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An account of Robert Louis Stevenson's twelve day journey from New York to California in 1879, interwoven with a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad and the settling of the West.
1793, Philadelphia. The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown...<P><P> In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.<P> An American Plague's numerous awards include a Sibert Medal, a Newbery Honor, and designation as a National Book Award Finalist. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this book offers a glimpse into the conditions of American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.
A talking watch. An overcoat for two. A pair of pants for poodles. In his companion to Weird & Wacky Inventions, Jim Murphy shows kids some additional baffling and utterly silly inventions in the form of a guessing game that is both challenging and fun. What is a finger-supporting device used for? Can you really buy that talking watch? What on earth is a beard grinder? Whether it's a device for shaping the upper lip or a life preserver for horses, this parade of unusual inventions is a real treat for trivia lovers and any curious kid with an interest in science and inventions. Ages: 9-12.
Snow began falling over New York City on March 12, 1888. All around town, people struggled along slippery streets and sidewalks -- some seeking the warmth of their homes, some to get to work or to care for the less fortunate, and some to experience what they assumed would be the last little snowfall of one of the warmest winters on record. What no one realized was that in a very few hours, the wind and snow would bury the city in nearly 21 inches of snow and bring it to a ferocious standstill.
First-hand accounts that include diary entries and personal letters describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.
In the mid-1800s, with both her father and her uncle in jail on an assault charge, Maggie, her brother, and her ailing mother rush their barge along the Erie Canal to deliver their heavy cargo or lose everything.
This book follows a typical day in the life of a family of Hypsilophodon, a smaller, lesser-known dinosaur whose great speed aided its survival.
Two-time Newbery Honor Book author has written an amazing account of one of America's most famous hoaxes!<P><P> When a 10-foot tall purported "petrified man" is unearthed from a backyard in upstate New York in 1869, the discovery immediately turns into a spectacle of epic proportions. News of the giant spreads like wildfire, and well over a thousand people come to view him in the first five days alone!<P> Everyone has their own idea of his true origin: Is he an ancient member of the local Onandaga Indian tribe? Is he a biblical giant like Goliath? Soon the interests of world-renowned scientists and people from around the globe are piqued as arguments flare over who he is, where he came from, and if he is real--or just a hoax. <P> In a riveting account of how the Cardiff Giant mystery snowballed into one of America's biggest money-making spectacles--and scams--Jim Murphy masterfully explores the power of 19th-century media and the unexpected ripple effect that a single corrupt mastermind can produce when given a stage.
In the early days of whaling, whales were plentiful and it seemed that they would always fill the sea. When people realized how much money could be made from whales in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, entire species were wiped out in the rush to hunt these gentle and magnificent creatures. This account is an even-handed portrayal of the exciting, grisly, and sometimes profitable business of pelagic whaling, told from the perspective of young whalers through their detailed journal entries and letters.
A vertible cinematic account of the catastrophe that decimated much of Chicago in 1871, forcing more than 100,000 people from their homes. Jim Murphy tells the story through the eyes of several survivors. These characters serve as dramatic focal points as the fire sweeps across the city, their stories illuminated by fascinating archival photos and maps outlining the spread of fire. <P><P> 1996 Newbery Honor Book.
Jon Scieszka's Guys Read anthology series for tweens turns to nonfiction in its fifth volume, True Stories. The fifth installment in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading features ten stories that are 100% amazing, 100% adventurous, 100% unbelievable--and 100% true. A star-studded group of award-winning nonfiction authors and journalists provides something for every reader, all aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Compiled and edited by real-life literature legend Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: True Stories is a mind-blowing collection of essays, biographies, how-to guides, and more, all proving that the truth is most definitely out there.Supports the Common Core State Standards
This is the story of a killer that has been striking people down for thousands of years:tuberculosis. After centuries of ineffective treatments, the microorganism that causesTB was identified, and the cure was thought to be within reach--but drug-resistantvarieties continue to plague and panic the human race. The "biography" of this deadlygerm, an account of the diagnosis, treatment, and "cure" of the disease over time,and the social history of an illness that could strike anywhere but was most prevalentamong the poor are woven together in an engrossing, carefully researched narrative.Bibliography, source notes, index.
In 1874, Brian Doyle records in his diary how he ran away from his home in San Francisco, joined the crew of a whaling ship, and endured storms, hostile shipmates, and being stranded in the Arctic.
Ignorant to the bitter realities of military life, 16-year-old James enlists in the Union Army at the dawn of the Civil War. When his lieutenant assigns him to be the company historian of the G Company of the 122nd Regiment, New York Volunteers, he is initially at a loss as to what exactly he is supposed to record. As the days pass, James settles into his role, but he cannot take comfort in it. His country is divided by a bloody war, and his unit struggles through the hardships and turmoil. Through his journal entries, James poignantly captures the terror of battle, the drudgery of day-to-day life in the infantry, the loss of comrades, and the disillusionment of a young soldier.
On June 3, 1863, 19-year-old Confederate Lieutenant John Dooley prepared to march on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Thomas Galway, a 17-year-old corporal in the Union army, waited for the battle to begin. Drawing on the written accounts of these young soldiers, Murphy traces the circumstances leading to the dramatic battle and Lincoln's historic address.
Sarah Jane Price keeps a diary as a promise to her late father, the former school teacher in Broken Bow Nebraska. She accounts her struggle to gain acceptance as the new teacher even though she is so young. She tells of the harshness of the weather, her trials at balancing relationships between herself and her pupils as well as herself and the rest of the townspeople.
In this inspiring biography, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy tells the unique story of Pascal D'Angelo, who came to America in 1910 at the age of sixteen. Like so many immigrants from southern Italy and other parts of Europe, he took on the only job available to him, that of a manual laborer building roads and railways. Though his life was difficult, Pascal remained optimistic and never lost his sense of wonder at the world around him. He yearned for an outlet to express his passion, and so, remarkably, he taught himself English from newspapers and poetry books, in the process becoming a respected poet himself. Augmented with parallel references to other immigrant stories, this story of one man's life and noteworthy accomplishments is also a universal story shared by all American immigrants who helped build our nation. Source notes, bibliography, index.
Every account of the American Revolution mentions Benedict Arnold and brands him--correctly--as a traitor. There's no question that Arnold, an American army officer, switched his loyalty to the British side. Over the years, however, historians, partisans, and gossips have added to Arnold's unsavory reputation by distorting, embroidering, or simply ignoring factual details. In this informed and thoughtful account, Jim Murphy goes in search of the real man behind the "traitor" label, rumors, and folktales that became part of the Benedict Arnold legend. Drawing on Arnold's few surviving writings and on the letters, memoirs, and political documents of his contemporaries, Murphy builds a fascinating portrait of a brilliant man, consistently undervalued by his peers, who made a choice that continues to reverberate through American history. Dramatic accounts of crucial battles and political maneuvers round out this lively biography of a patriot who could have been a hero.
Written by Stephen Crane at the age of twenty-one, The Red Badge of Courage is one of the greatest war novels of all time -- so groundbreaking that critics consider it to be the first work of modern American fiction. Although Crane never witnessed warfare, The Red Badge of Courage is a realistic and terrifying account of the Civil War and the fear that a young soldier must face on the battlefield as well as within himself.
By the flow of the inland river, when the fleets of iron have fled, Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver, Asleep are the ranks of the dead: Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the Judgment Day: Under the one, the Blue, Under the other, the Gray.
On July 29, 1914, the world's peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austro-Hungarian Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed to war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, World War I. But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their enemies? In what can only be described as a miracle, this beautiful and heart rending narrative will remind everyone how brotherhood and love for one another reach far beyond the boundaries of war and politics.
A hair-cutting machine, a used gum receptacle, jumping shoes, and more of the strangest inventions ever! A hat that can tip itself. A suitcase that turns into a bathtub. A pair of protective eyeglasses for chickens. These are just three of the hundreds of unusual inventions that people have dreamed up over the last two centuries. Some, such as the mustache guard, made perfect sense when they first appeared. Others were considered just plain silly. Jim Murphy has compiled a collection of the weirdest and wackiest inventions and presented them in a quiz style that is challenging and fun. Simple, clear explanations are provided on how the inventions worked or failed to work. Complete with over 100 colored illustrations of these crazy creations, this is the perfect gift for any child interested in science and inventions. Ages: 9-12.
The first humorous book in the Dear America series, "West to a Land of Plenty" follows an Italian girl's immigrant family as they move from New York City to a utopian community in the frontier West.
Jack London's adventure masterpiece is not only a vivid account of the Klondike gold rush and North American Indian life, but it is also an intriguing study of the effects different environments have on an individual. Celebrate the centennial anniversary of the classic tale of a wolf-dog who endures great cruelty before he comes to know human kindness.
In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself "as warm a patriot as the best of them." He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy's humor. Jim Murphy lets Joseph Plumb Martin speak for himself throughout the text, weaving in historical back fround details wherever necessary, giving voice to a teenager who was an eyewitness to the fight that set America free from the British Empire.
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