Series of 14 titles
See America without leaving your chair with this exciting series for beginning readers. Engaging, easy-to-read narrative text and vibrant, full-color photos introduce young readers to some of the most important sites in the U.S.A.
|Interest Level||Kindergarten - Grade 3|
|Subject||Geography, History, Social Studies|
|Number of Pages||24|
|Dimensions||7.75 x 7.75|
|Guided Reading Level||E|
|ATOS Reading Level||0.9-1.0|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||0.5|
|Features||Glossary of key words, Index, and Table of contents|
Series Made Simple
These volumes take readers on visits to iconic U.S. monuments. The text is a mix of declaratory sentences and thought-provoking questions, which are conveniently answered on the pages where they are asked. The colorful photos reveal interesting aspects of the buildings or monuments and the diverse groups of visitors, especially children, who flock to see them. White House has photos of President Obama on every spread, which with the upcoming election will date the title rather quickly. Books conclude with either a labeled photograph of the topic (the different parts of the Liberty Bell) or “A Day At,” which highlights key areas to visit at each location (the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum). Suitable for independent reading or reading aloud, these titles are a good introduction to significant places of U.S. heritage and history.VERDICTRecommended for all elementary school collections.
Booklist (Miriam Aronin )
These new additions to the Hello, America! series are of somewhat uneven quality, and the constraint of their very introductory reading level often shows. Each book provides a small amount of historical context for its featured structure and the person it is meant to honor, and includes historical and modern images as well as a child’s-eye account of a visit; a labeled diagram of the monument or building and picture glossary conclude. Empire State Building effectively translates the Depression context into child-friendly terms—“tough times”—before leaping into the present, highlighting its draw as a tourist attraction. Lincoln Memorial is appropriate, but its wording is often awkward; additionally, the Civil War highlights are more confusing than illuminating, as fighting the war, ending slavery, and giving speeches are mentioned in quick succession. Unfortunately, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the weakest of the set; it manages to avoid even the simplest discussion of race or equality in favor of vague nods to “hope,” “fairness,” and the otherwise unexplained “civil rights movement.” Washington Monument, on the other hand, is the strongest volume, progressing nicely from an introduction to George Washington to the monument’s construction to a child’s plausible sense of wonder upon visiting the landmark. Given the varied quality, librarians and teachers may wish to pick and choose among the series. —Miriam Aronin