We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History

Phillip Hoose

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

0374382522

9780374382520

Hardcover

276 Pages

$34.99

CAD39.99

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"Shoot me if you dare. I will not tell you."
—Dicey Langston, age fifteen, to a gun-pointing loyalist in 1780,
who demands she reveal a patriot secret.

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.

A teacher's guide to We Were There, Too! is available at http://www.weweretheretoo.com/guide.htm.

REVIEWS

Praise for We Were There, Too!

"This may be the most exhilarating and revelatory history of our country. It is the heroism of our young, hitherto unwritten, often told in their own words, from a teenager sailing with Columbus to a kid with AIDS. Phil Hoose has done a remarkable piece of detective work. It is MUST reading for today's youth—as well as their elders."—Studs Terkel

"This is an extraordinary book—wonderfully readable, inspiring to young and old alike, and unique. I know of nothing like it. Readers will find both enjoyment and enlightenment, learning about episodes in American history they were never taught in school. It is time that the young were given their due in the national story, and Phil Hoose does it with prodigious research and delightful style."—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"We Were There, Too! shows young readers how other young people have shaped American history in large and small ways. This book reminds us all that we are never too young to make a difference."—Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

"This book is inspiring, showing the active roles played by young people throughout history, from long ago to recent times. May it show young people in every corner of our land today how they can be active in the great struggle of our time: to build a peaceful world, in spite of all our differences."—Pete Seeger

"A treasure chest of history come to life, this is an inspired collection . . . There are famous figures such as Pocahontas and Sacajawea, and less famous, such as Billy Bates and Dick King, both of whom escaped from Andersonville, and Enrique Esparza, survivor of the Alamo. Each story ends with a brief paragraph describing 'What Happened to-' the person after that moment in history . . . Packed with historical documents, evocatively illustrated (with black-and-white photographs, engravings, drawings, maps, and the like), and full of eyewitness quotations . . . Valuable."—Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, Texas, School Library Journal

"Hoose ties lively narratives to larger historical events through cogent chapter introductions. There is liberal use of first-person sources . . . Numerous illustrations of individuals, related subjects, maps, and broadsides add to the context . . . These sixty-seven personal vignettes beg to be read aloud, particularly in social studies classes."—Horn Book

"Using mostly primary sources—journals, diaries, interviews—he takes readers on a ride through American history, starting at the very beginning: he introduces the cabin boys who sailed with Columbus and the young Taino Indians who greeted them. More than 60 young people of all races and religions are profiled: Phillis Wheatley, a slave and poet; Sybil Ludington, who outrode Paul Revere to warn the colonists about the British; Bill Cody, later Buffalo Bill, who as a young teen rode for the Pony Express. There are other famous names, too—Pocahontas, Cesar Chavez, Bill Gates—but most are young people who made their mark, then faded from memory. This attractive book reintroduces them. Black-and-white photos, maps, and memorabilia illustrate the text; and sidebars add information about everything from baseball to the reasons the Mormons went to Salt Lake . . .Teachers will find numerous ways to use each profile, but children will just enjoy flipping through the pages; they'll find themselves touched in many ways."—Ilene Cooper, Booklist (starred review)

"An impressive survey . . . Pictures, maps and prints help bring these stories to life, but it is the actions of these young people that will inspire readers to realize that they, too, can play a part in making America's history."—Publishers Weekly

"To feel effective in society, young people need a sense of their historical stake in it. Far more than any book I've seen, We Were There, Too! shows that youths have often shaped important events in our national story . . . Young people haven't received the recognition they deserve. At last, here is a book to right the wrong."—Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day


Table of Contents

Introduction


Part One. "¡Tierra!": When Two Worlds Met

DIEGO BERMUDEZ: SAILING INTO THE UNKNOWN
Palos de la Frontera, Spain, 1492

THE TAINOS: DISCOVERING COLUMBUS
And Other Islands of the New World, 1492


Part Two. Strangers in Paradise: The British Colonies

POCAHONTAS: PEACEMAKER, CARTWHEELER, PRINCESS
Werowocomoco, 1607

pard
TOM SAVAGE: LIVING TWO LIVES
Jamestown,Virginia,1608

ORPHANS AND TOBACCO BRIDES: FEEDING ENGLAND'S NEWEST HABIT
London and Virginia, 1619

