When my friend’s son was learning to count, I wanted him to have something special for his birthday, something that would introduce him the basics of The United States. So, I wrote him a book. The result is One Nation Under God: A Book for Little Patriots, just released on August 16th.
One Nation Under God: A Book for Little Patriots is a tool to teach children the fundamentals of The United States. It leads children in counting from one nation under God through ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, with key points on each along the way. Although the ideas are more easily understood by a slightly older child (5-8), I wrote it as a counting book to get younger children familiar with the concepts, allowing the book to grow with a child. Once a child has outgrown the book, my hope is that he or she will use this knowledge as a foundation to learn more. I hope that it will spark an interest in children to discover more about The United States.
With this in mind, it was time to research and see what went with each number. Some were easy, some took a little more digging. From there, I decided what the main points were for each number, the key things that I wanted the child to remember. Then it got interesting. I had to figure out a way to write about those concepts in a fun way to keep a child’s interest. In twelve lines of rhyme.
After giving the book to my friend’s little guy, I shared it with a few other friends. The feedback was great, with many parents telling me that the book was just the kind of teaching tool for which they’d been looking. So, I decided to give publication a try. Although the manuscript was accepted by a traditional publishing house, I decided to go it alone and publish independently. Having full ownership of and responsibility for the book has been wonderful.
Response to the book has been all over the map. Many have been looking for a more meaningful children’s book. One common theme in the feedback is that the simple, basic facts in the book are not being taught in schools. While this book teaches them that which they aren’t getting in schools, it’s also opening the door to questions about The United States. Parents have welcomed this curiosity, excited that their children are excited!
However, there have been plenty of attacks, mostly from people who consider the book to be partisan, and have clearly not read the book. Rather, they’ve made assumptions about what I believe, and then further assumed that these beliefs were being taught in the book. My mission in writing this book was simple: to teach children about the foundation and structure of the United States and spark their interest in learning more. There’s nothing nefarious at work. Telling children that there are two chambers in congress, for example, is hardly controversial and, for this reason, the feedback from readers has been overwhelmingly positive.
I’ve heard many times, from readers on both sides of the political spectrum that there is a dearth of patriotic books for children. We are at a critical crossroads in our country, and people are coming to realize that we need to concentrate on educating our children, it’s as simple as that. For this reason, it’s imperative to create as much interesting educational content as possible. I hope that One Nation Under God: A Book for Little Patriots, as well as the other projects in the works, help to fill that void in a fun and engaging way. It’s also my hope that others create ways to teach children about the foundation of the United States to get kids interested in their country!
One Nation Under God: A Book for Little Patriots is available at www.ameliahamilton.com.