Series Review: “Dear America” by Scholastic

dear_americaAs we have many history-making moments in our time, you get to see big historical moments through a girl perspective in the series “Dear America” from Scholastic. The “Dear America” books are stories about big moments in history, like Hitler, in a form of a girl’s diary. The original series published by Scholastic in 1996, had hard covers, ribbon bookmarks attached inside (to hold your place), and 36 books.

The books out of the series I have read, and are my favorites, are Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 by Kristiana Gregory (1997), Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, RMS Titanic, 1912 by Ellen Emerson White (1998), The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868 by Kristiana Gregory (1999), One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938 by Barry Denenberg (2000), and many more.

The series was cancelled in 2004 with its final release, Hear My Sorrow. However, it was relaunched in the fall of 2010. The 2010 re-launch series came out with new covers and had no ribbon bookmarks were attached. The re-launch series has 19 books, from the original series like A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 by Patricia McKissack (January 2011), Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918 by Lois Lowry (January 2011), as well as new “Dear America” stories like Behind the Masks: The Diary of Angeline Reddy, Bodie, California, 1880 by Susan Patron (January 2012).

As I am reading Color Me Dark by Patricia McKissack, I think the reading level is a bit low for middle school and high school, it is a great way on getting a learning on historical moments in a creative, non-boring way. The reading level I chose was from 3rd grade up to 7th grade.

-Kate B., 7th grade

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