Children's Literature - Judy DaPolitoThe ten chapters of this book cover aspects of both historical and current information about the United States. The short first chapter focuses on the roles of immigrants, ranging from the ancestors of the Native Americans to the people who continue to come from other countries today. Next, the geography of the United States is described and then the country’s plant and animal life is explained. Chapter 4 gives an overview of United States history from the hunters-and-gatherers (who walked from Asia to North America on a stretch of land that was above water fifteen or twenty thousand years ago) through the arrival of the Europeans who established the thirteen colonies. The chapter continues by describing the events that led to the Revolutionary War. It also covers the Civil War, the struggles for women’s and workers’ rights, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, civil rights movement, the current problems of the economy, and military attempts to defeat terrorist threats. Next, the book lays out the structure of government in the United States from the overall role of the Constitution and its amendments through the branches of federal, state, county, and town governments. The book also discusses many of the ways Americans make their livings, including agriculture, manufacturing and mining, service, and transportation. There is a focus on the different nationalities that make up the population and discussion about the different religions practiced in the country. Readers will also examine art, literature, film, and music, and see components of daily life like where people live and go to school, what they eat, and how they entertain themselves. The book is well illustrated and makes good use of maps. Following the text is a two-page timeline that integrates American and world historical events, as well as four pages of fast facts, an informational website, a list of books and DVD’s for further research, and an index. The book is part of the “Enchantment of the World” series. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito; Ages 10 up.
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