America's Story from America's Library

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
America's Story from America's Library Website Poster Image
Quirky stories bring history to life.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn the breadth of American history from 1492-present, including geography, cultural milestones, and important people. America's Story breaks down this historical information into sections like "Join America at Play." They can jump around to find subjects they like; under the "Play Ball" heading, kids can learn all about baseball in a historical context. After making discoveries about America's past, kids can use critical thinking skills to make sense of it. America's Story is a mini-encyclopedia of American history that lets kids have a little fun while learning.

Positive Messages

Kids will leave America's Story with a new sense of their place in history, and an understanding of the highlights of this country's past.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that America's Story from America's Library is a colorful, engaging website that offers a peek into American history using text, video, and photographs to illustrate the past. The site is clear but doesn't go in-depth into subjects; kids may have questions about the more difficult parts of history that you can address in discussion or further research at the library or online. The site isn't as flashy or modern as some other online resources, but it's still fun enough to keep young history buffs engaged.

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What's it about?

The Library of Congress presents a window into its extensive collections with the view focused on kids' interests. The site is divided into five major sections: \"Meet Amazing Americans,\" \"Jump Back in Time,\" \"Explore the Capitol,\" \"Join America at Play,\" and \"See, Hear, and Sing.\" In the famous Americans section kids can read about Thomas Jefferson's penchant for pasta. \"Jump Back in Time\" gives kids a peek into New York's Radio City Music Hall and takes them to an interesting story about a car designer. Kids can experience information in a variety of formats, including text, voiceover, video, and games.

Is it any good?

There's not a tremendous amount of content on AMERICA'S STORY FROM AMERICA'S LIBRARY, but what's included is quirky, educational, and fun. Presenting information in several different formats caters to kids' different learning styles, and the interactivity will keep them engaged. Kids will like the ability to explore their favorite parts of history, and may find themselves interested in the unexpected as well. America's Story could use a visual update (it's a bit clunky and dated) as well as some new ways for kids to interact, but the content is accessible and clear to kid visitors. It would be nice if the games had a little more substance and presented more of a continued challenge.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about little-known American history. How do games, stories and activities help bring the past to life?

  • Have your kids create a timeline of their own history from birth to the present.

  • Ask your kids to imagine which era they'd like to visit if time travel existed. What would they do there? Who would they meet?

Website details

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For kids who love history

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