Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry

Overview

Presenting American history through poetry, Lee Bennett Hopkins offers a unique perspective on each part of the American experience. Filled with wit, color, knowledge, and truth, these selections offer rich detail about the lives and events that have shaped our nation.
Each poet lends a particular voice and vision to the subject. From the founding of this nation, through the Great Depression and the wars we've fought, to the issues of today, ...

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Overview

Presenting American history through poetry, Lee Bennett Hopkins offers a unique perspective on each part of the American experience. Filled with wit, color, knowledge, and truth, these selections offer rich detail about the lives and events that have shaped our nation.
Each poet lends a particular voice and vision to the subject. From the founding of this nation, through the Great Depression and the wars we've fought, to the issues of today, these poems echo the emotions of our triumphs and defeats.
Here are all the varied people who make up America — the different races and their various ways of facing life. Their brave spirit speaks loudly in the special language of poetry. It opens our eyes to see in a new way that which we already knew.
Lee Bennett Hopkins, a renowned anthologist, has chosen with care a collection of poetry, some that readers know and some that they will come to know. Peter M. Fiore's magnificent paintings complement the poetry, offering a human portrait of us as we were and as we are today.

A collection of poems and lyrics from several songs provides a look at our country, from colonial times to the present.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
From the Pilgrim fathers to space exploration comes a panorama of poems detailing American history. Some poets such as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Rachel Field and Carl Sandburg will be familiar poetic masters, while others are introduced here for the first time. Nine sections relate the milestones of America in chronological order, telling of her historic events, brave heroes and the various people who make up such a diverse country. Praises are sung to Harriet Tubman, Nat Love, Barbara Frietchie and Molly Pitcher. Other poems are dedicated to pioneers, farmers, soldiers and Native Americans. Some familiar songs such as "Casey Jones" and "America, the Beautiful" are among the 78 poems included here. Breezy soft watercolors help to evoke the emotions of various eras in a book that invites the reader to revisit time after time. What a delightful way to learn history. Hopkin's collection would be terrific in an American studies program and could be used in oral presentations or skits. 2002 (orig. 1994), Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $20.00. Ages All. Reviewer: Laura Hummel AGES: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 adult
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A handsome volume that is at once a poetical history of the U.S. and an appealing, topical anthology of poems and lyrics. Arranged chronologically by subject, (rather than date written), the over 75 selections reflect the diversity of the various groups that came to the North American shores and helped shape our nation. Hopkins divides the country's past into nine arbitrary eras and presents 5-10 selections as representative of each period or theme. He includes patriotic songs, speeches, and individual anthems by a veritable feast of American poets, such as Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, and Robert Frost. Well-known contemporary poets and a few new voices also appear. The last four sections-those devoted to this century-seem a bit sketchy compared with the coverage of the more distant past. Unlike the earlier selections, many of which are often found in traditional textbooks, the poems in the latter half of the book address issues and events that are not part of standard elementary curricula. Fiore's bold impressionistic oil paintings, in the form of expansive tableaus and cameo vignettes, provide vivid visuals to go along with the poetic imagery. Overall, this attractive package will be a boon to classrooms from sea to shining sea.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Mary Harris Veeder
Because the format is open and uncrowded, readers may browse this collection with pleasure, note familiar voices such as Frost and Longfellow, and notice how many good pieces there are from Whitman, Hughes, and Sandburg. The text is divided into nine chronological sections, and double-page illustrations set the mood of different periods. These large illustrations are stronger than the greeting-card-like sketches that mingle with the poems. Selections from the earliest historical period are rather traditional, while those from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries show more diversity. Although putting Lincoln's Gettysburg Address into lines of poetry doesn't seem accurate and may confirm a child's sense that poetry is "fancy" while prose is "bare," doing so gives children one more chance to encounter a great piece of American writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671733155
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 641,176
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter M. Fiore has illustrated many books for children, including Touching the Sky by Louise Borden and Henry David's House, edited by Steven Schnur. Mr. Fiore has been interested in art since he was a young boy, and in addition to his book work, Mr. Fiore is well known as a fine artist. Mr. Fiore has received many awards and citations for his editorial illustration, including a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
Mr. Fiore lives along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania with his family.

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS is a distinguished poet, writer, and anthologist whose poetry collections include the highly acclaimed Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore, and My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and America at War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Mr. Hopkins’s numerous awards include the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature” and both the Christopher Award and a Golden Kite Honor for his verse novel Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS is a distinguished poet, writer, and anthologist whose poetry collections include the highly acclaimed Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore, and My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and America at War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Mr. Hopkins’s numerous awards include the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature” and both the Christopher Award and a Golden Kite Honor for his verse novel Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

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