Awesome America Review (Kid’s Nonfiction)

Welcome to Awesome America!

With 319 million people and nearly 3.8 million square miles of land, there’s a lot to know about the United States. How can one person learn it all? Lucky for you, Awesome America is the perfect introduction. Packed with photos, stats, and fun facts on every page, this book has everything you need to know about what makes American awesome!

-Discover how American has changed through the centuries.
-Learn about the documents that are the basis for American democracy.
-Revisit the great moments that changed America, from the first airplane flight to the first lunar landing.
-Dive into culture with introductions to great Americans. – Goodreads

Awesome America Review

Awesome America wasn’t a book that I particularly felt like reviewing recently. However, I’m glad I did. It reminded me of the fact that there are many things about our country that are worth knowing. Katy Steinmetz did a great job of compiling information about our country in a way that made sense and is accessible to younger readers.

There was one listed fact that cracked me up. It appeared early on, and it probably set the tone for my favorable view of the book. On the life timeline for Benjamin Franklin, it lists:

1722: Became a vegetarian (partly so he could spend more money on books).

Mr. Franklin had his priorities in order! But that wasn’t the only thing that made me at least smile while reading the book. One other thing that stood out in Awesome America was a section where they listed common items, and what the states called them. I’m from Ohio, and I have never heard any other Ohioan refer to the items they mentioned in the way the book says that we do. (Could just be the part of Ohio that I’m from, but it amused me nevertheless.)

On a more serious note, I liked how simply the author broke down the Amendments language. I also appreciated the clear-cut, easy to understand graphics that peppered the book. There are many books out there that talk a lot about the various states, their flowers, animals, etc. I liked that in Awesome America, it’s kept fairly short and sweet.  Though it does have a cool map that shows the various wild animals that make each state their home.

With a name like Awesome America, you can expect (and rightly so) that there’s a fair bit of “rose-tinted glasses” going on in the view that the book paints of our country. That and the fact that it’s aimed at younger readers, of course. Nevertheless, it still manages to give readers some interesting information about our country, and explain things clearly and concisely. Also, while Awesome America does look fondly back, it doesn’t sidestep the bad stuff completely. Whilst our welcoming of people from foreign countries is talked about, so is our issues with segregation. While our innovation in so many things is mentioned so is the fact that we did most of the American Indians living in the USA very, very bad.

Overall, while I’m not awed by the book, I do have to admit that Katy Steinmetz did a good job. She skillfully leads readers through the founding of America through to modern day events.  The accompanying curriculum guide is also well done. I intend on keeping it around and using with my child when she gets to the point where she’s interested in reading something like Awesome America.

4 Star Rated Awesome America Review

Title: Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the HIstory, People, and Culture | Author: Katy Steinmetz | Publisher: Time for Kids (site) | Pub. Date: 2016-5-31 | Pages: 208 | Genre: Children’s Educational | Language: English | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy free from the publisher.



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4 Responses to Awesome America Review (Kid’s Nonfiction)

  1. Donna says:

    I like the sound of this book, I might find a couple of interesting facts to fit into my university works!

  2. Brian Bixby says:

    For much of its history, Ohio has had two cultures, because the northern counties were settled by New Englanders and New Yorkers, while the counties in the south were settled from Virginia and the hill country to the east. That MIGHT explain the issue you bring up, of unfamiliar Ohioan terms.

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