Short Lessons in U.S. History
Very similar to its world history counterpart in format (please see Short Lessons in World History description), with short, bite-sized lessons that together provide a good overview of U.S. history. After the initial chapter on maps, the book progresses from 1003 through 2000 (and beyond). The text is interesting, with "Think About It" boxes scattered throughout, asking incisive questions of the reader. This, along with the focus biographies, maps and map-reading, and varied exercises makes it a good choice for a framework to build your study of U.S. History on. I think it would be a "natural" to use as a text along with a literature-based study.