A Child's Story of America

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Calming Tea

  • Reviewed on Monday, February 21, 2011
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: Current
This book is like a nice piece of whole wheat bread with a pile of poo on it.

The text is full of information, engaging, and academic while still being interesting.

But the chapter on Native Americans is embarassing to me, as a Christian. See the previous review for detail. Why CLP would publish this is beyond me.

The other real shocker was in the end. My 4th grader does not need to know about gays in the military or about Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct! He is barely learning about sex yet! He doesn't need to know about the perversions of it at 9 years old!

This text made me realize never to trust CLP again, without carefully reading through first.

With all of that said, we might still use it. The rest of the book is ok. Just chock full of well written detail. So be prepared with your scissors and a sharpie pen. Maybe if you edit the book, you will find that piece of whole wheat bread underneath.

Thrice Blessed

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 16, 2010
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 1999 and 2010
This book is okay. My one problem with it is the chapter on Native Americans. I am a christian, and I do understand that the Natives were not Christians, and that as Christians, we believe we should share the gospel with non-Christians. However, I don't think it is right to depict the Native Americans as savages, nor to state that they were crueler to each other than the white men were to them. From what we all know of History, the white man was crueler to Native Americans than anyone else could have been, and many (not all) of the tribes were peaceful. I think the author would have been wise to come at the subject more from the stance that in all races there is sin, we are all sinners, the natives were sinners and so were the whites. Then Natives were not "more sinful", and the whites "less sinful".

I read that chapter, but "edit" as I read it to my children. I also balance it with more positive portrayals of Natives.

Valerie Vaughan

  • Reviewed on Saturday, November 7, 2009
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: October, 2009
I purchased this book upon the recommendation of another home-school mom. I was searching for a history text, written in narrative form, to make the subject more interesting for my daughter. After reading the first few chapters, and as a former journalist, I was appalled by how the book was written. The phrasing was poor, but that wasn't the half of it! The text itself was biased and condescending.
Case in point: (This passage is found in Chapter 6: The Story of the Native Americans:)

"Although it is true that Native Americans were often treated badly by the European settlers, they treated one another worse than the settlers ever did. When they took a prisoner,, they would tie him to a tree and build a fire around him and burn him to death. While he was burning they would torture him all they could. We cannot feel so much pity for the Native Americans when we think of all this."

I know that history is HIS-STORY, and can sometimes be skewed by the story teller, but this kind of divisive language is intolerable. I'm afraid a child may read this and believe the violence the Native Americans experienced, both then and now is acceptable and justified.

I'll stick to my dry, "just the facts", history book from now on.
I'm sending it back. I didn't even let my daughter look at it!


  • Reviewed on Friday, February 1, 2008
  • Grades Used: K and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2007
I was excited about this book, but like others said it is written in a weird story way. My chidlren do not like to listen to it, but I do like to read it. There are some big problems I have with it though. I am a history major, and while I know this is very basic, it leaves out a lot of important, basic information. I have ended up outlining every chapter and adding more complete info in order to teach in to my children. It does give a good basis for the info though. In the first three chapters I have found that while it mentions the Roanoke Colony it never gives its name. It has a map of Coronado's journey but does not mention it. It touches on the William Bradford but instead focuses more on Miles Standish. I am going to use this as a basis, but it will take a lot of outside work added in to teach this.