Cover for KAY: Illinois from A to Z. Click for larger image

Illinois from A to Z

Leads the young Illinois reader into understanding and learning more about his or her home state

Learning about Illinois history is as easy as ABC with this lively, attractive, alphabetical tour of the state. Pairing brief, informative statements with photographs and drawings of their subjects, Illinois from A to Z includes profiles of important Illinois residents, from inventor John Deere to scientist Enrico Fermi and from poet Gwendolyn Brooks to entrepreneur Ray Kroc. Betty Carlson Kay highlights historical events, such as the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the tragic Haymarket Riot of 1886. She introduces the Illiniwek tribe, for whom the state was named, and the canals and waterways that connect the Chicago and Mississippi Rivers with Lake Michigan. She also describes key social projects, such as Jane Addams's Hull-House and the orphan trains that carried tens of thousands of poor, homeless children from the East Coast to new homes in the Midwest. Readers will learn that Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women the right to vote for the president and local officials (although they had to use separate ballots and ballot boxes); that each car of the original Ferris wheel could hold sixty people; that Illinois has the largest known bituminous coal reserves in the United States; and that the epithet "The Windy City" originally referred not to the weather but to the boasting of Chicagoans about the 1893 world's fair. Clearly written and generously illustrated, Illinois from A to Z is a charming introduction to the movers and shakers who have shaped Illinois as well as to the state's history and geography.

"This is simply the best introduction to Illinois history for elementary and middle school students."--Thomas F. Schwartz, Illinois State Historian

Publication of this book was supported by a gift from Joan and James J. Stukel

Betty Carlson Kay has been an elementary school teacher for thirty years and is the author of five books in the Americans of Character series of biographies for children.

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