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Paperback The First Americans : Prehistory-1600 Book

ISBN: 0195327152

ISBN13: 9780195327151

The First Americans : Prehistory-1600

(Book #1 in the A History of US Series)

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Book Overview

Recommended by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy as an exemplary informational text. Thousands of years--way before Christopher Columbus set sail--wandering tribes of hunters made their way from Asia across the Bering land bridge to North America. They didn't know it, but they had discovered a New World. The First Americans is a fascinating re-creation of pre-Columbian Native American life, and it's an adventure...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

This book is a dumpster fire. Don't buy it.

To begin – this book is a dumpster fire. It is full of factually incorrect information, baseless opinions, and very little information about Native peoples. The information about Native peoples is from euro-centric viewpoint. The book almost entirely focuses on Europe and Europeans. Only 10 out of 39 chapters are actually focused on Native peoples of the Americas, and much of that information is wrong. It uses the word “Indian” throughout instead of correct terminology. She likes to quote European opinions about Natives, but doesn’t do the same for Native opinions of Europeans. The book repeatedly calls the Americas a “wilderness,” when in fact it was far from it. The information about Natives that is sprinkled throughout is either wrong or extremely biased. This book makes me seriously question her ability to write anything correct in the rest of the series and I am genuinely horrified to read the next book. As a Native educator, this is one of the worst books I've ever seen on this subject. If I could give it 0 stars, I would. Seriously... don't buy this book. Here is a chapter by chapter review: It calls us the “first Americans,” which is something many of us don’t like because we aren’t “American.” The map in the beginning is incorrect, places some nations in the wrong locations and puts ancient nations on the same map as later nations as if they existed at the same time. Chapter 1 is about her opinions of history. It is full of cringe worthy quotes. It says that being American means your ancestors are Indians, Vikings, Pilgrims and slaves…as if we all have a common heritage…and even says we have a common heritage. She cays the U.S. is the “most remarkable nation that has ever existed.” It makes false claims about how supposedly no other nation has ever “provided” so much freedom, justice and opportunity. It claims the US corrects its mistakes. It also said that a peoples government had never been made before the US. Chapter 2 is about Mongolia and the Stone Age. It is extremely biased. Chapter 3 presents the land bridge theory as fact. It has a made up story about how Natives may have migrated through the Americas that is not based on any facts. It says the Kenwick Man is from a “different stock,” as if we are animals. It perpetuates the myth that some Native nations thought Cortes was a god. Chapter 4 says that “Indians” is a good word for us and that “Native” is confusing. “Anyone born in a country is a native of that country, so many of us are native Americans.” That quote is extreme erasure of our own identities, among others in this chapter. It lumps us all together in to one group and says “Indians…” did this or that, but then later explains that no one group did all those things, which is extremely confusing to children. She contradicts herself several times. She then goes back to generalizing us as one group. This chapter is then interrupted by something about dinosaurs. Chapter 5 uses the racial slur “esk*m*s” to describe arctic peoples. She contradicts herself multiple times and flip flops on what terms to use and when. She only mentions Inuit people by name. The information about arctic peoples is mostly incorrect here. She also says that in order to know about Native Americans’ pasts that you must fictionally time travel, rather than getting your information from us. Basically she implies that modern Natives don’t know anything about our peoples histories. She barely acknowledges that modern Native people exist. Chapter 6 is almost entirely incorrect. Virtually nothing written here is anywhere close to correct. She compares us to animals multiple times and implies how inferior we are to Europeans at the time. She spells Native nation names incorrectly and puts people groups together at the same time when in fact they existed in different time periods. She also says people have no freedom. Chapter 7 is also almost entirely incorrect. It’s also written with extreme bias and says very rude things about the peo

Great text

Ms. Hakim does a fantastic job of storytelling history. We love her books! Everything in this book, from the pictures and info graphics to the text is selected well and makes diving into history a real adventure.

Better than textbooks

The information in this series of books is very detailed, well researched, and has a fun approachable tone. My only concern is that it might sometimes border on being too flippant. But the report of history is very balanced and it's always asking the reader questions and letting the reader make conclusions about open ended topics.

Another good title in this series

Wonderful for kids to learn but not to long they get bored. Also great for breaking up into sections for unit studies

If only history class would have been this exciting...

...I might not have used it for nap-time! This series - The History of US - covers the history of the people of the United States. It is written in language that 8-12 year olds can easily understand. Difficult words are have accompanying pronunciations and definitions. My 8 year old daughter and I are reading this series together and out loud. She finds it fascinating and a real page turner. Unlike my history texts (in the 70's) that tended to skip and flit about through time, this series starts at 50,000 BC and goes forward to the present. Volume #1 covers the Neandertahals & Homo Sapiens, the Indians, Columbus, and the Conquistadors to approximately year 1600. I think that this would be a good series for teaching history to homeschoolers. We are certainly looking forward to Volume #2. I promise that you - the parent - will also learn quite a bit!

All kids' books should be this good.

I thought my 4-year-old was only half listening as I read "The First Americans" to her sister (age 6). But the other evening at story time, her face lit up and she begged for "history"! I can give it no higher praise.This volume covers the first 12,000 years--give or take a few millennia--of human life on our continent. Hakim strikes a good balance between outlining the broad sweep of the period, and focusing in on interesting stories, people, and trivia ("fun facts" in my girls' lingo). She doesn't gloss over difficult subjects, such as the massacre of the Aztecs by the Spaniards under Cortés. But she relates these events with balance and sympathy, helping her young readers to understand them from different points of view (in this case the Aztecs; their neighbors who were victims of cruel Aztec rituals; and the Spaniards who wanted Aztec gold, but also were abhorred by Aztec viciousness towards their neighbors). What's more, Hakim openly invites them to think about and even reject her own judgements.She has sparked many good conversations in our household. For instance, she used the example of Cortés to illustrate some tough ethical questions that philosophers debate to this day. I talked about these questions with my daughters, and helped them to express and refine their own thoughts. Then I invited them to think up some other tough questions. My younger one took the cake with "what is 'is'?". She had offered it in jest, but to her surprise I pulled out "Being and Time", one of several big books on my shelf devoted to that very question. She was amused, but quite pleased.No doubt you will find something to disagree with in this, as in any good history. When that happens, do what the author suggests: use it as an opportunity to debate her conclusions with your kids, and sharpen their critical skills. For the rest of it, enjoy a great story well-told. I can hardly imagine a better history for this age group.

Great history book for homeschooling!

I am currently using the first book in The History of US to teach history to my homeschooled children, ages 9 and 6. Written for children, the books tell a story of being a time and space traveller, and visiting chronologically the stages of development of the Unites States. The first book starts in the Ice Age, with Asians crossing the land bridge, and follows up through Native American tribes, ending with explorers from Europe.I'd say these books are probably around a 6th grade reading level, and they are fun, interesting, and capture the imagination as well as teach an awful lot about history. The perspective of the books is that no one view of history is correct, and your child is expected to formulate his/her own ideas about what is right and wrong (for example, about forcing "native americans" to live on reservations.)I highly recommend the first book in the series, and I can hardly wait to finish it up, so we can start in on the next one!
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