The Bill of Rights

978-1-4329-6751-2. ea vol: 48p. (Documenting U.S. History Series). charts. maps. photos. reprods. chron. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Heinemann Library. 2012. PLB $32; pap. $8.99.
Gr 4–6—In the first book, each of the 10 amendments is quoted and explained. Sidebars expand on some; for example, the Sixth Amendment is accompanied by a brief look at the Miranda Statement. It's a good overview of one of our founding documents and will prepare readers for single titles such as those in "The Bill of Rights" series (ABDO, 2008). Taking the Common Core standard regarding "the relationship between a primary and secondary source" to heart, Magna Carta begins by defining primary and secondary sources and identifying the document as an important primary source. Baxter explains that the ideas expressed in the Magna Carta influenced the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. A later section outlines some specific ways in which the liberties granted in it are incorporated into U.S. law. The books cited in the "Find Out More" section offer information on medieval life and the American Revolution, but not the Magna Carta itself. Despite a few minor flaws, this title may be of interest where the curriculum allows for a more thorough study of the history of U.S. founding documents. Most of Sonneborn's material is standard fare: an outline of the causes of the Revolutionary War, the initial failure of the Articles of Confederation, and the ultimately successful Constitutional Convention. Each of the seven articles is discussed, as is the Bill of Rights and later amendments. An explanation of primary and secondary sources includes a useful description of when and why a historian might use each type. In all of the books, maps, photographs, and reproductions of original documents add visual appeal.—Rebecca Donnelly, Rio Rancho Public Library, NM

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing