This is America, much is possible.
Step right into the "moment" of some of American history's most significant events
In this refreshingly inventive picture book, readers are placed directly into the action of eighteen monumental events in American history. From the first Thanksgiving and Susan B. Anthony's courageous courtroom hearing to the Wright brothers' original takeoff and Rosa Parks's inspiring actions, each moment captures the heart and soul of our nation-the triumphs as well as the trials we've endured.
Robert Burleigh's talent for bringing history to life through narrative storytelling and Bruce Strachan's unique three-dimensional pictures make this an unusually engaging scrapbook of our country's achievements.
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ROBERT BURLEIGH has written children's books about many well-known Americans, including Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh and Who Said That? Famous Americans Speak. He lives with his wife in Chicago, Illinois.
BRUCE STRACHAN is a sculptor, painter, and photographer best known for his humorous New York Times Book Review covers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family. This is his first book for young readers.
Grade 2-5–This unique scrapbook of American life from 1621 to 2001 has the feel of a well-captioned photo album. Each of the 18 chapters pairs a page of text with a full-page "snapshot." Strachan's almost three-dimensional depictions are real audience grabbers. Rendered in mixed media of clay, wood, and oil paint and photographed, they clarify the text wonderfully. Some of the images are truly inspired, such as a hopeful Harriet Tubman pointing to a guiding star, a determined Susan B. Anthony demanding her rights, and a group of Americans gathered at Ground Zero in October 2001. Burleigh uses thoughts and feelings to re-create what the people involved might have been experiencing, giving each moment a you-are-there quality. While crossing the Delaware, George Washington thinks, "Will tonight be different?" Crazy Horse maintains before going into battle, "Yes, today is a good day to fight! A good day to die!" This fictionalizing does not diminish the book's value. Expected events are included here: Abraham Lincoln relaxes at Ford's Theatre moments before being shot, and Rosa Parks takes her seat to start the Montgomery bus boycott. More unexpected occurrences include Houdini making a second daring escape from a straightjacket and Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong performing together. Endnotes further explain each scenario. While not in-depth enough for reports, this intriguing offering will inspire students to learn more.–Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
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