Parents' Guide to

America: The Story of Us

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

U.S. history gets dramatic in worthy educational series.

America: The Story of Us Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 16+

Used greusome outliers and graphic imagery to sensationalize. Had little depth of content.

I would give more stars for the reenactments and production in terms of bringing history to life . However, the content had little depth, even for me - I am no history buff. The 2nd episode showed a scalp being sewed back on, and spent all of the time about Westward expansion on one experience- that of the Donner Family's cannibalism, rather than attempting to paint a broader experience. I terribly regret my kids seeing the 2nd episode. Had we learned something, then I'd say it might be worth it for older kids. But I do not recommend this for any age. (eta: we only watched the first 2 episodes).
age 13+

A good TOOL to help reinforce a history concept

America: The Story of Us is a great way to reinforce a topic from your child's history lessons. Please do not take these as stand alone and be all end all sources of the events described. Some of the episodes can be quite violent such as the U.S. Revolution and the Civil War, which are probably two of the most violent of the episodes. Of course there is the Westward episode which discusses the Donner party. All of the violence however, is in a historical context, and History Channel did a good job trying to limit how much you actually see someone get "killed".

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (9):

The docuseries attempts to make itself both informative and entertaining by using creative computer graphics and interviews with notable political, educational, and Hollywood figures to talk about American history. While it succeeds on most fronts, there are times when the special effects seem to make parts of the overall narrative drag on more than it should. Sometimes the presentation of multiple events seems a little scattered, too.

Kids may not be clamoring to see it, but history buffs and educators will most certainly appreciate what the series has to offer. President Obama's introduction to the series also makes it pretty exciting. Overall, it is an inspired look at what makes the United States the country that it is today.

TV Details

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