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Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem Hardcover – Illustrated, May 26, 2020
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“Grove provides a page-turning narrative that enhances the familiar aspects of this story and fills in those little-known areas… Generous archival illustrations and the rich and varied backmatter make this a boon for fledgling historians. A well-researched and spirited slice of history.” ― Kirkus Reviews
"Beautiful full-color photographs and artwork bring this story to life. . . This is a great addition to collections where American history is a hot item." ― School Library Journal
About the Author
- Grade level : 5 - 9
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Hardcover : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1419741020
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419741029
- Dimensions : 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (May 26, 2020)
- Reading level : 10 - 14 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #296,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Unlike many books written for young readers, Grove takes pains to explain historical methodology. He incorporates photos of contemporaneous documents into the book, including the receipt for the U.S. flags that Mary Pickersgill made, a Baltimore city directory showing Pickersgill address and line of business, and a secret letter from Rear Admiral Cockburn to Vice Admiral Cochrane regarding potential future attacks on Annapolis and Baltimore. There are numerous illustrations, old maps, and drawings. He also points out instances of historical uncertainty, notably the competing claims between the descendants of Betsy Ross and Rebecca Young over who created the first flag for the American Revolution, though no contemporaneous written evidence exists for either.
Though there is no mention of Jimi Hendrix' iconic 'Star Spangled Banner' in closing Woodstock in 1969, Star-Spangled provides an excellent background of the foundation that the Anthem provided to our Nation over the centuries.
Although geared for young readers, the book is equally suited for adult reading. The story is told with a wide, all encompassing lens. In separate chapters, Mr. Grove talks about the history and geography of Baltimore, the woman who sewed the flag, the shipbuilders and ship captains involved in the battle, British and American military officers and their strategies, and the life of attorney and poet "Frank" Key, among other topics. In one fascinating chapter, he examines Britain's promise of freedom to African American slaves if they joined their cause, even going so far as to build a fort on an island off the coast in order to train these new troops.
Every page in the book is attractively designed and the chapters are liberally illustrated with maps, paintings, letters, portraits and other historic documents. Mr. Grove has done a staggering amount of research and delivered it in an easy-to-read page-turner of a book. Accompanying the text are a list of characters, an epilogue that follows the lives of the main characters, a timeline, glossary, suggested places to visit, notes and an index. This is an excellent nonfiction book for reading at home or in a classroom.