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120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting the Real Story
A few years ago - my older daughter was maybe 11 - we listened to the entire History of US series on tape in the car. It really opened up my eyes, and now I'm reading through the series again with my younger daughter, who is 10.

History and social studies were never my favorite subjects in school; in fact, I seemed to have some sort of mental block where that...
Published on April 24, 2008 by Karen Wood-Campbell

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24 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay but not great.
Many of the sentence structures are awkward, but that is a style issue. There is a religious bias and I'm surprised at the reviews that dismiss it. It tries hard to be fair, but falls short in the first few books. There are also some editing errors. This is the best out there, but I still don't recommend it be used alone. It needs to be heavily supplemented. The worst is...
Published on December 6, 2010 by HH


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120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting the Real Story, April 24, 2008
This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
A few years ago - my older daughter was maybe 11 - we listened to the entire History of US series on tape in the car. It really opened up my eyes, and now I'm reading through the series again with my younger daughter, who is 10.

History and social studies were never my favorite subjects in school; in fact, I seemed to have some sort of mental block where that subject area was concerned. In high school, as a straight-A student in a rigorous private college prep school, I was poised to fail US History. Before the final, my teacher called me into his office and said "It's obvious that you have a mental block where this subject is concerned, so I'm going to go way out on a limb here." He handed me a packet of papers and said "Here are the questions that are going to be on the exam. If you ever tell anyone I did this, I'll lose my job; I'm trusting that you won't."

I spent that weekend - a beautiful spring weekend with my public-schooled friend from across the street constantly tempting me to get out of the house - frantically studying those questions. I settled myself at the dining room table and hardly moved from it the whole weekend. (Keep in mind that I was the kind of straight-A student that everyone hates - I hardly ever spent much time studying.) When the exam day came, I nervously tackled the test. Later the grade came in - I had barely passed, with a D.

So - no, history was not my strong suit, and I always avoided it after that. Until I homeschooled my kids, and listened to _A History of US_. Not only do I now LOVE American History, but I, as the homeschooling parent, have a much, much better sense of what it means to be an American, and have a renewed sense of pride in our country - not the shallow, flag-waving, blind patriotism kind of pride, but the kind of pride that makes me want to defend the principles and ideas our country was really founded on from people who would twist them around in order to protect the interests of the rich and powerful.

The series is definitely not biased - it's used by everyone from Christians to ex-hippies like me. But the author, Joy Hakim, refuses to pander to the usual textbook-summary myth-propagating versions of US History that, while appearing to be objective (how could anything that dry and boring not be?), are anything but. Every so often, she'll stop in the middle of her narrative to look at a period of history or historical event from the Native American or African-American point of view, or talk about women or Indians or African-Americans who were important figures at the time but who are seldom acknowledged in the usual school texts. She uses liberal quotes from primary sources, and spends a lot of time explaining the cultural background of historical periods, putting things in their context - refusing to go the easy route of dividing people into good vs. bad, delving into the philosophies and ideologies of many of the key players in the formation of the U.S., and asking tough, "what would you have done in this situation" types of questions - the kinds of questions that are FAR more meaningful than "What was the date of Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown?"

