November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

From Sea to Shining Sea: American History | Series Made Simple Fall 2012

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America can be described in one word: diverse. The nation’s history, though short as far as other national histories go, is complex. From its conception as a refuge for religious dissidents to its 21st-century manifestation as a major world power, America has undergone breath-taking changes. Collectively, this season’s series chronicle the heterogeneous character of America. Some sets approach our history with an eye for important people; others illumine events, including the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s on up through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and/or examine specific topics in great detail. And, finally, some approach history by honing in on governance, civic involvement, and geography. With titles for students of all ages, these series explore America’s rich and storied development.

Preschool-Grade 4

ANDERSON, Joanna. The Many People of America. illus. ISBN 978-1-4488-8591-6; ISBN 978-1-4488-8592-3. LC 2012014001.
CHARLESTON,
Janice. Our Country’s Holidays. reprods. ISBN 978-1-4488-8587-9; ISBN 978-1-4488-8588-6. LC 2012010989.
MCGRAW,
Earl. Electing Our Leaders. chart. ISBN 978-1-4488-8583-1; ISBN 978-1-4488-8584-8. LC 2012012059.
PICKMAN,
Richard. Let’s Volunteer. chart. ISBN 978-1-4488-8589-3; ISBN 978-1-4488-8590-9. LC 2012012056.
RIPLEY,
Ellen. What Are Rules and Laws? diag. ISBN 978-1-4488-8585-5; ISBN 978-1-4488-8586-2. LC 2012013258.
WESOLOWSKI,
Harriet. The Songs We Sing: Honoring Our Country. chart. map. reprods. ISBN 978-1-4488-8581-7; ISBN 978-1-4488-8582-4. LC 2012009646.
ea vol: 24p. (I’m an American Citizen Series). photos. glossary. index. CIP. Rosen/PowerKids Pr. 2012. PLB $22.60; ebook $22.60.
K-Gr 2–
This series provides basic information about citizenship. One third of each page consists of a few simple sentences; the rest is covered by a large color photograph, map, chart, or illustration that complements the text. Most photos are of people and reflect a diversity of skin colors. With the exception of Songs, the information is accessible without being watered down to the point of uselessness. For example, Leaders states, “Voting is one way to be a good American….One rule is that you have to be 18 years old.” Songs is the weakest in the series; it relies on generalities, such as “Everybody in America is different, but we are all Americans. This makes us feel happy.” The titles are not detailed enough for reports. Nonetheless, when used as part of a larger curriculum, they are excellent starting points.

COOKE, Tim, ed. Causes of the War: 1800-1861. map. ISBN 978-1-59920-813-8. LC 2012001162.
––––
. The Confederacy Advances: 1861-1862. maps. ISBN 978-1-59920-814-5. LC 2012001163.
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. Home Front: 1861-1865. ISBN 978-1-59920-817-6. LC 2012001307.
––––
. Politics of the War: 1861-1865. maps. ISBN 978-1-59920-818-3. LC 2012001309.
––––
. Triumph of the Union: 1864-1865. maps. ISBN 978-1-59920-816-9. LC 2012001173.
––––
. The Turning Point: 1863. maps. ISBN 978-1-59920-815-2. LC 2012001168.
ea vol: 48p. (Civil War Highlights Series). photos. reprods. chron. further reading. glossary. index. websites. CIP. Smart Apple Media. 2012. PLB $35.65.
Gr 4-6
–Designed for students new to the subject, these titles describe the political and social background of the Civil War. In the process, military strategies and key persons are discussed. A time line runs along the bottom of all of the books, listing not only events of the Civil War but also major events in the world at large. Each title concludes with a “Need to Know” section that reinforces the book’s themes by listing important terms, personalities, and strategies, including information about life on the home front. In addition, a “Test Yourself” page encourages reader ownership of the book’s content by posing study questions, such as “How did General McClellan gain an advantage at Sharpsburg?” and “What Amendment to the U.S. Constitution finally ended slavery?” Each title is profusely and colorfully illustrated with photographs, reproductions, and ephemera. Each image corroborates the accompanying text. These books are first-rate introductions.

