• This original, informative, and entertaining book...should be required reading for every young person seeking a vivid introduction to Lincoln’s life.Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar and cochairman of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

    2008 NAPPA Honors Award winner

    Abraham Lincoln is one of the first American leaders children learn to identify but few know how enthralling his life story is or understand the real man behind the legend. Abraham Lincoln for Kids uncovers the fascinating life of the real Abraham Lincoln, revealing the warm, generous spirit and remarkable intellect of this beloved president, while exploring one of the most pivotal and exciting periods in American history. It takes readers on an adventure through Honest Abe’s life, from his tragic childhood and early years working on ferryboats to his law practice and unexpected presidency to his sudden murder in 1865. Children will be inspired by this courageous and forthright leader who valued lifelong learning, stood by his beliefs, and never gave up in the face of adversity.

    This book features a helpful timeline, websites to explore, and more.

  • Joining the ranks of those books that combine history with crafts and hands-on activities, Herbert’s book is one of the best of its kind, bringing the character of this period into focus. Achieving a good balance between textual material, illustration, and projects, the book immerses children in the milieu of these years. Whether they are studying the Revolution and need a project idea or are personally curious about this country’s origins, children will be fascinated by the scope and detail of this book.School Library Journal

    Meet heroes and traitors, great thinkers and revolutionaries in The American Revolution for Kids. Featured on Smithsonian Magazine's list of "Best Books 2002," The American Revolution for Kids (for readers ages 9 and up) brings this exciting and important era in American history to life. Learn about the causes of the Revolution and read fascinating details on the battles fought during the long war for freedom. Find out about day-to-day life in 18th-century America through the lives of distinguished officers, wise delegates, rugged riflemen, and hardworking farm wives and children. Celebrate the concepts of freedom and democracy by participating in fun activities. The American Revolution for Kids takes you from the hated Stamp Act to the riotous Boston Tea Party, Britain's surrender at Yorktown and the creation of the Constitution, all the while making history fun and memorable!

    This book features a helpful glossary, a guide to officers, biographies of important figures of the American Revolution, websites to explore, and more.

  • Written simply, with drama, tension, and purpose. Adults, especially teachers and librarians, will appreciate the details and activities contained in this book. And for children who really want to know what it felt like to take an active role in the past, The Civil War for Kids is it!Book Page

    History explodes in this inspiring chronicle of the Civil War. With exciting text and fun activities, The Civil War for Kids (for readers ages 9 and up) brings this pivotal era in our nation's history to life. Learn about the soldiers' life and war on the home front. Meet courageous (and eccentric) generals and leaders. From the turmoil preceding secession, the first shots at Fort Sumter, the fierce battles on land and sea, and the surrender at Appomattox, readers will be immersed in the story of the war that nearly divided our nation.

    This book features a helpful glossary, a guide to officers, websites to explore, lists of battlefields, important sites, and museums, and more.

  • A School Library Journal Star—the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci in an attractively formatted volume. Classroom teachers can encourage children to appreciate the depth of his talent through suggested activities.School Library Journal

    A beautiful book, with inviting activities, which provides an engaging full-unit study exploration into the Renaissance. Information and activities to work with for at least four weeks.Homeschool Network News

    Leonardo da Vinci was a great inventor, engineer, scientist, botanist, mathematician and—oh, yes—a great artist, too! Find out about the man who painted the Mona Lisa and invented the bicycle, armored tank, diving suit and other machines centuries before they were built. Leonardo da Vinci for Kids (for readers ages 8 and up) tells the story of this remarkable man and shares fascinating details of his era—the Renaissance. Learn the basics of art theory and experience exciting moments in history. Meet important figures like Michelangelo, Machiavelli and the Sforza and Medici families. A glossary, biographies of artists and historical figures, list of web sites, and Leonardo's extraordinary art make this one of the best books on this artistic and scientific genius.

    This book features a helpful glossary, biographies of Renaissance artists and historical figures, websites to explore, and more

  • Lewis and Clark for Kids is a great book! This story of the Corps of Discovery’s expedition is one of adventure, derring-do and achievement. Herbert’s text is smooth and comprehensive; her activities make this book an ideal choice for home-schooled students or as a gift for the classroom.Knight Ridder Newspapers

    Lewis and Clark for Kids (for readers ages 9 and up) tells the story of a great American adventure set against the background of a vast, unspoiled wilderness. It takes readers from the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson’s vision of an exploratory mission across North America to the Corps of Discovery’s triumphant return.

    Kids will join the Corps of Discovery in learning about the customs of Plains and Pacific Coast tribes, and the natural history of animals such as the buffalo, prairie dog, and bighorn sheep. Informative sidebars like “Identification, Please” (on the Linnaean system of classification), “On the Contrary (about Lakota visionaries, who do everything backwards), and Thick Coats and Long Naps (describing how animals adapt to cold) add to the adventure. So do nineteenth-century paintings, a glossary of terms, listings of Lewis and Clark events and resources, and related websites.

  • If your children—whether in elementary, middle or high school—are studying Asia this year, have I got a resource for them--and for you (and teachers too)! Marco Polo for Kids covers China thoroughly but also Polo’s travels through places like Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India. It has fantastic activities, wonderful graphic elements, and interesting tidbits on folklore, language, religion, animals, geography, and art.Washington Parent

    On foot, horseback, Chinese junk, and camel, Marco Polo explored new worlds. Starting when just a teenager, he made the greatest journey of his time—20,000 miles in 24 years. From Venice to China, over towering mountains and across vast deserts, Marco found new people, new religions, and new ways of life. Travel with him in Marco Polo for Kids (for readers ages 9 and up) and discover great civilizations, explore geographical wonders, and learn fascinating details about the customs and people of a wondrous era in history. This lively book brings back to life the exotic cities and humble villages along Marco's route. Through fun activities and fascinating text, find out what it's like to ride with Genghis Khan, escape from bandits and pirates, and kowtow to an emperor. Along the way, you'll learn about world cultures, religions, and ancient civilizations.

    This book features a helpful glossary, biographies of important figures in ancient history, websites to explore, and more.

    • Received a NAPPA Honors Award from the National Parenting Publications Awards, a program sponsored by Dominion Parenting Media and promoted in association with parenting publishers across the United States.

    • The terrific reader-friendly text is packed with information, anecdotes, and biographical detail. A great historical immersion experience for ages 9-12.

      Home Education Magazine
    • This original, informative, and entertaining book...should be required reading for every young person seeking a vivid introduction to Lincoln’s life.

      Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar and cochairman of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
    • Excellent quality, not only in its clear writing style but also in its format and depth of information. A valuable source of information on the life of one of our most famous presidents.

    • Well-researched and very readable, with interesting photos and drawings.

      Washington Post
    • One of the best of its kind. Reading it and doing some of the activities brings the character of this period into focus. Achieving a good balance between textual material, illustration and projects, the book immerses children in the milieu of these years. Whether they are studying the Revolution and need a project idea or are personally curious about this country's origins, children will be fascinated by the scope and detail of this book.

      School Library Journal
    • Chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as a Best Children's Book.

    • A Pennsylvania state library association's top selection for books on the American Revolution

    • Listed by PBS's TeacherSource as a recommended book for teaching American history.

    • A learning pleasure through and through.

