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If You Were There

A lot of series attempt to bring history to life, but few succeed. Either the authors get bogged down in unnecessary details, or they focus too much on the "fun factor," or they just plain fail. TheIf You Were There books are notable for being both fun and educational, without being self-conscious in either respect.

Each book covers a period of United States history from a cultural perspective, showing kids what people ate, what they wore, how they built houses, the character and personality of famous figures, important political decisions and how they affected the nation, and much more. Text is readable and engaging, and where pertinent kids learn how the past has affected the present.

Several authors bring their particular expertise to the various titles, and a number of illustrators bring different periods to life with full-color artwork. Books cover topics as varied as the signing of the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln, Ellis Island, the sailing of the Mayflower, and traveling in a covered wagon.

These make wonderful supplements to a linear and comprehensive study of American history. TheIf You Were There series is particularly useful in a unit study context, since they focus on cultural history and other aspects of past eras that most books omit or pass over. Both for kids who love history and kids who don't, these are fun books that actually teach without boring anyone.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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9 Items found Print
If You Grew Up With Abraham Lincoln
If You Were There
by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
Historical Non-fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Pioneer & Frontier Life (Location: B01-15C)
If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
If You Were There
by Kay Moore
from Scholastic Inc.
Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in American Revolution (1765-1783) (Location: B01-09C)
If You Lived in Colonial Times
If You Were There
by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Colonial America (1690-1765) (Location: B01-09A)
If You Lived With the Sioux Indians
If You Were There
by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
for 2nd-5th grade
in Native Americans (Location: B01-16C)
If You Sailed On the Mayflower in 1620
If You Were There
by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Pilgrims at Plymouth (Location: B01-08B)
If You Traveled On the Underground Railroad
If You Were There
by Ellen Levine & Larry Johnson
from Scholastic Inc.
Historical Non-fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Slavery & the Underground Railroad (Location: B01-17D)
If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon
If You Were There
by Ellen Levine
from Scholastic Inc.
Historical Non-fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Pioneer & Frontier Life (Location: B01-15C)
If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
If You Were There
by Elizabeth Levy
from Scholastic Inc.
Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in New Nation (1783-1800) (Location: B01-10D)
If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island
If You Were There
by Ellen Levine & Wayne Parmenter
from Scholastic Inc.
Historical Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Immigration & Emigration (Location: B01-22B)