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My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States Hardcover – September 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-8-Seven regions plus Washington, DC, are explored through 51 poems by 40 different poets. The selections explore each area's geography, climate, or urban or rural features. Classic poets such as Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, and Nikki Giovanni are represented along with David McCord, X. J. Kennedy, Myra Cohn Livingston, and Hopkins himself. Twenty poems were commissioned especially for the book. Alcorn's paintings reflect the emotional range of the poems through a variety of styles and images. The artist expresses the diversity of American geography using shape, colors, and texture to evoke a variety of landscapes and including people from many cultural backgrounds. Each section is preceded by a painted map of the region and brief lists of facts, including a "Great Fact" for each state. Previous collections of poetry about America have taken chronological, thematic, or biographical approaches. This regional arrangement invites connections to literature set in the places presented. When used along with Nora Panzer's Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (Hyperion, 1999) and Hopkins's Hand in Hand: An American History through Poetry (S & S, 1994) and Lives: Poems about Famous Americans (HarperCollins, 1999), this volume will enrich literature and social-studies units.
Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Reviewed with Bobbi Katz's We the People.

These two large-size poetry anthologies will get lots of use across the curriculum--in history, civics, literature, and American Studies classes.Katz has steeped herself in the diaries, letters, journals, and biographies of famous leaders and ordinary people through U.S. history and written more than 60 first-person poems in their individual voices. The collection, arranged in chronological order, includes Chief Powhatan's "Message for the Settlers," a Yukon gold miner's tale, and kids' e-mail messages to President Clinton on the edge of the twenty-first century. Immediate and colloquial, sometimes wry, sometimes solemn, the poems work well as dramatic monologues, whether it's Orville and Wilbur Wright telling the "First Airplane" in two voices, Roosevelt on the New Deal ("The people are no mob to me. I have met them face to face"), or a Japanese American child on being interned during World War II. Nina Crews uses archival images and photographs in three collages to express a sense of past and present.Hopkins' organization is geographical. He divides the U.S. into eight regions. For each, he includes a map, a page of facts about the states, and seven or eight poems. Even the selections from the famous, such as Langston Hughes and Carl Sandburg, are not the usual familiar choices, and several poems were specially commissioned for the anthology. Some poems are purposive, but the best (including X. J. Kennedy's "Boulder, Colorado," Nikki Giovanni's "Knoxville, Tennessee," Ruth Lechlitner's poem about "This Kansas boy who never saw the sea," and several by Hopkins himself) capture places and people in all their diversity. Stephen Alcorn's handsome, multitextured pictures are sometimes overwhelming, but they avoid literal interpretation and capture the sweep of the land and the rhythm of the words. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689812477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689812477
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I was younger I was one of those kids who memorized the state capitals and wanted to know detailed information. I would have been crazy for this book which has some basic factual information, but is really a celebration of poetry and our country. The art is amazing and vibrant. It's a gift book, but I know children will actually dig in and really enjoy reading it. Highly recommed for school units on poetry and the US.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on November 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Take a journey through this great county through the eyes of poets. Fun facts from each state, maps and beautiful illustrations enhance the selection of poems. I was hooked from the introduction on. Good for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne LeMieux-Pocock on December 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb anthology of children's poetry, beautifully illustrated - a literary road trip! Lee Bennett Hopkins, with his impeccable standards of quality and taste, has gathered together an array of poems that truly celebrates the range of our nation. A delightful presentation of the country's geography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pam Schmidt on January 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I rate this a five. My students rate it a 4. It is just a nice way to incorporate one more literary genre into the day.
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