Monday, July 6, 2009

Cheryl Harness' Birthday

Born in Maywood, California on July 6, 1951, Cheryl Harness is a children's author who allows children to be time travelers as they read her books, sending them back in time to major events in the United States that have impacted life as it is today.

Harness, Cheryl.
The Amazing, Impossible Erie Canal.
Macmillan Books for Young Readers.
Guided Reading Level: M

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

When De Witt Clinton, a young politician, first dreams of building a canal to connect the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, folks don't believe such a thing can be done. But eight long years after the first shovelful of earth is dug, Clinton realizes his vision at last. The longest uninterrupted canal in history has been built, and it is now possible to travel by water from the American prairie all the way to Europe!

I've used this before in a 4th grade classroom and the kids really loved all the details that are pulled from the book... it's definitely the little things that they hang on to! This is a great read for anyone in the Great Lakes regions or for children who are learning about the history of the United States and the impact the past has on the present!

Harness, Cheryl.
They're Off!: The Story of the Pony Express.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Guided Reading Level: R

Summary from Barnes & Noble: In 1860, with North and South about to be divided by war, East and West were united through an extraordinary venture — the Pony Express. Over the course of ten days in April, eighty riders and five hundred horses delivered mail between California and Missouri — a mission that took three weeks by stagecoach.

This was a really interesting book and one on a topic that I wasn't at all familiar with... children will love it! There's a whole wealth of books relating to the Pony Express available that you could read alongside this one!
Harness, Cheryl.
Our Colonial Year.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:
In Colonial America there were no big grocery stores. No microwaves to serve up dinner piping hot. And no dishwashers for cleaning up. So what chores did colonial children do? From quilting bees and maple sugaring in the winter, to tilling the earth in spring, to harvesting an autumn feast, storyteller and historian Cheryl Harness tells a month-by-month story of a brand-new nation and the children in every city and farm whose hard work built America. Readers of all ages will delight in this vibrant folk art chronicle of one indelible nation way back when.
This would be a great read for children studying the 13 original colonies. I would probably use this book to have them compare life then and now!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to