We the People: Poems

Overview

Listen up.

Can you hear America talking?

In these sixty-five first-person poems, Americans--some who really lived, some who might have lived--tell it like it is. In the process they illuminate and personify the American experience and the history of the United States. Here are Americans from five centuries, from all walks of life, from presidents to pioneers, from indentured servants to freedom fighters, from ...

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Overview

Listen up.

Can you hear America talking?

In these sixty-five first-person poems, Americans--some who really lived, some who might have lived--tell it like it is. In the process they illuminate and personify the American experience and the history of the United States. Here are Americans from five centuries, from all walks of life, from presidents to pioneers, from indentured servants to freedom fighters, from regular kids to astronauts...What are they talking about? What would you talk about?

Perfect for sharing, for reading aloud, for reading alone, for performing, for memorizing, for investigating...here is a splendid collection of poems, an original and compelling chorus of voices. You can be sure that someone has something to say on each and every page.

Listen up.

A collection of sixty-five original poems that depict people and events throughout the history of the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-These 65 poems represent a cross section of American voices, from Colonial times up to the end of the 20th century. Katz places herself in the shoes of a variety of different characters to express their thoughts and feelings at particular moments in history. For the purposes of verisimilitude, an individual's name, location, and a date is given for each entry. Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other historical figures join the ranks of imaginary men, women, and children. For instance, in "Inauguration Day Thoughts," George Washington muses on the heavy responsibility he is about to take on as the nation's first president. "My White House Education" tells what a maid learns about international affairs while serving President James Monroe his dinner. Twenty-eight of the poems were originally published in Katz's American History Poems (Scholastic, 1998), but the majority of the selections are new. While most of them are well written, a few do not scan well. Quibbles aside, the poetry is nicely varied in meter and tone, which helps sustain the premise that a multitude of Americans are speaking directly to readers. An attractive full-color collage appears "At the Edge of" each century. Katz's book is unique in offering such a strong sense of time and place. It will find its greatest use in the classroom, providing teachers with an effective way of introducing students to history, and will be a good source of material for creative dramatics, or even a class pageant.- Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688165314
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Bobbi Katz is a poet, writer, and activist, and her poetry is widely anthologized. Her collection of poems about American history, We the People, was named an ALA Booklist Top Ten Poetry Pick. She is the author of several other books of poetry, including Once Around the Sun, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; Pocket Poems, illustrated by Marylin Hafner; and A Rumpus of Rhymes, illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas. She lives in New York City and Port Ewen, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Arriving in Virginia

Nathaniel Peacock
near the James River, Virginia, April 26, 1607
The swell of the waves
became part of me.
Five months on the Godspeed.
Five months at sea.
My feet don't seem to understant.
They're not on a deck.
They're on land! They're on land!
And all about us green, green, green!
The tallest trees I've ever seen.
Oh, lucky, lucky, lucky me!
This green land is my destiny.
A hundred men
and boys--just four--
with a feast of green
to explore...to explore!


We the People. Copyright © by Bobbi Katz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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