Thursday, July 2, 2009

A review of In 1776

As a follow up to my last blog entry, I have a review for you of In 1776. This splendid book uses very simple yet rich language to tell the story of what took place in America in 1776. Children who want to better understand what the Fourth of July is all about will find that this title will answer many of their questions.

In 1776
Jean Marzollo
Illustrated by Steve Bjorkman
Non Fiction picture book
Ages 7 to 9
Scholastic, 1994, 0-545-11073-4
In 1775 America was under British rule. It was an uneasy time because the colonists were angry that “they had no say” in their own government. The king of England insisted that the colonists had to pay more taxes and the colonist said “No!” Some even went so far as to say, “It’s time for you to go.” And so, in Lexington and Concord, fighting broke out between the English and the colonists.
Then in 1776, the colonists decided that they needed to make their position clear. Their leaders met in Philadelphia to discuss the problem. A committee of men then worked together to write a document that would clarify what the colonists wanted. This document came to called the Declaration of Independence.
In this excellent title, Jean Marzallo uses rhyming stanzas to help children understand what took place in 1776. They will come to appreciate why and how the events that took place at that time still have an impact on us today. An excellent introduction discusses the fact that the “struggle” for democracy is ongoing, and it is something that we can all work for.

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