A “Depressing” Anniversary

Eighty-six years ago today, the American stock market took a lethal plunge, throwing the country’s banks and working class into a panic and perpetuating the most severe economic depression the country had every seen.  Thousands were out of work and barely able (or unable) to support their families.  My grandfather was a child during that “Great Depression”, and I can recall his stories of that being one of the most difficult times of his life.  Barely a teenager, he was forced to take jobs as a railway tie-layer and lumberjack (in the cold Minnesota north woods territory) in order to help his family get by.

While various wars can often comprise the bulk of history curriculums, more “homeland-centric” topics like this are just as important in explaining the nuances of the United States of America.  Here are a number of new titles that can help explain this rough patch in U.S. history to students:

First, some titles relating the general history of the Depression…

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What Was the Great Depression? by Janet Pascal. 9780448484273. 12/22/2015. Grade 4-6.

The Great Depression by Robin Johnson. 9780778711865. 2014. Grade 6-9.

The Great Depression for Kids by Cheryl Mullenbach. 9781613730515. 2015. Grade 4-8.

The Great Depression: History Perspectives by Roberta Baxter. 9781631376634. 2015. Grade 4-8.

Black Tuesday and the Great Depression by Natalie Hyde. 9780778717218. 2015. Grade 6-8.

The Great Depression in United States History by David K. Fremon. 9780766060876. 2015.

These next three books more specifically look at people’s lives before, during, and after the Depression…

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The Jazz Age and the Great Depression by Enzo George. 9781502604903. 2015. Grade 2-5.

The Great Depression and World War II by Susan E. Hamen. 9781624031786. 2014. Grade 3-6.

Life During The Great Depression by Wendy H. Lanier. 9781624036262. 2015. Grade 3-6.

Here’s some historical fiction set in the Depression-era…

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Better To Wish by Ann M. Martin. 9780545675185. 2014. Grade 4-6.

What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren. 9780399163524. 2014. Grade 4-6.

Lector by William Durbin. 9781561646784. 2014. Grade 4-6.

Every Day After by Laura Golden. 9780307983145. 2014. Grade 4-7.

Halley by Faye Gibbons. 9781588382900. 2014. Grade 5-8.

Finally, here are two titles that look at the Great Depression from different vantage points, followed by two titles about the 2008 “Great Recession” that could be used as contemporary tie-ins to the topic…

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Did Anything Good Come Out of the Great Depression? by Emma Marriott. 9781508170723. 1/15/2016. Grade 5-12.

The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression by John F. Kasson. 9780393240795. 2014.

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The Great Recession by Stuart A. Kallen. 9781601525963. 2014. Grade 7-12.

Working Scared (Or Not At All) by Carl E. Van Horn. 9781442232419. 2014.

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