A Kids’ Guide to America’s Bill of Rights / by Kathleen Drull; illustrations by Anna Divito. 3.27.2017

HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 9780062352316

MS Grades 5-8 Rating: 4

A Kid’s Guide to America’s Bill of Rights explains, in an understandable way within the first 20 pages, how the Bill of Rights came to be, who wrote it, and why it was needed. This is followed by 10 chapters each covering one of the first 10 Amendments. find an explanation of what the amendments are, why they’re necessary, and what court cases have occurred that have drawn on that particular amendment. The final two chapters briefly cover the 17 other amendments and discuss where the Bill of Rights went wrong.

Kathleen Krull’s work has an index and suggestions for further reading. The illustrations by Anna Divito, used throughout the book, are frequently humorous and enable students to focus on the discussion packed with anecdotes, sidebars, and case studies. The discussion leans toward an approach in seeing the need for the government to solve problems rather than more responsibility being in the hands of the individual, though most students will not recognize the liberal versus conservative approach.

Those having The Bill of Rights: The First Ten Amendments of the Constitution by David L. Hudson, Jr. (Enslow Publishers) have a fairly comparable work. Drull’s work probably enhances more the possibility of discussion.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