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The First Americans: Prehistory-1600

(A History of US #1)

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  859 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Presents the history of the Native Americans from earliest times through the arrival of the first Europeans. Author: Joy HakimReading Level: Ages 4-8Format: 160 pages, Paperback Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA 3 edition (July 11, 2002) ISBN: 978-0195153200
Paperback, Third Edition, 160 pages
Published September 15th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1993)
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Jim
This is fantastic as a history for kids. I guess it's geared toward 10 year olds since the pilot of the time ship is, but it has a lot of good information & questions. (The time ship thing wasn't overdone, just used occasionally.) For instance, Hakim didn't pull any punches when describing the colonization of the Americas, but she didn't vilify anyone. She managed to show their mindset & circumstances pointing out where they were brutal, but also how tough they were.

She covers the time from abou
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Suzanne
Feb 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely condescending and politically correct bias. On the positive side, my kids are showing what great critical readers they are by picking apart the personal opinion she presents as historical fact.
Aslan Tudor
Aug 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The other John
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, schoolbook
This year my elder daughter's history textbook is an eleven volume series called A History of US. Like The Story of the World series, it adds some life and character to the dull old facts and figures of your old fashioned history texts. What's even better is that I get to read it along with the Sonlight curriculum, which offers its own rebuttals to various statements in the text. Not that one really needs the extra commentary. Ms. Hakim does a rather nice job of pointing out that there are two s ...more
Matriarchy
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: homeschooling or supplementing families
My eldest daughter used these in 5th grade through an online school, and she liked them. We are using them again, this time while homeschooling our younger daughter, now in 5th grade. Elder sister hearing them for the second time (now 9th grade) is absorbing a higher level of detail. Larger public libraries frequently have one of the editions (I think 1999 was first, then around 2002, then the Third Edition is 2006-2007).

I think these are great for homeschooling families, especially if you have
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Charles
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to this series by my son, whose elementary school uses this series as a history text in sixth grade. Sure, because of the intended audience, the writing is simple and conclusions somewhat pat, but I am impressed how effective Hakim is at presenting a primer of U.S. history. She is balanced and fair, and her presentation is interesting, thorough, and surprisingly nuanced. She often includes examples from primary sources and lesser-known facts to flesh out the story. As a lover of ...more
Amy
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series of books about US History are OUTSTANDING! I used the series when I taught US History in 5th grade and I still refer to them constantly. They are written on a 5th grade reading level but their interest level is huge...old to young. US History is told through stories, accounts, pictures, anecdotes, etc. and it is fun! This is a must have reference library for any household!
Dawn Wells
Good if under the age of 8. When first person and your own opinions are important. Can see why schools use them as they don't want you to know everything in history anyway.
R.A. Knight
*We were using this as a spine for our American History studies for homeschooling this year. It’s painfully hard trying to find secular history that is not euro-centric. This series came highly recommended as the “go to” for secular homeschooling families.

Pro's:
- Very detailed. It's an 11 volume set.
- Written in more of a story format; rather than a dry, boring textbook.
- Audio book has a great narrator. (I really appreciate education books that have an audiobook option)
- Secular history option
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Sara
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
From a Christian Creation perspective, the beginning of this book is false. However, I see no reason that I can't use that to my advantage, and seize the opportunity to teach my students (who happen to be my own children) my own belief system and help them to understand the beliefs of others.

I thoroughly appreciated the love that was put into the writing of this book. I love that it was written by a single individual and not a committee or a board. It's a living book, not a dry, mundane textbo
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Melanie
I enjoyed this book. The author kept my attention as it was written more as a story instead of like a dry, boring textbook.
I disagree with the point of view that was given for the original inhabitants of this continent, but it was an opportunity to learn to understand differences in belief.
The entire book was interesting enough to continue to go through the series and share it as a springboard for American history with my children.
Sara
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s a lot of great information in this book...almost as much as what has been left out! After reading reviews about this book, I’m glad to have replaced this first book in the series with a more inclusive history of the first Americans. It makes me sad that the author BARELY touched upon what our country was like before the European colonists arrived.

We replaced this book with An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young People.
Michelle
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this daily to my 7 year old. It's a really good intro to US history for young kids. Apparently it was written for the 5th grade but my son loved it. We're starting the next in the series tomorrow.
Tammy
Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She definitely makes history interesting. :)
Penny
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up these books. I'd heard some mixed reviews from other sources, however I was pretty happy with the content of the book.