DAVIS, Graeme. The Weapons and Gear of the Revolutionary War. map. photos. ISBN 978-1-4296-8588-7; ISBN 978-1-4296-9288-5. LC 2012001121.
FOREST,
Christopher. The Biggest Battles of the Revolutionary War. maps. ISBN 978-1-4296-8429-3; ISBN 978-1-4296-9282-3. LC 2011048847.
––––
. The Rebellious Colonists and the Causes of the American Revolution. maps. chron. ISBN 978-1-4296-8428-6; ISBN 978-1-4296-9290-8. LC 2011046679.
HALL,
Brianna. Great Women of the American Revolution. chart. map. chron. ISBN 978-1-4296-8451-4; ISBN 978-1-4296-9284-7. LC 2012010867.
OTFINOSKI,
Steven. The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and a New Nation. chart. map. chron. ISBN 978-1-4296-8589-4; ISBN 978-1-4296-9292-2. LC 2012011885.
SCARBROUGH,
Mary Hertz. Heroes of the American Revolution. chron. ISBN 978-1-4296-8590-0; ISBN 978-1-4296-9286-1. LC 2011048657.
ea vol: 32p. (Fact Finders: The Story of the American Revolution Series). reprods. further reading. glossary. index. websites. CIP. Capstone. 2012. PLB $26.65; pap. $7.95.
Gr 3-5–
From the early tensions wrought by the French and Indian War to the decisive days of the Constitutional Convention, these introductions delineate the Revolutionary War in a way that is compelling and informative. The sentence structure is short, direct, and engaging, e.g., “Spies used both words and weapons to fight during the war.” Colorful and captioned reproductions and photos, maps, time lines, charts, sidebars, and “Fast Fact” text boxes enhance the texts. Challenging words are defined twice, first in a shaded box on the spread on which the word appears and then again in the glossary. Colonists and Constitution provide background material, while the other volumes deliver topic-specific information. Women is the female counterpart to Heroes; Nancy Morgan Hart is the only person who is in both. Sources are not cited, though each title was written under the consultation of experts in the field.

FRIESEN, Helen Lepp. Uncle Sam. reprods. ISBN 978-1-61913-081-4. LC 2012940130.
GOLDSWORTHY,
Kaite. Bald Eagle. reprods. ISBN 978-1-61913-077-7. LC 2012940126.
––––
. Mount Rushmore. ISBN 978-1-61913-079-1. LC 2012940127.
GOLDSWORTHY,
Steve. Alamo. reprods. ISBN 978-1-61913-080-7. LC 2012940120.
––––
. Statue of Liberty. reprods. ISBN 978-1-61913-076-0. LC 2012940128.
KOPP,
Megan. Liberty Bell. reprods. ISBN 978-1-61913-078-4. LC 2012940071.
ea vol: 24p. (American Icons Series). photos. websites. Weigl. 2012. PLB $27.13.
K-Gr 2–
Similar to some of the “True Book: American History” titles (Children’s Press), these titles briefly describe American symbols. Each spread contains two to four short declarative sentences and one complementary clear photograph or reproduction. A spread of related supplemental facts and a chart pinpointing sight words and content words are appended to each title. Also with each volume, the publisher includes instructions on how readers or supervising adults can access via a website a host of extra freebies including audio readings, video excerpts, useful links, quizzes, and “much, much more!” The on-line components are mediocre, with the short videos being the strongest elements. However, the books themselves are well-done.

JEFFREY, Gary. The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for Equal Education. illus. by Nana Li. ISBN 978-1-4339-7483-0; ISBN 978-1-4339-7486-1. LC 2011045583.
––––
. Malcolm X and the Fight for African American Unity. illus. by Emanuele Boccanfuso. ISBN 978-1-4339-7487-8; ISBN 978-1-4339-7490-8. LC 2012000227.
––––
. Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington. illus. by Nick Spender. ISBN 978-1-4339-7491-5; ISBN 978-1-4339-7494-6. LC 2011050608.
––––
. Medgar Evers and the NAACP. illus. by Nick Spender. ISBN 978-1-4339-7495-3; ISBN 978-1-4339-7498-4. LC 2011045581.
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. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. illus. by Nick Spender. ISBN 978-1-4339-7499-1; ISBN 978-1-4339-7502-8. LC 2011050607.
––––
. Thurgood Marshall: The Supreme Court Rules on “Separate but Equal”. illus. by John Aggs. ISBN 978-1-4339-7503-5; ISBN 978-1-4339-7506-6. LC 2011045579.
ea vol: 24p. (A Graphic History of the Civil Rights Movement Series). photos. glossary. index. CIP. Gareth Stevens. 2012. PLB $23.95; ebook $23.95.
Gr 3-5–
Focusing on action and drama, these titles highlight the lives of Civil Rights heroes. The author makes effective use of the graphic-novel format. At times, the illustrations are realistic enough to border on photo-realism. Each volume begins and ends with pages of narrative information and photos. The texts of the comic-style sections are easy to follow. Dialogue appears in white speech bubbles, while explanations and background information are presented in gray boxes. Shifting visual perspectives add interest. One vantage point is looking over Lincoln’s massive stone shoulder while Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Another panel shows the contemplative face of Rosa Parks looking out a bus window, street signs reflecting on the glass. Unfortunately, sources are not cited. Still, these titles offer an exciting look at important history in an appealing format.

