Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review - The U.S. Constitution


The United States Constitution: A Round Table Comic Graphic Adaptation

Adapted by: Nadja Baer
Illustrated by: Nathan Lueth
Publisher: Writers Of The Round Table Press
Publication Date: April 2012
ISBN: 978-1610660259
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 2, 2012

There’s no doubt that the Constitution is a revered document in our country. There’s also no doubt that the somewhat legal and antiquated language make it hard to understand for the millions of students and new citizens who study the text. Enter Round Table Comics and their new graphic novel which helps to bring understanding of this important founding document to those who study it.

This newest “translation” of the U.S. Constitution begins with letters some of the founding fathers wrote to each other discussing turmoil within their own borders as well as problems overseas. They saw a need to come up with a document that would unify all the colonial states before they all fought and tore the country apart.

Monday, May 14, 1787 was the day the Constitutional Convention was set to start in Philadelphia, PA. But travel was difficult in the 1700s and some people wouldn’t arrive for days, making it impossible to reach a quorum. No quorum equals no voting. Attendees stood around and waited, and waited, and waited…

Finally, on Friday, the 25th of May, there were enough people to form a quorum and the convention could start. And that’s when the real action began because it seemed that nobody could agree. Some wanted to form two “houses,” the first of which would be chosen by the people with the number of elected officials determined by the number of people living in that state. But smaller states feared the larger states would then control everything and arguing broke out. But that’s nothing compared to the battle brewing over the slave-owning states versus the free states.

This graphic novel presents the story of the writing of the Constitution, along with all the ramifications of each portion of it, with clarity and precision. There are sections where the characters are interacting, along with the trademark bubbles above their heads for their words, other areas that have boxed text to explain the specific parts of the Constitution, and other boxed text for “historical finds.” It’s entertaining and informative and helps bring to life a very important time in our Country’s history.

Quill says: This graphic novel is an excellent way to help students study the U.S. Constitution.