We often sing the "Star Spangled Banner," but what do the words mean? Why did Franklin Delano Roosevelt stay in office longer than any other U.S. president? Following the style of an old-fashioned primer, The American Reader answers such questions as it gives children a modern, well-rounded view of what it means to be a good citizen. Captivating prose, poems, short stories, and games entertain as they teach about the diverse regions of our country, the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, the story of Clara Barton, and the official nicknames for each of our states. A story about Smokey Bear promotes an appreciation of nature and the need to protect it, and another explains how to be helpful and respectful to people with disabilities. The American Reader's lively variety and broad scope will give children of all ages much to learn, think about and enjoy for hours on end.
The Twin Cities region of Minnesota has long been recognized as a hub of history, culture, commerce, and education. Now in T is for Twin Cities: A Minneapolis/St. Paul Alphabet, readers can explore the many treasures the area has to offer. Visit the celebrated state capitol building in St. Paul, which was modeled after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Meet cartoonist Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" fame and "Prairie Home Companion" radio personality Garrison Keillor, just a few of the famous Minnesotans profiled. And learn why Minneapolis is called the "City of Lakes" while enjoying the Twin Cities region's many outdoor recreational opportunities.
During World War II thousands of American servicemen were stationed overseas in various countries. It is in England that American GI Jack Ricker meets and marries an English widow with a nine-year-old son, Thomas. Thomas likes his new stepfather and he's hopeful about their future. But now with the war over, Jack is back in America. Thomas and his mother make plans to leave England and join him. Thomas is apprehensive about moving. He won't know anyone, apart from Jack. In America, they play baseball and not cricket. Will he fit in? Thomas and his mother find themselves on a trans-Atlantic voyage on the Queen Mary, sailing to America and a new life. They're not alone; hundreds of other "Brides and Babies" are on board, making the same trip with the same dreams. When Thomas helps another passenger handle feelings of homesickness, he realizes he is prepared to start his new American life.
Founded in 1608, what city is one of the oldest in North America? Where and when was Canada's first road built? What world-famous circus was the inspiration of Baie-Saint-Paul street performers? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in F is for French: A Quebec Alphabet. Readers young and old can romp the sandy beaches of Les Iles de la Madeleine, visit Montreal's Space for Life (Canada's largest natural science museum complex), brave the arctic cold in the Nunavik region, or sit back and enjoy the music at one of the many performances taking place at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. This richly illustrated alphabet book is bilingual. A poem and informative sidebar text for each letter appears in French with an English translation.
In T is for Territories: A Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut Alphabet, acclaimed storyteller Michael Kusugak gives an A-Z tour of Canada's three territories, the northern region of the country that is a giant in size, history, and culture. Young readers can kick up their heels at the Arctic Winter Games with sports such as the one-foot high-kick, listen to world-renowned storytellers at Whitehorse's International Storytelling Festival, or experience Wood Buffalo National Park where sometimes visitors have to stop and wait for wildlife to get out of the way. Everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of the territories.
In 1926, 12-year-old Fu Lee lives with his grandparents in a small village in China. He lives with his grandparents because his parents are dead. It is a difficult life but made easier by the love Lee shares with his grandparents. But now Lee must leave all that he knows. Before his parents died, they spent all of their money buying a "paper son slot" for Lee to go to America. Being a "paper son" means pretending to be the son of a family already in America. If he goes, he will have the chance for a better life. But first he must pass the test at Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco. Only then will he be allowed to live with his new family. If Lee makes even a single mistake, he could be sent back to China. Lee knows his grandparents want a better life for him. He can't let them down.
Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the east coast of Canada, Prince Edward Island measures only 5,660 sq.km. But what this island province lacks in size, it more than makes up for in abundant natural beauty, as well the scope of its influence on Candian history.
Judo, origami, sushi - with just a few words an immediate landscape is conjured: the country of Japan. In K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet, young readers are invited to travel to faraway Japan and explore its rich history, traditions, and role in today's world. Evocative artwork captures the spirit of each letter topic. O is for Origami A paper frog, a paper tree, a paper sunflower just for me, a paper fox, a paper shrew, a paper tiger just for you. From the comic relief of Kyogen theater to the meditative powers of a Zen garden, K is for Kabuki brings the past, present, and pageantry of Japan to life.To find recipes, games, interactives maps and much more for this title visit www.discovertheworldbooks.com! Gloria Whelan is the award-winning author of many children's books including Homeless Bird, for which she received the National Book Award. She lives in Michigan. A librarian by profession, Jenny Nolan has worked for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone magazines and as a researcher for investigative reporters. She lives in Michigan. Oki S. Han's book, Basho and the Fox, was a New York Times best-seller. Her books, Mr. Long Beard and My Hometown, both won the Korea Children's Book Award. In 2005 Oki was selected as Illustrator of the Year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair for My Hometown. She lives in Korea.
