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Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted…
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Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History,…

by Katy Steinmetz

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What a beautiful hardcover book packed with illustrations, photographs and lots of knowledge about Awesome America.
You can take your time enjoying this book. It's organized into thematic chapters with mini articles, sidebar information, charts, and tons of photos/illustrations to make learning all about America fun. Examples of some sections are: Our Presidents, Tour the Fifty States, Moments that Changed America, Great Americans, America’s Role in the World and several more.
My ten year old daughter spent at least an hour or so going over the book, looking at the photos and quizzing us on bits of info. The book is colorful, engaging and just right for readers age 8 to 12 (and up!) Very happy to add this educational volume to our special book collection!
I received a complimentary copy via the Goodreads giveaway program. ( )
  melaniehope | Jul 17, 2016 |
Stop what you are doing. You don't even need to read any farther. Just BUY THIS BOOK!

Seriously, this book is so....AWESOME! It covers everything you ever wanted to know about our great country. From our great beginning through all our trials and wars, to the present, nothing has been left out. This book is targeted to kids but the whole family will enjoy reading through it. I sure did!

Of course, my favorite parts of the book involved the historical events that made our country great including the Women's Suffrage Movement and the first immigrants who came through Ellis Island.

As you can see, the pages are full of easy to read details and actual photographs. Younger kids will enjoy the bullet texts while older kids and adults will find the paragraphs full of interesting information.

I sat down one evening and went through each page of this book, enamoured with the photos and facts reminding me of things I had forgotten and other times teaching me things I somehow didn't know. I could not put it down and was anxious to see what the next chapter would teach me. In fact, just the night before I had read this book, we were talking with friends about the history of the Disney movies and the order they were made. If only I had read this page before that evening!

One chapter features each state including its nickname and claim to fame. Another section features the wild animals that inhabit the states and regions of our country.

I also found the inventions page interesting as I learned how certain regular household items were developed and who the inventor was. From jobs to family life to the Olympics to our Natural Wonders, this book covers all you need to know about the United States of America. This book should be in every classroom, library, and home. ( )
  Staciele | Jul 7, 2016 |
I was pretty impressed with this book. It has loads of photos and sidebars with interesting facts, and is colorful and fun. While it doesn’t give enough coverage (in my opinion) to the struggles of non-whites for a place at the table, it doesn’t ignore them either. It could also have included more on labor and the conflicts between corporate accumulation of wealth versus the rights of workers, and the reasons why it has been so difficult historically to impose restraints on the wealthy. The whole system of funding and contributing to political campaigns still plays such a large role in America's political process, from debates over bank regulations to debates over gun controls, that it seems worth some mention.

Most importantly, there really should have been more on the role of the U.S. Government in the massacre of Native Americans. Even now, following the Orlando shooting of June, 2016, in which 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded, the media call this event “the deadliest shooting in American history.” This characterization ignores previous mass shootings in this country, such as the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, in which 165 Cheyennes and Arapahos, two-thirds of whom were women and children, were slaughtered by the Colorado Militia, and the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, in which more than 150 Native American women, children and elderly men were killed in cold blood by U.S. Army troops, just to cite two of the most egregious examples.

But I do appreciate that the author never used the phrase that Columbus “discovered” America, and in fact is quite explicit in pointing out that native peoples lived here first. And the author does mention the "Trail of Tears" initiated by President Andrew Jackson, although it is not identified as such.

On additional positive notes, and there are many for this book, the author includes sections on music and the arts, on sports, inventions, hobbies, top tourist spots in America, American slang, and regional foods and sayings. Women and minorities are fairly well represented. Not only U.S. Presidents, but First Ladies get a section, and there is plenty of information about the physical characteristics of the country.

The final chapter provides a year-by-year timeline with historical highlights, and a glossary, annotated list of websites, and a short list for more reading completes the book. There is an index, but unfortunately it is very inadequate. But you can download a curriculum guide, here.

Evaluation: Overall, this is a great addition to any home or school library, or as an accompaniment for a summer road trip (and yes, there is a section on Route 66!) There are more than 800 illustrations in this beautiful book. ( )
  nbmars | Jul 2, 2016 |
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