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A History of US Reviews

A History of US ReviewsA History of US by Joy Hakim is a popular 10 volume set that presents American history in a series of interwoven narratives and biographies. Whether it’s standing on the podium in Seneca Falls with the Suffragettes or riding on the first subway car beneath New York City in 1904, the books in Joy Hakim’s A History of US series weave together exciting stories that bring American history to life. No matter which book they read, young people will never think of American history as boring again. Joy Hakim’s single, clear voice offers continuity and narrative drama as she shares with a young audience her love of and fascination with the people of the past.

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(7 Reviews)

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  1. A History of US Review by Laura Leigh

    I am surprised by the reviews criticizing Hakim’s supposed liberal bias. I am conservative and find her to be fair to all sides and quite sensitive. She doesn’t seem to have any more of a feminist bias than any humanitarian would, and she is quite fair in pointing out that slavery had been an accepted way of life for all of history, so it took a while for new Americans to catch on to the concept that all people should be free. About the native Americans, she traces their relationship with European immigrants all the way to the trail of tears, telling stories of their amazing accomplishments and contributions to our nation as well as the betrayals they suffered again and again. Bias or truth? Anyway, Hakim seems quite balanced and truthful to me. Furthermore, my high school kids love her books and are motivated to look up more detailed information about various people and happenings discussed by Hakim. She makes history “come alive” more than any other historian I’ve ever read. We will be returning to world history next year and are bemoaning the fact that she hasn’t written a world history series.

  2. A History of US Review by Spauldorf
    Pros: Very interesting read! overall very good.
    Cons: Have to weed through the Liberal, feminist, propaganda

    Grades Used: 9

    These books are easy and enjoyable to read with lots of interesting information. You need to read and discuss them with your kids though. You have to weed through the authors clear biases. Namely feminist, and liberal propaganda. You can tell she tries to be fair but there is a clear undercurrent. I would STRONGLY recommend buying the Sonlight notes to accompany the reading. He did an excellent job at balancing her views out and provided some very thoughtful alternatives to balance. Especially regarding the slavery issue. Overall, we really enjoyed the books. My kids’ only complaint was the constant feminist and slavery issues. She just couldn’t seem to let it go.

  3. A History of US Review by Laryssa
    Pros: Excellent broad picture of US history.
    Cons: Slight modern liberal bias.

    We included this series in our study of US History for 9th grade which we purchased through Sonlight. My daughter and I also read it aloud to her 1st and 2nd grade siblings. Sonlight has a wonderful review and explanation of A History of US. The review informs of the author’s modern liberal bias, yet why it is such a good series they chose to incorporate it into their core package with an instructor’s guide helping to balance the liberas view and point out differences.

  4. A History of US Review by JulieCC
    Pros: visually stunning; read like novels
    Cons: can be too visually distracting

    Grades Used: for 5th-high school

    My son is just completing a two-year American History study using “A History of US”. We’d started at the beginning when he was in 5th grade and the set up we used (with a K12, Inc. class) didn’t fit with his learning style. So we dropped them for awhile and picked them back up for high school. Now that he’s more of a reading-only learner, rather than one who needs “global” instruction, they’re a much better fit.

    My son and I love the visuals in the books. They are full-color, have sidebars, and make the reading come alive. They can be too visually distracting, however, for those who want more text-only reading.

    There is a great companion PBS site for the series here:

    The site will make the books come alive, especially for students who want to go deeper, or need some audio-visual lessons.

  5. A History of US Review by Crystal T
    Pros: Difficult concepts presented in an easy to understand way, excellent photos and illustrations
    Cons: none so far

    Grades Used: 1st

    I use these books with my daughter, and while she is only in 1st grade she is reading consistently at a 4th grade level. She loves A History of US! I attribute her interest in American History to these books, she’ll sit down with them on her own and leaf through them. For classwork I read out loud and we discuss the key concepts. These books make history interesting and fun for both of us! Also, I’ve been introducing the American Girl books to her, timing them to coincide with the period of history we’re reading about. It takes the history and makes it real on a level she can relate to.

  6. A History of US Review by Marie
    Pros: I second the info given above. I will add that my grandson was having a difficult time with reading comprehension. This is by no means a 'simplified' series, but the way the author writes, it's interesting. He loves it, absorbs the info easily, and most importantly, retains it. The teacher books are also a great guide to have. We've started with book 1, and will complete book 4 by the end of the year.
    Cons: none so far.

    Grades Used: 6

    The book numbers are not relevant to the grade level. We just started using these books this year….so far we love them! I don’t believe I’d use it at 2nd to 3rd grade level though, unless you have an advanced reader. I would say this is great for 4th through middle school.

  7. A History of US Review by Patricia
    Pros: A single series that will take you all the way through US history from prehistory through 1945. The books contain a lot of pictures and interesting dialogue that provide a springboard for additional discussion.
    Cons: None that I can come up with at this time.

    Grades Used: 5th, 6th and 7th

    My older son and I started this series with Book 5 – Liberty for All – 1800 to 1860. The book really kept his interest so I decided to have my younger son join us this year as we read Book 6 – War, Terrible War – 1855 to 1865. I read the book out loud to them and they usually have a lot of questions and comments. The pictures are excellent and really help from keeping things too dry. Additionally the chapters are the right length to keep their attention. We have supplemented this book with reading the historic novel series that starts with “The Guns of Bull Run”.

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