Sunday, July 28, 2013

My America and Dear America Series {Must Read Mentor Text}

I'm happy to be linking up with Collaboration Cuties for another great round of mentor texts. This week is all about Social Studies. 

Instead of just sharing one book today I thought I'd share two similar series that I have found my students really enjoy: My America and Dear America. 

These books are written as young girls' diaries during various time periods throughout history. The diary format makes them easy to read aloud when there is a few extra minutes during class. I really like the historical connections in the books and have been very impressed with all those I've read so far. 

A few years ago I read My Brother's Keeper: Virginia's Civil War Diary  aloud to my class while we were studying the Civil War. It was a very engaging way to extend the history and get some extra practice talking about the "sides" of the war and the different issues. My students were very interested in the book! 

The book was also the perfect way to study the Historical Fiction genre. Since we were studying the Civil War in history we were able to pick out the historical events from the fiction pieces. I think it really deepened my students' understanding of Historical Fiction. 

I always recommend these books to my students who are interested in Historical Fiction and to those who seem to be particularly taken with a specific period in history. 

I just learned that Dear America has been relaunched with a fresh look and I discovered a pretty neat feature on it on the Scholastic website. It is certainly something worth checking out! Click on the picture if you'd like to see more - there are scrapbooks for each main character with crafts and recipes. 

Wow! Writing this post has certainly been informative! I also just learned about another spin off of this series for boys called My Name is America and all written from a boy's perspective. I've never heard of these books before so now I'm going to be adding some of those to my cart! This could be bad - adding books to my own cart before I even read any of the other posts from the week!?!

Have you ever used any of these series in your classroom? What'd you think?


  1. YOU HAD NEVER HEARD OF THESE BOOKS BEFORE?! Oh my gosh, I used to love them when I was younger. I did all my book reports on them and read through each of the books almost weekly! They have some great plots, fantastic characters, and historical facts that are still included although it's fictional. Loved these books and glad to see another teacher love them, too!

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  2. A few of my boys really loved the My Name is America series last year. I'm hoping to add more to my collection. I never thought about using them in social studies. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. I have some of both in my library! For students that get really into history and historical fiction - they love these books! The My Name is America books are also really great - they don't disappoint at all!

    Thanks for all the ideas :)

    My Shoe String Life
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  4. My daughter loved the Dear Canada series but I do not have any in my classroom - I really should order some!

  5. I love that these books are written in diary format. I also love that they are coming out with some from a boy's point of view.

    Thank you for sharing!


  6. I have several of these great books in my library and I'm not sure why, but they haven't been as popular for my class the last few years. I bet with that website you shared I can spark their interest again! Thanks for sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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