An essential book on the U.S. Constitution for everyone grappling with today’s most urgent political issues. From the award-winning duo of Cynthia and Sanford Levinson.
★ Four Starred Reviews ★
“Throw out the high school textbooks and put this outstanding book in the hands of the next generation!” —The Booklist Reader
“An excellent introduction to the strengths and weaknesses of our founding document…especially enlightening for those who don’t yet understand how our government is supposed to work.” —New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson
Cynthia Levinson, a noted children’s nonfiction author, has teamed up with her husband Sanford Levinson, one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars, to address the fact that many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in one place—the U.S. Constitution.
Their award-winning book, Fault Lines in the Constitution, takes readers back to the creation of this historic document and discusses how contemporary problems were first introduced―and then they offer possible solutions. Think of timely subjects such as voting rights, presidential pardons, executive and emergency powers, the Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications.
Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story―all but one of them true―that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. Informative sidebars and graphics run throughout along with a timeline and bibliography.
Visit the blog at www.faultlinesintheconstitution.com.
★ “A fascinating, thoughtful, and provocative look at what in the Constitution keeps the United States from being ‘a more perfect union.’” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
★ “Insightful… Much food for thought on the application and relevance of many of the Constitution’s stipulations. Essential for class discussions, debate teams, and reports.” ―School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
★ “Lately there’s been dismay that civics, government, and history have taken a backseat in classrooms. This smartly conceived book goes a long way toward reintroducing students to those subjects….the Levinsons link both history and current events as they offer an illustrative group of examples that show where the Constitution got it right—and wrong…. Although the font, charts, and well-written text make this appealing, it’s not always an easy read. It is, however, an important one.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
★ “Interest-piquing anecdotes open each chapter, the effects of the Constitution’s provisions are dramatically summarized in poster-like illustrations, and the ensuing discussions…are both cogent and highly readable…thought-provoking and exceptionally topical…” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“It’s an excellent introduction to the strengths and weaknesses of our founding document and is especially enlightening for those who don’t yet understand how our government is supposed to work.” —Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times
“This provocative and fascinating book brought the Constitution to life for me and made me question my deepest assumptions about our country. The questions it raises became an essential part of the debate in my play What the Constitution Means to Me, and I wish every student in America would read it.” —Heidi Schreck, playwright & creator of Pulitzer Prize finalist What the Constitution Means to Me
“Chatty, conversational, and very provocative, this fascinating book takes our revered document and opens it up to examination and debate…. Throw out the high school textbooks and put this outstanding book in the hands of the next generation!” ―The Booklist Reader
Parents’ Choice Gold Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2017
Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award Silver Honor ―California Reading Association, 2017
Notable Children’s Books ―ALSC, 2018
Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2018
Building a Home Library (Ages 12-14) ―ALA, Children’s Book Council, 2018
Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens―Capitol Choices, 2018
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2018
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2020
Orbis Pictus Outstanding Nonfiction for Children Award (Recommended Book) ―National Council of Teachers of English, 2018
Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List ―Texas Library Association, 2019
Garden State Teen Book Awards (Nominee, Nonfiction for Grades 6-12) ―New Jersey Library Association, 2019
Massachusetts Book Awards (Honor Book) ―Massachusetts Center for the Book, 2018
Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards (Finalist, Middle Grade/Young Adult)―Writers’ League of Texas, 2017
AR Level: 8.8
F&P: Z, Gr 7-8, Genre I
Themes: Constitution, Civics, U.S. History
BISAC 1: JNF043000 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Science / Politics & Government
BISAC 2: JNF025170 JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / United States / General
BISAC 3: JNF038100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / United States / General