      Midwest Book Review
    • Another must-have. With clear, concise writing, Herbert brings to life heroes, traitors and great thinkers and celebrates not only distinguished officers and delegates, but hardworking farm wives and children.

      Copley News Service
    • Most claim it; few do it: 'bring history to life.'; By linking an engaging text with classroom activities, the author succeeds in immersing the reader in colonial America.

      Pennsylvania School Librarians Association
    • The dramatic events that lay behind the Founding Fathers' struggle for liberty are vividly recounted in Herbert's lively survey.

      Smithsonian Magazine
    • Fun reading for adults and kids.

      Rockford Register Star
    • A valuable historical reference.

      Today's Parent
    • Our General James Longstreet Book of Honor: An excellent and concise book which provides a clear understanding of military life and the triumphs and tragedies of the war that divided our nation. If you know a teacher, youth group leader or home schooling parent, you should recommend this book to them.

      Civil War Courier
    • Using a clear and lively tone, this book provides a look at the Civil War and its leaders as well as the contributions of individual soldiers, African-Americans, women and even children. Its activities are ideal for classrooms.

      School Library Journal
    • Not standard textbook fare, it is written simply, with drama, tension, and purpose. Adults, especially teachers and librarians, will appreciate the details and activities contained in this book. And for children who really want to know what it felt like to take an active role in the past, The Civil War for Kids is it!

      Book Page
    • Teachers and parents will find this book a very handy tool to help teach their students and children about this critical period in our nation’s history.

      D. Scott Hartwig, Historian, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    • For children who really want to know what it felt like to take an active role in the past, The Civil War for Kids is it!

      Civil War Book Review
    • A crash course on the Civil War that's fun as well as informative.

    • A School Library Journal Star—the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci in an attractively formatted volume. Classroom teachers can encourage children to appreciate the depth of his talent through suggested activities.

      School Library Journal
    • Thoroughly illustrated and well-designed. This is a fine purchase that rises above the current bounty of available books on the subject.

    • Readers and young artists can learn about Leonardo da Vinci, his life and his work, through this exceptional biography. Teachers of history, literature, science, math, and art can include this descriptive and engaging biography of Leonardo da Vinci in their curriculums.

      Iowa Reading Journal
    • A beautiful book, with inviting activities, which provides an engaging full-unit study exploration into the Renaissance. Information and activities to work with for at least four weeks.

      Homeschool Network News
    • An excellent art appreciation course with a treasure trove of information and activities. This book is not just for kids.

      Educational Dealer
    • This is an especially strong book that belongs in schools. Richly illustrated, beautifully written, and quite comprehensive.

      Arts & Activities
    • Imagine being with Leonardo da Vinci throughout his extraordinary life and perceiving, exploring, and experiencing the world as he did. Leonardo da Vinci for Kids brings to life both da Vinci’s life and times in a beautifully illustrated four-color biography and student activity book.

      Tennessee Education Association
    • The creativity and genius of Leonardo da Vinci comes alive for the classroom in a new book by Janis Herbert.

      Chicago Union Teacher
    • Herbert’s Leonardo da Vinci for Kids is a beautifully designed book with illustrations, figures, and paintings by da Vinci. Integrated within the historical text are a series of art activities that allow the reader to create products of this time period.

      Gifted Child Today
    • The only children's Lewis & Clark book recommended by Boys' Life magazine.

    • Chosen by the state of Missouri as the recommended text to teach students about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

    • Lewis and Clark for Kids is a great book! The story of the Corps of Discovery's expedition is one of adventure, derring-do and achievement. Herbert's text is smooth and comprehensive, but it's the activities she's included that make this book an ideal choice for home-schooled students or as a gift for the classroom. There's even a recipe for Great Plains stew (supposedly, it tastes just as good without the buffalo).

      Knight Ridder Newspapers
    • The best children's book on the Expedition.

      Oregon Statesman Journal
    • One of Chicago Tribune’s 100 Great Books for Young People.

    • A fine book with an appealing format and a profusion of intriguing sidebars. Teachers will welcome the suggested activities, glossary of terms, and list of helpful web sites.

    • Herbert's hands-on activities and compelling text will help kids share in the discoveries of Lewis and Clark throughout their three-year journey across North America.

      Kids Magazine
    • The Lewis and Clark expedition was not only one of America’s greatest adventures, it was one of our nation’s greatest leaps in learning. Geography, ethnology, zoology, botany, and literature—the Corps of Discovery made important contributions to them all. This book invites readers to join Lewis and Clark’s epic journey and helps them make their own discoveries along the way.

      Dayton Duncan, author of Out West: American, Journey Along the Lewis and Clark Trail
    • This is no connect-the-dots amusement book. The activities are meaningful—latitude and longitude exercises; preserving plants; drying fruit for the trail; Native American dance, instruments, and regalia; trail signs; and sign language. The book’s real strength is a comprehensive text thoroughly illustrated with artwork and photographs. This is a fine resource that can be revisited with a youngster either at home or on the trail.

      Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
    • Another marvelous learning-through-activity book. Just like Lewis and Clark’s expedition—one of our nation’s greatest leaps in learning—this book helps children 9 and up make their own discoveries.

      Copley News Service
    • This is just about the best book on the subject for young children. Come to think of it, many adults will have fun with this wonderful book.

      Statesman Journal
    • A thorough and interesting capsule for young readers.

      OC Family
    • Packed with high drama of exploration into the unknown, Lewis and Clark for Kids will hold students spellbound. Herbert’s account, based on primary sources, captures the thrills, dangers, and awe-inspiring experiences of those who made up the Corps of Discovery.

      InfoTech, Public Schools of North Carolina
    • A great book. Herbert’s text is smooth and comprehensive, but it’s the activities she’s included that make this book an ideal choice for home-schooled students or as a gift for the classroom.

      Santa Barbara News-Press
    • Those who can’t visit the locations [along the Lewis and Clark trail] can still participate in the expeditions national bicentennial with 21 activities in Lewis and Clark for Kids.

    • Lively and informative.

      Albemarle Magazine
    • If your children—whether in elementary, middle or high school—are studying Asia this year, have I got a resource for them—and for you (and teachers too)! Marco Polo for Kids is an activity book and history book all rolled into one. It covers China thoroughly but also Polo's travels through places like Afghanistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India. It has fantastic activities, wonderful graphic elements, and interesting tidbits on folklore, language, religion, animals, geography, and art.

      Washington Parent
    • In her historical activity book, Marco Polo for Kids, Herbert chronicles the famous explorer's travels. Projects feature the various cultures that he experienced. Archival artwork and prints add to the handsome volume.

      Publishers Weekly
    • An all-encompassing guide that's full of fascinating sidebars about subjects from the discovery of Mohenjodaro to the secrets of the Qin Emperor's tomb. Not only a study of Polo, this book is a great study guide for young readers who will surely enjoy the 21 related activities in this comprehensive book.

      Copley News Service
    • Part history, part biography, part activity book, this guide to all things Marco Polo is graced with lively writing and imaginative projects.

      San Diego Union-Tribune
    • The text is lively and sophisticated, but easy to understand. There are lots of pictures and tidbits of information to capture young imaginations.

    • The book offers suspenseful stories, as Polo and his men face shipwrecks, bandits and other dangers.

