The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History

The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History


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American history comes alive in these 100 true stories that define our country.
This magnificent treasury tells the story of America through 100 true tales. Some are tales of triumph—the midnight ride of Paul Revere, the Wright brothers taking to the air, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Some are tales of tragedy—the fate of the Donner Party, the great fire in Chicago, the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.
There are stories of inventors and athletes and abolitionists and artists. Stories about struggling for freedom—again and again, in so many ways.
With full-color illustrations on nearly every page and short, exciting stories, this book is perfect for browsing by the entire family. Notes at the end of each story direct readers to related stories. And a guide to thematic story arcs offers readers (and teachers) an easy way to follow their particular interests throughout the book. A treasure trove of a book that belongs in every home!
“This lively and engaging collection of stories recounting American history is a wonderful gift not only to the children of this country but also their parents. I can’t wait to share it with my grandchildren.” —Tom Brokaw

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375812569
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/22/2006
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 285,646
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 11.19(h) x 0.96(d)
Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Ever since the first grade, Jennifer Armstrong knew that she would become an author. She loved making up stories and sharing them with others. Her family treasured books and this led her to become an avid reader of all types of fiction. It was no surprise when she chose to study English and American Literature at Smith College in Massachusetts.

Armstrong is the author of over 50 books for children from kindergarten through high school. Best known for writing historical fiction, she has also been successful in creating picture books, easy readers, chapter books, young adult novels, as well as nonfiction.

Armstrong, who grew up outside of New York City, now lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Jennifer Armstrong is the winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. Many of her books have been designated as Notable Books by the American Library Association and the International Reading Association.

For more information on Jennifer Armstrong, visit her website at, or read her blog at

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The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this impressive volume, Jennifer Armstrong presents a mini-course in American history so engaging that young and old readers will want to curl up with it. She has carefully selected one hundred stories that address a broad list of historical themes, among them the violent conflict between Native peoples and European colonists, the struggle for independence, the heartbreak of slavery, the advent of the transportation and industrial revolutions, and the fight for women¿s suffrage. These themes and others are addressed through familiar stories (which bear repeating), as well as through stories unfamiliar to most young readers, including the building of the uranium pile in the Manhattan Project, the radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds program, the flood of molasses through the streets of Boston, and the murders committed by Lizzie Borden. I was surprised, and pleased, to read so many story topics from the last half century that are touchstones of our times, namely the Bay of Pigs, the Riggs-King tennis match, the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali fight, and the 2000 election. Armstrong cleverly adds a ¿Note¿ at the end of each chapter which provides much-needed context or reveals the story¿s impact on American history. I found myself looking forward to the Notes. My children loved the book too. Roger Roth¿s lively illustrations (which convey the emotion of the story without bogging down in excessive detail) caught the attention of my eight-year-old son. When he saw the illustrations of the slave Henry Brown popping out of a wooden crate in which he had shipped himself to freedom and of Henry David Thoreau sitting in jail, my son wanted to read about these men. With his curiosity satisfied, he continued until he had absorbed a dozen or more stories, hooked by Armstrong¿s lively prose. She put the ¿story¿ in ¿history¿ and my son soaked it up. The story selection was what attracted my other son, aged ten. After sitting with the book for an hour, he announced: ¿This was good. I hadn¿t heard a lot of the stories before. None were boring. Besides, they make good points, and the points are clear. All the writing is clear.¿ He praised the stories¿ brevity: ¿They were short, but you don¿t miss out on a lot either.¿ Brevity became a problem for him only once, in the St. Valentine¿s Day massacre story, there were too many characters and not enough background for him to understand the event. Telling a short story clearly must have been a special challenge for the author, one which, with very few exceptions, she met superbly.
tnelson725 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a collection of chronologically ordered tales, some of which are familiar and some are not so familiar. It starts off with the settlement of Saint Caroline and ends with the the 2000 Presidential election. The book spans four hundred years in its 100 tales. Most of the better known stories such as the Gettysburg Address, 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and D-Day are not included. Some of the stories included are Boston's Great Molasses Flood and Pac-Man Fever. I really liked how this book was set up and the fact that the author included lesser known stories also. The illustrations were really great also!For the classroom, I would have students each pick a story from the book. They would then research the story a little more and either write an essay, make a poster, or act the story out to the class.
LillianE on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Story: I think this book is huge! I havn't read all of it yet. But so far the history's great.
RebeccaE on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The American Story is a collection of one hundred historical and legendary stories set in America and arranged chronologically. It is generously illustrated-with pictures at the turn of every page. The tone of the book is light, and provides children with a nice background in well-known and lesser known stories and biographies. Some are of more historical significance, such as the lost colony of Roanoke, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, the legend of John Henry and the speeches of Sojourner Truth. Others are more for fun, like the history of the potato chip. Though published in 2006, it ends with the 2000 election and puts an optimistic light-hearted spin on the Supreme Court ruling not to recount the ballots. Like its treatment of the 2000 election debacle, the book avoids blatant political opinion throughout. It also omits scarier aspects of recent history such as the events of 9/11. Parents should be aware however, that some of the stories, such as the story of Lizzie Borden, are inappropriate for younger children. Overall, this is a book that would appeal to a wide age range of children. For homeschoolers, it would provide a nice supplement to your home library, as it¿s a book you could repeatedly turn to over the years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago