The latest installment in the For Kids series spans the early 1800s to the early 1900s in the United States, covering 100 years of revolutionary changes in manufacturing, transportation and communication.
It was a century of contradictions. Railroads crossed the continent, automobiles puttered along new roadways, skyscrapers soared toward the heavens, and some men made fabulous fortunes—while workers in mines, mills, meatpacking houses and sweatshops labored in stifling conditions to support the new economies. And piles of garbage, lakes of sewer water and lurking diseases made life in cities difficult for those who had to live there. Parents and teachers can relive the times with children by selecting from the 21 activities that supplement the text. They can design their own tenement spaces, make gruel just like that served in orphanages and weave placemats similar to baskets woven in houses of refuge. Dense, text-heavy pages make the historical narrative heavy going, but the well-chosen archival photographs and informative sidebars draw the eye to an easier parallel narrative. And activities such as “Tell a Story with Photographs” may just inspire children to learn more about the work of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine.
Presents a huge amount of history in a format easy for browsing. (resources, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-12)