MURRAY, Julie. Illinois. ISBN 978-1-61783-351-9; ISBN 978-1-61480-013-2. LC 2012004278.
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. Maine. ISBN 978-1-61783-357-1; ISBN 978-1-61480-019-4. LC 2012005983.
––––
. Maryland. ISBN 978-1-61783-358-8; ISBN 978-1-61480-020-0. LC 2012005984.
––––
. Minnesota. ISBN 978-1-61783-361-8; ISBN 978-1-61480-023-1. LC 2012007060.
TIECK,
Sarah. Alaska. ISBN 978-1-61783-340-3; ISBN 978-1-61480-002-6. LC 2012000752.
––––
. California. ISBN 978-1-61783-343-4; ISBN 978-1-61480-191-7. LC 2012000755.
––––
. Colorado. ISBN 978-1-61783-344-1; ISBN 978-1-61480-006-4. LC 2012000754.
––––
. Florida. ISBN 978-1-61783-347-2; ISBN 978-1-61480-195-5. LC 2012003046.
––––
. Hawaii. ISBN 978-1-61783-349-6; ISBN 978-1-61480-011-8. LC 2012003048.
ea vol: 32p. (Explore the United States Series). maps. photos. reprods. chron. glossary. index. websites. CIP. ABDO/Buddy Bks. 2012. PLB $28.50; ebook $28.50.
Gr 1-3–
Similar in scope to “Our Amazing States” (Rosen/PowerKids Pr), each title is a veritable Chamber of Commerce. In a few short paragraphs per spread, the highlights of each state (geographical location, population, primary industries, landmarks, and early history) are described. A “Hometown Heroes” section focuses on famous people. A mix of modern-day and historical figures connects the past to the present. For example, Francis Scott Key and Michael Phelps are the notables from Maryland. A “Tour Book” spread suggests fun places to visit. A “Fast Facts” section includes date of statehood and other information. Clear color photos and reproductions flanked by stars-and-stripes borders are eye-catching. Simple, straightforward tables of contents and indexes are ideal for students just learning research skills. The content is well organized and the uncluttered layout and ample white space make the large-font text pop.

Grades 5 & Up

BJORNLUND, Lydia. The Civil Rights Movement. ISBN 978-1-60152-478-2. LC 2012011560.
MARCOVITZ,
Hal. The Roaring Twenties. ISBN 978-1-60152-248-1. LC 2011045415.
ROBSON,
David. Colonial America. chart. ISBN 978-1-60152-246-7. LC 2011041358.
STEWART,
Gail B. The Salem Witch Trials. ISBN 978-1-60152-282-5. LC 2011047778.
YANCEY,
Diane. The Abolition of Slavery. ISBN 978-1-60152-476-8. LC 2012005992.
ea vol: 96p. (Understanding American History Series). maps. photos. reprods. chron. further reading. index. notes. websites. CIP. ReferencePoint. 2012. PLB $27.95.
Gr 7-9–This companion set to the publisher’s “Understanding World History” series describes eras in American history with impartiality and candor. America is presented as a place of contradictions: a land with religious freedom and oppression, a restrictive lifestyle and cultural vitality, etc. An illustrated time line at the beginning of each title is followed by coverage of characteristics of the time periods and their precursors, major events and people, and the ensuing legacy. Concisely written and well organized, these volumes feature photographs and reproductions that are few but colorful and integrated effectively. For the most part, illustrations depict history as it is happening: a vibrant image of Paul Revere’s midnight ride; a prohibitionist emptying a barrel of beer into the street; and a stark black-and-white photograph of two black men, the victims of a lynch mob, shown hanging from a tree.