Located just below the Mason-Dixon line, Maryland is flavored with both northern and southern culture and tradition. Defined by the largest estuary in the United States (The Chesapeake Bay), Maryland's historic sites/sights include capital city Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy, Muddy Creek Falls, and the running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Noteworthy residents include Harriet Tubman and Francis Scott Key.
What country holds the title as the world's smallest continent and yet the world's largest island? I stands for island, but one that's not too small. Our island is enormous. Just try to see it all! There's no place else quite like it; that is clearly true. Australia is a continent, but it's an island, too. Originally founded as a penal colony, Australia has long been known for its contrasts (think: wild outback and sophisticated Sydney Opera House). Accompanied by vibrant colorful artwork, D is for Down Under: An Australia Alphabet captures the spirit of this proud country and its many treasures, natural and man-made. Visit spectacular Sydney Harbor, try your hand as a jackaroo working a sheep station, or just sit back and enjoy a Vegemite sandwich. Below the starry night glitter of the Southern Cross constellation, Australia's "down under" wonders shine brightly. Devin Scillian is an award-winning author and Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist. His books with Sleeping Bear Press include the national bestseller A is for America: An American Alphabet. Devin lives in Michigan and anchors the news for WDIV-TV in Detroit. Geoff Cook has been illustrating for 35 years. His career began as a graphic designer, after graduating from Prahran College in Melbourne. Soon realizing he wanted to be an illustrator, he became a partner in the illustration studio All Australian Graffiti. He lives in Australia.
Young Moses and his family are barely scraping by. He helps his father in their fish stall selling each day's catch to passersby but times are hard in 1889 Baltimore. It's difficult to provide for a family of ten. But when they hear of free farmland out in Oklahoma, it sounds like the answer to their prayers. The family sells all they own and heads west to fulfill a lifelong dream. Their wagon journey, however, is plagued with troubles from ice storms and flooded rivers to diminishing supplies and sickness. Yet Moses and his family persevere. They arrive in time to take a place along the boundary line that marks the staging point for the Oklahoma Land Run. But after making it this far, will even more bad luck prevent them from realizing their dream of owning their own piece of America?
Ella May lives on a plantation but she doesn't live in the great house. She is a slave. It's dark in the morning when Ella May heads to the fields to pick cotton. And it's sunset when she comes home. But her day isn't done, not yet. Ella May still has important work to do. She's got to listen. Each night Ella May and her friends secretly listen outside the windows of their master's house. The children listen in the hopes of gleaning information about their fates and those of their loved ones. Who will be sold? Who will stay? The lives of slaves depended on the inclinations of their owners. They had no control over their daily lives or futures. But they could dream. And when the promise of freedom appears on the horizon, the children are the first to hear it.
B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet takes readers on a journey into one of the most important chapters of our nation's past. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest, most divisive events to take place in America's history, and most certainly ever on American soil. For four years our young country's sense of self and citizenry was shaken to the core as North and South battled each other. B is for Battle Cry brings to life historic battles (Antietam and Gettysburg), renowned leaders (Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee), inventions (ironclad ship and Gatling gun), and inspiring events and documents (the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation). From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, B is for Battle Cry brings this nation-defining time period to vivid life.
On November 21, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons set sail from a small northern Michigan town across Lake Michigan. Affectionately dubbed the "Christmas Tree Ship," this was an annual trek for the Rouse Simmons. With its cargo of Christmas trees, the ship was bound for Chicago. There Captain Herman Scheunemann would sell the trees for 50 cents or $1.00 and even gave many away to needy families. But the schooner never makes its destination. The Rouse Simmons, with all hands and cargo, disappears into the cold waters. The ship's wreckage is not found until 1971. Drawing from stories told by her grandfather, author Carol Crane weaves a fictional tale based on the true events of the doomed schooner. And she explains how the captain's widow went on to continue his tradition of delivering holiday trees to Chicago.
It is 1933 and the Great Depression has ravaged the nation. Millions of people are out of work; thousands of families are struggling to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. But Momma still finds ways to count her blessings (lucky stars) from Ruth's new shoes to Poppa's new job. But where Momma sees the 'bright,' Ruth only sees the dark. Her shoes are hand-me-downs from a neighbor and Poppa's new job keeps him away from home for months. And now their town can't afford to keep the school open. Ruth will not be going to fourth grade even though she's one of the brightest students in her class. How can anyone find the good in that? But when Ruth stops thinking of her own problems and focuses on someone else's, she realizes that being a lucky star is the best way to start seeing your own lucky stars.
In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and recreate tiny bits of home for her mother. A fictional story based on the real-life experiences of surviving refugees, Rebekkah's Journey shares the illuminating story of one refugee's arrival on America's shores.
