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A History of Us
A History of US is a 10-part (and one source book) Historical book series for children; Written by Joy Hakim. The books are all written in simple language, have been given very good remarks, by teachers, homeschoolers, students, and many others. The series has also won the James Mechener Award in Writing, and the Parent's Choice Silver Honor Award. The books are titled:
- The First Americans
- Making Thirteen Colonies
- From Colonies to Country
- The New Nation—(1789-1850)
- Liberty for All?—(1820-1860)
- War, Terrible War
- Reconstructing America
- An Age of Extremes
- War, Peace, And All That Jazz
- All the People
Quotes and comments
"Observe our first president as he figures out how to do the job. Also, herein: Details of the world's greatest land bargains. News of a expedition to unmapped territory west of the wide Mississippi. And stories of a very powerful Indian leader and of a man who made himself free."
The Eleventh Hour/The Inside Story
The message starts around the frame of the image, on the pencils. It reads: "Drawing conclusions from sketchy clues may lead you astray – so sharpen your eyes and your wits – get the point?" This is referring to some later things in the pictures, that may not necessarily be true. However, upon further examination, we find a more helpful message, printed in the small rectangles on the pencils that reads: "It was not Max." You can rule him out.
Here, there are not many helpful clues, except for the letters on the refrigerator.
The Guests Arrive
Here again, there is very little. However, you will note that the letters on the gate spell out "watch the clocks."
Here, there is a bit more. Firstly, if you follow the border clockwise, you will find a word hidden in the design. It reads: "Anagrams". This is very helpful, because the words on the walls are indeed anagrams. If you un-scramble the black letters, you get the message: "One mouse could never eat it all". This is true, but has a double meaning that tries to lead you astray. The red letters in the middle are anagrams also. They spell "Kilroy speaks the truth".
The Feast (Before)
Here the clues are pouring out. First there is the border. Counter-clockwise, it reads: "Can you find a hidden message in every illustration?". This is simply telling you that there are clues in the illustration. The other clues are located on the banners. On each banner, if you read each color group left to right, they read: (left banner)BLUE-observation, RED-deduction, WHITE-do not guess, BLACK-tick, (right banner)BLUE-now you see it, RED-look carefully, WHITE-watch the clocks, BLACK-tock.
The Sack Race
Nothing much here, except "observation" and "deduction" on the sacks.
This has a excellent clue, if you can read music and your logic circuits are in full gear. The clue can be found in the top border, and is in the music staff. If you look closely, the bottom notes are not part of the main melody (The British Grenadiers), but rather are the notes to the melody "three blind mice" However, if one looks down at the illustrations, they will see Kilroy dancing with his eyes closed! Also, looking closely inside the bottom border surrounding the text, you will find a string of exceedingly small letters on the piano keys. Backwards it reads, "Sam is not the one you seek".
In the card game, Oliver the pig can see Eric the zebra's cards on the mirror's reflection. Eric's cards spell 'code' upside down. Another clever code is hidden in the curtains. This is a special type of text known as long writing that can only be viewed when the reader holds the page almost perpendicular to their eyes (almost at a right angle, but not quite). The stretched font is then compressed to reveal the message, "All for one and one for all".
On the Snakes and Ladders board some numbers are in yellow squares. Using 1 as A, 2 as B, etc., these spell out "Thomas is innocent"
The border around the pool game's illustration has many pool balls with numbers on them. The first ball (starting in the bottom left corner), is a 20. T is the 20th letter of the alphabet. 1 is A, 2 is B and so on.
The border around the Blind Man's Bluff illustration and around the text is in Morse code. A clever part of this illustration is hidden under the bingo sheet, squeezed between the beach ball and the Luxor box. They are letter blocks that say 'TICK' and 'TOCK'. The bingo sheet itself has a number of clues in it. Using the numbers as letters, A=1 B=2 etc. you can read a hidden message. The numbers in red spell out Cora's sisters name but you need the numbers on the right hand side of the board to determine the order of the letters. Also use the bingo board like a find-a-word once you have changed the numbers to letters to see the name of the culprit spelled out plain as day.
The tennis game's clue is very clever. Turn the book upside down on that page and look at the roots of the hedges. They spell "Watch the windows". Look at the windows. You can see the feast inside. Then turn to the chess game page. The feast is gone! Also look at the arch. It has a series of swirls at first glance. These swirls actually say the scientific name for mouse.
The Egyptian letters in the Hide and Seek game are given to you down the two sides of the boarder. It's a straight swap and is loosely related to the actual letter sounds of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Answer to the cipher
The cipher on the back says:
CONGRATULATIONS! IT WAS INDEED KILROY THE MOUSE WHO STOLE THE FEAST. BUT HE HAD HELP: ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN OF KILROY'S FURRY RELATIVES HID THEMSELVES IN THE HOUSE AND AROUND THE GARDEN AND, AT ELEVEN MINUTES TO ELEVEN THEY ALL SCAMPERED INTO THE BANQUET HALL WITH KILROY AND ATE UP All OF HORACE'S BEAUTIFUL FOOD. AND NOW, JUST TO SHOW HOW CLEVER YOU ARE, CAN YOU FIND ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN MICE HIDDEN IN THE PICTURES? HAPPY HUNTING!
On the page where Horace brings in the sandwiches, there is yet another code on the text's border in anagrams. The message is: "Don't be mistaken, don't be misled. Trust not in message, just use your head."
The last illustration contains a clue. In the border of the text, there seems to be random letters chunked together. But string them together and it says: "The thief was someone they knew." This is a reference to the page where the animals arrive. "A handsome Bengal tiger, whom no one seemed to know." On the first page, it also says the thief was not Max, in code. This is probably because at the pool game, Max's tail is seen in the doorway. Readers might suspect the thief to be Max.
Odyssey: Adventures in science, is a magazine for children.