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A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution Paperback – April 8, 2008


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A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution + We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States + Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Series: American Story the American Story
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688101925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688101923
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4 Once again, the Maestros have produced a simple, attractive, and informative book about a milestone in American history. Here they cover the birth of the Constitution from the initial decision to hold the convention, through the summer meetings in Philadelphia, the ratification struggle, the first election, and the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The facts are put forward clearly, but in no way is this a detailed account. Left out, for example, are the events leading to the Convention and the debates on the slavery issue which occured during its course. Instead, the focus is on the most basic issuethe decisions on the organization of the government which resulted in the Great Compromise. The book does get to the core of the achievement of the Constitutionthe establishment of a governmental structure which has been adaptable to change for 200 yearsbut some of the significance is lost in this pared-down description. The pastel-colored paintings are most effective when they present panoramas and least effective when depicting the members of the convention, most of whom look alike except for hair color. A final section includes lists of the signers as well as of all those who attended; chronologies of events and the dates of ratification; and simple summaries of the Articles of the Constitution and amendments to it. The simplest and most accessible history of the Constitution to date. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Should be invaluable.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Most useful as the earliest introduction available to the Constitution.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“A good job of showing today’s children how this extraordinary document was created.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

More About the Author

Betsy Maestro is the author of the "American Story" series, illustrated by her husband, Giulio. She has also written several other non-fiction picture books, including the Let's-Read-And-Find-Out science books How Do Apples Grow? and Why Do Leaves Change Color?
The Maestros live in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

The text is simple and the illustrations are great.
A Customer
The book recites the very basic facts of the summer of 1787 and the beginning job of putting the Constitution to work, such as electing a president.
teachtess
This book is great for Middle School Students or even High School Students who want to review the events leading to the Constitution.
Jessica Elliott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Elliott on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for Middle School Students or even High School Students who want to review the events leading to the Constitution. I am a Middle School Teacher and plan on using the book to review my lessons with my students. Next year I plan on using it to introduce the topic!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I came across one book by Betsy Maestro "The Discovery of the Americas" and I loved it. The text is simple and the illustrations are great. It is historically accurate as well, a must in my checklist. I didn't realize she also wrote the historical series "You Wouldn't Want to..." They are my favorite!! I recommend all of her books, especially for teachers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Teacher Friend on July 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Maestro reviews the reasons for the Constitution, but fails to mention the Articles of Confederation. The text includes the Virginia, New Jersey, and Connecticut Plans. The book can easily be read as an introduction to the Constitution in one class period. Students could complete a drawing or group of drawings on a picture web to narrate the important details from the story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Evalle on January 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives an understandable view of how our Constitution came to be. It is good to read in context with studying other aspects of the colonial time period as well as the Revolutionary War. There is a great map at the beginning and resources at the back with the preamble as well as an explanation of the Articles and Amendments. There is a list of all the signers, a summary of important dates and bit of interesting facts about the convention and delegates. Definitely a good resource.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LizP on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
In 1787 people in our country could see that the government wasn't working very well. Delegates gathered in Philadelphia to try to fix the government and ended up creating the Constitution and the government we now have. This book conscientiously walks us through a top-level view of what happened that summer in Philadelphia.

Many of the delegates were late to the convention. The book spends a total of four pages, two two-page spreads, on the late start. Is it so important?

George Washington was chosen as the leader of the convention. James Madison, according to the book, offered to write down everything that happened. The rest of the story continues on in the same rather uninteresting way.

The book recites the very basic facts of the summer of 1787 and the beginning job of putting the Constitution to work, such as electing a president. If a child needs an introduction to the writing of the Constitution, this would serve except that it's dull. There's no clash of personalities. Only the broadest clash of ideas is presented in the argument made by small states about how they are represented in Congress. The book doesn't even mention how the argument was resolved.

The illustrations don't add to or subtract from the book. They are simply present. And basically, the book has the same relationship to the events of the summer of 1787. It doesn't try to make the event's exciting, nor does it try to make them dull, it is simply present.

The last few pages contain "Additional Information about the Constitution." These are more valuable than the book itself. There's a summary of the Articles of the Constitution, and a summary of the Amendments to the Constitution. Plus "Notes on the Connecticut Compromise and "Interesting Facts about the Convention and the Delegates." These few pages make the book a great reference in a classroom learning about the Constitution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By teachtess on October 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book recites the very basic facts of the summer of 1787 and the beginning job of putting the Constitution to work, such as electing a president.I think it is a good intro resource,but may be a little dull. I teach secial ed on the high school level(EH/LD)it is hard to keep their attention. I often use picture books to support or introduce a topic. The kids are on different reading levels and I often give them scavenger hunts and encourage the use of all books and resources I bring in,so they are not embaressed. The book has additional informational list in back. I think this is an adequate addition to my resource library.
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Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
We read this one at home and presented to our daughter's 1st Grade class for some quality history/civics lessons (to be read by teacher, since the book itself is more suitable for 3rd graders). The kids were fascinated by the real story of the efforts of many people who drafted the constitution.
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