Master storyteller Joy Hakim has excited millions of young minds with the great drama of American history in her award-winning series A History of US. Hailed by historians, educators, and parents for its exciting, thought-provoking narrative, the books have been recognized as a break-through tool in teaching history and critical reading skills to young people. And the kids themselves agree: Hakim has piles of fan letters as testimony.
Beginning in January, PBS, in association with Thirteen/WNET, General Electric and Kunhardt Productions, will present Freedom: A History of US, an innovative television mini-series based on Joy Hakim's award-winning books. Katie Couric will host the series, George and Laura Bush will introduce the first episode, and celebrated actors such as Paul Newman, Glenn Close, Robin Williams, Matthew Broderick, Angela Bassett, Jeremy Irons, John Lithgow, and Morgan Freeman will participate as narrators. The program will focus on the history of the United States through the inspiring story of our fight to uphold the ideal of freedom, beginning with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, culminating in the Civil Rights movement, and concluding with the challenges posed by the September 11th attacks. In 8 one-hour episodes appearing nationally on public television, the story of America will unfold through Joy Hakim's vision: her belief that freedom survives again and again, despite all the mistakes and tragic setbacks, and that in order to succeed in upholding this great ideal we must examine the past.
The Freedom: A History of US companion book to the PBS series will capture both the visual energy of the programs and Hakim's rare gift for telling history through the lives of its makers. The book will follow the thread of the programs and also expand on them, providing a more complete picture of the people and events that shaped a defiant band of thirteen colonies into a great nation of 50 states. More than 400 illustrations, sidebars, and historical documents enhance this stunning look at American history for families to share, discuss, and treasure. Freedom: A History of US is an essential book for every household in America, and reminds us that great storytelling and a passion for freedom will always have a place at the table.
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Joy Hakim is a former teacher, newspaper writer, and editor who spent seven years writing the award winning A History of US series, developing the books in classrooms and using children as her editors.From Library Journal:
Both of these works provide a refreshing approach to narrative histories of the United States. Weinstein (Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case), the founder and president of the Center for Democracy, and juvenile author Rubel here offer a college-level work that revolves around 26 events from American history, beginning with Cort s and Moctezuma and concluding with September 11, 2001. This approach allows the authors to contextualize events by describing a period in greater detail than in a broad overview. This thematic approach is nicely supplemented by a broad array of illustrative material, ranging from cartoons to contemporary maps, and both the layout and the graphic design are aesthetically pleasing. Each chapter is supplemented by a two-page biographical essay written by a well-regarded historian (e.g., Elliot West, Joseph Ellis, and Robert Dallek). Hakim's Freedom: A History of Us is the companion to the PBS series set to air in January 2003 and is loosely based on her popular ten-volume series, A History of Us. Hakim, a former reporter, editor, and teacher, was reportedly so appalled by the history texts her grandchildren were reading in junior high school that she set out to write her own. Her book is an extraordinary departure from the typical text found in most public schools. Her voice resonates throughout, and her tone is that of a knowledgeable but opinionated maternal figure who doesn't let every detail keep her from crafting a great story. Her work too is copiously illustrated. Although written for different audiences, both of these books are highly recommended for public libraries.
Daniel Liestman, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. Lib. Svcs., Ft. Myers
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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