Chicago Public Library has designated Chicago
History for Kids a Best of the Best Books in 2007.
From School Library Journal
attractive overview begins with geography and moves to the colorful
stories that characterize the city. Hurd tapped local experts and
collections, using primary and secondary sources and the responses of
young readers to craft this engaging resource. Beginning with the Ice
Age, a time line opens each chapter. Projects range from making a
miniature glacier or a Ferris wheel to planning a fire-escape route or
tracing one's family history. Walking tours offer maps, directions, and
such itineraries as "Chicago's Oldest
Landmarks" or "Modern Skyscrapers." The success of the 21 projects is
uneven, but immensely readable details broaden the events described,
such as why the Black Sox were motivated to throw the 1919 World Series.
Excellent-quality photos, maps, illustrations, or boxed facts appear on
every page. Skimmers can read parts, focus on projects, or pick up
information from the short insets that offer relevant details. The
bibliography reads like a resource list for Chicago collections with
asterisks to distinguish titles for younger readers. Suggested places to
visit, helpful Web sites, and a thorough index are also appended. An
all-in-one resource, this is a good starting point for project ideas,
history, and general information."
"History comes off the page and onto the kitchen table."
TimeOut Chicago (Best Chicago Books of Summer)
"As any local librarian will tell you, it's rare to find a children's
book on Chicago history. Well the tots can finally put down that stale,
old encyclopedia. Local editor-turned-author Owen Hurd's kids' book
covers the history of the region, from the glaciers that carved out this
land to the recent Sox World Series win and dozens of stories in
between. Bonus: Hurd eschews the mythical kids' anecdotes — going beyond
Mrs. O'Leary's cow, and the origins of Cracker Jacks — so no belittling
the little ones. Even Gary Johnson, president of the Chicago History
Museum, will vouch for this kids' title — the man behind Chicago's newly
rehabbed bastion of history penned the book's introduction."
"The author takes the city's history — many of the stories we heard
growing up in and around Chicago, plus many we haven't heard — and
breaks it down for younger readers. In so doing, he makes it more
accessible to many of us non-history buffs who at least like to be
knowledgeable about the city in which we live. Hurd offers plenty of
photos, breakouts and timelines to make what could be yawn-inducing
reading more reader-friendly. He covers Chicago's history from the time
glaciers covered the landscape to the present-day, high-rise laden
cityscape. Hurd also incorporates corresponding activities in each
chapter. For example, Chapter 6: Reaching New Heights deals with the
aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and how the city rallied to
rebuild. The corresponding activity is an architectural walking tour,
complete with map and talking points. Activities in Chapter 12: Chicago
in the New Millennium, which deals with the city's most recent history,
include 'Write Your Own Blues Song' and 'Make a Chicago Style Hot Dog.'
(Don't forget the celery salt!)"
From Chicago Parent
Parents will enjoy the information in this book
right along with their children. . . . The book includes ideas for
walking trips and places to visit in Chicago. One thing those of us who
live here take for granted is the Chicago hot dog. In case you don't
know how to make this creation exactly right, the instructions are
included, and remember, for a Chicago-style hot dog, hold the ketchup.
From Quintessential Barrington Magazine
Kids aren't always interested in history, but author Owen Hurd tells the story of the third-largest city in the United States with a sense of adventure. . . . What's different about this history book is that it starts at the beginning--not when people came on the scene, but when the topography, which played a critical role in the formation of Chicago, started to form 1.5 billion years ago. Hurd covers the legends . . . but also includes details and less familiar stories of triumph and tragedy, making this book a well-rounded history of Chicago. The photos, illustrations, and time lines included with each chapter make history kid-friendly, but the well-written text will appeal to adults as well.
Hurd has been a guest on "Chicago Tonight" (WTTW-Channel 11) and on
the Noon Show with Bob Sirott (WGN Radio-720).