2. The New Americans

The New Americans: Colonial Times, 1620-1689 by Betsy and Giulio Maestro

Pages: 48
Finished: Jan. 6, 2009
First Published: 1998
Genre: children, non-fiction, history
Rating: 2/5
Reason for Reading: read to my 8yo as part of our curriculum.

First sentence:

In the hundred years following the voyages of Christopher Columbus, many other European explorers sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach the New World.

Comments: We have previously read and enjoyed the first two books in this series but I cannot say the same for this one. A lot of material was covered very quickly. One page would be full of people and dates and by the next page they had moved on to new people. I found myself paraphrasing as I read it aloud as the names and dates just proved too much. The 8yo did not enjoy the book at all. Though he did retain the information as we discussed what was happening.

The book gives an equal portrayal of New France and the start of the Thirteen Colonies making the book appropriate for both Canadians and Americans to study this time period. I did find the book very heavily biased towards the politically correct. The general tone was one of how the untrustworthy, mean white men stole the land and the ruthless Christians forced the Indians to learn their religion while the Natives were noble to fight and attack the whites with pride. Overall, both from a Christian and informative point of view I found the book offensive at times and just plain boring at others. We did manage to scrape the information needed for educational purposes from the book and the book is profusely illustrated including maps of the growth of North America.


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