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Brainjuice: American History, Fresh Squeezed!: Handprint Books Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-These more than 40 short poems, filled with humor high and low, don't really attempt to teach about the events, but they offer amusing commentary on them. Like fractured fairy tales, they are best read by those already familiar with the material referenced, in this case, U.S. history from the dinosaur age ("The first Americans who roamed the prairie/Were kind of big and kind of scary") to the present day (the close call election of 2000 shows George W. as a jack-in-the-box, popping out of a ballot box). The tone takes a serious turn at the Trail of Tears, both World Wars (although Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini are each described as being "worse than a movie meanie"), and the fall of the World Trade Center Towers. The poems may not be great literature, but there are more hits than misses, and the irreverent tone will appeal to older kids. A time line runs along the top of each page, covering items important (the Industrial Revolution) and intriguing (1938 states, "Radio drama of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds causes national panic"). Numerous pen-and-ink drawings add style and fun. Like all good cartoonists, Thompson knows how to do a lot with a little, and makes it look effortless as well. Creative teachers will find a multitude of uses for this book. Kids may enjoy writing their own poems about historical events. Recent studies show a general lack of interest in and knowledge of history. Brain Juice may help counteract this trend.
Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Carol Diggory Shields is a poet and librarian whose books routinely garner stars and generate sales. The author of Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stop , Food Fight! , and the Animagicals series, she lives in Salinas, California.

Richard Thompson s political cartoons are published regularly in the Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report .

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Series: BrainJuice
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Hand Print; First Edition Thus edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593541201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593541200
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,638,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My 10 year old daughter has an interest in the history of the American Revolution. As a result, I purchased BRAIN JUICE AMERICAN HISTORY FRESH SQUEEZED. To pass the time on a plane ride, I started reading some of the poems to her. After I stopped, she started asking questions like, "Who is FDR?" "What do CCC and WPA stand for?" She wanted to know more about the Great Depression and how the stock market works. BRAIN JUICE opened the flood gates of questions and learning under the guise of playtime.

I suspect that BRAIN JUICE would be a wonderful tool for history teachers. The poems will get students to ask questions and learn about history in a painless manner. I hope the Shields will do the same thing for science.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My children (9 & 11) and I love this book! You'll be amazed at what you can learn from this creative poetry. Reading this book will probably be the most fun you ever have learning about people and events in American History. It's pretty short, so you'll likely finish the entire book in one sitting, but it's SO CUTE! My daughter took this book to school to share with her class. I'm hoping to find more poetry of this sort from Carol Diggory Shields. You'll love it!
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