Synopses & Reviews
Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous people in world history, yet few know the full story of the amazing, resourceful, and tragic Italian explorer. Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration for Kids portrays the “Admiral of the Ocean Seas” neither as hero nor heel but as a flawed and complex man whose significance is undeniably monumental. Kids will gain a fuller picture of the seafarers life, his impact, and the dangers and thrills of exploration as they learn about all four of Columbuss voyages to the New World, not just his first, as well as the year that Columbus spent stranded on the island of Jamaica without hope of rescue. Students, parents, and teachers will appreciate the in-depth discussions of the indigenous peoples of the New World and of the consequences of Columbuss voyages—the exchange of diseases, ideas, crops, and populations between the New World and the Old. Fun hands-on activities illuminate both the nautical concepts introduced and the times in which Columbus lived. Kids can:
- Tie nautical knots
- Conduct a blanket (silent) trade
- Make a compass
- Simulate a hurricane
- Take nautical measurements
- And much more
"This book...offer[s] a straightforward glimpse into the life and times of Columbus with a narrative that does not shy away from more unsettling aspects of his life...Reis puts the explorer in context with a thorough look at motivations for exploration and scientific beliefs of the time." —Booklist
"[Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration for Kids] marks an important part of our history with fascinating details, fun history and beautiful art and maps...This book is great for elementary kids, and little ones will enjoy the pictures and activities." —Kristen Kemp, Parents.com
"A brilliantly illustrated and well laid out account...I highly recommend it!" —Luxury Reading
“A well-written, extensive history.” —Kirkus
“It explores some big decisions by Congress, including votes to outlaw slavery and give voting rights to black men and then to women. It also includes 21 activities to help explain the day-to-day work on Capitol Hill.” —The Washington Post
“Kids will be engaged by the focus on dramatic stories, personalities, and turning points while also benefitting from the clear discussions of Congressional purpose, structure, history, and ongoing issues.” —BookTrib
“On what typically is a rather confusing and dry subject, author Ronald Reis breaks everything down so that it is both completely comprehensible and at the same time fascinating. In fact, the explanation of how the US Congress is organized and what its functions are, is the best written summary on the subject I’ve ever read, bar none.” —Smart Books for Smart Kids
“This entry in the For Kids series offers both historical and timely perspectives of Congress.” —Booklist
Taking a comprehensive, nuanced, and inclusive approach to Christopher Columbus, this illuminating biography with activities for young readers places him in the context of the explorations that came before, during, and after his lifetime. It portrays the “Admiral of the Ocean Seas” neither as hero nor heel, but as a flawed and complex man whose significance is undeniably monumental. Providing kids, parents, and teachers with a fuller picture of the seafaring life and the dangers and thrills of exploration, author Ronald Reis details all four of Columbuss voyages to the New World, not just his first, and describes the year that Columbus spent stranded on the island of Jamaica without hope of rescue. A full chapter is devoted to painting a more complete and complex portrait of the indigenous peoples of the New World and another to the consequences of Columbuss voyages—the exchange of diseases, ideas, crops, and populations between the New World and the Old. Engaging cross-curricular activities, such as taking nautical measurements, simulating a hurricane, making an ancient globe, and conducting silent trade, elucidate nautical concepts introduced and the times in which Columbus lived.
An interactive guidebook to the history and inner workings of the legislative branch of the U.S. Government
Providing a historical perspective on all that is going on today, US Congress for Kids examines the major milestones in congressional history, including the abolition of slavery, extending the vote to African Americans and to women, and investigating misconduct in both government and private institutions. Kids will be engaged by the focus on dramatic stories, personalities, and turning points while also benefitting from the clear discussions of Congressional purpose, structure, history, and ongoing issues. Educational, hands-on activities that illuminate the workings of the U.S. Congress include making a House ceremonial mace, creating congressional money, making a capitol dome, and designing a Congressional Medal of Honor.
Henry Ford for Kids provides an in-depth and refreshingly realistic portrait of the man who “put America on wheels” and, in so doing, helped create a modern America. Detailing Ford’s childhood as a precocious farm-boy mechanic, his revolutionary labor and production ideas, and the lasting legacy of his widespread philanthropy, author Ronald Reis also does not shy away from his eccentricities and the issues that stirred controversy, such as the industrialist’s anti-Semitism and his pacifist views. Packed with historic photos and illuminating sidebars, the book brings the turn of the 20th century to life, touching on related topics such as the popularity of “auto polo,” the Great War, the life of industrial architect Albert Kahn (“the man who built Detroit”), and more. Twenty-one hands-on activities encourage budding innovators to apply engineering and production ideas and learn more about the era. Kids will build a lemon-powered battery, make a moving assembly line, learn to dance the waltz, design an automobile dashboard, and much more.
About the Author
Ronald A. Reis is the technology department chair at Los Angeles Valley College. He has a bachelors degree in applied technology and a masters degree in the social sciences and has taught at the middle school, high school, and community college level. He is the author of several young adult nonfiction books, including African Americans and the Civil War, Buffalo Bill Cody, and The World Trade Organization. Buffalo Bill Cody won the 2011 Spur Award for the best juvenile nonfiction biography about the West, from the Western Writers of America. He lives in Calabasas, California. Ronald A. Reis is the author of numerous biographies for young adults, including the Spur Award-winning Buffalo Bill Cody.