Posts from the ‘history’ Category

PROUD AND FREE

America’s Star Spangled Story Celebrating 200 Hundred Years of the National Anthem

Written by Jane Hampton Cook

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An interesting book that uses each line of The Star Spangled Banner to trace the history of the events of the War of 1812 when the British attempted to control Washington, DC, the key players in the events, background events, and photos from the past and present. The author narrates the history of the battle for control of Fort McHenry relating to the lines of the song as it was penned in the midst of the battle. Occasionally the author dips back in time to muse about the thoughts of the Pilgrims as they landed on the shores of America, and the Patriots as they fought for freedom from Great Britain during the American Revolution. They believed that The War of 1812 and the destruction of the Capitol by the British added insult to injury.

Readers are encouraged to think about the images that each line of this now famous song evoke in their minds and hearts. Perhaps few Americans are aware that the song did not gain widespread notoriety until the end of the nineteenth century and was not made the official national anthem until the administration of Herbert Hoover.

Anyone with an interest in American history and this beautiful song will find the short book entertaining and informative. Appropriate for readers age ten and older.

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REFLECTING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD…..

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

Wishing my family, friends, and followers health, happiness and prosperity in the year to come.

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Looking back to 2016, I count my blessings. I released the seventh book in the award winning Little Miss HISTORY Travels to….children’s nonfiction book series, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT VERNON.

Little Miss HISTORY and I traveled near and far to visit old friends and acquire new ones. I’d like to share a few memories with you….

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In January, we assisted a local girl scout troupe working on earning their community badge by reading about Little Miss HISTORY’S trip to The Statue of Liberty.

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We participated in READ ACROSS AMERICA in March with our friends at Temple Hill Academy in Newburgh and had a pajama reading party at Ralph R. Smith Elementary School in New Hyde Park.

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One of the highlights each May is Children’s Reading Week. Little Miss HISTORY Travels to Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum was my feature book in 2016 at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, the largest children’s book festival in New York state.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              babswithhost

 

Our summer travels included a trip to eastern Long Island, where I discussed the Little Miss HISTORY book series with Linda Marie Frank on her TV show, The Writer’s Dream.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNXOKQBolik

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We journeyed to the Museum of Science and Innovation in Schenectady to read about SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK at the four day Science and Technology Festival.

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For Thanksgiving I traveled south to the Carolinas to visit with family and read to first grade children at Harrisburg Elementary School in South Carolina.

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I welcomed the opportunity to share in the holiday spirit with authors Iza Trapani and Michael Garland at FDR’s home and presidential library in New Hyde Park for the Children’s Holiday Reading Festival in December.

As 2016 comes to a close, Little Miss HISTORY has plans to travel to new and exciting destinations by some unconventional means of transportation. I hope that children and adults will enjoy a new opportunity to put their creative stamp on the adventures of Little Miss HISTORY. In just a few weeks, her very first coloring book will be available online and in your favorite bookstore. You can add your personal touch to images from her adventures and read words of wisdom from historical figures. Take a sneak peak at the cover!

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Please continue to follow my family friendly book reviews  for ages preschool through adult on Wednesdays and Sundays. To subscribe click on the word Follow or hit the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Look out 2017, here we come!

 

SOME IDEAS TO CHEW ON……

Ping Poo, the Astronomer: A strange discovery

Written by Pierre Moessinger

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Interesting essay of nine pages which presents a discussion of discoveries by Ping Poo, an ancient Chinese astronomer who lived during the Zhou Dynasty in China around 550 A.D. Ping Poo believed that stars held on to the sky like flies on a ceiling. His colleague Li Fu argued that they hung from the sky with strings. One day Ping Poo sees a red glow in his white jade ball. Following a dream, Ping is determined to journey to Mount Yugo to investigate. His friend Li decides to accompany him, When Ping disappears, some peers believe he was pursued by a dragon and drowned in the Yellow River; others theorized that he stole the elixir of immortality and fled to the moon in an effort to escape the anger of the gods. As time passed the two scholars were forgotten. Years later in 1830, two children Lou and Wang discover a linen bundle of paper inscribed with calligraphy. They turn it over to their father, a professor of ancient Chinese. Turns out to be the journals of Ping Poo in which he set forth the hypothesis that the earth is a sphere turning around on its own axis, the first astronomer to do so. At the end of the essay, Moessinger offers some questions for his readers to ponder and answer. As a footnote, the author briefly explains Piaget’s ideas and suggests this book as an introduction to philosophy for children.

Recommended for readers in the eight to thirteen age range, this book is an interesting way to introduce philosophical thought to middle grade children. While the historical backstory is certainly worthwhile, the audience for this book is geared toward the child who likes to apply critical thinking skills to her reading. Youngsters who are looking for a quick read will probably not find this book appealing. Best suited for readers in the ten and up age range.

