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Paperback Shh! We're Writing the Constitution Book

ISBN: 0399214046

ISBN13: 9780399214042

Shh! We're Writing the Constitution

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Award-winning author Fritz takes readers behind the scenes at the Constitutional Convention for a good-humored history lesson, enlivened by dePaola's quirky illustrations.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Delightful reading for all ages

Great narrative -- engrossing and educational for ALL ages. De Paola's (of Strega Nonna fame) illustrations are absolutely perfect -- they convey the individual's character as well as their emotions during this 4 month stressful, enlightening brilliant and difficult time in our nation's history -- the rewriting (which turned into the total re-write) of the Articles of Confederation which became our nation's Constitution. This appeals to all ages -- and having just completed the reading and study of several wordy tomes having to do with the Constitutional Convention, "Shh! We're Writing the constitution" provided a delightful conclusion to my studies, as well as welcomed comic relief.

A gem for introducing youth to the basis of our United States government.

Shh! We're Writing the Constitution, Jean Fritz, pictures by Tomie dePaola, G.P. Putnam's sons, Penguin Putnam books for Young Readers, New York, N.Y., 1987, 64 p. This nonfiction book written in storytelling style describes how the United States Constitution came to be written and ratified with the disagreements, debates, negotiations, and compromises. It also reveals why the Bill of Rights was developed. Jean Fritz introduces the ordinary human aspects of significant historic characters such as George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and John Hamilton. The book includes a listing of notes supporting the text with references to specific pages, the text of the Constitution, and a list of the signers. Jean Fritz has created a delightful vehicle to learn about the United States Constitution. She uses a conversational style with humor and entertaining anecdotes coupled with de Paola's engaging and colorful illustrations on every page. Although aimed at readers from age 8 to 12, this is an excellent introduction for reluctant readers as well as anyone seeking a lively and fascinating introduction to the United States Constitution.

The story of the Constitution Convention for young readers

The point of Jean Fritz's "Shh! We're Writing the Constitution" is that contrary to popular opinion, America had to be dragged kicking and screaming into becoming a new nation. While it is true that Americans were happy to be independent of Great Britain, the colonies that were now states had become used to being sovereign and many of them wanted to keep it that way. Illustrated by Tomie de Paola,, this engaging juvenile history tells how fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to attempt to draw up a plan for the future of the United States. The result was the writing of the Constitution, despite the fact that initially no one agreed to either what should be in it or even if a constitution should be drawn up in the first place. Fritz makes it clear that there were Founding Fathers, such as Patrick Henry who refused to attend the convention, who did not want a strong federal government, as well as those like Alexander Hamilton who dismissed the current confederation as "nothing but a monster with thirteen heads." The "Shh!" in the title has to do with the agreement of the delegates to keep the proceedings a secret. One of the great things about this book is that young students who already know about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin will learn about other Founding Fathers who were important in framing the Constitution, such as Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, William Paterson of New Jersey, Luther Martin of Maryland, and Edmund Randolph of Virginia. Again, not all of these men would sign their names to the finished document, but they were important during the debate. They will also learn why James Madison is called the "Father of the Constitution," and how Hamilton and another stronger Federalist, John Jay, played important roles, along with Madison, is getting the public to support the Constitution. In telling the story of how the Constitution came to be written Fritz focuses on why certain points were adopted. So students will not only get to hear about the shouting matches and emotional outbursts, but also the political divisions and complex issues of the convention from which emerged the basis of the American government. Even at the end of the story students will be surprised to learn that the vote to adopt the Constitution was closer in Massachusetts (187 to 168) and Virginia (89-79) than it was in South Carolina (149-73) and that North Carolina voted against ratification and Rhode Island did not even bother to hold a convention (i.e., political divisions were just as strong back then as they are today). In addition to reprinting the Constitution of the United States based on the engrossed parchment sent by the Federal Convention to Congress on September 18, 1787, the back of the book also has four pages of informative notes on details from the Annapolis Convention, the debates over how the president should be addressed and how slaves should be counted, and what became the "Federalist Papers." "Shh! We

Are you a nervous reck over the constitution?? I was!

Hi! I am a twelve year old girl from California and i was verry nervous about the constitutioin test.This book helped me a lot on the test. I was so woried and nervous, but once i read this book, along with If You Were There When They Wrote THe Constitution,I knew i had studied to my full capability! I was so overloaded with information i didn't even need for the test! But all of that studying paid off because ,with the help from this book, I got***********100%*********************! My family was so proud of me. well i didn't just write this review to brag i wrote it to tell you that this book was a great investement for me! also if you are anything like me you will still think you need to study more so you should also buy if you were there when they wrote the constitition.Good Luck!

It has great illustrations.

It is important for a book about a Constitution to be very good. It has good illustrations and it has a lot of interesting and cool facts. It is a good book overall.
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