      The Dallas Morning News
    • Timeline

    • 1

      Abraham Lincoln Is My Name

      Make a Log Cabin

      Craft a Miniature Mississippi River Flatboat

    • 2

      Worthy of Their Esteem

      A Sauk Indian Statue

      A Surveying Treasure Hunt

    • 3

      The Long and Short of It

      Make A Stovepipe Hat

      Sew a Carpetbag

    • 4

      The Rail Splitter for President!

      Host a Strawberry Soiree!

      Hold a Debate

      Don't Say Cheese! (A Pretend Daguerreotype and Case)

      A Presidential Beard

    • 5

      A Task Before Me

      Where's Old Abe?

      Draw a Political Cartoon

    • 6

      We Must Think Anew and Act Anew.

      A Civil War Scrapbook

      The Art of the Afternoon Visit

      A Freedom Quilt Collage

    • 7

      Increased Devotion

      Dots and Dashes: Learn Morse Code

      Play Followings

      Speak Up!

    • 8

      With Malice Toward None

      Vote for Me!

      Make a Time Capsule

      Paint a Panaromic Backdrop

    • Abraham Lincoln Sites to Visit

      Websites to Explore


    • Timeline

    • 1

      Sons and Daughters of Liberty

      Brew a Batch of Beer

      I Protest!

      Liberty Tea Punch

    • 2

      Who Were the Colonists?

      A Sampler

      Boston Brown Bread and Churned Butter

      Three Colonial Children's Games


      Assemble an Almanac

    • 3

      We Must All Hang Together

      Get Ready in a Minute Fire Drill

      Dance a Minuet

      Make a Tricorn Hat

    • 4

      An Eventful Year

      Be A Betsy Ross


    • 5

      Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier

      Make a Fringed Hunting Shirt

      Create a Powder Horn

      Sew a Pouch

    • 6

      The World Turned Upside Down

      Benedict Arnold's Secret Code

      Reenact the Battle of Cowpens

    • 7

      A Good Peace, A New Nation

      There Ought to Be a Law!

      Everyday Heroes

      Be a History Buff

    • Glossary

      A Guide To Officers


      Declaration of Independence

      Revolutionary War Sites To Visit

      Websites to Explore

    • Timeline


    • 1

      To War!

      A North Star Safe Quilt

      A Soldier's Uniform

      Create a Code

    • 2

      Drill, Drill, Drill

      Drill Exercises

      A Coffee Can Drum

    • 3

      Battle West and East

    • 4

      Camp Life

      Berry Ink

      Play the Bones

    • 5

      Fighting for Freedom

      Acting Out Antietam

      Signaling with Wigwag

      In Deep Water

    • 6

      Behind the Battlelines

      A Housewife Sewing Kit

      Homemade Butternut Dye

    • 7

      The Union Struggles

      A Rebel Yell Contest

      Playing General

    • 8

      On the March

      Build A Lean-to Shelter

      Homemade Hardtack

    • 9

      The Confederacy Falters

    • 10

      Hardships of War

      A Makeshift Stretcher

      Battlefield Bandages

    • 11

      A River of Blood and A Battle Above the Clouds

    • 12

      Chronicles of War

      Woodcut Prints

      Tell a Story with Pictures

    • 13

      Flanking South

    • 14


      Scouting for Civil War Veterans

    • Glossary

      A Guide to Officers

      Battlefields, Important Sites, and Museums

      Websites to Explore

    • Timeline

    • 1

      A Boy In Vinci

      Setting Up Your Studio

      Observing Nature

      Brush Up On Birds

    • 2

      The Young Apprentice

      A Beaker for Brushes


      A Life Mask

      Pigments and Paint

      Kitchen Clay


      The Renaissance

      Animal Art


      Pinpointing the Vanishing Point

    • 3

      A Genius at Work

      Leonard's Letter to Ludovico

      Leonardo's Lute

      Mirror Writing

      A Discovery Notebook

      Measuring Up

      The Plague

      A Masque of the Planets

      Leonardo's Prophechies

      Eye Exercises

      Leonardo's Inventions

      Italy's Kingdoms and City-States

      Leonardo's Lunch

      For the Birds

      Salai's Aniseed Sweets

      Mental Exercise

      Leonardo's Lock

      Learn a Little Italian


      A Parachute Kite

      Restoring The Last Supper

      Missiles and Math

    • 4

      I Shall Continue

      The Nature of Sound

      Art Detectives

      The Craft of Cartography

      How Tall Is That Tree?

      Simple Machines

      Who Was Mona Lisa?

      Looking at Art

      A Renaissance Herb Garden

    • Glossary


      Websites to Explore

    • Preface: To the Westward


      Map of the Expedition

    • 1

      Fixing for a Start

      Where in the World Are You?

      Very Very Vermilion

    • 2

      We Set Out Early

      Preserving Plants

      Fruit Leather

      It's a Phase--Learn the Lunar Cycle

    • 3

      We Smoke the Pipe of Peace

      A Winter Count

      Make a Tipi

      A Dance Rattle

      Great Plains Stew

    • 4

      Forty-five Below

      Tracking Animals

      Hoop and Pole

    • 5

      Beautifull in the Extreme

      Shall We Dance?

      A Buffalo Mask

      Make Your Own Moccasins

    • 6

      Tab-ba-bone and So-So-Ne

      activity">Speaking in Sign

      Make a Basket

    • 7

      O! The Joy

      Make a Drum

      Dig It! An Archaeological Activity

      Beeswax Candles

    • 8

      Our Homeward Bound Journey

      Trail Signs

    • 9

      What Marvels We Found

      Celebrate 200 Years!

    • Glossary

      Lewis & Clark Sites, Organizations, and Events

      Lewis & Clark and Related Websites

    • Timeline

      Map: The Journeys of Marco Polo

      Preface: A Tale Most Marvelous

    • 1

      A Journey from West to East

      Say It In Turkish

      Make a Mythical Map!

      Weave a Wall Hanging

      Say It In Persian

      Make a Mosaic

    • 2

      In the Realm of Kublai Khan

      Kitchen Terra Cotta

      Yogurt--Breakfast of Warriors

      Say It in Mongol

    • 3

      Dragons and Dynasties

      A Qigong Exercise

      Fun with Feng Shui

      A Modern Version of an Ancient Art--Making Paper

      Make a Dragon Mask!

      Stage an Opera--Chinese-style

    • 4

      The Eyes and Ears of the Khan

      Make a Mandala

      Say It In Chinese

      Chinese-Style Painting

      Chinese Stir-Fry

      Make a Paper Lantern

      Three Chinese Games

      Moon Cakes

    • 5

      Journey By Junk


      Say It In Hindi

      Sp-Iced Tea

      Wayang-kulit (Shadow-Puppet Play)

      Try Some Yoga

    • 6

      The Tale is Told

      A Marco Polo Scrapbook

    • Glossary


      Websites to Explore

    • February 12, 1809

      Abraham Lincoln is born

    • December, 1816

      Lincoln family moves to Indiana

    • October, 1818

      Nancy Hanks Lincoln (Abraham's mother) dies

    • December, 1819

      Thomas Lincoln marries Sarah Bush Johnston

    • January, 1828

      Sarah Lincoln (Abraham's sister) dies

    • April, 1828

      Lincoln journeys by flatboat to New Orleans

    • March, 1830

      Lincoln family moves to Illinois

    • March, 1831

      Lincoln's second flatboat journey to New Orleans

    • July, 1831

      Lincoln moves to New Salem, Illinois

    • March, 1832

      Lincoln runs for state legislature

    • April-September, 1832

      Lincoln fights in Black Hawk War

    • August, 1834

      Lincoln is elected to Illinois House of Representatives (serves four terms)

    • March, 1837

      Lincoln becomes an attorney

    • April, 1837

      Lincoln moves to Springfield

    • November, 1842

      Lincoln and Mary Todd marry

    • August, 1843

      Robert Todd Lincoln is born

    • March, 1846

      Edward Baker (Eddy) Lincoln is born

    • August, 1846

      Lincoln is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

    • February, 1850

      Eddy Lincoln dies

    • December, 1850

      William Wallace (Willie) Lincoln is born

    • January, 1851

      Thomas Lincoln dies

    • April, 1853

      Thomas (Tad) Lincoln is born

    • February, 1855

      Lincoln loses race for Senate

    • August-October, 1858

      Lincoln-Douglas debates

    • November, 1858

      Lincoln loses senate race to Douglas

    • May, 1860

      Lincoln is nominated for presidency

    • November, 1860

      Lincoln is elected president

    • February, 1861

      Lincoln leaves Springfield

    • March 4, 1861

      Lincoln is inaugurated in Washington

    • April 12, 1861

      Civil War begins

    • February, 1862

      Willie Lincoln dies

    • January 1, 1863

      Lincoln signs Emancipation Proclamation

    • November 19, 1863

      Lincoln gives Gettysburg Address

    • December 8, 1863

      Lincoln issues proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction

    • July 11-12, 1864

      Lincoln comes under fire at Fort Stevens

    • November 8, 1864

      Lincoln is reelected to presidency

    • March 4, 1865

      Lincoln's second inauguration

    • April 4, 1865

      Lincoln enters Richmond

    • April 9, 1865

      Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox

    • April 14, 1865

      Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth

    • April 15, 1865

      Abraham Lincoln dies

    • April 26, 1865

      John Wilkes Booth killed by Federal troops

    • May 4, 1865

      Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois

    • December 6, 1865

      13th Amendment is ratified

    • 1754-60

      French and Indian War

    • 1760

      George III becomes King

    • 1765

      Stamp Act and Quartering Act passed

    • 1765

      Stamp Act Congress meets

    • 1766

      Stamp Act repealed

    • 1767

      Parliament passes Townshend Acts

    • 1768

      British troops in Boston

    • March 5, 1770

      Boston Massacre

    • 1773

      Parliament passes the Tea Act

    • December 16, 1773

      Boston Tea Party

    • 1774

      Coercive Intolerable Acts and Quebec Act passed

    • 1774

      First Continental Congress meets

    • April 19, 1775

      Battles of Lexington and Concord

    • 1775

      Second Continental Congress meets

    • 1775

      Washington appointed commander of Continental Army

    • June 17, 1775

      Battle of Bunker Hill

    • December 30, 1775

      Defeat at Quebec

    • 1776

      Thomas Paine writes Common Sense

    • 1776

      Siege of Boston ends

    • July 4, 1776

      Declaration of Independence signed

    • 1776

      New York falls

    • December 25, 1776

      Battle of Trenton

    • January 3, 1777

      Battle at Princeton

    • July 6, 1777

      Fort Ticonderoga falls

    • August 16, 1777

      Battle of Bennington

    • September 11, 1777

      Battle of Brandywine

    • September 26, 1777

      Philadelphia falls

    • October 6, 1777

      Battle of Germantown

    • October 7, 1777

      Battle of Saratoga

    • October 17, 1777

      Burgoyne surrenders

    • November 15, 1777

      Congress passes Articles of Confederation

    • 1777

      Winter at Valley Forge

    • 1778

      France declares war

    • June 28, 1778

      Battle of Monmouth Courthouse

    • December 29, 1778

      Savannah captured

    • February 25, 1779

      George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes

    • September 29, 1779

      Bonhomme Richard vs. Serapis

    • May 12, 1779

      Winter at Morristown

    • 1780

      Charleston falls

    • August 16, 1780

      Battle of Camden

    • October 7, 1780

      Battle of Kings Mountain

    • January 17, 1781

      Battle of Cowpens

    • March 1, 1781

      Articles of Confederation adopted by states

    • March 15, 1781

      Battle of Guilford Courthouse

    • September 8, 1781

      Battle of Eutaw Springs

    • October 19, 1781

      Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown

    • September 3, 1783

      Treaty of Paris signed

    • ????

      Continental Army disbanded; Washington retires

    • 1786

      Annapolis Convention

    • 1786

      Shays' Rebellion

    • 1787

      Congress passes Northwest Ordinance

    • 1787

      Constitutional Convention meets

    • September 17, 1787

      Constitution signed

    • 1788

      Constitution is ratified

    • 1789

      First meeting of Congress

    • 1789

      George Washington sworn in as President, John Adams as Vice President

    • 1791

      Congress adopts the Bill of Rights

    • 1619

      Slaves sold in Virginia

    • 1808

      Importation of slaves outlawed

    • 1820

      Missouri Compromise

    • 1852

      Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin

    • 1854

      Kansas-Nebraska Act

    • 1857

      Dred Scott Decision

    • 1859

      John Brown raids Harpers Ferry

    • November, 1860

      Lincoln elected

    • December, 1860

      South Carolina secedes

    • January, 1861

      Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana secede

    • February, 1861

      Texas secedes; Confederate States of America formed

    • April 12, 1861

      Attack on Fort Sumter

    • April, 1861

      Virginia secedes

    • May, 1861

      Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina secede

    • July 21, 1861

      Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

    • August 10, 1861

      Battle at Wilson's Creek

    • February 6, 1862

      Fort Henry falls

    • February 16, 1862

      Fort Donelson surrenders

    • March 7-8, 1862

      Battle of Pea Ridge

    • March 9, 1862

      Battle of the Monitor and the Virginia

    • March 17, 1862

      Peninsula Campaign begins

    • March-June, 1862

      Shenandoah Valley Campaign

    • April 6-7, 1862

      Battle of Shiloh

    • April 25, 1862

      New Orleans falls

    • May 31-June 1, 1862

      Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)

    • June 26-July 2, 1862

      The Seven Days Battles

    • August 29-30, 1862

      Second Manassas (Second Bull Run)

    • September 17, 1862

      Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)

    • September 22, 1862

      Lincoln announces Emancipation Proclamation

    • October 3-4, 1862

      Battle of Corinth

    • October 8, 1862

      Battle of Perryville

    • December 13, 1862

      Battle of Fredericksburg

    • December 31, 1862 -January 2, 1863

      Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro)

    • May 1-6, 1863

      Battle of Chancellorsville

    • May 18, 1863

      Siege of Vicksburg begins

    • July 1-3, 1863

      Battle of Gettysburg

    • July 4, 1863

      Vicksburg falls

    • September 19-20, 1863

      Battle of Chickamauga

    • November 19, 1863

      Lincoln gives the Gettysburg Address

    • November 23-25, 1863

      Battle of Chattanooga (Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge)

    • May 5-6, 1864

      Battle of the Wilderness

    • May 8-12, 1864

      Battle of Spotsylvania

    • May 11, 1864

      Battle of Yellow Tavern

    • June 3, 1864

      June 3 -- Cold Harbor

    • June 18, 1864

      Siege of Petersburg begins

    • June 19, 1864

      -- Battle of the Kearsage and the Alabama

    • June 27, 1864

      -- Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

    • July 30, 1864

      The Crater

    • August 5, 1864

      Farragut enters Mobile Bay

    • September 2, 1864

      Atlanta falls

    • October 18, 1864

      Battle of Cedar Creek

    • November 8, 1864

      Abraham Lincoln re-elected

    • November 15, 1864

      Sherman's March to the Sea begins

    • November 30, 1864

      Battle of Franklin

    • December 15-16, 1864

      Battle of Nashville

    • December 21, 1864

      Sherman reaches Savannah

    • April 2, 1865

      Petersburg and Richmond fall

    • April 9, 1865

      Surrender at Appomattox

    • April 15, 1865

      Death of President Lincoln

    • 1438

      Gutenberg invents printing with movable type.

