With talk of campaigns and elections in the air, why not take a look at Lynne Cheney’s book We the People: The Story of Our Constitution?  Published by Simon and Schuster (Reprint edition, 2012), the book allows readers to almost be standing in the room at that early time in U.S. history. They will sense the struggles and feel the worry. Will this young nation survive as a nation with its new idea of a government of the people and by the people? Men such as Madison, Washington and Franklin faced this almost impossible task.

Readers learn that delegates from twelve states came to Philadelphia to do more than revise the weak Articles of Confederation. A new kind of government was to be formed. This government would have three branches and it would not be ruled by a king, as England was. Throughout the long, hot months of the summer the delegates argued, compromised and prayed. When completed, Ben Franklin said, “The Constitution was astonishingly good.”

The introduction to We the People: The Story of Our Constitution sets the tone. The illustrations of awarding-winning artist Greg Harlin enhance each of the historic happenings. The vocabulary and style is more for eight-year-olds but younger children will enjoy having this book read to them.

Cheney engages the reader, capturing on each page the step by step progress of the new nation. The document’s signing in 1787, was a triumph of history that all children should learn about.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.” She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.

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