Monday, February 15, 2010

We the People

Birmingham Public Library has received the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) We the People Bookshelf award. The grant award provides collections promoting the theme of “Picturing America.” The collections are available for checkout at all 20 Birmingham Public libraries. The Bookshelf includes Spanish translations to accompany three of the selected titles, as well as bonus materials for readers of all ages. This special NEH grant also supports public programs in Birmingham’s communities.

The Bookshelf is awarded through the NEH We the People program, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. The Bookshelf offers libraries and local communities additional educational resources that may not otherwise be available. Each year the Bookshelf provides an opportunity for readers to examine themes important to America’s history such as freedom, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. “Picturing America” explores the premise that a nation’s literature, as well as its visual art, can be a window into its history, aspirations, and ideals.

The We the People Bookshelf on “Picturing America” is a literary complement to NEH’s Picturing AmericaSM program—a free education resource that provides reproductions of 40 works of great American art to schools and public libraries to help educators teach American history and culture through our nation’s art (

We the People Bookshelf Collection
"Picturing America" Collection
“Picturing America” theme includes the following titles, selected by the NEH, in cooperation with the ALA and the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA:

Kindergarten to Grade 3

Walt Whitman: Words for America by Barbara Kerley
Cosechando esperanza: La historia de César Chávez by Kathleen Krull (translated by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy)
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sweet Music in Harlem by Debbie Taylor

Grades 4 to 6

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet
The Captain's Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith

Grades 7 to 8

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse by Russell Freedman
La leyenda de Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (translated by Manuel Broncano)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Across America on an Emigrant Train by Jim Murphy
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Grades 9 to 12

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange by Elizabeth Partridge
Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
Viajes con Charley - en busca de América by John Steinbeck (translated by José Manuel Alvarez Flórez)
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

Bonus books for readers of all ages:

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out by The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance
1776: The Illustrated Edition by David McCullough

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