The Rocket's Red Glare: Celebrating the History of the Star Spangled Banner

1 CD. 15 min. Dreamscape. Apr. 2016. $14.99. ISBN 9781520002057.
Gr 1–3—This entertaining introduction to the history of "The Star Spangled Banner" is a celebration of the national anthem, complete with background music, sound effects, and a performance of the full song by singer/songwriter Jo Dee Messina. The CD includes two readings of the book—one with page-turn signals and one without. The presentation is written in an approachable, even suspenseful manner as readers learn about Francis Scott Key's experiences on Chesapeake Bay at the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 that led to his writing of the poem that would one day become the national anthem of the United States of America. Reader Chris Lutkin does a nice job pacing the story in a way that further builds the drama, suspense, and intrigue of the song's history.
VERDICT This presentation would work well as a classroom introduction for students studying this time period or the anthem itself.

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