We Were There Too !
Young People in U.S. History
by Phillip Hoose

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by Phillip Hoose

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We Were There, Too! - Young People in U.S. History
by Phillip Hoose

Hardcover - 274 pages
First Edition, September 2001
Published by Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux
ISBN 0-374-38252-2 / 0374382522

            19-year-old Rebecca Bates and her 15-year-old sister Abigail found a very unusual way to become heroes in the War of 1812. They lived near the ocean in Scituate, Massachusetts. They saw a British ship sailing into the harbor. The ship anchored off the coast, then armed soldiers from the ship got into rowboats and paddled toward the shore. The two girls hid in the woods near the shore and played Yankee Doodle on the fife and drum. The British soldiers heard the music and believed they had encountered a U.S. army division. The soldiers quickly rowed back out to the ship, and the invasion was cancelled. [pages 76-78]

We Were There Too : Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose

            Before mail was delivered by trucks, trains and airplanes, there was the Pony Express. For example, there was no other way to get the message to the remote settlement of Salt Lake City, Utah that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president in 1861, and that the Civil War had begun. But you might not have known that most Pony Express riders were kids and teens. The poster advertising jobs available said, "Riders wanted.... Young, skinny, wiry fellows anxious for adventure and a chance to see our great West.... Orphans preferred...." [page 143] The most famous Pony Express rider was 11-year-old William F. Cody. Later in life, he became known as Buffalo Bill. [144]

            18-year-old Jennie Curtis was a leader of the railroad workers strike of 1884 in Chicago, and became president of a union local. The workers were disorganized and the union was falling apart. She delivered a speech that revitalized the organization. [171]

            In 1918, 16-year-old Edna Purcell was also active in a labor union, as secretary of a local in Hartford, Connecticut. She was also the president of a women's organization. She went to Washington, D.C. to march for the right of women to vote. [181]

            On March 2, 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks protested racial segregation in December of 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. [214]

            In the days of slavery, it was forbidden for slaves to get an education. 14-year-old Susie King Taylor, an African American girl in Georgia, taught reading and writing classes in secret. In 1862, the Union army captured the town, and the army gave Susie a job as a teacher. [115-117]

            Read about how Crow Foot, the 14-year-old son of Sioux chief Sitting Bull, stood bravely to defend the dignity of his people. [158]

Reviewed by Mike Lepore for
crimsonbird.com

            These are just a few of the wonderful true stories in We Were There, Too!   It's so detailed, the table of contents alone is six page columns.

            Four members of my family, ranging in ages from 10 to 48, read and thoroughly enjoyed this book.

            Hardcover, 274 page. About 200 illustrations, most of them black-and-white photos. 7-page 4-column index.

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We Were There Too : Young People in U.S. History , by Phillip Hoose

Book Description From the Publisher

          This unique book is the first to tell the story of the role young people have played in the making of our nation. It brings to life their contributions throughout American history -- from the boys who sailed with Columbus to today's young activists. Based largely on primary sources -- first-person accounts, journals, and interviews -- it highlights the fascinating stories of more than seventy young people from diverse cultures.

          Meet Olaudah Equiano, kidnapped from his village in western Africa and forced to endure a terrifying voyage into slavery; Rebecca Bates, who with her sister plays the fife and drum that scare off British soldiers during the War of 1812; and Anyokah, who helps her father create a written Cherokee language. Descend into the darkness of a Pennsylvania coal mine with nine-year-old Joseph Miliauskas for a ten-hour day that leaves his fingers bloody; read Carolyn McKinstry's account of being hosed by police during the 1963 Birmingham civil rights march; and join Jessica Govea, who, as a teenager, worked side by side with Cesar Chavez to organize migrant farm workers.

          These and many other compelling accounts, linked together by Phillip Hoose's lively, knowledgeable voice, make We Were There, Too! not only a great reference but a great read -- one that prompts Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States , to comment:

"This is an extraordinary book -- wonderfully readable, inspiring to young and old alike, and unique. I know of nothing like it."
Please click here to check the price at Amazon.com ...
We Were There Too : Young People in U.S. History , by Phillip Hoose
ISBN 0374382522 / 0-374-38252-2
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by Phillip Hoose