Forgotten Founders

Bushel & Peck. Jun. 2022. 64p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781638190929.
Gr 2-5–Showcasing the diversity that has always been an integral part of America, this informative book introduces readers to some of the amazing men and women who helped shape a new nation. From the well-known Abigail Adams to the not-often-covered Crispus Attucks, the patriots who comprised America’s early population including enslaved people, indentured servants, women, and Indigenous people. The introduction takes on the problem of historical contradictions and asks readers to consider the gaps between the ideals of a young country and the reality. This informative introduction also includes a condensed history of colonial America’s involvement in the Revolutionary War and a time line of slavery in America, setting the tone for a continued investigation into the featured brave and industrious individuals. Each of the historical figures receives a spread that details the date and place of their birth and death, ethnicity, gender, unique background, and the contributions they made. Sidebars include fun facts and “Think Deeper” questions that challenge readers to contemplate and problem-solve historical situations. Examples of primary source documents are displayed along with Luong’s engaging character portraits. The author’s frequent explanatory footnotes add to the conversational tone of the text which contains the vocabulary, content, and length appropriate for the intended grade level. The absence of an index is inconsequential, as a detailed table of contents serves as a guide to the book.
VERDICT This book will delight visual learners, history lovers, and trivia enthusiasts. It would also validate the diversity of the United States’s heroes, encourage critical thinking, and inspire further research. A solid addition to any library or classroom.

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