"Most history books are boring, but your book kept me on the edge of my chair. I couldn't wait to find out what happens next." So said 11-year-old Tommy Cunningham after reading a portion of this 10-volume set. Author Joy Hakim, former journalist and teacher, has a knack for making history more personal and dramatic. A Teaching K-8 review calls her a "master storyteller." The result is that these books are read, and re-read, by youngsters who love stories but don't care for history books. Each story, or chapter, is short (from 3 to 8 pages), includes lots of interesting tidbits in sidebars, and has plenty of pictures (mostly black and white, but some full color). We used this series with Janine and Stephen this past year, who seemed to enjoy, if not relish, the books.
Some concerns exist. The books are not written from a Christian perspective, but the author does recognize a religious influence in the making of our nation. The publisher notes that varying opinions of some controversial subjects are presented; as such, these books are not written from a conservative viewpoint. The first volume makes references to millions of years of prehistory. Book 6 covers the War Between the States primarily from the North's point of view, and Book 10 won't make Rush Limbaugh's list of recommended reading. But in general, this appears to be an appealing presentation of American history for youngsters and adults alike.
This series has been newly revised. The books are now in full-color, with new illustrations and newly commissioned and improved maps in the atlas sections of each book. Most of the changes can be found in Vol. 10, as more current events (up to 2005) have been added. Each book is 160-264 pages, with about 200 illustrations. The revision includes an eleventh book, which serves as a sourcebook for the other ten volumes, and revised teacher guides, which can be used with the previous edition or the new revised texts, as the pagination and illustrations are identical between the editions. We are offering the paperback version in sets or individually. Teacher guides are also available below. ~ Bob
Written to meet 8th grade American history standards, these higher-level teaching guides focus more on critical thinking than on comprehension. Each chapter lesson includes pre-reading activities, comprehension questions, suggestions for research, geography assignment ideas, and cross-curricular activities. Groups of chapters, or parts, also include activity suggestions such as debate topic ideas, writing prompts, discussion topics, projects, and activities. Reproducible worksheets, graphic organizers, and grading rubrics are all included at the end of the guide.
Also, do these Teacher guides (018641) from Oxford go along with these student guides, or are they both meant to be used as 2 separate resources to complement A History of US?