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The Aftermath of the Mexican Revolution


So what happens when a revolution ends? How do the people get their lives back to normal? Do they get enough improvement in their lives to justify the years of revolution? As part of a series called Aftermath, I have been busy researching these questions and more about the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1920. Some of the answers were surprising. Others were what you would except. But all of them are relevant to how we work with our southern neighbor today. Find out how the revolution worked and how it didn't and why so many of the revolutionary ideals were not successfully implemented when the revolution ended.


The NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Committee has selected Battling in the Pacific: Soldiering in World War II and Roman Legions on the March: Soldiering in the Ancient Roman Army for the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2008, a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council.

1. Billy Yank and Johnny Reb

C-SPAN Book-TV Presentation June 29, 2002


From Booklist:
"This well-documented book describes the lives of ordinary soldiers during the Civil War. In the prologue, Beller introduces readers to the colorful terms that appear in the title: "Billy Yank, as the Union soldier was commonly referred to, and Johnny Reb, the nickname given to Confederate soldiers." ... she presents a good deal of solid information in an interesting manner. Quotations from letters and journals offer authentic voices as well as basic facts about the everyday lives of these fighting folk, with chapters on topics such as life in camp, food, disease, marching, letters home, prisoners of war, the wounded, and the end of the war. Good black-and-white reproductions, mainly of photographs from the 1860s, appear throughout the book. The appendixes include a map, a chronology of the Civil War, detailed source notes, and lists of books and Internet resources."
Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From VOYA:
"Author and researcher of several other Civil War books, Beller has produced a readable and graphically attractive book that most importantly puts a human face on one of the most significant events in American history." Reviewer: Kevin Beach, February 2001.

From Children's Literature:
"The reader feels immersed in the fighting between soldiers from the North and the South ... The text and letters to home from the soldiers will make readers feel the immediacy of war and its many horrors." Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati

From School Library Journal:
"A good choice for showing a soldier's life during this period of history."

2. Yankee Doodle and the Redcoats


From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Primary source material, such as letters and diaries, brings the lives of both the Patriot and Loyalist soldiers into focus in this well-documented, well-researched overview of the Revolutionary War. The author provides a history of the battles in chronological order and uses quotes from soldiers to illustrate and personalize the history. The various chapters focus on life in the camp, disease, medical practices, and the foreign soldiers who came to the aid of both the Americans and the British. The roles of Native Americans and African Americans in the struggle for independence are briefly mentioned.
Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

3. The Doughboys Over There

4. Battling in the Pacific

5. Roman Legions on the March

6. The Siege of the Alamo

The Story of the Series:

When I wrote Billy Yank and Johnny Reb, I had already written a number of Civil War titles and I wanted to go beyond the specific heroics of battle and get to know the soldiers who had fought them. As I began writing about the Revolutionary War, the same urge to understand the thinking and motivation of the soldiers led to the writing of Yankee Doodle and the Redcoats. When I approached my publisher about doing another book in the series, it was to be about the Roman Army, another fascination of mine! Imagine my surprise when I was asked to submit proposals for several books for the same series. Of course the Roman army would be one of the new titles. However, picking others would not be difficult.

Traveling in France, my husband and I had visited the Ossuary at Douaumont, a memorial to the 130,000 unidentified dead French soldiers of World War I--one of the most haunting experiences I have ever had. Before then I had known little about the "Great War" but since then have read much about the desperate fighting and the arrival of the American Doughboys to turn the tide in this "War to End All Wars." I knew right away that this was a story I wanted to tell and that it would begin at the American Monument near Chateau Thierry.

On another trip, we had visited the bookends to the US involvement in the Pacific in World War II--standing on the U.S.S. Arizona Monument looking down at the ship still leaking oil this many years after being sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor and seeing in front of me the U.S.S. Missouri, where the final peace had been signed to end the war with Japan. Here was another story that had long fascinated me--the story of the war that my father fought in.

The Alamo is, of course, one of the most important legends of American history. In this case, I have not been to visit (but will, now!). But the story of the valiant stand by the few but legendary men who fought there is another that just begs to be told.

So, I have spent the last year and a half in the company of all these soldiers trying to bring their wonderful stories to my readers. I am often asked by students whether I write about wars because I 'like' war. The real answer is that I write about wars because I am fascinated by the soldiers who are willing to give up everything, even their lives, for the sake of their country. It's not the war and the strategy and tactics that keep me researching--it's the people and their very real stories of life and death!