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This unique book is the first to tell the story of the role young people have played in the making of our nation. It brings to life their contributions throughout American history–from the boys who sailed with Columbus to today’s young activists. Based largely on primary sources–first-person accounts, journals, and interviews–it highlights the fascinating stories of more than seventy young people from diverse cultures.
Meet Olaudah Equiano, kidnapped from his village in western Africa and forced to endure a terrifying voyage into slavery; Rebecca Bates, who with her sister plays the fife and drum that scare off British soldiers during the War of 1812; and Anyokah, who helps her father create a written Cherokee language. Descend into the darkness of a Pennsylvania coal mine with nine-year-old Joseph Miliauskas for a ten-hour day that leaves his fingers bloody; read Carolyn McKinstry’s account of being hosed by police during the 1963 Birmingham civil rights march; and join Jessica Govea, who, as a teenager, worked side by side with Cesar Chavez to organize migrant farm workers.
These and many other compelling accounts, linked together by Phillip Hoose’s lively, knowledgeable voice, make We Were There, Too! not only a great reference but a great read–one that prompts Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, to comment: “This is an extraordinary book–wonderfully readable, inspiring to young and old alike, and unique. I know of nothing like it.”