Abundantly illustrated with gorgeous historical paintings, the text of this book covers the chapter of American history that led to the Declaration of Independence. Beautifully written, this is history at its best—alive and fascinating. The entire text of the Declaration of Independence follows the story, as does a chronology of events, a selected bibliography, and an index. A great gift option. 2000, Holiday House, Inc., $24.95. Ages 10 to 12. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
In these times when principles are questioned more than upheld, it is illuminating to return to our country's beginnings. Award-winning nonfiction writer, Russell Freedman does just that, and Freedman tells history like a story. His descriptions, well-selected quotations, and immediacy of style transport readers back in time. Freedman describes the forefathers through their actions, eccentricities and personalities. Men like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are introduced in the context of the events leading to, during and after the Revolutionary War when great men were searching for principles to define the new country. 2000, Holiday House, $24.95. Ages 9 up. Reviewer: Susie Wilde
Author of the Newbery-winning Lincoln: A Photobiography (Houghton Mifflin, 1987) and many acclaimed books on American history, Freedman returns with an outstanding examination of the unrest that eventually led to the Declaration of Independence. From the Boston Tea Party through the placement of the final signature on the document, each chapter is told simply using straightforward language and historic paintings and portraits from the era. Students researching the Stamp Acts, the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Massacre, the influence of Thomas Paine's writings, or the fighting during the Revolutionary War will be delighted with the clear, concise retellings here. A final chapter covers the irony that the Declaration's primary drafter, Thomas Jefferson, was a slave owner. Also discussed is how this "living document" continues to relate to newer generations, having been used by social reformers such as Martin Luther King. Included at the end are the full text of the Declaration, facsimiles of the first and final drafts, a list of all its signers, a chronology of events covered in the book's chapters, and the fascinating story of the efforts made over the years to protect and preserve the document from the ravages of war and time. This book includes everything the reader needs to know to understand the document's significance. Every library should have copies—both in the children's library and the adult section. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; 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). 2000,Holiday House, 90p, Oversize. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Kevin Beach SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Known for his stellar biographies and superb nonfiction, Freedman now offers a fine book about the creation of one of the nation's most important historical documents. The first five chapters vividly bring to life the events that led to Colonial uprising and revolt. The next three chapters describe the Second Continental Congress, formation of the Continental Army, Battle of Bunker Hill, and drafting of the Declaration by Thomas Jefferson. The final chapter discusses the impact of the famous document at the time it was written and its continuing importance, and offers practical information about its preservation, storage, and display. The author points out the important roles women, slaves, and free blacks played in the Revolution, but is also careful to note the restrictions placed on these groups by the white male majority. Quotations from journals, essays, speeches, letters, and songs of the day add color to the compelling narration. Many bold reproductions, in color and black and white, supplement the text. A must for every collection.-Leah J. Sparks, Bowie Public Library, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. "Your Rights and Mine" traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is "Visiting the Declaration of Independence." It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)Gray, Dianne E. HOLDING UP THE EARTH Houghton Mifflin (224 pp.) Oct. 2000