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Shh! We're Writing the Constitution


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About the Author

Acclaimed biographer, Jean Fritz, was born in China to American missionaries on November 16, 1915. Living there until she was almost thirteen sparked a lifelong interest in American history. She wrote about her childhood in China in Homesick, My Own Story, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the National Book Award.
Ms. Fritz was the author of forty-five books for children and young people. Many center on historical American figures, gaining her a reputation as the premier author of biographies for children and young people.
Among the other prestigious awards Ms. Fritz has garnered are: the National Humanities Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award. the Christopher Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Non-Fiction Award, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and many ALA Notable Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Awards.
She passed away on May 14, 2017.


Gr 2-5 An informative, interesting, and immensely readable account of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Aimed at the same audience as Fritz' well-known series on Revolutionary heroes (Coward), this is every bit as good as those acclaimed titles, although younger children might need to have some terms clarified. Neatly woven into the discussion of what the framers were doing and how they did it are some wonderfully gossippy tidbits that are sure to catch young readers' imagination and make it all come alive for them. The text of the Constitution is included, as well as several pages of notes that expand upon some of the points that the main text touches upon. DePaola's choice of what to illustrate is excellent, as he has selected situations that have great child appeal. His illustrations, many of which are in color, add a further touch of good humor to the proceedings, particularly the sourpuss expressions on some of the founding fathers. This is superior to Marilyn Prolman's Story of the Constitution (Childrens, 1969), which is for the same age group. It is similar in style to Henry Steele Commager's The Great Constitution (Bobbs-Merrill, 1961), which is for an older audience. Fritz' ability to simplify without condescending makes this an excellent choice for introducing young readers to the complexities of the constitution. Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Lib . , Randolph, Mass.

Praise for Shh! We're Writing the Constitution "As usual, Fritz's account is lively and spiced with bits of detail that make the report come alive .... The informed reporting that goes on here will give readers a new perspective on our government's beginnings." -Booklist (starred review) "The author has distinguished herself again by making a landmark event an exciting story." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review) "An informative, interesting, and immensely readable account of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 . . . An excellent choice for introducing young readers to the complexities of the constitution."--School Library Journal "In her conversational and entertaining style, Fritz takes readers behind the scenes to learn what it was like during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 . . . A really delightful way to learn American history."--Children's Literature

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