis introduces our ancestors who settled the East and expanded the West, as well as those who had been living here all along. His sure touch brings the drama and excitement of the American story vividly to life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using his highly successful q&a formula and proceeding chronologically, Kenneth C. Davis adds to his series for young people with Don't Know Much About American History, illus. by Matt Faulkner. Readers may be surprised to learn, for example, that the ratification of the constitution was not "a sure thing," requiring nine of the 13 states' approval (Virginia and New York were two of the holdouts) or that 17 African-American men were elected to Congress between 1869 and 1876. Sidebars, brief bios, copious quotes and Faulkner's pen-and-inks keep the design lively. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Davis is the best-selling author of several Don't Know Much About...(r) books, from picture books to adult titles. He writes about curriculum-related materials in a conversational style, mainly using a question-and-answer format. In this middle-grade volume, most questions are straightforward, although Davis includes some true-false and multiple choice; and in the "Setting It Straight" category, he corrects some commonly held misconceptions. Many questions contain double entendres, such as "Was the Cold War fought in Alaska?" and "Who was left standing at Custer's Last Stand?" Related information is printed in sidebars, including "American English," whose entries describe linguistic changes and word additions. "American Stories" provides tales of people such as Pocahontas and the teenager who died of AIDS, Ryan White. "American Voices" contains quotes from famous Americans such as Abraham Lincoln and John Glenn. "American Portraits" offers biographies of some of the founding fathers, Benjamin Banneker, Sequoyah, Jane Addams, Harry Houdini, and Rachel Carson, and "Great American Pastimes" includes articles about the rise of baseball, the circus, and television. The book begins with the European discovery of America and ends with the events of September 11. It provides good coverage of women and minorities. The book is highly readable, informative, and entertaining. The publisher lists the intended audience as eight to twelve years old, but the readability and subject matter seem better suited to ten- to sixteen-year-olds or older. This volume could be used as supplementary material for report writing, but its main accomplishment is in providing a readable overview of American history. ISBN0-06-440836-1. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, HarperCollins, 224p, Munat <%ISBN%>0060286032
KLIATT
By this time, Kenneth Davis is well known for his "Don't Know Much About..." series. In ...American History, he starts off blithely with the wooly mammoth of pre-history, bounces through the early explorers ("Why isn't American called Columbia?"), the Civil War ("Why didn't the North just let the South go?") and on to America's future ("By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that only 53 percent of Americans will be..." The answer is non-Hispanic white). With clever illustrations, photographs, multiple choice questions, and pertinent quotations, Davis moves his reader along and is never condescending toward those who "don't know much." While the book is aimed at ages 8 to 12, YAs will enjoy this informative—often amusing but serious when necessary—romp through American history. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, HarperTrophy, 224p. illus. bibliog. index., Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-One thing Davis does know about American history is how to make it fun to read. The question-and-answer format invites readers to dip in for a quick browse, picking up a fact or two with little effort. The chronological arrangement covers U.S. history from discovery through the events of September 11, 2001, using queries such as "What does our government have in common with a tightrope walker?" to prompt a look at balance of power, or "Did the United States have to drop the atomic bombs on Japan?" and admitting that there is no easy answer. The author clearly enjoys American history, and he writes with wit and carefully chosen detail to bring the story to life. Black-and-white photos and illustrations complement the text, as do sidebars and quotations. Kate Kelly and Anne Zeman's Everything You Need to Know about American History Homework (Scholastic, 1994), a ready reference overview that includes lots of graphs and charts, is another entertaining presentation; its information is more immediately accessible, making it a better choice for report writers.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
USA Today
“[Davis] steers an intelligent, non-partisan course through the thorny issues of the past.”
Washington Post Book World
“Put the zest back in history”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060286040
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/14/2003
Series:
Don't Know Much About Series
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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