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Unite or Die Paperback – February 1, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Unite or Die + We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States + A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution
Price for all three: $18.48

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158089190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580891905
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this brightly illustrated picture book, children dressed in chunky, state-shaped costumes act out a play called “Unite or Die,” which dramatizes problems that sprang up after the American Revolution and their resolution at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Bound only by the Articles of Confederation, the little states begin by bickering about issues such as currency, borders, and trade. At the Constitutional Convention, they hammer away until they have created an entirely new federal government. Though the subject may not seem well-suited to a picture-book format, Jules does a good job of presenting the essential ideas simply, and Czekaj’s droll, cartoon-like illustrations may appeal to some students beyond the primary-grade range. Amusing remarks as well as bits of information are relayed in speech balloons, while on each double-page spread, a few sentences of text introduce the main ideas, as a narrator would. The book concludes with four pages of notes and a bibliography. An original presentation of a pivotal point in U.S. history. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jacqueline Jules is the author of several books for children, including ABRAHAM'S SEARCH FOR GOD (Kar-Ben) and THE ZIZ AND THE HANUKKAH MIRACLE (Kar-Ben). Her poetry has been featured in over sixty publications, including Cricket, Cicada, and The Christian Science Monitor. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

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This book was very exuberant and the dynamic artwork was colorful, very busy and enticing.
D. Fowler
There's a readers' theater script available online at the author's website which further extends the value of this book in the classroom.
VT
This book could help lots of kids (and adults, on occasion) better understand how our system of government came about.
Debnance at Readerbuzz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 5thTeach on September 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun & humorous book used to celebrate Constitution Day. Follow up with the reader's theater (available online) to make more interactive. 5th graders love to act it out!
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Format: Paperback
Fun, fun fun. Sure we have heard of the Articles of Confederation and the Virginia Compromise and the New Jersey Plan, but who really remembers much about them? This book could help lots of kids (and adults, on occasion) better understand how our system of government came about.

After the war for independence, there really wasn't much of a United States of America. There were just thirteen separate states. Problems. One big problem was money. Each state printed its own. States wouldn't accept the money of other states. And who would fight for these thirteen separate states? Finally, fifty-five men came together from twelve states (no Rhode Island) to figure things out and the result was the amazing Constitution of the United States. It still works today because of the brilliance and cooperation of those who met together to create this document.

Cold hard facts are the text of this book, but it is the fun illustrations that really explain and expound upon the the subject. It is the illustrations that kept me reading along. Very kid friendly. And for a subject that can be way over the heads of many ten year olds.

An afterword explains the process of the Constitution in detail as does a notes section that expands upon the most complicated parts of the book in a clever question-answer format. The book also includes a web link to the Constitution with an invitation to read the document for oneself and a lengthy bibliography.
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Format: Hardcover
It's time for the big play at school! Everyone has learned their parts and people are lining up outside the Forest Lake Elementary School auditorium door preparing to go in to see "United or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation." The cast of thirteen has been posted on the bulletin board and you can even buy something at the bake sale before you go in. Thirteen students, each encased in a costume in the shape of the state they are representing, are ready for their curtain call.

The opening scene begins with the September 3, 1783 Treaty of Paris at the end of the American Revolution. The students, errrr, the states, have declared their freedom and now the hard work has just begun. The Articles of Confederation would no longer work and the states needed to unite in order to unify the country. Delegates from Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York sent delegates to Maryland to work out the particulars. George Washington, the commander in chief would lead this closed door convention. Could these fifty-five delegates actually come together, hammer out any number of details until they were . . . "United at last and ready to govern" themselves?

This book was very exuberant and the dynamic artwork was colorful, very busy and enticing. The characters had a very "Simpsonish" look about them. This book is what I've dubbed a hybrid book, a cross between a graphic novel and regular text. The history is relayed in a straightforward manner throughout the book while the cartoon-like characters relay other important bits of information in their cartoon bubbles. In the afterword there is a brief history of the Constitutional Convention, a simple map of the thirteen colonies and a comprehensive notes section with additional information relative to the text.
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