A fun, informative venue for learning about significant places in U.S. history. Clear, engaging writing and a dynamic, easy-to-follow layout go far to explain the significance of each symbol and its place in American history. Occasional “Freedom Fact!” sidebars call readers' attention to incidental details (for instance, the first public school in America, the Boston Latin School, “admitted only boys for more than 300 years. Girls couldn't attend the school until 1972!”). The inclusion of the fort at St. Augustine and Angel Island is especially useful, as typically these important landmarks receive scant coverage in children's literature. Star-spangled borders and neatly framed illustrations prettify the presentation. “Before Reading” and “After Reading” questions and activities in each title make these natural choices for use in the classroom. Though the content is strong, the series title is misleading; some readers may find “Symbols of Freedom” an odd or even inappropriate label for locations such as the World Trade Center or Angel Island.
VERDICT Solid options.