Secret American History: From Witch Trials to Internment Camps

Secret American History: From Witch Trials to Internment Camps

by Norman Pearl, Nel Yomtov
     
 

America’s history is filled with mysterious events, and not all of them are found in the history books. Who really killed President James Garfield? What actually happened at the Salem witch trials? Learn about the answers to these questions and more in Secret American History.

Overview

America’s history is filled with mysterious events, and not all of them are found in the history books. Who really killed President James Garfield? What actually happened at the Salem witch trials? Learn about the answers to these questions and more in Secret American History.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
This brief description of nine historical situations that uncover information about America's past begins by suggesting that the young reader should review the facts and make up his or her own mind. But a reader who has not yet developed the critical tools for evaluating facts may have difficulty following that direction in some of the examples given. The first mystery deals with the Kensington Runestone, a stone found in Minnesota in 1898. Although the stone is covered with ancient Viking runes, most language experts do not accept it as authentic. The next mystery is the disappearance of the colony created in 1587 by English settlers on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. The third is the cause of the behavior of Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, the Salem Village girls who accused other villagers of witchcraft. Their accusations led to the arrests of over one hundred people and the deaths of nineteen of them. A different sort of example is that of the Underground Railroad, the secret route that helped slaves escape to the northern United States and Canada from around 1810 to 1849. The next example is the death of President James Garfield in 1881. Charles Guiteau shot the president in the back, intending to kill him, but argued at his trial that the doctors who enlarged and infected the wound in their attempt to find the bullet were actually responsible for the president's death. In 1941, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered over one hundred thousand Japanese Americans, many of whom were United States citizens, to be forced out of their homes and held in internment camps on the grounds that they might be enemy spies. Part of the "Secret America"series. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
School Library Journal
Gr 3–4—An extremely broad definition of "secret" is used as a vehicle to discuss bits of American legend and trivia concerning little-known—or locally known—people, places, or things. Nine two- or three-page chapters briefly sketch the history of the topic. People discusses the Freemasons, the Mole People, and the CIA. History includes Roanoke, the Underground Railroad, and McCarthyism. The book limits the life of the Underground Railroad from 1810 to 1840, when it operated well into the 1860s. McCarthyism is limited to the 1940s, but it ran rampant well into the 1950s. Places includes Roswell, NM, the Great Lakes Triangle, and Area 51. In Treasures, children learn about Fort Knox, Grant Wood's American Gothic, and Route 66. It states that the original U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima was taken as a souvenir. According to James Bradley and Ron Powers's Flags of Our Fathers (Delacorte, 2001), this is not the case. Though parts of all of the texts are based on fact, much of their content is based on speculation. The black-and-white and color photos and a few paintings are mediocre. Most captions repeat information in the text and each title ends abruptly. Children are encouraged to search their local library and the Internet to find more "secrets," but are given no direction about how to do so. These books might make intriguing reading for some youngsters, but their limited content makes them marginal purchases.—Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429633604
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Series:
Secret America Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
IG730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

LONG VERSION:

Norman Pearl has written 10 children’s books. He writes on both science and social studies topics and can’t decide which he likes better.

Norman lives in tropical Miami, Florida, with his wife and son. They have a small, white, fluffy dog named Max. Max thinks he is human, so the four of them go just about everywhere together.
Norman usually writes his books under a palm tree while sipping lemonade. When he needs a break, he jumps in the pool for a swim. Usually, the rest of the family follows him in.

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