SAINTS AND STRANGERS: BOUND BY HOPE
London and Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620

BETTY PARRIS AND ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: BEWITCHED OR BORED?
SalemVillage, Massachusetts, 1692

EUNICE WILLIAMS: CAPTIVE
Deerfield, Massachusetts, 1704

ELIZA LUCAS: INDIGO PLANTER
Wappo Plantation, South Carolina, 1740

OLAUDAH EQUIANO: KIDNAPPED INTO SLAVERY
Benin, Africa, 1756

PHILLIS WHEATLEY: THE IMPOSSIBLE POET
Boston, Massachusetts, 1773


Part Three. Breaking Away: The American Revolution

ANNA GREEN WINSLOW AND CHARITY CLARK:
Rhode Island and Massachusetts, late 1760s

CHRISTOPHER SEIDER AND SAMUEL MAVERICK: MARTYRS OF THE REVOLUTION
Boston, Massachusetts, 1770

JOSEPH PLUMB MARTIN: "AND NOW I WAS A SOLDIER"
Milford, Connecticut, 1775

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: TRANSLATING FOR THE REVOLUTION
America, France, and Russia, 1770s and early 1780s

SYBIL LUDINGTON: OUTDISTANCING PAUL REVERE
Fredericksburg, NewYork, April 26,1777

MARY REDMOND, JOHN DARRAGH, AND DICEY LANGSTON: SPIES
Pennsylvania and South Carolina, 1777-1783
JAMES FORTEN: SAVED BY A GAME OF MARBLES
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1780

PRIVATE DEBORAH SAMPSON: ALIAS ROBERT SHIRTLIFFE
Massachusetts and NewYork, 1779-1782


Part Four. Learning to Be a Nation

SMITH WILKINSON: THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1790

REBECCA AND ABIGAIL BATES: AN ARMY OF TWO
Scituate, Massachusetts, 1814

CAROLINE PICKERSGILL: STITCHING THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
Baltimore, Maryland, 1813

LUCY LARCOM AND HARRIET HANSON: VOICES OF THE MILLS
n0 Lowell, Massachusetts, 1830s

ANYOKAH: TEACHING LEAVES TO TALK
Southeastern United States, 1820s and 1830s

MANJIRO: BRINGING AMERICA TO JAPAN
Japan and Massachusetts, 1840s

GEORGE FRED TILTON: "WHY, WHALING I SUPPOSE"
New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1870s

FREDERICK DOUGLASS: TAKING ON A TYRANT
Maryland, 1833

ALLEN JAY: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD CONDUCTOR
Indiana and Ohio, 1844

MARIA WEEMS: ESCAPE TO CANADA
Rockville, Maryland, to Ontario, Canada, 1855


Part Five. One Nation or Two? The Civil War

ELISHA STOCKWELL: "SUCH A MESS AS I WAS IN"
Wisconsin, 1861

JOHNNY CLEM: POSTER BOY OF THE NORTH
Battlefields, 1861-1864

BILLY BATES AND DICK KING: ESCAPE FROM ANDERSONVILLE
Andersonville, Georgia, 1864

SUSIE KING TAYLOR: AT THE HEART OF THE SEA ISLANDS
Coastal islands of Georgia and South Carolina, 1862-1865

CARRIE BERRY: "THEY CAME BURNING ATLANTA TODAY"
Atlanta, Georgia, 1864

VINNIE REAM: "I . . . BEGGED MR. LINCOLN NOT TO ALLOW ME TO DISTURB HIM"
Washington, D.C., 1865


Part Six. Elbow Room: The West

SACAGAWEA: "SHE INSPIRED US ALL"
North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, 1804-1806

ENRIQUE ESPARZA: INSIDE THE ALAMO
San Antonio, Texas, February 23-March 6,1836

MARY GOBLE: WALKING TO ZION
The West, 1856

WILLIAM CODY: RACING THE WIND
California to the Mississippi River, 1860

"NG POON CHEW AND LEE CHEW: GOLD MOUNTAIN BOYS
China and San Francisco, California, 1850s-1880s

