An introductory picture book about the writing of The "Star-Spangled Banner."

Francis Scott Key and the Star-Spangled Banner

During the War of 1812, a fierce battle took place between American and British forces near Baltimore, Maryland. British ships attacked American troops at Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key, a young American lawyer and occasional poet,was inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he waited for the results of the battle aboard a British ship. The song later became the national anthem of the United States.

Each page is illustrated in color. Geared to second graders, it may also appeal to older reluctant readers.

Also included is a reproduction of the original poem, and the music and lyrics of the anthem.

The book is available in both hard and soft cover.


From Booklist:

"The book, fully illustrated with impressionistic paintings and detailed pen and pencil drawings, tells the story with only a sentence or two on a typical page. Distant or remembered scenes are done in sepia tones, which contrast effectively with the many more-colorful pictures." Carolyn Phelan

Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

About the War of 1812

“The War of 1812 was the first war declared against a European power by the United States of America. Great Britain and France were at war, and the United States was caught in the middle. British forces began interfering with American trade ships and capturing American sailors to serve on British ships. And so the U. S. went to war with Britain.

Some wars have big victories. Others have big defeats. The War of 1812 had both. A big defeat for the U.S. happened when the British burned the White House. This was not only a defeat for the Americans, but for many people, it was a disgrace.

Just a few weeks later, however, the Americans won a big victory at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Out of that victory came Francis Scott Key’s song, and both the victory and the song helped Americans to forget the terrible loss when the White House was burned.

In the years that followed, Key’s song continued to help inspire Americans in war and in peace. Today, as the national anthem, the song continues to reaffirm America’s pride in its country.”

Copyright 2009 David Roberts

Selected Works

For Middle Graders
Short stories about sports by a variety of well-known writers.
In 1953, Sam has to get used to his new life in Brooklyn, NY, as well as a grandfather who doesn't seem to like Sam at all.
Fully illustrated and simply told story of the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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