Books That Shaped America’s History

August 1st, 2018 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

 

It’s Wednesday, August 1, 2018, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Library of Congress: Books That Shaped America

(www.loc.gov/exhibits/books-that-shaped-america/overview.html)

Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 4-12, with parental supervision)

 

The Library of Congress has an exhibition called “Books That Shaped America” that highlights books that have had a historical impact on the lives of Americans through the ages.

The titles featured are by American authors and as the website explains, “Some of the titles on display have been the source of great controversy, even derision, yet they nevertheless shaped Americans’ views of their world and often the world’s view of the United States.” The Library of Congress encourages visitors to read the books exhibited to explore the breadth and depth of America’s literary tradition
 
This online exhibit presents a unique opportunity to identify books of historical importance by era. When you get to the site, you’ll see a menu of each era including: 

  • 1750 to 1800 – Find book titles such as: Experiments and Observations on Electricity by Benjamin Franklin, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, and even the first American cookbook.
  • 1800 to 1850 – You’ll find Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a book featuring papers written by Lewis & Clark about their great expedition, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. You’ll discover why these books were of great historical importance.
  • 1850 to 1900 – The titles here will most likely be much more familiar and include: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and many more.
  • 1900 to 1950 – Book titles you’ll recognize include: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and more.
  • 1950 to 2000 – Discover Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, The Double Helix by James D. Watson, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, etc.

Click on any era and a new page opens that explains what each book is about and why it is historically significant. Some of the explanations are thought provoking – and could stimulate lots of discussion.
 
You might want to copy the titles and use them as a guide the next time you head to the library for a good read.

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