True to the title, it starts with what is known about prehistory in America, giving some information in what is known about the First Americans/Native Americans. Up until Chapter 13 (and they're short chapters) there is a focus on what life and civilization must have been like in various parts of the territory p
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Susan
Mar 28, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this. I did like the next book in the series (which I read before this one). I first cringed at the absolute assertion that the first Americans walked across the Bering land bridge. That’s possible, of course, but it isn’t the only possibility archaeologists have posited. Even kids can handle that there isn’t a definitive answer to the question. Maybe it will even inspire them to become an archaeologist and try to learn more!

I skimmed some more, and I somewhat like her invitati
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Julia
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found a whole classroom set of this book at the 2nd and Charles off Wadsworth in Littleton. They had all come from the Mackintosh Academy.

I found it intriguing that this school choose this book to teach its students with and I wonder what book they replaced it with. I found this book being one of the best early history books for kids that I have come across. I felt that it did a good job of introducing kids to Native American history while then expanding into the conquest of the Americas. It
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Wendy
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no
Sarah has been using this as her history curriculum this year. I am probably enjoying it so much more than her, too! She loves to read, so she is always happy to read her chapters in history. I love that she is doing American History in 5th Grade. This reads easily and is concise. We are now on to the next period of American History, the 1800's.
Maddie
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah it took me FOREVER to finish this but in my defense school has been CRAZY!!!! Anyway I found these books in my school's library and thought they would be good for me to learn some history before I travel this summer! Once I really settled down and started reading this, I really enjoyed this and can't wait to get to the next one!!
Hank Pharis
Since I'm currently teaching a course on the History of Christianity in America I thought it would be good to get an overview of U.S. history for review. This series is actually written for juveniles but it is well done. Of the four volumes I've listened to thus far I enjoyed this first one the least. But they have all been enjoyable and helpful.
Carly Seifert
I love the way History is told in this book and also that there is so MUCH information included. It was a lot less Euro-centric than any other history texts I could find for my 5th grader, but it was still Euro-Centric enough that we had to supplement with other resources to get a wholistic and more accurate view of this time in history.
Laura Vogt
This was fun.

Written for children, as a whimsical, adventurous story. I thoroughly enjoyed stumbling upon this in my search for a good text for my research.

Recommend for the under 1o (?) crowd. My 4 and 6 year old would enjoy it too.
Mickey Mevissen
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds-done
This is a home school book for my grandson. It is very easy to read and understand and is very engaging as well.
Jeanette
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool, own-read
We used this for our American History spine. I love her little bits of humor throughout.
Esther Filbrun
Good history, for the most part. I didn't find it truly spectacular, but it's a good overview. (Full review coming soon.)
Diane
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was very informative, but also like a story.
Karen
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The presentation of history through this book is interesting, although it does border on silly and condescending.
Kimberly Brown
Reading version 3. Yikes, it needs updating. Lots of discussion. I love how it reads like a story. Very engaging. Despite the need for updating, I couldn’t find anything else nearly as engaging.
Jonathan
The Spanish were gold-hunger assholes.
Violet Perry
May 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
Kind of boring. Read for school. My favorite part was about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
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I've just updated A HISTORY OF US to include some new stories, especially those on people who haven't had their full story told, like Native Americans and African Americans. I've been astounded by some of what I've learned, I think you will be too.


My husband and I live most of the year in Colorado. I grew up in Rutland, Vermont and graduated from Rutland High School. I earned a bachelor's degree
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Other books in the series

A History of US (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Making Thirteen Colonies: 1600-1740 A History of US (A History of US #2)
  • From Colonies to Country 1735-1791 (A History of US #3)
  • The New Nation: 1789-1850 (A History of US #4)
  • Liberty for All?: 1820-1860 (A History of US, Book 5)
  • A History of US: Book 6: War, Terrible War 1855-1865
  • A History of US: Book 7: Reconstructing America 1865-1890
  • An Age of Extremes 1880-1917 (A History of US #8)
  • A History of U. S.: War, Peace & All That Jazz (History of U. S.)
  • All the People: 1945-2001 (A History of Us, Book 10)
  • A History of Us: Sourcebook and Index: A History of Us Book Eleven

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