We often sing the "Star Spangled Banner," but what do the words mean? Why did Franklin Delano Roosevelt stay in office longer than any other U.S. president? Following the style of an old-fashioned primer, The American Reader answers such questions as it gives children a modern, well-rounded view of what it means to be a good citizen. Captivating prose, poems, short stories, and games entertain as they teach about the diverse regions of our country, the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, the story of Clara Barton, and the official nicknames for each of our states. A story about Smokey Bear promotes an appreciation of nature and the need to protect it, and another explains how to be helpful and respectful to people with disabilities. The American Reader's lively variety and broad scope will give children of all ages much to learn, think about and enjoy for hours on end.