Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation is a very creative book that discusses what happens after the 13 colonies gain independence. The book is in the setting of a school performance where students are dressed as the states and some other students play important people in the creation such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The book begins with signing of the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the American Revolution. Then it moves into the problems the colonies faced while being independent such as being unable to trade, having no rules, and no unity as a country. Soon the states got together to come up with some sort of government so that they were not just 13 separate countries, they were one unified country. The book discusses the formation of the three branches of government, the formation of the House of Representatives, and the Great Compromise. This book is a great informational text without being a formal informational text. This book discusses the important aspects involved in the creation of the United States and how the colonies felt during that time. What I liked about the book was the story was told from the students in the school production. This book makes it easier for students to connect with the topic. Also this is a very entertaining book, so students will enjoy reading it more. In the back of the book, it focuses in on more of the information presented during the book such as why wasn’t the country united, who were certain people mentioned in the text, who in the government does what, etc. So if reader were reading the text and had more questions, they could be answered in the back of the book. At the very end of the book, if readers wanted to see the constitution there was a website given so they could do so.
I would use this book in a read aloud to help students understand what happened after the war. It can be a fun read aloud because of how the text is written and the drawings to go along with the words. This is a great informal way to teach students about the topic and they could write in their notebooks what they take out from the text.
Jules, Jacqueline, and Jef Czekaj. Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation. Watertown: Charlesbridge, 2009. Print.