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How the U.S. Government Works Paperback – September 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764111116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764111112
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By "galaseller" on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this as a reference book for my middle school-aged children. It does not get bogged down with lengthy discussions. Rather, it is written for the younger crowd and does exactly what I wanted it to do. I would recommend this book to parents looking for a simplified explanation for their children of how the U.S. government is set up.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karen G. on February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a homeschooling mother, I am very concerned about bias in the curriculum I choose, particularly when it comes to history and government. Ideally, I should not be able to ascertain the author's political ideology from the published work, and that is definitely the case with this book. I have no idea if Syl Sobel is liberal or conservative.

The book is well-written, and keeps my child's interest. Sobel masterfully simplifies the sometimes complex relationships between branches of government, the Constitutional responsibilities of government, and the limitations of government. He uses examples from a child's everyday life to draw comparisons to government workings.

This would have been a five-star review but for one glaring inaccuracy in the book. Sobel says that the United States is a democracy. A democracy is rule by the people. In the United States, the people democratically elect officials to represent them in governmnent, making the United States a Democratic Republic. This inaccuracy, however, was not a deal-breaker for me. I pointed out the error to my child and was able to discuss the differences between a democracy and a democratic republic, and it made for avery teachable moment.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Seigel on July 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book I could hand most American fourth graders to familiarize them with the workings of the U.S. government. While its target audience is preteens, it has also been helpful when familiarizing foreigners with our form of government.

The book is very short, very simplified and exactly what any non-genius needs for their first exposure to the concepts (as opposed to reading the Constitution for instance). I handed a copy to a foreign-born high school student prior to her 11th grade government class and she told me it made the difference between a C and the A she received. My only explanation is that it gave her a context for understanding.

While not a book for adults generally, if you are either VERY rusty or you never learned much in your youth about the workings of the U.S.A., and if you are a typical reader, it would be 15-45 minutes well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tisha Cummins on December 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was clear and easy to follow. We used it in a intro to government class. It provides a good basic knowledge of the governments three branches. We supplemented our use with lapbooks and other readings. I would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Johnson on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was still a bit hard for lower level grade 4 students. It had lot of pictures, but appeared a bit cluttered and dated. It will be better for my stronger readers.
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By DKel on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My book arrived in one day, in excellent condition and exactly what I wanted. It is very easy to read, uncomplicated and lots of interesting colorful paintings. I think it will hold the interest of any child I am going to order another one.
Doris Parker
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