    • 1452

      Leonardo born in Vinci.

    • 1466

      Leonardo apprenticed to Verrocchio.

    • 1473

      Copernicus born in Poland.

    • 1482

      Leonardo moves to Milan.

    • 1485

      The plague kills thousands in Milan.

    • 1492

      Columbus sails the Atlantic and discovers the New World.

    • 1495

      Leonardo begins The Last Supper.

    • 1499

      French capture Milan.

    • 1499

      Leonardo returns to Florence.

    • 1501

      Michelangelo creates statue of David.

    • 1503

      Leonardo begins painting Mona Lisa.

    • 1506

      Leonardo returns to Milan.

    • 1512

      Leonardo moves to Rome.

    • 1512

      Michelangelo finishes painting the Sistine Chapel.

    • 1513

      Machiavelli writes The Prince.

    • 1515

      Francois I becomes King of France.

    • 1516

      Leonardo moves to France.

    • 1517

      Luther denounces the Catholic church and the Reformation begins.

    • 1519

      Magellan's expedition begins its voyage around the world.

      Leonardo dies.

    • 1543

      Copernicus publishes theory stating Earth revolves around the Sun.

    • 1743

      Thomas Jefferson born

    • 1770

      William Clark born

    • 1773

      Boston Tea Party

    • 1774

      Meriwether Lewis born

    • 1775

      Revolutionary War begins

    • 1776

      Continental Congress adopts Declaration of Independence

    • 1783

      Revolutionary War ends

    • 1788

      United States Constitution ratified; George Washington elected president

    • 1789

      William Clark joins militia

    • 1792

      Captain Robert Gray enters Columbia River

    • 1794

      Whiskey Rebellion; Meriwether Lewis joins militia

    • 1800

      Thomas Jefferson elected president

    • 1801

      Meriwether Lewis becomes President Jefferson's secretary

    • 1802

      President Jefferson asks Lewis to command Expedition to the west

    • 1803

      Louisiana Purchase; Lewis invites William Clark to join him in command of Expedition

    • 1804

      Jefferson re-elected; Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton

    • 1804-1806

      Lewis & Clark Expedition

    • May 14, 1804

      Enters the Missouri River

    • May 21, 1804

      Leaves St. Charles, Missouri

    • August 20, 1804

      Sergeant Floyd's death

    • October 25, 1804

      Reaches Mandan and Hidatsa Villages

    • April 7, 1805

      Leaves Mandan and Hidatsa Villages

    • April 26, 1805

      Junction of Yellowstone, Missouri Rivers

    • June 2, 1805

      Junction of Missouri, Marias Rivers

    • June 13, 1805

      Great Falls of the Missouri River

    • July 25, 1805

      Three Forks of the Missouri River

    • August 30, 1805

      Crossing the Bitterroot Mountains

    • October 18, 1805

      Down the Columbia River

    • November 17, 1805

      First sight of the Pacific Ocean

    • March 23, 1806

      Return journey begins

    • July 4, 1806

      Separation at Travellers Rest

    • July 27, 1806

      Fight with Blackfeet

    • August 14, 1806

      Return to Mandan and Hidatsa Villages

    • September 23, 1806

      Return to St. Louis

    • 1805

      Louisiana Territory formed

    • 1807

      Lewis appointed Governor of Louisiana Territory

    • 1807

      Clark appointed Brigadier General of Militia and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Louisiana Territory

    • 1808

      Clark marries Julia Hancock

    • 1809

      Meriwether Lewis dies

    • 1812

      War of 1812

    • 1813

      Clark appointed Governor of Missouri Territory

    • 1814

      Journals of Lewis and Clark published

    • 1826

      Thomas Jefferson dies

    • 1838

      William Clark dies

    • 1209

      Genghis Khan sets out on his conquests

    • 1215

      Kublai Khan born

    • 1227

      Death of Genghis Khan

    • 1241

      Mongols invade Eastern Europe

    • 1254

      Marco Polo born

    • 1260

      Nicolo and Maffeo set out for the east

    • 1264

      Kublai Khan gains the throne

    • 1269

      Nicolo and Maffeo Polo return to Venice

    • 1271-1368

      Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty rules China

    • 1271

      Marco, Nicolo and Maffeo set out on their journey

    • 1275

      The Polos arrive at the palace of Kublai Khan

    • 1292

      The Polos set sail for home

    • 1294

      Kublai Khan dies

    • 1295

      The Polos return to Venice

    • 1296

      Marco Polo captured in battle

    • 1298

      Marco Polo tells his story

    • 1324

      Marco Polo dies

    • 1368

      Mongol rule ends in China; Ming Dynasty established

  • Make a Stovepipe Hat

    Abraham Lincoln used his tall, black stovepipe hat like a filing cabinet, keeping important letters and papers inside. What will you keep inside this stovepipe hat?

    What you need

    • Ruler
    • 2 pieces of black poster board, 22 by 28 inches
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Paper clips
    • Stapler
    • Clear tape
    • Black ribbon, 2 inches wide and 24 inches long
    • Small envelope

    Measure a 7-by-28-inch rectangle on one piece of poster board and mark it with a pencil. Cut it out. Wrap the rectangle around your head until it fits comfortably (a little extra room is good). Paper-clip the cylinder at the top and bottom to hold it then try it on again. When you’re comfortable with the fit, staple the cylinder at the top and bottom.

    Center the cylinder on the poster board. Slightly push in on two sides of the cylinder to make it an oval shape. Hold it down with one hand while tracing an oval around the base with the other hand (or ask someone to help hold the cylinder while you trace).Trace cylinder Remove the cylinder. Measure 1 inch out from the edge of the oval and draw another oval around the first one. Cut out along this outer oval. Cut slits from the outer oval approximately every 1 inch toward the inner oval to create tabs. Place the oval on top of the cylinder, folding the tabs inside to make a good fit. Turn the cylinder over, and tape the tabs to the inside of the cylinder.

    To create the brim, place the cylinder over the remaining poster board. Hold it down with one hand while tracing an oval around the base with the other hand (this is oval A). Remove the cylinder. Measure 1 1/2 inches out from the edge of oval A and draw another oval around it (this is oval B).

    Measure 1 inch in from oval A and draw a third oval inside it (this is oval C). Cut around the outer oval (B), then cut along the inner oval (C). To make tabs, cut 1-inch slits from oval C to oval A.

    With the cylinder covered end down, place this piece around the uncovered upper rim. Fold the tabs inside the cylinder and tape them in place.

    Glue the ribbon around the base of the hat. To use your hat as a filing cabinet, cut the “v” off a small envelope, then tape the envelope to the inside of your hat. Use it to hold very important papers!

  • Boston Brown Bread and Churned Butter

    Try serving this all-American bread with your own churned butter!

    Girl peeling


    (Makes 1 loaf)

    What you need

    • 1 loaf pan, 4 by 8 inches
    • Butter and flour for pan
    • 1/2 cup rye flour
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 mixing bowls
    • Wooden spoon
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1/3 cup molasses
    • 2 eggs
    • Oven mitts
    • Cooling rack

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the loaf pan, then dust it lightly with flour. Combine the rye flour, cornmeal, white flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir the buttermilk, melted butter, molasses, and eggs together in another bowl. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven with oven mitts and place on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. When cool, shake the bread gently out of the pan.


    (Makes about 1 cup)

    What you need

    • 1 pint whipping cream
    • Large, wide-mouthed glass jar with tight-fitting lid
    • Colander

    Pour the whipping cream into the jar and screw the lid on tight. Shake the jar vigorously back and forth. In 5 to 10 minutes, the mixture will start to look like whipped cream. Keep shaking. In a few more minutes, the cream will thicken into butter and a watery liquid will separate out. Pour the butter into a colander to strain out the liquid. Spread your hand-churned butter on a slice of Boston Brown Bread.

  • Drill Exercises

    Line six or more friends in two rows (called ranks). Starting at the left of each rank, have your troops alternately call out the numbers one and two. Give the order to Right face! The soldiers should turn to their right. All the soldiers who called out number two! should take a diagonal step forward and to the right. Now your troops are in column formation, four across, and ready to forward march, or advance.

    On the march, you may see enemy troops ahead. Double quick will tell your troops to march briskly to the front. Order them back in line formation by shouting out Company into line! The twos should step back to where they were and once again your soldiers will form two ranks. In this formation, they are ready to turn and shoot in any direction. They can shoot in a fire by file (starting at one end of the line and each firing in turn). They can also volley by rank, in which one rank fires while the second rank reloads.

  • Measuring Up

    As he measured and drew human bodies, Leonardo noticed that we generally have standard proportions.He noted that the span of a man’s outstretched arms is equal to his height. Other observations he noted about human proportions:

    • In an adult,the head is one-eighth of the person’s height.
    • The face is divided into three equal parts—from the chin to the nostrils, from the nostrils to the eyebrows,and from the eyebrows to the hair line.
    • The distance across the face from one ear to another is the same as that from the eyebrows to the chin.
    • The ear is as long as the nose.
    • The length of the forearm up to the elbow is one fourth of the body’s height.
    • The foot is one-half as long as the distance from the heel to the knee.
    • The distance from elbow to wrist is one-half the length of the thighbone.

    Now is your chance to test Leonardo’s observations and maybe make some of your own.


    • Newspaper
    • Tape
    • Black marker
    • Measuring tape

    Spread several sheets of newspaper on the floor so that it is longer and wider than you are.Tape them together.Lay down on the paper with your arms held out away from your body and have a friend draw the outline of your body with a black marker on the paper.Measure the different parts of your body and see if they fit into the general proportions that Leonardo noted. Have your friend measure the parts of your face to see if those proportions Leonardo noted are true.

    Vitruvian Man
  • Shall We Dance?

    The Whooping Crane Waltz

    In an effort to encourage the endangered whooping cranes to breed, one scientist learned to perform the whooping crane mating dance with the birds. Try the whooping crane waltz.


    • A partner

    Pretend to be a pair of whooping cranes facing each other across a field. One of you starts the dance by bowing your head and flapping your wings. Then leap high into the air and throw your head back so you’re looking straight up to the sky. Your partner runs toward you with wings flapping and head bobbing. Jump up and down in unison, throwing your heads back to the sky. Back off from each other and bow again. Stretch your wings out and jump up and down some more. End the dance with an elegant bow!


    The Sharp-Tailed Shake

    During the springtime the plains were a lively place. Sharp-tailed grouse gathered at their dancing grounds (called “leks”) in the dark right before dawn. Here they executed their magnificent courting displays, proud dances the males performed to win a bride. Some Indian societies dance like the grouse—you can too! Get ready for the sharp-tailed shake.


    • Chalk
    • A partner
    • Dance rattles (see Chapter 3 for instructions on making your own)

    Draw a circle on a patch of dirt or on the sidewalk with some chalk. One dancer runs into the circle and is joined by the other dancer. Lift your arms up, lower your head, and stoop over with your behind jutting out. Shuffle your feet back and forth and make a cooing sound while shaking your dance rattles. (The grouse makes a rattling noise by shaking its tail quills.) Approach each other, face-to-face, and slowly lower your heads more. Lower your bodies to the ground and end the dance spread out flat with your noses touching!

  • Make a Mythical Map

    The Polos were leaving for lands that many people thought were inhabited by demons and monsters! Maps from medieval Europe showed the known world (parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe centered around the Mediterranean Sea) surrounded by mythical lands. Early travelers claimed they had visited countries where people hopped along on only one foot, or had ears as large as their bodies, which they used as blankets at night! They told of talking serpents, unicorns, and griffins. There were reports of Amazons (fierce female warriors), dog-headed men, and the realm of Prester John (a legendary kingdom where rivers flowed with gold, and the Fountain of Youth made those who drank from its waters young again). Hideous monsters were said to guard mountain passes and narrow straits. Here be dragons, the mapmakers wrote in warning along the margins of their maps. Try making your own mythical map.

    What you need

    • Scissors
    • Brown paper grocery bag
    • Markers or paints and brushes
    • Damp tea bag
    • 8-inch-long piece of red ribbon

    Cut the bag into a large, flat surface for your map. Draw continents and oceans, countries and rivers. Make up bizarre people and animals to inhabit this world—fire breathing serpents that guard mountain passes, or dog headed people who bark at passing ships! Fill your map with pictures and warnings. When you’re done drawing and painting, scrunch the map up in your hands, then flatten it out again to give it an antique look. To make it look even more like an ancient map on parchment, rip away little pieces at the edges and smudge it in places by pressing a damp tea bag against the paper to stain it. Let it dry, then roll it up and tie it with the red ribbon.

