AMERICA by Charlie Samuels


The Making of a Nation
Age Range: 8 - 12
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A fictional journal writer reveals his trunk of “memorabilia” that embody the American values. Starting with the Declaration of Independence (a pull-out copy is included), the book invites readers to lift flaps, open accordion-fold lyrics, pull out a colonial flag and learn little-known facts. Of necessity, books that aim to convey all of America must skim the surface and become hodgepodge collections of people, places and events. Even by the standards of this very cursory glimpse, short shrift is given to women, Native Americans, African-Americans and Latinos; Edison’s achievements are put on a par with the Slinky. Much questionable and simplistic material is included. The watercolors are competent, but where are genuine portraits of great Americans, and why painted versions of tickets, announcements and the like, with some illegible wording? Young readers will enjoy the tactile experiences and juicy trivia, but they’ll likely come away with only the slightest appreciation for why their country is special. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-03170-7
Page count: 30pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008