BURGAN, Michael. The Split History of the American Revolution. ISBN 978-0-7565-4570-3; ISBN 978-0-7565-4592-5. LC 2012004681.
FITZGERALD,
Stephanie. The Split History of the Civil War. photos. ISBN 978-0-7565-4572-7; ISBN 978-0-7565-4594-9. LC 2012004680.
MUSOLF,
Nell. The Split History of Westward Expansion in the United States. photos. ISBN 978-0-7565-4571-0; ISBN 978-0-7565-4596-3. LC 2012004747.
ROSE,
Simon. The Split History of World War II. photos. ISBN 978-0-7565-4569-7; ISBN 978-0-7565-4598-7. LC 2012004745.
ea vol: 64p. (Perspectives Flip Books Series). maps. reprods. bibliog. chron. further reading. glossary. index. notes. websites. CIP. Compass Point. 2012. PLB $33.32; pap. $8.95.
Gr 4-6
–Each title in this engaging series is actually two books in one, right down to having two front covers and two indexes. One half of each volume describes events, people, and ideologies that represent one side’s view of a major historical event or period. The other half recounts the opposing side’s position. Using concise, well-researched content, this approach engages critical-thinking skills by encouraging students to look at issues from a variety of perspectives. For example, in Expansion the “Settlers’ Perspective” is that “they would be settling the land and improving it both for themselves and future generations.” In contrast, the “American Indian Perspective” is that “They felt cheated by the U.S. government and angry over how they were treated.” Archival photographs and reproductions, in both color and black and white, effectively illustrate the texts, and sidebars offer profiles of important figures and other relevant information. The simple layout helps keep the flip concept from being fussy or confusing.

CAMPBELL, Ballard C. American Wars. 418p. reprods. ISBN 978-0-8160-7727-4; ISBN 978-1-4381-3879-4. LC 2011017577.
FORRET,
Jeff. Slavery in the United States. 445p. reprods. ISBN 978-0-8160-8115-8; ISBN 978-1-4381-3837-4. LC 2011009090.
LUNA,
Marcos. The Environment Since 1945. 493p. ISBN 978-0-8160-7884-4; ISBN 978-1-4381-3811-4. LC 2011007697.
ea vol: (Issues & Controversies in American History Series). maps. photos. bibliog. chron. index. websites. CIP. Facts On File. 2012. PLB $55; ebook $55.
Gr 9 Up
–Broad in scope and deep in detail, this thoroughly researched series provides scholarly insight into three contentious subjects in U.S. history: slavery, the environment, and wars. Ten to 12 chapters in each title divide the topics into interesting and digestible subtopics. For example, divisions in Slavery include slavery as it related to the American Revolution, the Constitution, taxation, and westward expansion. In addition, each chapter presents arguments relevant to an opening question (e.g., “Should the Environmental Protection Agency have banned DDT?” and “Did Russia start the Cold War?”). Background information, maps, and chronologies provide context, and what-if scenarios and discussion questions encourage critical thinking. The scholarly writing and high level of detail might be more than what most high school students need. Occasional photos and reproductions are a nice touch, but do little to support or enhance the texts.

DAVIDSON, Tish. African Americans in Business. ISBN 978-1-4222-2377-2; ISBN 978-1-4222-9283-9. LC 2011051941.
––––
. African-American Scientists and Inventors. ISBN 978-1-4222-2375-8; ISBN 978-1-4222-9281-5. LC 2011051942.
ELLIS,
Carol. African-American Activists. ISBN 978-1-4222-2371-0; ISBN 978-1-4222-9277-8. LC 2011051944.
MASSIE,
Elizabeth. African-American Educators. ISBN 978-1-4222-2373-4; ISBN 978-1-4222-9279-2. LC 2011051943.
ea vol: 64p. (Major Black Contributions from Emancipation to Civil Rights Series). photos. reprods. chron. further reading. glossary. index. notes. websites. CIP. Mason Crest. 2012. PLB $22.95; ebook $28.95.
Gr 3-5–
Sketches ranging from a few sentences to a few paragraphs showcase widely known African Americans, such as George Washington Carver, as well as lesser-known achievers, such as computer scientist Paul Williams. With a few exceptions, chapter and subject headings focus on accomplishments rather than people: “The New World of Computers,” “Making Integration Work,” etc. From book to book, the time span varies, and in many cases, the time line at the end of each title does not coincide with the content. For example, coverage in Activists ends in 2009, but the chronology ends in 1988. The uneven chronologies aside, these accounts are engaging and informative. “Did You Know?” text boxes and colorful photographs and fonts add appeal.

DEPIETRO, Frank. Latino American Cuisine. illus. ISBN 978-1-4222-2320-8; ISBN 978-1-4222-9324-9. LC 2011004338.
––––
. Latino Arts in the United States. charts. illus. ISBN 978-1-4222-2324-6; ISBN 978-1-4222-9328-7. LC 2010052161.
––––
. Spain Arrives in the Americas. charts. maps. ISBN 978-1-4222-2330-7; ISBN 978-1-4222-9334-8. LC 2010052160.
PALMER,
Bill. Latino Folklore and Culture. charts. ISBN 978-1-4222-2325-3; ISBN 978-1-4222-9329-4. LC 2010051961.
––––
. Trailblazing Latino Americans. illus. ISBN 978-1-4222-2331-4; ISBN 978-1-4222-9335-5. LC 2011004337.
ea vol: 64p. (Hispanic Americans: Major Minority Series). photos. reprods. chron. further reading. index. websites. CIP. Mason Crest. 2012. PLB $22.95; ebook $28.95.
Gr 3-5
–The purpose of this series is to celebrate the history and culture of Latino American and Hispanic American peoples. While promising in concept, the execution falls flat. There are a number of problems. First, generalities are abundant. For example, Folklore states, “Families in all cultures love their children, but Latinos do so especially.” Second, the texts are riddled with unsubstantiated statements: (“Salsa is even more popular than ketchup.”). Third, grammar is higgledy-piggledy. “Very” and “a lot” are used indiscriminately, as are exclamation points. Contractions and incomplete sentences are commonplace (“So does Incan attention to tiny details.”). The volumes can also be redundant. For example, in Spain, Moctezuma is described as “worried,” “nervous,” “troubled,” and “unhappy” all within three pages of text. Sandy Donovan’s The Hispanic American Experience (21st Century, 2010) is a stronger choice.

DOEDEN, Matt. American Latin Music: Rumba Rhythms, Bossa Nova, and the Salsa Sound. ISBN 978-0-7613-4505-3; ISBN 978-1-4677-0147-1. LC 2012002074.
FARSETH,
Erik. American Rock: Guitar Heroes, Punks, and Metalheads. ISBN 978-0-7613-4503-9; ISBN 978-1-4677-0150-1. LC 20110453638.
KAPLAN,
Arie. American Pop: Hit Makers, Superstars, and Dance Revolutionaries. ISBN 978-0-7613-4504-6; ISBN 978-1-4677-0148-8. LC 2011046501.
MENDELSON,
Aaron. American R & B: Gospel Grooves, Funky Drummers, and Soul Power. ISBN 978-0-7613-4501-5; ISBN 978-1-4677-0151-8. LC 2011045636.
SACHS,
Lloyd. American Country: Bluegrass, Honky-Tonk, and Crossover Sounds. ISBN 978-0-7613-4502-2; ISBN 978-1-4677-0146-4. LC 2011048799.
SACKS,
Nathan. American Hip-Hop: Rappers, DJs, and Hard Beats. ISBN 978-0-7613-4500-8; ISBN 978-1-4677-0149-5. LC 2011045580.
ea vol: 64p. (American Music Milestones Series). photos. bibliog. chron. further reading. glossary. index. notes. discography. websites. CIP. 21st Century Bks. Nov. 2012. PLB $30.60; ebook $22.95.
Gr 6 Up–
From bluegrass to blue-eyed soul and bubblegum pop to hip-hop, readers discover the exciting evolution of music in America. Origins, influences, controversies, and artists are presented in a writing style that is engaging and accessible. Revealing quotes by artists are highlighted. Musical terms such as “melisma,” “grunge,” and “punk” are worked in seamlessly and defined in the texts as well as in the glossaries. “Must Download” playlists (which include songs that span styles and decades) appear throughout each title, encouraging readers to listen to the best music in each genre. Every title is packed with color and black-and-white photographs, snazzy fonts, and vivid sidebars. The indexes are not thorough (e.g., Pearl Jam has its own page, but the band is not in the index), but the books are short and well organized enough that this, most likely, is not a problem. This informative set will be useful for reports and of high interest to reluctant readers.

