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What better way for young readers to truly understand another era than to spend a day in the life of another child? Like On a Medieval Day and On a Canadian Day before it, On an American Day Volume 1 uses nine extraordinary pieces of historical fiction ? covering American history from 1750?1899 ? to give young readers an intimate look at life in another place and time.
On an American Day Volume 1 begins with the story of Patrick, an Irish-Catholic immigrant seeking relief from ...
What better way for young readers to truly understand another era than to spend a day in the life of another child? Like On a Medieval Day and On a Canadian Day before it, On an American Day Volume 1 uses nine extraordinary pieces of historical fiction — covering American history from 17501899 — to give young readers an intimate look at life in another place and time.
On an American Day Volume 1 begins with the story of Patrick, an Irish-Catholic immigrant seeking relief from religious persecution in Pennsylvania in 1755. From there, readers meet more characters living through historic events like the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the Johnstown flood; through civil rights milestones like the Emancipation Proclamation; and through national achievements like the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and the opening of the Perkins School for the Blind. The book ends at the turn of the 20th century with the founding of Hull House in Chicago.
Through these carefully researched and engaging stories, a complex and fascinating portrait of a nation emerges, told through a child’s everyday life activities. Detailed backgrounder pages accompany each story, using facts, maps, photos, and illustrations to bring readers further into history.
Brief fictional sketches walk readers through 150 years of American history.
Arato takes nine powerful slices of American history—such as Valley Forge, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Gold Rush, the founding of the Perkins School for the Blind and Berea College, Hull House, the Johnstown Flood—and wraps them in neat, emotive, unvarnished stories that feature a day in the life of a child caught up in the action. Shannon introduces each segment with an atmospheric illustration, Disney-like scene-setters that function as launching pads for the affecting tales. One may be as plain as the miseries of war—"The Union army regrouped at Bull Run under a pall of defeat so thick, it seemed to suck the air from the sky"—while another may take a more psychological air, as one boy hides a gold nugget so his father can't gamble it away. Only rarely does the author let the sheer fervor of the story lead her onto shaky ground: Did the Oneida Nation really consider the Revolutionary War as "our cause," or as a strategic alliance? (She clarifies in a fact-based endnote—one accompanies each chapter—that the Oneidas were ultimately given the raw end of the stick, their treaty lands diminished from 6 million acres to 32 acres.)
Overall, the stories are engaging and inspiring, from the tribulations that came upon Emancipation to the strange new world opened to Chinese workers recruited for the Transcontinental Railroad to the pure brilliance of a school for the blind.(Historical fiction. 9-13)
Excerpted from On an American Day Volume 1 by Rona Arato Copyright © 2011 by Rona Arato. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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A Different Kind of Friend: Pennsylvania, 1755
Patrick and his family arrive in Pennsylvania seeking relief from the persecution they experienced in Ireland as Catholics. Now, Patrick must learn to extend that same religious freedom to others.
A Recipe for Victory: Valley Forge, 1778
Little Fox’s tribe, the Oneida, ally with the Colonists during the Revolutionary War. One day, Little Fox travels with a band to bring bushels of corn to aid George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge.
A New Way to See: Massachusetts, 1838
Emma is about to begin a new life at the newly opened Asylum for the Blind. Once there, school director Samuel Gridley Howe teaches her to read books printed with Boston Line Type, a system he invents.
A Gold Nugget for Adam: California, 1855
Adam complains about the wet, muddy conditions that he and his father face while prospecting for gold. The discovery of a gold nugget changes their attitudes and their fortunes — but for better or worse?
A Boy with a Drum: Virginia, 1862
Samuel is a drummer boy for the Union Army during the Civil War. Now, going into his first battle, Samuel begins to realize the seriousness of war and that the Confederate soldiers are human, too.
The Last Rail: Utah, 1869
Chan and 4,000 other workers have worked all through 1868 to build the transcontinental railroad. Now, with the job nearly done, he faces a choice: return to China or build a new life in America.
No More Masters: Kentucky, 1867
Cora moves to Kentucky with her family once slavery is abolished. There, she attends Berea College, the first school to accept both black and white students, and meets Susan B. Anthony.
Finding Sarah: Pennsylvania, 1889
Anna survives the terrible flood that destroys her hometown of Johnstown. Then, she works with Clara Barton and the Red Cross to help other survivors.
A New Hope: Illinois, 1899
When her baby sister gets a fever, Luisa realizes she must overcome her mother’s pride and seek the charity of Hull House, the settlement house founded by Jane Addams.