SHH! WE'RE WRITING THE CONSTITUTION by Jean Fritz
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SHH! WE'RE WRITING THE CONSTITUTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No one writes history for children better than the latest Wilder Award winner; funny, pungent and impeccably accurate, her contribution to the plethora of books written for the Constitution's bicentennial should be at the top of everyone's purchase list. Assembling attention-grabbing tidbits that illuminate personalities (Franklin observed that if the President's term wasn't limited there'd be no way to get rid of him short of shooting him) re-create conditions in the 18th century (delegates sweltered as windows were kept shut during a heat wave to keep out noise and flies), and give an excellent feel for the kind of horse-trading that was required before an acceptable document was produced (it took 60 ballots just to settle on the Electoral College). Fritz surveys the background that made some kind of unity necessary (during the Revolution, when Washington asked some New Jersey soldiers to swear allegiance to the US, they turned him down flat), as well as events from the gathering of delegates (they trickled in from May to August) to the adoption of the Constitution by the states. She summarizes important features of the Constitution, especially the checks and balances it embodies, and the argumentative response that delayed ratification. A few amplifying notes and the text of the Constitution (as sent to Congress on September 18, 1787) are appended. Lively and fascinating, this will be a delightful surprise to any child who stumbles on it as part of an assignment; it is sure to open minds to the interest and relevance of history.
Pub Date: April 23rd, 1987
ISBN: 0698116240
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1987




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