Review Detail

Hitting the High Notes
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
4.0
The War of 1812 isn't one that really captures the imagination of young readers like the Revolutionary or Civil War does, but is nonetheless an important chapter of US history. There is a brief introduction to this conflict, complete with a map and list of key figures, but we then see some of the side stories that are going on. An explanation of Mary Pickersgill sewing business is brought in, and we then return to the war as it affected Baltimore. Francis Scott Key's involvement is highlighted, and we return to some of the battle details before getting a British perspective through the eyes of Sir Alexander Cochrane, the highest ranking British officer. As the battles rage on, we see Key's inspiration, the penning of the famous song, and are left with details about the fates of various key players.
Good Points
George Santayana supposedly authored the phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is an important thing to remember during these times of national turmoil when people are, rightly, questioning many of the traditions in the US that have questionable origins. While it was common two hundred years ago to take great pride in one's ability to subdue other nations, this is not a current opinion. I've never been a huge fan of the Star-Spangled Banner, favoring America the Beautiful as easier to sing and less polemic, but the anthem is part of US history, and as such, is important to study in order to understand US history.

This is a good length for a middle grade nonfiction book, coming in at just about 150 pages, plus notes and appendices. I enjoyed the fact that it did not concentrate on just the fighting, but highlighted key figures and other events occurring at the time. Fans of books about war will find enough descriptions of battle to make them happy!

This nicely paced recounting of events leading up to our nation's national anthem is delivered in a beautifully formatted book. Heavy, glossy paper does justice to the plentiful illustrations, period paintings, and facsimile documents supporting the text. The use of red, blue, and cream made me think of the US Bicentennial when I was a child-- this book would have fit right in! There are Places to Visit, a glossary, a timeline, and a nice bibliography as well.

Nonfiction books about a variety of history topics are always interesting to read. This author has several others including Milestones of Flight: From Hot-Air Balloons to SpaceShipOne and First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race. Star-Spangled might be enjoyed by young readers who gravitate towards historical nonfiction titles like
Brinkley's American Moonshot Young Readers' Edition: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, Bowen's Gridiron: Stories from 100 Years of the National Football League or Olson's Into the Clouds: The Race to Climb the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
As their communities were being destroyed, groups of Jewish women...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This hilarious story of a pangolin with an identity crisis...
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled...
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When Sam can’t sleep, he decides to ask all the...
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years...
Fate Calling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed fae prince. A lonely human lass. A...
Welcome to California
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to California! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner...
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this...

Latest Member Reviews

In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
"IN DEEPER WATERS is an intriguing and fast-paced YA fantasy. Tal is the fourth of five royal children in a..."
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
"THESE FEATHERED FLAMES is an enchanting YA fantasy about sisterhood, power, and destiny. When twins are born in the royal..."
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
"THE OTHER SIDE OF PERFECT is an engrossing YA contemporary about loss, grief, moving on, friendship, and sisterhood. Alina has..."
Indivisible
 
5.0
"INDIVISIBLE is a heartfelt and riveting YA contemporary about family, feeling different, and immigration in the US. Mateo is a..."
My Last Summer with Cass
 
5.0
"“A good friendship is like a work of art.” Megan and Cass have been friends forever. Their..."
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
"THE PRISON HEALER is a stunning and captivating YA fantasy read. This book takes place in a prison, Zalindov, which..."
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
"There were so many things I really liked about this book. The case of the missing girls was obviously the..."
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
"POISON PRIESTESS is an intriguing YA historical fiction that follows Catherine Monvoisin, a fortune teller and infamous master of poisons...."
Ember of Night
 
4.3
"EMBER OF NIGHT is an intense and steamy YA fantasy read. The book follows Harley, an almost 18-year-old who has..."
The Sky Above Us
 
3.3
"THE SKY ABOVE US is a YA drama about grief, loss, and the search for something better. The book follows..."
Poisoned
 
4.3
"POISONED by Jennifer Donnelly is a YA fairytale retelling of the original Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. In it,..."
Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love
 
N/A
"[b]AMOXIL[/b] is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia,..."
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
"WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS is a consuming and compelling YA thriller. The book is told from several points-of-view, but primarily..."
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
"HAVOC is an intriguing continuation of a YA paranormal romance. In this world, witches and werewolves live side by side..."
Coming Up for Air
 
4.7
"COMING UP FOR AIR is an intense and heart-wrenching YA contemporary with some heavy themes. The book is told between..."
A Curse of Ash & Embers (The Blackbone Witches, #1)
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ASH AND EMBERS is an intriguing, character-driven YA fantasy read. Elodie has received a letter of employment..."
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
"ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people...."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"While being forced to clean an old room in her Catholic school, Maeve finds an old tarot deck that instantly..."
Just Our Luck
 
4.3
"JUST OUR LUCK is a charming YA contemporary about loss, anxiety, and friendship. Leo is a bit of a loner,..."
Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle, #2)
 
5.0
"FLAMEFALL is the absolutely stunning and enthralling sequel to FIREBORNE, and the second in the Aurelian Cycle trilogy. The book..."