Tommy, like many children in school today, learns daily about his people’s collective ancestral guilt and the negative legacy of his country, America. All positive narratives about his people’s history are absent, so he struggles to find pride in himself and his country. In despair, Tommy asks his father why his ancestors came to America in the first place, and is then told the wonderful story of their journey to freedom. Tommy’s ancestors in Europe were poor and exploited by cruel noblemen and foreign elites. They left their homelands behind for America, the land of opportunity, where they would have greater control over their destiny and discover opportunities that were unavailable to them in Europe. In the New Land, they built a nation with other immigrants from Europe and freed themselves from injustice by becoming “American.”
A People Called American celebrates the diversity of European immigrants that made America such a unique and prosperous nation, and is an essential book for parents unsatisfied with the historical accounts presented to their children through the mainstream education system. Author and illustrator Charlie Chisholm’s unique artistic style and vibrant watercolor illustrations bring this uplifting story to life, and will inspire confidence in young White children continually subjected to lectures about their allegedly shameful past by establishing healthy values in them and countering the antagonistic narratives about their people and their nation. Teaching our children early on that it is natural to be proud of their heritage and the country their ancestors built is crucial for cultivating in them a positive identity, and A People Called American is an important learning tool that will assist parents in guiding them in the right direction.