GAGNE, Tammy. A Kid’s Guide to the Voting Process. chart. diag. map. ISBN 978-1-61228-260-2; ISBN 978-1-61228-336-4. LC 2012007538.
LEAVITT,
Amie Jane. A History of the Republican Party. chart. map. ISBN 978-1-61228-261-9; ISBN 978-1-61228-338-8. LC 2012007536.
ORR,
Tamra. A History of Voting Rights. maps. ISBN 978-1-61228-262-6; ISBN 978-1-61228-339-5. LC 2012007540.
ROBERTS,
Russell. A History of the Democratic Party. charts. maps. ISBN 978-1-61228-259-6; ISBN 978-1-61228-337-1. LC 2012007534.
ea vol: 48p. (Vote America Series). photos. reprods. chron. further reading. glossary. index. notes. websites. CIP. Mitchell Lane. 2012. PLB $29.95; ebook $29.95.
Gr 3-5
–The highs and lows of American politics, past and present, are streamlined and made accessible to young readers in these titles. Each one is organized chronologically, making it clear that politics in America is not only lively and changeable but full of historical significance. Process focuses on modern-day voter qualifications, how the Electoral College works, term limits for various offices, and youth involvement in politics. Rights explores early definitions of the word “voter” and how those interpretations shaped political involvement for blacks and women. Republican and Democratic trace the evolution of party politics and include election platforms through the years. Color photos, maps, reproductions, and charts complement the concise, well-written texts. Dynamic, informative introductions.

LACLAIR, Teresa. The Northern Colonies: Freedom to Worship (1600-1770). maps. ISBN 978-1-4222-2397-0; ISBN 978-1-4222-9307-2.
––––
. The Southern Colonies: The Search for Wealth (1600-1770). maps. ISBN 978-1-4222-2398-7; ISBN 978-1-4222-9308-9.
QUINBY,
Michelle. Wars at Home: America Forms an Identity (1812-1820). maps. ISBN 978-1-4222-2401-4; ISBN 978-1-4222-9311-9.
SHARP,
Constance. America Is Born (1770-1800). ISBN 978-1-4222-2399-4; ISBN 978-1-4222-9307-2.
––––
. Thomas Jefferson and the Growing United States (1800-1811). maps. ISBN 978-1-4222-2400-7; ISBN 978-1-4222-9310-2.
ea vol: 48p. (How America Became America Series). photos. reprods. chron. further reading. index. websites. Mason Crest. 2012. PLB $19.95; ebook $24.95.
Gr 4-6–
This series connects the dots between the wobbly-kneed pre-Revolutionary colonies and the robust world power that America is today. The authors emphasize that much of American history was determined by land: who owned it and explored or invaded it and how it was used. Though there are no source notes, their case is convincing. The series describes the political and social circumstances that led to each of America’s acquisitions of land. For example, Thomas Jefferson, not wanting France to settle in Louisiana lest Napoleon try to commandeer the American colonies, worked to acquire the territory instead. Text boxes contribute additional facts and ask readers to ponder questions such as “Who Owned America?” Though many are very blurry, the selection of archival paintings, photos, and maps are well-curated. Photos from period reenactments add a sense of immediacy.


Most of these series have a place in classrooms, schools, and/or public libraries. For the youngest students, consider PowerKids’s “I’m an American Citizen,” Weigl’s “American Icons,” and ABDO’s “Explore the United States.” For students who are ready for more substance and analyses, Capstone’s “Fact Finders: The Story of the American Revolution,” Compass Point’s “Perspective Flip Books,” Mitchell Lane’s “Vote America,” Smart Apple Media’s “Civil War Highlights,” and Mason Crest’s “Major Black Contributions from Emancipation to Civil Rights” would be helpful purchases. Gareth Stevens’s “A Graphic History of the Civil Rights Movement” describes important events in a format that is accessible and attractive. A few series are tailored for middle school students and older. Twenty-First Century’s “American Music Milestones” is substantive and has broad appeal. ReferencePoint’s “Understanding American History” is compelling, informative, and at times dramatic. Mason Crest’s “How America Became America” is a strong survey.

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A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.