America First: "100 Stories from Our History", Paperback/Lawton B. Evans
WHEN children advance beyond the nursery age, no story is so wonderful as a true story. Fiction to them is never as appealing as fact. I have often been faced with the inquiry: whether or not a story is a true one. The look of gratification, when told that "it actually happened," was most satisfying to me as a story-teller. The nearer a story is to the life and traditions of the child, the more eagerly it is attended. True stories about our own people, about our neighbors and friends, and about our own country at large, are more interesting than true stories of remote places and people. We naturally are interested in our own affairs, and the nearer they are to us the greater the interest we feel. That history is just a long, thrilling story of the trials and triumphs of pioneers and patriots is well known to those who have had to do with the teaching of history to youthful minds. That the dry recital of political and governmental history does not interest children is also well known. History should be made vital, vibrant, and personal if we expect children to be stirred by its study. To gratify the love of children for the dramatic and picturesque, to satisfy them with stories that are true, and to make them familiar with the great characters in the history of their own country, is the purpose of this volume. It is hoped that through appeal to youthful love of adventure, this collection of stories, covering the entire range of American history, will stimulate the ambition and strengthen the patriotism of those young citizens whose education has been the constant concern of the author for many years.