While the writing and illustrations in Amelia Hamilton’s, “One Nation Under God: A Book for Little Patriots,” are catered towards children, the book’s message is anything but childish. Patriotic to its core, the book teaches children about the basic and essential elements of U.S. government and history in an engaging and delightful manner. From ‘One Nation Under God’ to ‘Ten Amendments in the Bill of Rights,’ the book counts its way through the significant building blocks of America.
Hamilton’s background in both English and 18th century history shows, as she knows how to fuse fact with fun when writing about the chambers in Congress, presidents on Mt. Rushmore, Supreme Court justices and more. A devout patriot herself, she writes in a way that has the potential to both teach and remind those listening to and reading “One Nation Under God,” why it’s so great to be an American. Perhaps more importantly, however, the book captures the notion that all the rights we enjoy in this country came at a cost and that freedom is not in fact, free (a point we could all manage to reflect on more). Consider this excerpt, for example:
“When you know you’re safe in your own home,
When you don’t have to pray alone,
When you say just what you feel,
It might not seem like a big deal.
Just remember that these rights weren’t free.
Many fought for you and me.”
Children will no doubt enjoy this book for its catchy rhymes, patriotic zing and didactic illustrations; but the messages in “One Nation Under God” will also resonate with adults. Living in the midst of an ever divisive political landscape in America, reading this was certainly refreshing. The book upholds the greatness of our political structure and history even while the nature of modern politics tends to tarnish those images. Better yet though, “One Nation Under God” allows our children to learn the basics behind America - without all the baloney.
Check out Amelia Hamilton's Web site for more information on "One Nation Under God".