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Declaration Of Independence Paperback – June 1, 2007


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See the books our editors' chose as the Best Children's Books of 2014 So Far or see the lists by age: Baby-2 | Ages 3-5 | Ages 6-8 | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439703158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439703154
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 7.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,173,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When pondering the Declaration of Independence, many readers get as far as "When in the course of human events..." before their eyes glaze over. But when author-illustrator Sam Fink took the time to read the document, he was so impressed, he decided to do what he could to make it more accessible to everyone. By dividing the text into short phrases, hand lettering the words on one page, and illustrating the ideas expressed on the facing page, Fink succeeded marvelously in his goal. His scratchy, historically accurate illustrations are compelling (and often witty) in their representation of the Declaration's significance. In one spread, the text reads "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." On the facing page, a grumpy King George stands over a dictionary opened to a definition of tyrant, pointing to the word and saying, "THAT'S ME!" and "I am also a usurper." A complete version of the Declaration of Independence follows the illustrated portion of the book, as well as a chronology of events, a glossary of terms (such as "usurpations"), and a selected bibliography. A fabulously readable surprise! (Ages 10 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Infused with humor and a contagious patriotism, newcomer Fink's visual interpretation of the Declaration of Independence will help youngsters read between the sometimes puzzling lines of this monumental document. Fink breaks up this fervent, articulate proclamation into brief, elegantly hand-lettered phrases, which he pairs with etching-like artwork that evokes the period of the document s authorship and elucidates the words meaning. As the Declaration specifies the colonists grievances against King George III, the comically hyperbolic cross-hatch illustrations depict inventive symbols for the despised British rule and a range of comical parodies of the monarch. Opposite the statement He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records is a picture of an elaborate maze, with a building atop a steep cliff at its center and a caption that reads, Enter here to get to the King s meeting place. On a spread declaring that the king is a Tyrant,... unfit to be the ruler of a free people, Fink shows an empty throne with a sign announcing Be back soon. Gone to Class in Advanced Tyranny! Geo III. And with playful anachronism, the illustrator shows Patrick Henry holding a contemporary New Hampshire license plate (bearing the slogan Live Free or Die and the tag number 1776) opposite the assertion that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States. This clever and inspiring volume concludes with a glossary and chronology of events leading up to the drafting of the Declaration. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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If you are teaching young folks about the Declaration, this book is perfect!
A. Lowry
Book also includes a glossary of Jefferson's beautiful words, a Revolution chronology, and index.
Amazon Customer
Good for adults and kids to quickly read the Declaration and understand its meaning.
Jill Mayfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As Sam Fink tells the reader in his forward: "For as long as I can remember, every Fourth of July The New York Times reproduced a copy of the original Declaration of Independence on the back page. Each time it appeared, I would look it over with admiration and go out to celebrate..." "A couple of years ago, I thought I would actually try to read it... Reading it over several times, enjoying it more and more, I became very impressed with Thomas Jefferson's logic. I liked his argument of how unfairly the colonies were being treated, how they couldn't stand it anymore, and they needed to break away from Great Britain. So, I planned a project..." And that project became this book, The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America. Mr Fink has taken the document apart, dividing it into short, more easily understood phrases. Each two-page spread features one beautifully, hand lettered phrase, accompanied by a clever and engaging illustration of its meaning. It's the captivating artwork, rich in historical detail and playful wit, that really brings the significance of these great words to life. Mr Fink also includes the complete text of the Declaration, informative chronology "that transformed loyal subjects of Great Britain into rebellious, patriotic Americans," a comprehensive glossary, selected bibliography and resources, and index at the end, to further explain and enlighten. Perfect for youngsters 10 and older, The Declaration Of Independence is a marvelously evocative experience that both inspires and captures the imagination, and is most definitely one of the best new books of 2002. "The words that made America can now be shared with people of all ages; and they can help us understand what the Founding Fathers created for all of us who have followed. Freedom...oh, sweet freedom."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Periodically you will hear stories about how people go to Shopping Malls on the 4th of July and try to get people to sign a petition that talks about the people having the right to alter or to abolish the government and listing a bunch of grievances against the state. Many citizens refuse to sign the reactionary document, considering it some sort of "commie propaganda," but, of course, the joke is on them because they are being asked to sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The document is something that everybody would say they believe in, but very few people have actually read.
Sam Fink tries to remedy that problem with "The Declaration of Independence," which provides "the words that made America" inscribed and illustrated (Thomas Jefferson gets a credit for the "text"). Fink provides the complete text of the Declaration, broken down phrase by phrase, with each word hand lettered and accompanied by a colorful illustration that attempts to bring the document to life. These colored pen and ink drawings are a mixture of political cartoons and symbolic iconography. The more you know about the American Revolution and the events leading up to the writing and singing of the Declaration the more you will appreciate what Fink is doing. Unfortunately, I think most young readers are going to miss the subtleties here and since the volume is not annotated, they are not going to gain those insights here.
Still, chances are those same students will be more likely to actually read the entire Declaration this way than they will if they just see it printed up normally as it is in the back of this book. That is where they will also find a chronology of the events and documents that transformed the loyal subject of Great Britain into the rebellious American patriots, as well as a glossary that will explain the meanings of "abdicated," "inestimable," "rectitude" and other words that are not exactly part of the common vernacular today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Large, phrase-by-phrase drawings in clever, political cartoon style, Fink's illustrations do justice to document itself. Fun for kids, but advanced enough to entertain any audience. Book also includes a glossary of Jefferson's beautiful words, a Revolution chronology, and index.

I recommend it for all ages.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ingemi VINE VOICE on July 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A version of the Declaration that my kids can actually read and understand thanks to the artistry of Sam Fink.
An excellent opportunity to introduce your children to one of the founding documents of the nation.
A similar volume on the constitution would be most welcome.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
1.This book sums up the Declaration of Independence and who wrote it and how it was made. On all that was happening in the time that it was wrote.

2.I personal liked the book and enjoyed it. I love history and enjoy the Declaration. It helped me further understand the declaration and its meaning. I have a better understanding of it.

3. The main story element in this book is characteriaztion because it does a good job discribing the writers and King George and how they were at the time the Declaration was writin.Characteriazation is what a charcter is like what he/she does to show personality.

4.I have rated this book 5 stars because it is a wonderful history book. If you like the decaration and histroy you would like this book. If you like Sam Fink you would also like this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
1.) The book The Declaration of Independence basically is the exact word for word of the Declaration of Independence. It talks about the committe who wrote it, when it was wrote, and why it was wrote.

2.) My opinion was 5 stars on the book because of the detail of who wroted it and you can learn the words and meaning of the Declaration of Independence.

3.) The main story element was characterization becaus it talked and dissed King George a lot. Also quite a bit about the writers of the Declaration of Independence.

4.) The book is 5 stars for anyone who wants to understand the Declaration of Independence and know about who wrote it.
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