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We fell in love with "The American Story" series by the Maestros...


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I fell in love with it knowing it only went through 1815. They were just perfect for us. We just finished the last book, and now I am really stumped to find something spine-like as we continue our US History studies. I'm primarily aiming at my 3rd grade DD while encouraging my K'er to listen in (and he does, most of the time). Hakim (Story of US) and Collier/Collier (Drama of American History) seem a bit too detailed for the age of my kids.


We tried one of the "America in the time of..." series (this: http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Clark-Story-Nation-America/dp/1575729350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358537174&sr=8-1&keywords=america+in+the+time+of+lewis+and+clark) and the kids didn't like it nearly as much as the Maestro's books -- though this is the next-closest thing I have seen.


I'm looking for something to give an overview of a time period (or multiple time periods if it is a longer text), not just a few scattered, random stories. The meat of our history studies is really a variety of non-fiction and fiction books we are checking out from the library, but I feel like we need something that gives an overview of the time period so that the individual pieces make sense.


I'm not too concerned one way or the other about pictures/illustrations (though the illustrations in the Maestro books are certainly nice). I have often been reading the Maestro books to the kids over lunch or snack, so they really weren't looking at the pictures much anyway. Engaging writing style is probably the top concern.


Anything we should investigate that would fit the bill?

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TCOO has a handful of passages that some find offensive and there is some bias towards European culture (referring to Native Americans as savages, etc.) I simply edit them, or we discuss the language in the context of the time in history that Marshall was writing. It is hard to find "living books" for history that are well written and have a detailed account, which is why we end up turning to vintage books so often.


I really love all of Maestro's books that we have read so far, we read a book on the French and Indian war that was fantastic. Have you read Jean Fritz's books? I know that they are not the "overview" you are looking for, they focus more on certain people and events, but they are so well written and engaging, if you read them in a more chronological order it could work for you.


There's also the If You Lived... series, which cover what life was like for ordinary people during certain time periods. My son loves these, we use them as a supplement.

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