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My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

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In My America, Lee Bennett Hopkins weaves together fifty poems -- grouped by geographic region -- to create a remarkable portrait of the United States. Here is America in all its stunning variety, from the dramatic seacoast of the Northeast and the rippling cornfields of the Plains States to the shimmering deserts of the Southwest and the majestic redwood forests of the Pa In My America, Lee Bennett Hopkins weaves together fifty poems -- grouped by geographic region -- to create a remarkable portrait of the United States. Here is America in all its stunning variety, from the dramatic seacoast of the Northeast and the rippling cornfields of the Plains States to the shimmering deserts of the Southwest and the majestic redwood forests of the Pacific Coast. But here, too, are the ties that bind this nation together -- the hopes and dreams of those who live in our cities and towns and on farms. The voices of beloved poets like Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Nikki Giovanni, and Lilian Moore blend with new voices to sing not just of landmarks like the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon, and the Everglades, but of daily life across the land. Complementing these personal, moving visions of America are maps of the regions and fascinating facts for each state. Stephen Alcorn's brilliant, textured artwork makes this book a feast for the eyes as well as for the imagination. Impressive for its breadth, depth, and beauty, My America is a volume readers will savor as they read it time and time again. It is fitting homage to our wideranging, ever-changing land.


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In My America, Lee Bennett Hopkins weaves together fifty poems -- grouped by geographic region -- to create a remarkable portrait of the United States. Here is America in all its stunning variety, from the dramatic seacoast of the Northeast and the rippling cornfields of the Plains States to the shimmering deserts of the Southwest and the majestic redwood forests of the Pa In My America, Lee Bennett Hopkins weaves together fifty poems -- grouped by geographic region -- to create a remarkable portrait of the United States. Here is America in all its stunning variety, from the dramatic seacoast of the Northeast and the rippling cornfields of the Plains States to the shimmering deserts of the Southwest and the majestic redwood forests of the Pacific Coast. But here, too, are the ties that bind this nation together -- the hopes and dreams of those who live in our cities and towns and on farms. The voices of beloved poets like Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Nikki Giovanni, and Lilian Moore blend with new voices to sing not just of landmarks like the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon, and the Everglades, but of daily life across the land. Complementing these personal, moving visions of America are maps of the regions and fascinating facts for each state. Stephen Alcorn's brilliant, textured artwork makes this book a feast for the eyes as well as for the imagination. Impressive for its breadth, depth, and beauty, My America is a volume readers will savor as they read it time and time again. It is fitting homage to our wideranging, ever-changing land.

30 review for My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is one of my amazing discoveries at the Denver Public Library summer book sale. I try hard to limit myself to one bag. They offer thousands of books, hundreds in the children's section. I weeded through many and found quite a few "wonders". For our Independence Day, this book filled with poetry about all our states is perfect. It is divided into eight sections, each one a geographical grouping from a part of the United States, like The Great Lake States or The Northeast States. Within tho This is one of my amazing discoveries at the Denver Public Library summer book sale. I try hard to limit myself to one bag. They offer thousands of books, hundreds in the children's section. I weeded through many and found quite a few "wonders". For our Independence Day, this book filled with poetry about all our states is perfect. It is divided into eight sections, each one a geographical grouping from a part of the United States, like The Great Lake States or The Northeast States. Within those groups lies a colorful map showing the states and page (or pages) with small blocks of basic state information, like its birth date, capital, nickname, etc. The glorious part arrives then, the poems. You will recognize names of current/still writing poets, like Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Nikki Giovanni and Lee Bennett Hopkins himself, and then older well-known poets like Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, and Myra Cohn Livingston. Then there are the illustrations where Stephen Alcorn uses broad and powerful strokes of color to accompany the poems and sometimes to surround them with his impressions of grandeur. They are gorgeous, as are the poems. How do choose just one, perhaps only from my birth state, South Carolina and then growing-up state, Missouri and now, Colorado? Or favorite states like Oregon when I visit the ocean. I will start with "New England Lighthouse" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, a region I have spent little time in, but wish I could. "It's a turret of lanterns;/a castle of lights--/a compass for ships/as they pass/through the night." From the Great Lakes States, Gary Snyder writes "Pine Tree Tops", kin to my own mountain state of Colorado: "pine tree tops/bend snow-blue, fade/into sky, frost, starlight." In The Plains States, I connect to "Midwest Town" by Ruth de Long Peterson because that's exactly where I grew up "Farther east it wouldn't be on the map--Too small--but here it rates a dot and a name." Near enough to me in Denver to visit often, I found "Santa Fe, New Mexico" by April Halprin Wayland: "to see surprising piles of clouds,/melting, moving/mounds of white ice cream". April continues to write "Look here what I have found/out here/in this gallery." Lee Bennett Hopkins celebrates the collection in a lovely introduction, in which he writes: "Our nations is so exciting, so multifaceted, as are poets who hail from every walk of life--who sing of cities where we "sprawl-in, sit-tall-in," areas where "wheat whirls with joyful wind," where a "mail boat chugs to the Cranberry Islands" of Maine."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Panning

    I liked this collection of poems. Like any collection there were some that I connected to more than others, but I thought it was a fairly good assortment. With my first grader this year we are exploring geography and culture through folktales so poetry was a good extension of that. My only complaint was that while there were maps of each region there isn't a map of the US as a whole to get a sense of where each region resides within the larger US without having to pull out another map. I liked this collection of poems. Like any collection there were some that I connected to more than others, but I thought it was a fairly good assortment. With my first grader this year we are exploring geography and culture through folktales so poetry was a good extension of that. My only complaint was that while there were maps of each region there isn't a map of the US as a whole to get a sense of where each region resides within the larger US without having to pull out another map.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I do not much care for poetry unless it's funny - like Silverstein. I read this book because I challenged my students to a 40-Book Challenge and to read a variety of genres. I had this book in my classroom and decided it would be fitting. I liked that it was about the U.S.A. and each state. The pictures and poetry were okay. It's just not to my liking. I do not much care for poetry unless it's funny - like Silverstein. I read this book because I challenged my students to a 40-Book Challenge and to read a variety of genres. I had this book in my classroom and decided it would be fitting. I liked that it was about the U.S.A. and each state. The pictures and poetry were okay. It's just not to my liking.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    The illustrations are lovely. I like that at the beginning of each section, it gives some facts about the states the poems are about. I think this book would be great if it had an accompanying audio disc to listen to the poems being read aloud.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Personal reaction: I liked this book because I thought the structure of it was really useful and would make a great resource. I only gave it 3 stars because It was not something that I was totally enthralled with and I like to reserve my stars for books I really like. I do think I would still use this in the classroom though. Purposes: 1. Enrichment/Enjoyment -I could see myself reading a poem from this book every morning to start our day at school. I would start at the beginning of the book and t Personal reaction: I liked this book because I thought the structure of it was really useful and would make a great resource. I only gave it 3 stars because It was not something that I was totally enthralled with and I like to reserve my stars for books I really like. I do think I would still use this in the classroom though. Purposes: 1. Enrichment/Enjoyment -I could see myself reading a poem from this book every morning to start our day at school. I would start at the beginning of the book and throughout the year (or the next 50 days) we could travel through the United States. I think it would be a great way to bring in a variety of poetry because all the poems are on topics relating to particular states or regions, but they are by different authors and have different styles. -Another way to use this for enrichment/enjoyment would be to select poems to read from this book about the state or region in which I am teaching. Kids would like hearing poems that they can relate too and it would allow the class to learn more about our state. Similarly, I could use this book after summer vacations in the beginning of the year or after a holiday break and choose poems to read about states that a child in the class may have visited over the break. The children could talk about what they learned or know about that state or region and then we could compare their knowledge with the information from the poem. 2. Curriculum -I would definitely consider integrating this book into a social studies unit on the United States. Not only would the poems provide a fun way to learn about different states or regions, but the book also provides information like the year the state ratified the constitution, the capital, nickname, state bird, state flower, state tree, etc. -this book could be used to talk about different forms of poetry as well as literary elements. The book includes lullabies, narratives, lyric poems and others. Examples of literary elements are onomatopoeia and alliteration.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States Selected by: Lee Bennett Hopkins Illustrated by: Stephen Alcorn Genre: Poetry Critique: 1. The book includes information on all of our nation's states. There is brief breakdown of stats for each state and then some wonderful poems that were selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Each poem is unique and illustrates some important factor of that state. 2. A. The area for critique on this book is the formatting. B. The book is laid out wonderfully. It is separ My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States Selected by: Lee Bennett Hopkins Illustrated by: Stephen Alcorn Genre: Poetry Critique: 1. The book includes information on all of our nation's states. There is brief breakdown of stats for each state and then some wonderful poems that were selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Each poem is unique and illustrates some important factor of that state. 2. A. The area for critique on this book is the formatting. B. The book is laid out wonderfully. It is separated by "The Northeast States", "The Capital", "The Southeast States", "The Great Lake States", "The Plain States", and so on. The index is very easy to understand as well. There is a page for the map of the area of states, a "a facts" page for each state and then poems that are relevant to the states in a particular section. C. One of my favorite poems, page 76: Seattle Morning By: Lee Bennett Hopkins: In the pouring teeming rain a deluge pounding down sounding as if it will never come to an end again a man crouches on the pavement clutching a bright yellow umbrella in one hand bending over his SEATTLE TIMES intently reading today's weather report. The poem is obviously about Seattle Washington. This is a very rainy place and I enjoyed the format of the poem. It rains a lot and the poem is not long, though, because the lines are short, the reader understands the effect of the never ending rain. The illustrations are wonderful as well. Curriculum Connection: I would use this book in many different lessons. For one, it is an excellent example of the many poetic styles. Another lesson inclusion could be history. Every state is listed and some very important facts are provided as well: Capital, Nicknames, Mottos, Bird, Flower, Tree, Area and so on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Plot Summary: This book has collected poems from many authors about each of the 7 regions of the United States, plus Washington, D.C. It includes maps of each region, and facts for each state (capital, abbreviation, nickname, motto, bird, flower, tree, area in sq. miles, when it became a state, and a fact). Personal Evaluation: I would love to own this book for my classroom. While every state does not have its own poem, nearly each one does, and some poems could represent several states within a re Plot Summary: This book has collected poems from many authors about each of the 7 regions of the United States, plus Washington, D.C. It includes maps of each region, and facts for each state (capital, abbreviation, nickname, motto, bird, flower, tree, area in sq. miles, when it became a state, and a fact). Personal Evaluation: I would love to own this book for my classroom. While every state does not have its own poem, nearly each one does, and some poems could represent several states within a region. The poems are also short, which will keep students’ attention. Memorable Literary Element: Because these poems are from many authors, they all use different poetry elements: rhyme (“Farmers out in Idaho/Plant potatoes, row on row”), repetition (“Sleep, mi su-la,/little brother,/sleep,/ sleep,/sleep,”), and alliteration (“Gulls swoop, gulls soar,/Flocking, flying, gulls galore.”) are three which occur. Illustrations: The illustrator created paintings for each poem that are somewhat abstract and very colorful. The illustrations interpret the poems in unique ways (for example, a poem about rivers has an illustration of a green woman amongst green and blue grasses, waves, and circles to depict the river). The varied, beautiful illustrations match the various ways of life in the United States represented by the poems.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Rhodes

    Literature Requirement Poetry #1 My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States takes the reader through an adventure across the United States through the yes of poetry. The reader gets to travel the nation collecting images and visions of the nation for example, the wonders of Maine seafood in watercolor and the cold winters of Wisconsin in Feb-b-rr-uary. The images spectacularly grab the reader's attention with their wonderful colors and application that make it seem like their moving almost l Literature Requirement Poetry #1 My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States takes the reader through an adventure across the United States through the yes of poetry. The reader gets to travel the nation collecting images and visions of the nation for example, the wonders of Maine seafood in watercolor and the cold winters of Wisconsin in Feb-b-rr-uary. The images spectacularly grab the reader's attention with their wonderful colors and application that make it seem like their moving almost like the reader can jump right into the book and explore what makes each state unique. The journey in this book builds to a crescendo as it takes the reader on a ride that is euphoric and as scenic as a ride in a nice red corvette on a fall Sunday day or as fulfilling as looking at the window when the airplane first takes off and the ground becomes smaller and smaller as you move further and further away.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My America brings together poetry, art, and facts about the United States in this collection. The book is divided into the various sections of the United States, like the Northeast States and the Great Lakes States. At the beginning of each section, maps, facts and trivia for each state in the section is shared. The styles of poems vary from section to section, but all attempt to describe the states in America. Original art accompanies the poems, adding to the descriptions. While many poems in t My America brings together poetry, art, and facts about the United States in this collection. The book is divided into the various sections of the United States, like the Northeast States and the Great Lakes States. At the beginning of each section, maps, facts and trivia for each state in the section is shared. The styles of poems vary from section to section, but all attempt to describe the states in America. Original art accompanies the poems, adding to the descriptions. While many poems in this collection are excellent and evoke wonderful descriptions of a state, others fall flat. Also, some states receive two poems, while at least one state was not represented by a poem. Despite these flaws, the overall collection was excellent, with a variety of styles of poems and amazing art that enhanced the poems.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janet Squires

    Hopkins has selected poems that celebrate the unique diversity of America that can be found in its regional geography, landmarks, cultures, and people. Poets Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Myra Cohn Livingston, Nikki Giovanni, and Shonto Begay are only a few of the many talents to be found here. Familiar works share pages with verses commissioned specifically for this collection. The poems are organized geographically and each section includes a map and facts about that region. Alcorn's bold Hopkins has selected poems that celebrate the unique diversity of America that can be found in its regional geography, landmarks, cultures, and people. Poets Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Myra Cohn Livingston, Nikki Giovanni, and Shonto Begay are only a few of the many talents to be found here. Familiar works share pages with verses commissioned specifically for this collection. The poems are organized geographically and each section includes a map and facts about that region. Alcorn's bold colors mirror the richness of the verses and the America they honor. This is a great introduction for a study of American geography.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    This picture book really impressed me with the way it set up basic knowledge for children to learn in such a clever way, I also really like how Hopkins included poetry for specific cities or states. The way the book was set up also really impressed me because it had the maps and information for each region before the poems which would give children an idea of what to expect which would help their learning. I also thought that the little pictures by the poems were really cute and would exemplify This picture book really impressed me with the way it set up basic knowledge for children to learn in such a clever way, I also really like how Hopkins included poetry for specific cities or states. The way the book was set up also really impressed me because it had the maps and information for each region before the poems which would give children an idea of what to expect which would help their learning. I also thought that the little pictures by the poems were really cute and would exemplify things about the place they were from. This is a great way to teach children information about the united states.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Bernal

    My America: A Poetry Atlas Of the United States. I found this book to be beautiful! it is an amazing book. The book is divided in to eight sections. Each section is for a region of the United States, each sections contains fascinating facts that capture the breadth, depth and character of the United States. Fifty wonderful poems in total, one for each of the 50 states. Furthermore, the book includes beautiful art work. Reading this book, I learned many new facts about each state. Definitely, wil My America: A Poetry Atlas Of the United States. I found this book to be beautiful! it is an amazing book. The book is divided in to eight sections. Each section is for a region of the United States, each sections contains fascinating facts that capture the breadth, depth and character of the United States. Fifty wonderful poems in total, one for each of the 50 states. Furthermore, the book includes beautiful art work. Reading this book, I learned many new facts about each state. Definitely, will read it in my classroom

  13. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Great poetry anthology that features each state/region in the U.S. Favorite poem? The one about February in Wisconsin (it's mostly "brrrr"). Facts, state motto/tree/bird, etc. are given for each state. One big quibble: of ALL the facts about Texas (um, only state to fly its flag at same height as the US since they joined as an independent nation), the fact chosen has to do with the first coin-operated laundromat.... (huh?!) Good resource for middle-upper elementary when studying states/history Great poetry anthology that features each state/region in the U.S. Favorite poem? The one about February in Wisconsin (it's mostly "brrrr"). Facts, state motto/tree/bird, etc. are given for each state. One big quibble: of ALL the facts about Texas (um, only state to fly its flag at same height as the US since they joined as an independent nation), the fact chosen has to do with the first coin-operated laundromat.... (huh?!) Good resource for middle-upper elementary when studying states/history

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    I really liked this picture book. It was really informative, but in a fun way. I like poetry so this was a good book for me. It was cool that the states were split by region, and that at the beginning of that section in the book was the information about each state. The capitol, nickname, motto, state bird, etc. were all included. Then there were poems about the states in that region. The artwork was really good and well done too. It was really abstract and creative. I loved the artwork. I would I really liked this picture book. It was really informative, but in a fun way. I like poetry so this was a good book for me. It was cool that the states were split by region, and that at the beginning of that section in the book was the information about each state. The capitol, nickname, motto, state bird, etc. were all included. Then there were poems about the states in that region. The artwork was really good and well done too. It was really abstract and creative. I loved the artwork. I would recommend this for all kids.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andressa

    The artistry of this book was pleasant and lovely. The book is sectioned by geographical location of states, and each section includes an assortment of poems about the area. Poems from all different poets tied together with consistent artwork. Each section also includes the typical state facts about every state, combining fact with art. I thought this was a great way to introduce and describe the United States, being both factual and enjoyable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Fiveash

    Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins Place, Region, Relationships This is a compilation of Poems, organized by region, about the geography of all the states in the Union. Poets featured in the atlas include; Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Nikki Giovanni, and Lilian Moore. Illustrations by Stephen Alcorn.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robin Cocheu

    What a delightful way to learn about poetry, geography and history! This book is appropriate to read aloud to K and up, but probably best suited for 3rd grade and up.The illustrations are colorful and intriguing, and the poetry is organized by geographic region. Each region also includes a page of state facts as well as a map.I love this book to in weave in social studies with literacy lessons.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christine Turner

    A collection of poems evocative of seven geographical regions of the United States, including the Northeast, Southeast, Great Lakes, Plains, Mountain, Southwest, and Pacific Coast States. www.hcpl.net 811.008 My A collection of poems evocative of seven geographical regions of the United States, including the Northeast, Southeast, Great Lakes, Plains, Mountain, Southwest, and Pacific Coast States. www.hcpl.net 811.008 My

  19. 5 out of 5

    Austin Francis

    I honestly was more interested in reading about the state capitals, mottos, birds, and trees than I was reading the poems. The poems were boring but the state facts were interesting and I loved reading about all the states.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Harmon

    My America Poetry Atlas is such a creative book! I love how for each state, the author writes a poem! This book is great! I love the illustrations and all the different poems!! I think having this book in my classroom would be extremely beneficial for my students!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is one of the best poetry anthologies for children I've read. It reads like a love song to America. Every region is represented beautifully and with wonderful exuberance. This is one of the best poetry anthologies for children I've read. It reads like a love song to America. Every region is represented beautifully and with wonderful exuberance.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert W.

    This book integrates poetry with maps and atlas' throughout time and history. This book integrates poetry with maps and atlas' throughout time and history.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Benita

    This book includes facts about each state as well as poets ranging from Carl Sandburg to Nikki Giovanni. Curricular connections include read aloud, modeling poetry, as well as Social Science.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Wonderful illustrations, interesting facts, and good poetry about all the states. February 2010.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    a beautiful blend of art and poetry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Grade: 4-5 Topic: Land, nature, different geographic regions

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily Molina

    Grades 2-5 Topic: land, food, crops, weather

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Zinsmeister

    Grade: 5th Topic: Geographic location

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Zimmerman

    A book of poetry about different places in America. A perfect way to teach students about poetry and rhyming, as well as, different parts of the United States.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paxson

    this book is boring to me nothing really pulling me in besides the want to finish it.

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