Philadelphia 1777 is no place for the faint of heart. The rumble of war with the British grows louder each day, and spies for and against the Patriots are everywhere. No one is above suspicion. Still, everyday life must go on and young Maddy Rose must help her mother, especially since her father's death at the Battle of Princeton and now with her beloved brother Jonathan off with Washington's army. But when childhood games become life-and-death actions, Maddy Rose is drawn ever deeper into events that will explode beyond her imagining. As young America stands on the very brink of its fight for freedom, it becomes clear that even the smallest of citizens can play the largest of parts, and that the role of a patriot has nothing to do with age and everything to do with heart.
In July 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought outside the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. In The Last Brother the story of one small boy is told amidst the dramatic events of those early days of July. Though he is only 11 years old, Gabe is a bugler in the Union Army. He takes his responsibility very seriously; after all, there are over 60 different battle calls for buglers to learn. But what is even more important to Gabe is watching over his older brother Davy who, as a foot soldier, is right in the thick of the fighting. Two of Gabe's older brothers have already perished, and he is not willing to lose the only one he has left. During those long days, Gabe meets another young bugler -- one who fights for the other side. Suddenly, what was so definite and clear has become complicated by friendship and compassion. Does one have to choose between service to country, to kin or to a friend? As the cannons fire and the battle rages on, Gabe must do his duty while searching for a way to honor all that he holds dear.
Janie is not exactly sure why her daddy is riding a bus from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. She knows why she has to go-to stay out of her mother's way, especially with the twins now teething. But Daddy wants to hear a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak and, to keep out of trouble, Janie is sent along. Riding the bus with them is a mishmash of people, black and white, young and old. They seem very different from Janie. As the bus travels across cities and farm fields to its historic destination, Janie sees firsthand the injustices that many others are made to endure. She begins to realize that she's not so different from the other riders and that, as young as she is, her actions can affect change.
April 1, 1946 - an enormous tsunami wave strikes Hilo, Hawai'i, causing death and destruction. Even those islanders who are fortunate to have survived find their lives forever altered. Young Kimo loves his grandfather very much - they go everywhere together, sharing island stories and experiences. But there is one story his grandfather has yet to share and that is the reason behind their yearly pilgrimage to Laupahoehoe Point. Here, in silent remembrance, Grandfather places a flower lei atop a stone monument. It is only after his grandfather's sudden death that Kimo learns the story behind their annual visit and the reason for the sadness that has haunted his grandfather throughout the years. Evocative writing brings this tragic event from Hawaiian history to present-day reality for young readers today.
In the mid-1800s thousands of pioneers crossed the western plains of the United States using the 2,000-mile pathway called the Oregon Trail. Minnow and her family live in one of the many native villages scattered across the plains. She has a lively sense of adventure and her favorite pastime is swimming in the nearby river where she rightly earns her nickname. Rose and her family are traveling in one of the many wagon trains making their way west. It's been a tedious journey with little excitement. Rose can't wait for something thrilling to happen. And one day it does. On the banks of a rushing river that divides one way of life from another, two very different cultures come face-to-face, with life-changing results.
Set in the late 1950s, this is the moving story of a young boy whose father operates a ferryboat between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. As young Mark witnesses the building of the new Mackinac Bridge, he is torn between family loyalty and eager anticipation. He can't help being awestruck by the majesty of the five-mile-long bridge that will connect the two peninsulas and change the lives of so many. But the Mighty Mac will also put Mark's father out of business. As his father struggles with the flow of progress, Mark dreams of future bridges he will build. Details of the complex construction of the bridge will fascinate children as they learn an important part of America's history and come to understand the meaning of change. The Mackinac Bridge Authority provides history notes at the back of the book.
In 1850 the Detroit River was a major track along the Underground Railroad -- the last step to freedom. The journey across the river was dangerous, especially in winter and especially for a 12-year-old boy. When Louis's father left him in charge of the farm he offered his son this advice, "If you don't know what to do, just do what you think I would have done." Louis relies upon his father's words of wisdom when a runaway slave and her two children come looking for safe passage.
Segregated Charleston, SC, 1955: There are 62 official Little League programs in South Carolina -- all but one of the leagues is composed entirely of white players. The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars, an all-black team, is formed in the hopes of playing in the state's annual Little League Tournament. What should have been a time of enjoyment, however, turns sour when all of the other leagues refuse to play against them and even pull out of the program. As the only remaining Little League team in the state, Cannon Street was named state winner by default, giving the boys a legitimate spot in the Little League Baseball World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. While the Cannon Street team is invited to the game as guests, they are not allowed to participate since they have not officially "played" and won their state's tournament. Let Them Play takes its name from the chant shouted by the spectators who attended the World Series final.
In T is for Titanic, husband-and-wife writing team Michael and Debbie Shoulders sift through the stories, documents, and artifacts surronding the famous ship, giving a you-are-there view to one of the greatest disaster stories.