In that sense, the books are very interactive, especially if you stop and discuss these questions. She wants her readers to think. And that's exactly what I did. And then when I read the idiocy that passes for political discourse now, I just want to stand up on the mountaintop and scream - or raise Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams from the dead and let them straighten people out themselves. If there is one thing I am most thankful for in being able to homeschool my kids, it's being able to give them the real scoop on American history, American government, and what it all *really* means.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids enjoy it, October 4, 2007
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
I'm using this as part of the Sonlight curriculum for US History. Lots of great color pictures, painting reproductions, etc. My 8th and 11th grade children both enjoy it, each gaining different knowledge based on their individual maturity level and interests. My son tends to remember the wars and fighting; his younger sister remembers people and relationships. Well written. Great product and price.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great set of US History books, December 4, 2007
This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
All five of my kids have used this entire series. We wore out a previous edition, and I restocked our home library with the latest edition. History comes alive and is fun in these pages. The emphasis on individuals playing roles throughout our history is what is really special. Great for all ages.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best US history books this teacher has ever read!, April 18, 2009
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
I have a set of these in my classroom, and use these books extensively with 7th and 8th graders. I wish every student had a set! These books are FUN--and that is rare in history books. It makes my job easier! I've seen these books recommended for ages 9-12, but I would even use them with high schoolers. The reading level is perhaps best suited to middle schoolers, but the information is interesting and well-presented, and that is the most important thing. Hey, I even love reading them! Hakim really brings American history alive, and she does it without bias. She makes students realize that these people--from Washington to Roosevelt to Nixon and beyond--are REAL people who made real decisions that affected our country. The focus is not on boring dates, but on human beings and how they affected the events of history, and how the events of history affected them. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch, April 16, 2008
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
Joy Hakim has written and created texts of the history of our country that are wonderful to read. There is nothing dry about her writing style - she draws the reader in and sends you off looking forward to the next chapter. Each chapter is refreshingly brief, yet she manages a constant flow of attention-getting facts and information from start to finish. As far as we've read, she has managed to write the truth without a particular political or religious slant, though obviously the subject matter is often about politics and religion. In addition, she gives us an open and honest look at both our successes and our mistakes. We are using this as our history curriculum. It's so encouraging to see my 14 year old son, a reluctant reader, grabbing any one of these books from the set to settle down and read for awhile! Nothing else has grabbed his attention quite like these have. It brings tears to my eyes. Thanks, Joy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Home Schooling Resource, January 27, 2009
This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
Homeschoolers or young readers in general would have to search long and hard for a better series of US History books. Neither of our two children were particulary interested in history, especially US history...it was "boring". But when we started in on this series, their interest soared.

The information presented in these volumes is amazingly thorough and yet written in such a way as to peak interest in the time period. There are numerous sidebar snippets, quotes from common folks of the times, pictures, etc. that enhance the flow of information. You just want to turn one more page to see what's next. I like to pride myself on my knowledge of US History; I've read many books on all aspects and yet I also enjoyed reading these books. Major themes of the time period are presented and unlike other history texts, I can find no political bias at all, one way or the other. All in all, I heartily recommend these books.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first amazon review, September 2, 2009
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Aaron Starer (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
I've never really bothered to write out a review on Amazon until now, but finding this series on here was such a pleasant surprise. When I was ten-years-old, my fifth-grade classroom had all ten volumes laying in one corner by the teacher's desk. I simply devoured them... the writing and general style was just very accessible and fascinated me at that age. Looking back today, I think it was a significant influence on my burgeoning interest in history. I'm now 21, about to finish college and working on an honors thesis in history; in another year, I hope to apply to graduate school and continue my studies. Although my focus is quite distant from American history, I still remember this series and the lessons it taught me very fondly. I think it's essential reading for kids interested in the past, and I'm happy to see that it's still around and inspiring new generations of fifth-graders more than a decade later.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, July 4, 2008
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
My family seems to enjoy these books. I purchased this set not as part of their assigned reading but as extras. As a homeschooling Mom of 4, getting books that are good to read and that my children enjoy reading in their free time is when I feel I have won in my challenge of providing great education, enjoyable reading. This has been a winner.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful read, March 21, 2008
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
The kids and I read it for fun. (It's also part of our homeschooling history work.) It is so well written that we always want to know what happens next.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fascinating and Fantastic!, February 1, 2010
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Julie (Los Olivos, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set (Paperback)
My 8-year old starts everyday enthusiastically with history thanks to Ms. Hakim's books. Her presentation of the material is fun and highly informative; she really gives you the whole picture and easily draws one in to the point of feeling what it all must have been like. Flor the younger set, the chapters are short, no overwhelming the reader. I highly recommend the teaching guide as it's full of great, thought-provoking questions, activity ideas and resources. Ms. Hakim has done an outstanding job of making U.S. History interesting and engaging for anyone of any age!
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A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set
A History of US: Eleven-Volume Set: Paperback Set by Joy Hakim (Paperback - March 5, 2007)
$175.45 $107.97
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