The American Story Series by Betsy and Giulio Maestro

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There seem to be a variety of ways of approaching explorers to America. Share superficial information? Delve into the negative facts about the explorers? Although I’m not keen on focusing on the negative colonial aspects of American history, it is important that my young kindergartner(age 5) get some type of overview of the various explorers who brought Europe and America together. 

The best overall book I read this season is The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy Maestro and illustrated by Giulio Maestro, the first book in a nonfiction picture book series about the history of America. It has a paragraph of text on each page, as well a nice illustrations and maps. It mentions a few different ways people arrived in the Americans, including the landbridge and the Viking explorations.

Exploration and Conquest is the second book. This second book has far more detail and so a denser text than the first book did. Given my son’s young age, we read portions of it to learn about a few more explorers and make an Explorers game.

So far, the American Story series is fantastically written. The books currently in print only cover American history until 1815, but I believe that subsequent history books are in progress. I’ll have to circle around and discuss these books again sometime. While I don’t believe we’ll be using all the books in the series at this point (they are geared toward upper elementary readers), I plan on having them on hand for my own reference!

ETA: It doesn’t appear that the series continued beyond 1815, unfortunately.

Reviewed on October 9, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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