Revisions or no revisions, it’s time for me to round up another bunch of US history books for 6-year-old S. But first, a quick recap of how the last bunch fared.
James Stevenson’s Don’t You Know There’s A War On? was the biggest hit, but Baseball Saved Us and My Daddy Was a Soldier both got repeated readings, and Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot disappeared into his room almost immediately upon arrival.
I don’t think he even cracked the FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt book — very well done, I thought, but the cover just didn’t do anything for him. I decided not to expose him to Children of the World War II Home Front this year — at the end was a rather out-of-place (and graphic) description of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and thanks to his introduction to the concept of the ethnic slur via Baseball Saved Us, it had already been a full month.
So, on to 1950-2000, and themes relevant to — but not necessarily entirely contained in — the first half of that period. S is devouring books left and right lately, so it’s a longish list.
- Kathleen Krull‘s Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (illustrated by Yuyi Morales) and Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman (illustrated by David Diaz). These both still give me chills after many reads, and S just loves them. The Rudolph book especially touches on so much vital to the era we’re covering this month — polio, civil rights, women’s equality, the age of mass media.
- Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali, by James Haskins and Eric Velasquez. He was the most famous person in the world during this period, so I hope this book gives an idea of why.
- Uncle Andy’s, by James Warhola. Andy Warhol’s nephew comes to visit in 1962.
- The History of the Personal Computer, by Josepha Sherman. People, there is a gaping, ENIAC-sized hole in nonfiction picture books, crying out to be filled by captivating books about the world-changing development of transistors and computers and the Internet. Take a look at the cover of this one — the best I could find for our purposes — and tell me if you don’t agree.
- The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins, by Bea Uusma Schyffert. This is one incredible-looking book. Too cool for words. And I love the attention paid to the guy who didn’t get to walk around on the surface.
- The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World by Julius Lester and Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll by Holly George-Warren. Oh, and Buddy, by my friend Anne Bustard, which S chose as his bedtime story tonight and which inspired him to tote his guitar upstairs afterwards. It’s easy to overstate the importance of popular music these past five decades, and by including three books on the topic, I probably already have. And I don’t care.
One other note about the civil rights movement. We’ve covered it before, but aren’t doing so directly this time. For next year, though, I’ve already got my eye on The Bus Ride that Changed History, which is due this fall.