Star Spangled The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem

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The little-known and inspiring story behind the national anthem and the stars and stripes

“O say can you see” begins one of the most recognizable songs in the US. Originally a poem by Francis Scott Key, the national anthem tells the story of the American flag rising high above a fort after a night of intense battle during the War of 1812.

But there is much more to the story than what is sung at ball games. What was this battle about? Whose bombs were bursting, and why were rockets glaring? Who sewed those broad stripes and bright stars? Why were free black soldiers fighting on both sides? Who was Francis Scott Key anyway, and how did he end up with such a close view?

Star-Spangled tells the whole story from the perspectives of different real players—both American and British—of this obscure but important battle from American history. The book includes an author’s note, a timeline, a glossary, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.---from the publisher

176 pages                                    978-1419741029                         Ages 10-14

Keywords:  national anthem, song, American history, War of 1812, battle, flag, women, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old, Social Studies Curriculum


When you give a child a question, you open her/his/their curiosity and they begin to try to figure out the answer.  This book asks all the right questions to introduce a young reader to the battle that gave us our national anthem.  The War of 1812 is often glossed over in our Social Studies classrooms for lack of time.

This story gives readers some clues, some inklings of what the issues were in 1812 and fills in the blanks about who fought, why they fought and how we got a flag out of this particular battle in this particular war.  It's important to know your roots.

Barb Langridge,

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