    Mythic map

    tap me

    • Abraham Lincoln is the only U.S. president to hold a patent on an invention. When he was young, he created a device to boost riverboats over sandbars. His model is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC.Page 18

    • Lincoln was only 23 when he first ran for public office (as a candidate for Illinois’s state legislature). He lost.Page 25

    • Prank letters and a political disagreement led an Illinois politician to challenge young Abraham Lincoln to a duel! Lincoln was given the choice of weapons. He picked cavalry broadswords, feeling sure that, with his long arms, he could disarm his opponent. Friends showed up at the last minute and put a stop to the fight. Lincoln was embarrassed about the entire incident and realized he’d taken the prank too far.Page 39

    • One visitor to Lincoln’s law office in Springfield, Illinois said it was such a mess that orange seeds sprouted in the dirty floor! Books and papers were everywhere – in boxes, on desks, in piles on the floor. A pile on Lincoln’s desk had a note on top saying When you can’t find it anywhere else, look in this.Page 39

    • Abraham Lincoln loved animals. He risked his life in icy waters to rescue a dog. He wrote a reprieve to spare a turkey meant for the Christmas table. The family’s pony, goats, cats, rabbits, and dog Jip had the run of the White House. Mary Lincoln, when asked if her husband had a hobby, replied cats.Pages 13 and 116

    • That speech won’t scour, Lincoln told a friend after he gave the Gettysburg Address. He was using a phrase from his farming days. He meant his speech was no good – like a plow so caked with soil that it couldn’t till the earth.Page 115

    • Southern troops attacked the outskirts of Washington in the summer of 1864. Impatient for news, Lincoln left the White House to see the fight. He climbed the parapet at Fort Stevens and stood to look at the Rebel troops. With his tall hat, he made a fine target for enemy fire. A nearby soldier yelled to him, Get down, you fool, before you get shot!Page 122

    • Lincoln and his wife Mary were indulgent parents who seldom reprimanded their children. Their boys Willie and Tad built a fort on the roof of the White House to fire pretend cannons at the Rebels. They invaded a Cabinet meeting, pretending it was a Confederate camp. Tad demanded nickels from the people lined up in the hallways waiting to see his father. One time, he rode his goat into a formal reception!Page 83-84

    • Every day, Ben Franklin asked himself, What good shall I do this day? The answer? A lot! Franklin was a printer and publisher, inventor, scientist, philosopher, and statesmen. He invented bifocals, the lightning rod, an odometer, and the Franklin Stove. He founded the first American circulating library, figured out that lightning and electricity were related, taught himself four languages, and played the guitar, harp, and violin.Page 27

    • Supplies were so scarce in the Continental Army that patriotic women made coats for the soldiers. Each soldier who volunteered for an eight-month stint at this time received a coat of homespun wool. English soldiers called the Continental Army the Homespuns.Page 43

    • John Adams thought Thomas Jefferson should write the Declaration of Independence. I’m unpopular, he said, and you write ten times better than me. Page 44

    • Teenager Sybil Ludington became known as the female Paul Revere when she rode swiftly through the Connecticut countryside to warn her neighbors of a British attack. Page 78

    • British soldiers made up a mean song about the Americans – Yankee Doodle! Some think the word Yankee came from a common Dutch name (Janke) and was meant to mock New England settlers. Doodle was a word meaning simpleton. Macaroni was a fancy hairstyle of the era, as well as a nickname for the dandy who wore his hair that way. American soldiers took the sting out of the insulting song by adopting it for themselves.Page 62

    • Thomas Jefferson thought up names for new states that might join the Union. Imagine living in Polypotamia (many rivers), Pelisipa (country of the skins), or Chersonesus (peninsula)!Page 110

    • Forget the wooden teeth and the cherry tree – they’re both myths. But George Washington did have false teeth (several sets, of ivory and cow’s teeth) and telling lies wasn’t his style. He was athletic, loved to ride horses, and spent years in his youth roughing it in the western wilds. And, according to Thomas Jefferson, he was the best dancer in Virginia.Page 38

    • Printer John Dunlap made around 200 copies of the Declaration of Independence. Only 25 still exist. One was recently discovered in a four-dollar frame purchased at a flea market. It sold at auction for $8.1 million!Page 47

    • Civil War battles sometimes have two different names: Manassas and Bull Run, or Antietam and Sharpsburg. Southerners often named battles for nearby towns; Northerners for natural landmarks like rivers.Page 11

    • Hundreds of women cut their hair, took men’s names, and fought in the War. Jennie Hodgers, as Albert D.J. Cashire, fought in 40 battles with the 95th Illinois. Kady Brownell fought with a Rhode Island unit and had a song written for her, “The Daughter of the Regiment.” Southerner Amy Clark joined up with her husband, and stayed after he was killed.Page 18

    • Many families were divided by the Civil War. President Lincoln’s wife had four brothers in the Confederate army. A senator from Kentucky had two sons who became generals – one in the Confederate army and one in the Union. One time a Yankee soldier captured a Rebel only to find that his prisoner was his own brother!Page 27

    • Old Abe, Robert Lee, and Stonewall were Civil War heroes – of the animal world! Regimental mascot Old Abe, an eagle, was carried on a special perch by Wisconsin soldiers. The dog Robert Lee, not quite as brave as his namesake, hid in an ammunition box when battle broke out. Another dog, Stonewall, showed up for roll call on his hind legs with a pipe in his mouth!Page 78

    • What do Chester Arthur, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley have in common? All of these future presidents served during the Civil War.Page 106

    • Confederate troops under General Jubal Early came within five miles of the White House! Curious to see the Rebels, President Lincoln went to Washington’s Fort Stevens and looked over the parapet. A captain, who didn’t recognize the president, shouted “Get down, you fool, before you get shot!” Lincoln smiled and quickly obeyed.Page 118

    • Johnny Clem joined the Union army when he was only nine years old! He tagged along with the 22nd Michigan until the men gave up trying to send him home and made him their drummer boy. He spent his life with the army. When he retired in 1915, he was the last veteran of the Civil War to serve in the U.S. Army.Page 19

    • Robert Smalls was a slave who worked in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. One night, he dressed in captain’s clothes and took the Planter, a Confederate gunboat, and its slave crewmen and their families out to sea, where he handed the Planter over to the Union navy. Smalls served as a pilot for the Union during the Civil War. After the War, he bought his former master’s home and served as a representative in the United States Congress.Pages 50 and 134

    • Wilmer McLean had a home near Manassas that was shelled badly during the first battle of the Civil War. He moved, saying he wanted to live where his family would never again be bothered by war. By a strange coincidence, the war ended when Generals Grant and Lee met to discuss terms of surrender in McLean’s new home at Appomattox Courthouse!Page 129

    • Robert E. Lee’s beloved horse was Traveller. William Tecumseh Sherman rode Sam. George McClellan rode Dan Webster. Ulysses S. Grant loved all horses, especially Cincinnati. Stonewall Jackson went to battle on Old Sorrell. Jeb Stuart’s famous rides were on a horse named Virginia. And you can see Philip Sheridan’s horse, Rienzi, on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.Page 77

    • After finishing the Mona Lisa, Leonardo took it with him everywhere. When he died, it was given to the king of France. Napoleon kept it in his bedroom. Finally, it was placed at the Louvre. In 1911, a man stole the painting and hid it in a trunk in his room for three years. During World War II, it was moved by ambulance to secret locations to keep it safe from the Nazis. Today, it hangs in the Louvre, heavily guarded and behind bullet-proof glass.Page 70

    • Leonardo da Vinci was left-handed and wrote backwards, in mirror-writing. No one is sure why he did this, but it certainly stopped people from reading over his shoulder!Page 32

    • Leonardo was a vegetarian. He loved animals, especially birds, and sometimes would buy caged birds at the marketplace just to let them go.Page 47

    • Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Leonardo was the first to conclude that that the sky’s blue color is due to the way light is scattered by small particles in the air.Page 48

    • As a child, Leonardo had no formal education. His beloved uncle taught him about plants and animals and weather; a priest in Vinci showed him how to read and write and use an abacus.Page 3

    • Some of Leonardo’s designs weren’t invented by others until hundreds of years after his death. These include an armored tank, a helicopter, a diving suit, the bicycle, a submarine, a hang glider, and the parachute. He designed an alarm clock and a machine to move monuments, a telescope, water fountains, watches, folding furniture, and many other inventions.Pages 31 and 42-43

    • Leonardo knew more about anatomy than the doctors of his time. He discovered the way blood flows throughout the body and made important discoveries about lungs and eyes.Page 36

    • Leonardo worked slowly and left many of his paintings unfinished. He spent three years painting The Last Supper. When the priest in charge urged him to hurry up, Leonardo said he’d finish right away if the priest would serve as the model for Judas.Page 58

    • Leonardo da Vinci was one of the world’s greatest painters. He was also a sculptor, scientist, architect, mathematician, musician, anatomist, botanist, and engineer.

    • Leonardo’s notebooks are precious documents of his sketches, notes for inventions, and ideas about science and art. But on one page about geometry and river canals, he jotted down what he’d eaten for lunch that day: frutta, minestrone, insalata (fruit, minestrone soup, salad).Page 32

    • William Clark came from a family of heroes! Five Clark brothers were officers in the Revolutionary War. Big brother George Rogers Clark led a small band of soldiers that captured three British forts.Page 3

    • At the time of the Expedition, there were no coyotes east of the Mississippi River. When Clark wrote in his journal about this “Prarie Wolf,” he’d never seen one before. Now they’re found all over the United States – including in many cities!

    • Sacagawea was only 17 when she joined the Corps of Discovery on their journey west.

    • It was rightly named the Corps of Discovery – Lewis and Clark were the first to describe 122 animal species and 178 species of plants in a scientific manner.

    • Alexander Willard, blacksmith and hunter for the Corps of Discovery, was attacked by a grizzly and nearly drowned twice, but lived to the ripe old age of 88. Sergeant Patrick Gass volunteered to fight for the Union army during the Civil War – at age 90

    • Sacagawea’s son Pomp had an exciting life. He lived in a castle in Germany, served as an army scout in the Mexican War, was mayor of California’s Mission San Luis Rey, and a prospector during the California Gold Rush.Page 130

    • Expedition member John Colter became a fur trapper, and was the first white man to discover the place we now call Yellowstone National Park. He was attacked by Blackfoot Indians, who stripped him and gave him a chance to run away. Colter jumped into a river and hid. He walked naked and alone for seven days until he came to a trapper’s cabin.Pages 124 and 129

    • Salmon travel thousands of miles to return to the stream where they were born. Some scientists think they navigate by smell (a salmon can smell one drop of a substance in 250 gallons of water!). Others believe that they can sense the earth’s magnetic fields.Page 97

    • Clark’s calculation of the distance from the mouth of the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean was only off by 40 miles!Page 101

    • The Corps of Discovery met nearly 55 Indian tribes, who spoke many different languages (fortunately, they used a sign language as a way to communicate with each other). Even the members of the Expedition didn’t all speak the same language. They played telephone before there were even telephones! When Lewis wanted to say something to Sacagawea, he had to go through two translators – English to French to Hidatsa.Page 84

    • Marco Polo’s famous travel memoir was written while he was in prison. After his return to Italy, he commanded a Venetian ship in a sea battle, lost, and was made captive. A fellow-prisoner took down his story.Page 111

    • In China, Marco Polo discovered to his surprise, people used paper money to buy goods. What else did China invent first? The magnetic compass, the smallpox vaccine, gunpowder, clocks, umbrellas, and the seismograph.Page 52

    • Many people think Marco Polo brought noodles back from China and introduced Italians to pasta. Not true! Marco did write about Chinese people eating noodles, but Italians had been eating pasta since the year 1000.Page 78

    • Marco Polo traveled more than 20,000 miles on his 24-year journey!Page 110

    • Lots of people didn’t believe Marco Polo’s stories of the things he saw on his travels. They called him “Marco of the Millions” because they thought his book contained millions of lies.Page 112

    • Christopher Columbus brought a copy of Marco Polo’s book with him on his voyage to the New World.Page 112

    • The ruler of China during Marco’s time there wasn’t Chinese. Kublai Khan was a foreign leader of a conquered land – the grandson of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan.Page 45

    • Marco Polo never mentioned the Great Wall of China. Does this mean he never saw it? Some scholars say this is proof he never went to China. Others point out that, at that time, the Great Wall had deteriorated and was rebuilt later.Page 33

    • Marco Polo’s story of his travels has been in print for more than 700 years.Page 112

    • The Polos were not the first to travel the long road between China and the West. Caravans had followed the ancient path we call the Silk Road as far back as 200 B.C.Page 14

About Janis Herbert

Janis with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

I'm the author of six books for young people (Abraham Lincoln for Kids, The American Revolution for Kids, The Civil War for Kids, Leonardo da Vinci for Kids, Lewis and Clark for Kids, and Marco Polo for Kids.) Under my maiden name, Janis Martinson, I co-wrote The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman David Honeyboy Edwards.

With each of my children's books, I've tried to share my enthusiasm for history while presenting interesting ideas and messages for kids to consider. Young readers of my Lewis and Clark book will learn about ecology and the ways of native peoples while crossing North America with the brave members of the Corps of Discovery. I wrote Marco Polo for Kids hoping kids would find excitement in the history of ancient civilizations as well as learn a bit about other cultures and world religions. My love for American history made writing Abraham Lincoln for Kids, The Civil War for Kids and The American Revolution for Kids so much fun! My hope is that these books will inspire kids to learn more about their country's past and to play important roles in its future. Exploring the era of the Renaissance through the life of that fascinating genius, Leonardo da Vinci helped me, and hopefully my readers, realize the importance of creativity and art. It's been really gratifying to meet kids, through my school visits and camps, who have taken my books and their activities to greater levels.

Janis and her brothers at Gettysburg

I've worked in bookstores, libraries, offices, restaurants, in grade schools, and on college campuses. My favorite activities are camping, hiking, birdwatching, attending Civil War reenactments, and, most of all, reading. I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I am now living in Northern California with my husband, Jeff.

Thank you for visiting my web site!

Janis Herbert



    • October 16, 2022 10:00 - 11:00

      Booksigning with Janis Herbert

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • January 25, 2020 1:00 - 3:00

      Celebrate Chinese New Year. Make crafts and enjoy special treats as we enter the Year of the Rat! Heidi Goodman, illustrator of Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles, and Janis Herbert, author of Marco Polo for Kids, will be on-hand to lead the fun!

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • September 19, 2018 6:30 - 8:00

      Celebrate Local Authors - Come meet Janis and a dozen other authors from the neighborhood.

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • October 12, 2017 3:30 - 4:30

      Leonardo da Vinci Camp

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • September 14, 2017 3:30 - 4:30

      Lewis and Clark Camp

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • January 19, 2017 2:30 - 4:00

      Booksigning with Janis Herbert

      Face in a Book

      4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite 113

      El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


    • August 18, 2016

      Interview with Janis

    • August 6, 2016 1:00pm - 3:00pm

      Writing Advice from Author and Bookseller, Janis Herbert

      Placerville Library

      345 Fair Lane

      Placerville, CA 95667


    • February 12, 2016

      Abraham Lincoln's 207th birthday

    • January, 2016

      Civil War reenactment