Parents' Guide to

Dear America

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Books-inspired series brings history to life for kids.

TV HBO Drama 1999
Dear America Poster Image

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Some upsetting content, but overall is educational and entertaining

My nine year old really enjoys this show and has watched every episode. I find it a little dark for a kids' show. The topics covered are quite serious and the episodes can be violent. Each episode focuses on a fictional girl character from some chapter in America's history. She is typically imperiled by something specific to her historical period. The endings of each episode are uplifting, but the road to the ending is usually rocky and in many episodes, girls lost family members. I found some of the episodes upsetting - but things do generally "work out" in the end (at least for the main characters). Overall, this is a good show to watch together as a family - so potentially upsetting content can be discussed. I recommend it for kids 8 or 9 and up, but it would depend on the individual child because, as I said, some of the material is pretty heavy.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Dear America humanizes the often-dusty details of kids' history lessons. Rather than simply reading about the relationship between the Quakers and the Native Americans, for example, kids can suss out the climate for themselves in stories such as "Standing in the Light," which tells of a white captive of the Lenapi people who comes to appreciate the Native American way of life. By turning places and dates into the tangible (if fictionalized) story of a person's life, the show makes it easier for kids to grasp the basic concepts.

Because the series is geared toward kids, complicated historical events are reduced to fairly simple terms, but it's a great place to start to introduce your kids to the human side of America's history. And it doesn't shy away from all the drama, so be prepared to answer questions about war, racial tension, and other harsh realities of life in the country's first centuries.

TV Details

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