U.S. History through Children's Literature: From the Colonial Period to World War II

By Wanda J. Miller | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The American
Revolution and the
Constitution


Introduction

The American Revolutionary War began in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1775 and ended at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. The war was fought because colonists longed for independence from Great Britain. Many believed that they were not really free even though they had left British soil. Although the majority wanted to be free of the British, there were many colonists who still supported Great Britain and King George III. They were called Loyalists and fought against some of their own neighbors.

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and bolstered the colonists' belief that they had a right to set up their own government. The U.S. Constitution took effect in 1789.

Many excellent trade books about this time period in United States history have been published. The Fighting Ground, as well as the small group titles recommended, represent some of the very best.


Whole Group Reading

Avi. The Fighting Ground. New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1984.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan joins a small group of townspeople who are marching toward the Hessians. During the next twenty-four hours, he fights in battle, runs away, is captured by three Hessians, saves a little boy, and eventually returns to his group. In School Library Journal's review of The Fighting Ground, it says, [Avi has accomplished his intent: to have readers experience minute by minute what it's like to be involved in war.] Grades 5 and up.


Author Information

Avi Wortis was born December 23, 1937 in New York City. He received a master's degree in Library Science from Columbia University in 1964. He has worked as a librarian, as well as teaching college courses in children's literature.

In high school, Avi could not write or spell. What little grammar he learned was not learned in school but from books he had read. He would read anything and everything. His third year in high school marked a turning point in his life. His English teacher insisted that he be tutored during the summer to improve his writing skills. During that summer, his motivation to write began.

Avi began writing for young people when his own children were born. Of this writing he says, [I do believe that young people are special, as fascinating, as complex and compelling as any other person, no matter what age. To make contact with them is a sort of grace. Young people don't easily take adults into their private world or trust. To be welcomed there is a gift.]

-46-

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U.S. History through Children's Literature: From the Colonial Period to World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter 1 - Native Americans 1
  • Chapter 2 - Exploration 25
  • Chapter 3 - The American Revolution and the Constitution 46
  • Chapter 4 - Slavery and the Civil War 71
  • Chapter 5 - Pioneer Life and Westward Expansion 102
  • Chapter 6 - Immigration 130
  • Chapter 7 - Industrial Revolution 151
  • Chapter 8 - World War I 170
  • Chapter 9 - World War II 185
  • Chapter 10 - Supplemental U.S. History Resources 208
  • Index 213
  • About the Author 229
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