The men argued all summer in the hot room. The United States needed a new government. But would the Founding Fathers be able to agree on a plan? Here’s the story.
Children's Literature - Paula K. ZellerWritten within the constraints of the easy-to-read nonfiction series "Our American Story," this book does an admirable job, overall, of introducing the complex history of the U.S. Constitution. Author Lori Mortensen begins with the close of the Revolutionary War and concludes with the 1791 addition of the Bill of Rights. One important piece of history missing in this account is the existence of the Articles of Confederation at the war's end, and the original mission of the Constitutional Convention to revise that flawed document. Instead, the book begins: "The United States had won the Revolutionary War, and now it needed its own set of rules. Writing these rules was not going to be easy." Some concepts do not lend themselves to simplification; for example: "Each state would have votes based on its population" begs the question, votes by whom and for what? Another quibble, as with the other books in this series, is the absence of source notes. This would have been especially useful for exploring the statement "Some people said the United States was like a monster with thirteen heads!" and what appears to be a reproduction of a period illustration of that monster, labeled "Unite or Die," on pages four and five. Siri Weber Feeney's simple illustrations help convey the stifling Philadelphia summer and the onerous task of drafting the Constitution. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, recommended books, and the address for FactHound, "a safe, fun way to find Internet sites related to this book." Reviewer: Paula K. Zeller
School Library JournalGr 3-5–These books introduce the people and events of the American Revolution, providing basic information as well as a short analysis of each event or person's importance. The books are illustrated with well-executed, full-page, color illustrations, maps, and photos. American Flag (which clearly states that the Betsy Ross story is a myth) and Paul Revere are more tightly focused and readable than the other two titles, which tackle subjects that are more difficult to cover in such brief texts. However, the books all provide accurate, clearly written information that students can use for either leisure reading or reports, and are good choices for introductory American history classes.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >