American History for Young Catholics (first grade)
This small, 46-page book introduces children to American history and a little Mexican history primarily through biographical sketches. Even in the first section on the first voyages to America, the focus is on two people, Leif Ericson and St. Brendan. Subjects of the sketches are often chosen both for the contributions to history and to the advancement of Catholicism. Some of the black-and-white illustrations make good coloring pages. (Note: There is some overlap in content with Seton's third grade level The Catholic Faith Comes to America.)
The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas (third grade)
Written as a third grade text, this 120-page book uses a biographical approach to present vignettes of exploration, settlement, and development of South, Central, and North America. While a few of the standard characters such as Columbus are featured, most are included because of their advancement of Catholicism. Unique and interesting content plus full-color illustrations make this an interesting resource for this grade level. (Note: There is some overlap in content with the first grade level American History for Young Catholics.) An answer key is included with the book.
American History for Young Catholics (eighth grade)
This is one of the best American history texts for junior high level in terms of both content and writing style. At 278 pages (in 8 1/2" by 11" format), this is heftier than many other choices. It begins with establishment of the various colonies and settlements and continues up through modern history.
The perspective is clearly conservative and Catholic. For example, it discusses Constitutional problems that arose with the New Deal. It raises the problem of invasion of privacy that came with passage of the 16th amendment (the income tax). Throughout most chapters, occasional comments appear regarding the Catholic view of certain events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. However, there are also three chapters that deal primarily with the Catholic Church in the early, middle, and recent years of history, respectively.
Section surveys and chapter reviews really challenge student grasp of the content with questions like, "On what ground did the colonists oppose the Stamp Act?" Some black-and-white illustrations and maps are included, but not as many as in texts from larger publishers. However, Seton has students use Rand McNally's Atlas of American History alongside this text, which more than makes up for a shortage of maps. An answer key comes with the text. (The Atlas is available from Seton.)