TEDDY BLUE ABBOTT: COWPUNCHER
Texas to Nebraska, 1871-1878

CHUKA: " I DID NOT WANT MY SHIRT TAKEN FROM MY BACK
Arizona, 1899


Part Seven. Shifting Gears in a New Century
p0
GENE SCHERMERHORN: A NEW CITY EVERY DAY
New York City, 1841-1922

ROSE COHEN: FIRST DAY IN A SWEATSHOP
Russia and New York City, 1892

JOSEPH MILIAUSKAS: BREAKER BOY
Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1900

JENNIE CURTIS: STRIKE LEADER
Pullman, Illinois, 1893-1894

KID BLINK AND THE NEWIES: BRINGING DOWN GOLIATHS
New York City, 1899

THAYER: BECOMING A MAN ABOARD THE TITANIC
Ocean, 1,000 miles due east of Boston, 1912

EDNA PURTELL: SUFFRAGIST
Hartford, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., 1918

CHARLES DENBY: BOUND NORTH
Lowndes County, Alabama, to Detroit, Michigan, 1924

JACKIE COOPER: "LIGHTS, ACTION, CRY!"
Hollywood, California, 1930


Part Eight. Hard Times: Wars, Depression, and Dust

MARGARET DAVIDSON: WAR ON THE HOME FRONT
Hamburg, Iowa, 1914-1918

HARLEY HOLLADAY: BLACK SUNDAY
Near Dodge City, Kansas, 1935

PEGGY EATON: RlDIN' THE RAILS
Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington, 1938

CALVIN GRAHAM: TOO YOUNG TO BE A HERO?
Houston, Texas, and the Solomon Island, 1942

TERRY GRIMMESEY: "WHAT HAD WE DONE?
Poston, Arizona, 1942

JOE NUXHALL AND ANNA MEYER: A WARTIME CHANCE TO PLAY BALL
Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1944


Part Nine. Tunes That Kept a-Changin'

CLAUDETTE COLVIN: THE FIRST TO KEEP HER SEAT
Montgomery, Alabama, 1955

ELIZABETH ECKFORD: FACING A MOB ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957

CAROLYN MCKINSTRY: ON THE FIRING LINE
Birmingham, Alabama, 1963

JOHN TINKER: TINKER V. DES MOINES
Des Moines, Iowa, 1965-1968

JESSICA GOVEA: EDUCATION OF A UNION ORGANIZER
Bakersfield, California, late 1960s

BILL GATES: ANOTHER REVOLUTIONrSeattle, Washington, 1968

ARN CHORN: STARTING ALL OVER
Cambodia and New Hampshire, 1970s

JUDI WARREN AND THE WARSAW TIGERS: TAKING CENTER STAGE
Warsaw, Indiana, 1976

RYAN WHITE: GOING TO SCHOOL WITH AIDS
Kokomo, Indiana, 1984-1986

KORY JOHNSON: AN ENVIRONMENTALIST FOR LIFE
Maryville, Arizona, 1990s

Linking Up in the Twenty-first Century

Acknowledgments
Sources
Index
Picture Credits

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles.  Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters. His book Claudette Colvin won a National Book Award and was dubbed a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009. He is also the author of Hey, Little Ant, co-authored by his daughter, Hannah, It’s Our World, Too!, and The Race to Save the Lord God Bird. We Were There, Too! was a National Book Award finalist. He has received a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, a Christopher
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Phillip Hoose

  • Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults, in part to keep up with his own daughters. Hey, Little Ant was named by the Jane Addams Children's Book Committee as one of four children's books that "most effectively promote the cause of peace, social change and world community." It's Our World, Too!: Stories of Young People Who Are Making a Difference won the Christopher Award. It was a comment made by a young social activist he interviewed for It's Our World, Too! that inspired We Were There, Too! Sarah Rosen pointed out: "We're not taught about younger people who have made a difference. Studying history almost makes you feel like you’re not a real person." Phil says, "We Were There, Too! is an effort to stitch together a sense of our nation's history through the stories of scores of young people, as many girls as boys, from the major cultures in our national tapestry. In writing this book, my own love for history and biography increased immeasurably." Phil is a staff member of The Nature Conservancy and he lives with his family in Portland, Maine. He is also a founding member of the Children's Music Network.
  • Phillip Hoose Copyright Shashana Hoose
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READING GUIDE

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Teacher's Guide
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