Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Americans Who Tell the Truth by Robert Shetterly #8

Shetterly, R. (2005). Americans who tell the truth. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

fourth- eighth grades

Curriculum Links:

I would use this in social studies instruction.

Author Credibility:

Robert Shetterly has written and illustrated several books. He credits several colleagues for researching and writing the biographies associated with the book.


2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
2006 International Reading Association for Intermediate Non-Fiction

Book Summary:

This a book that gives biographical information of fifty different Americans, alive and dead, that spoke out their opinions regarding the U.S. government, conservation, civil rights, equal rights, war, and other topics that of interest to all people.

National/State Standards:

Social Studies Standards:
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Civic Ideals and Practices


This is a book that started as a collection of paintings done by Shetterly. The portraits exist in a traveling exhibit. The verso does not specific the medium, but the portraits appear to be oil. Each portrait shows the humanness of the subject, and has a quote by the subject on the canvas.

Access Features:

Important access features of this book include an introduction written by the author, a biographical index with thumbnail illustrations that match the full size ones in the book, and acknowledgments.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book in a study of biographies or in a study of civic practices.

My Response to the Book:

This was not a book that I fell in love with. There were some parts that I did enjoy, but the overall feel of the book was negative. The individuals in this book all stand for worthy causes, but the undertones of what I read had a negative feel. Perhaps if there were not so many people featured, the impact would not have been so heavy. I do not think this is a book I will share with my students.

Related Texts:

My Brush with History: By 95 Americans Who Were There
by Michael Driscoll and American Heritage Magazine
10 Women Who Helped Shape America by Sarah Glasscock
This Land Is Your Land: The American Conservation Movement by Sylvia Whitman

1 comment:

I love nonfiction said...

I'm curious about the title of the book and what it had to do with the content of the book. Why do you think the author selected this title?

Is this book one that could be read in pieces rather than cover to cover?

What was it about this book that made it seem negative to you? Was the writing style or tone not pleasing or was it the information that seemed to have a negative spin or what? I'm not familiar with this book so I'm really curious about your reaction to the book.