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A GUIDING HAND

The Angel Knew Papa And The Dog

Written by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

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A heartwarming tale of love, faith and heartbreak narrated by a charming, sweet girl named Evangelina Elizabeth Blake. Living at the edge of the woods in a small log cabin by the river, she works hard alongside her father to farm the land, borrowing a neighbor’s mules to help them plow. Evangelina has lost her mother; she takes delight in nature and the few books her father has managed to purchase for her to read. One of her favorite stories from the Bible is Noah’s flood; this foreshadows the adventure that will follow.

When Evangelina is six, a huge dog rescues her from a serpent which appears during a thunderstorm. She names the dog, Lewis and Clark because he likes to explore and frequently disappears. Not long after, a flood overtakes the area and Evangelina’s father is swept away while trying to rescue one of the mules. She is terribly frightened as the cabin is flooded. An angel carrying a lantern appears to guide her. The young girl hears Lewis and Clark barking. A woman named Mary rows to her and pulls her into the boat. Taking her downstream, Evangelina is gratified to learn that her father is alive, but seriously injured. Is Evangelina dreaming? What will her future bring?

This book is well written in almost a lyrical style. The reader empathizes with the carefully crafted characters and is swept up in the adventure. I would consider this less than one hundred page book perfect for middle grade readers, but teens and adults will enjoy it as well. Look forward to reading more by this author.

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ANCIENT GREECE IN A NUTSHELL

If You Were Me and Lived in …Ancient Greece

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

ancientgreece,picThis book is part of a new series which looks at the cultures and customs not of individual countries but about civilizations throughout time. Ancient Greece is the topic of the first release. The author begins by describing the geographical location of Greece and how Greece may have looked in the past contrasting it with the present. Unlike the other series, this book covers a much broader time period, and the author chooses to stage her character as a child living around 350 B.C. in classical Greece. There is no mention of the previous Greek Archaic Period, the rule of the aristocracy or the tyrants which eventually evolved into the establishment of democratic city states. Much of the book discusses everyday life, food, dress, education, family structure, occupations, and religion. Roman ends her discussion with the military conqueror Alexander the Great who established an empire, and whose death would usher in the end of the classical period and the beginning of the Hellenistic Age.

There is a great deal of information simplified and condensed for the elementary school and middle school reader. I would have liked to see more detailed maps showing locations and some actual photographs, though the simple, soft pastel illustrations are lovely and appealing for a younger reader. The glossary and list of gods and goddesses are helpful because readers will need to reference these to keep track of all the information. No doubt this book will open a child’s eyes to the vast legacy of ancient Greece and provide an excellent starting ground for future explorations on the political, social, religious, scientific and educational contributions of ancient Greece.

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FROM THE SOURCE’S MOUTH

50 Core American Documents:Required Reading for Students. Teachers, And Citizens

Edited by Christopher Burkett

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A valuable collection of primary sources for anyone who wishes to truly understand the evolution of American history and government. The core documents upon which the American republic is founded include the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and Bill of Rights provide readers with the framework. Of course there were differing views aptly displayed in the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Notes on the Debates held in the Federal Convention of 1787 as well as samples from the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Opinion letters from statesmen like Andrew Jackson, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson present private viewpoints.

Landmark cases heard in the Supreme Court give insight as to the evolution of government as seen from the highest court in the land. Marbury vs. Madison, Dred Scott vs. Sandford, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. The Board of Education are among them. Foreign policy touchstones like the Monroe Doctrine, New Nationalism Speech and A Time for Choosing demonstrate debates over foreign policy.

Human rights are discussed by Frederick Douglas and John C. Calhoun, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon Johnson. Milestone documents include the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the “I Have a Dream” speech.

While by no means exhaustive, this well organized collection of historic documents that are keystones of American history are a valuable reference resource for students of history, teachers and librarians. Appropriate for ages ten and older. Put this one on your reference shelf or homeschooling curriculum.

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A SECOND CHANCE

Guardian:Where a Dream is Challenged “An World War II Plane Who Decides To Never Give Up”

Written by Greer Alexis Bacon

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Guardian is a WWII plane who is relating her story in first person. She goes back in time to tell how she met her pilot and together they valiantly fought. One day her fuel tank leaks; Guardian succeeds in getting her pilot down alive. Now that the war is over, she finds herself in a scrap metal junkyard and wonders what became of her pilot. While the rest of the planes are resigned to their fate, Guardian hopes that she will one day fly again, but day after day planes disappear from the yard to be sold for scrap metal.

One day the gate opens to a new owner. The planes will be repaired and sent to various museums. Guardian rejoices that her optimism has proven true, but what has happened to that soldier who once flew and loved her?

Targeted for audiences five and older, this approximately twenty-five page book is really a beginning reader chapter book. There are a few simple, but attractive, illustrations. This book is a well-written sweet story embedding elements of history. While I enjoyed the plot, I noted typos and editing errors on the cover and inside the kindle text edition. If not for these, I would have given the book five stars. I would still recommend it, especially for children who are early readers interested in planes or history.

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