From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-Joining the ranks of those books recently published that combine history with crafts and hands-on activities, Herbert's book is one of the best of its kind. Reading it and doing some of the activities, or even just reading the activity directions, brings the character of this period into focus. Achieving a good balance between textual material, illustration, and projects, the book immerses children in the milieu of these years. The text discusses in detail the causes of the Revolution, the personalities involved, the formation of the new national government, and life in 18th-century America. The activities cover every aspect of revolutionary life, from making clothing, brewing root beer, and coding messages to battle reenactment, games, and dancing the minuet. The directions are detailed enough and adequately illustrated with pencil drawings to make them exciting and easy to follow. Short biographical sketches and portraits bring to life the notable people of the period, both male and female, European and American, and black and white. Numerous sidebars, such as the one analyzing the song "Yankee Doodle," add to the interesting details. Full-page art, as well as smaller illustrations, depict the battle scenes, people, and clothing of the day. The appendix includes the full text of the Declaration of Independence, four pages of thumbnail biographies, Revolutionary War sites to visit, and major Web sites. Whether they are studying the Revolution and need a project idea or are personally curious about this country's origins, children will be fascinated by the scope and detail of this book.
Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. In a series of brief articles, this appealing book traces the colonists' struggle for independence beginning with initial rebellions against taxation by George III and concluding with the Continental Congress' ratification of the Constitution. Copious photos and biographical sidebars add dimension to the chronologically recorded events. Besides highlighting major historical figures, the biographical entries supply information about groups of unsung heroes, including women, blacks, and frontier warriors. Sidebars introduce related items of cultural and historical significance--the Liberty Bell, Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," and The Electoral College. The book also includes activities, clearly meant for a classroom setting (supervised by an adult), that add a cross-curricular element to the text. From brewing root beer and dancing a minuet to creating rebuses and compiling a community almanac, the 21 projects give young people a hands-on view of colonial life. A time line, a glossary, annotated biographical lists, and a list of Web sites are among appended materials. Roger Leslie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved