A Review of "How America Works" in Booklist
The How America Works series examines foundational elements of the U.S. government at a level appropriate for upper-elementary readers. This volume introduces the U.S. Constitution by first describing why the country’s founders felt it was needed, the events of the 1787 constitutional convention, and the Constitution’s ratification. Having ensured that readers understand the purpose of this document, the book then supplies a simple, clearly worded breakdown of its three parts: the Preamble, articles, and amendments. Lusted does an impressive job of explaining how the U.S. government works as she walks readers through its creation, as laid out by the Constitution, effectively describing its three branches and built-in system of checks and balances. The clean design nicely balances white space with the text, color illustrations, and fact boxes. A Constitution time line and government chart will help students grasp key dates and concepts, while the shorter sentences and textual repetition make it accessible to struggling readers. This unassuming title succeeds splendidly in relating the Constitution’s history, raison d’ђtre, and continued importance in protecting American’s liberties today.