Children’s librarians are often asked for titles of books that will appeal to children who are not caught up in the latest fantasy craze or series. There are those who would rather just get the facts, or, if a chapter book is chosen, prefer to read stories with reality based plots and characters.
A few years ago Phillip Hoose’s, We Were There Too!… appeared on the scene and has proven to be a winner in meeting the needs of the non-fiction demographic and may possibly inspire even the most fantasy driven readers as well. Bound rather like a junior “coffee table” book, We Were There Too!…, is a selection of mini biographies of children and teens through out our nations history, presented in a format that is filled with images, side bars containing interesting facts and anecdotes and just enough historical back story to enhance each child’s biography.
The rich cultural diversity of the children included is exceptional, from 12 year old Diego Bermudez who sailed with Columbus, to nine year old Kory Johnson who in 1988 founded Children for a Safe Environment bringing national attention to the polluters of poor neighborhoods like her own.
This book is packed with the stories of children and teenagers some famous, many unknown, whose adventures and determination tell the story of our history in a fresh and engaging way. Perfect for family sharing, We Were There Too! is both readable and entertaining and can be found in most RI libraries.
We Were There Too! Young People in U.S. History
Author: Phillip Hoose
Melanie Kroupa Books Farrar Straus Giroux , New York 2001
Lindsay Shaw is the children’s librarian at the Providence Athenaeum. Lindsay and the staff of the Providence Athenaeum are committed to celebrating children and childhood through literature and programming for all ages.