Little Known History Worth Learning About

Summary:

What we know today as the national resting place for men and women who have served their country was once the private home of George Washington Parke Custis, the step-grandson of President George Washington. The second generation to live in the house was Parke Custis daughter Mary and her husband Robert E. Lee. 


Parent Perspective:
This was interesting to me. I lived in Northern Virginia for many years and saw the "house on the hill" but never knew its origins. In picking up the book I was worried about the amount of text for the targeted "elementary" audience. The pages are a little wordy, but the text is well written for the intended audience. The illustrations are lovely and add to the history. The book is definitely worth the read, and an important one if you have military members in your family.

I have two disappointments with the book. At the back, there is a photograph and a very short narrative about the Freedman's Village. By reading the information, it would seem this information is important to the history and shouldn't have been treated as a footnote. [It would also help to explain if/how the nullified will impacted the status of Parke Custis' slaves.] The other necessary point of clarification concerns who can be buried at Arlington. How do "explorers, sportsmen" qualify and what constitutes "other prominent Americans?"


Content Awareness Factors:

None.


Type of Book:
This is an illustrated nonfiction picture book about the historical origins of Arlington National Cemetery
Educational Themes:

The book lays out a chronological history of Arlington National Cemetery. A timeline in the back notes specific points in history relative to the hill that is the cemetery grounds. Those points in time have interesting histories themselves and can be a spark for additional research.

Reading Level:
7.7
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is an interesting book to read before visiting the Washington, DC area and Arlington National Cemetery.

Title Arlington: The Story of Our Nation's Cemetery
Author Chris Demarest
Publisher Roaring Brook Press, Imprint Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Flash Point © 2010
Illustrators Chris Demarest
ISBN 9781596435179
Material Galley
Cost $17.99
Genres History - US, War

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