30. A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Retell: Like the title suggests, this is a young people’s version of his famous book, A People’s History of the United States. Together with Rebecca Stefoff, Zinn manages to tell a version of history that attempts to include the perspectives of groups that are usually left out (women, people of color, Native people, children, etc.)
Topics: United States, history, exploration, racism, slavery, colonialism, rights, justice, revolution, war, emancipation, industrialization, immigration, empire, protests, terrorism, resistance, freedom of speech
Units of Study: Content Area, Nonfiction, Social Issues, Personal Essay, Historical Fiction
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Reading Skills: questioning, synthesis, prediction, determining importance, inference, interpretation
Writing Skills: using evidence to support a thesis or main idea, inserting anecdotes and quotations
My Thoughts: I was so thrilled to find this book on the shelves. I read A People’s History of the United States several years ago and often reread sections before embarking on Social Studies units. Though I thought this book was going to present a child’s perspective of historical events, Zinn does manage to tuck in a few stories of young people working to make a difference. For example, he includes the story about how children started the first milll strike in Paterson, New Jersey. I intend to read aloud exerpts from this book to support and/or challenge what they may be reading in their own nonfiction texts. This book is also available in two volumes. Volume I covers Columbus to the Spanish-American War. Volume II covers World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Entry filed under: Chapter books, Male authors, nonfiction. Tags: colonialism, content-area, determining importance, emancipation, empire, exploration, freedom of speech, historical fiction, history, immigration, industrialization, inference, interpretation, mutual respect, nonfiction, personal best, personal essay, prediction, protests, questioning, quotations, racism, resistance, revolution, rights, slavery, social issues, synthesis, terrorism, United States, using evidence, war.