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Children's Fiction General

On an American Day Volume 1

Story Voyages through History 1750–1899

by (author) Rona Arato

illustrated by Ben Shannon

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2011
General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 7


What better way for young readers to truly understand another era than to spend a day in the life of another child? Like the other titles in the On a Day Story Voyages series, On an American Day Volume 1 uses nine extraordinary pieces of historical fiction — covering American history from 1750–1899 — to give young readers an intimate look at life in another place and time. On an American Day Volume 1 begins with the story of Patrick, an Irish-Catholic immigrant seeking relief from religious persecution in Pennsylvania in 1755. From there, readers meet more characters living through historic events like the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and the Johnstown flood; through civil rights milestones like the Emancipation Proclamation; and through national achievements like the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and the opening of the Perkins School for the Blind. The book ends at the turn of the 20th century with the founding of Hull House in Chicago. Through these carefully researched and engaging stories, a complex and fascinating portrait of a nation emerges, told through a child’s everyday life activities. Detailed backgrounder pages accompany each story, using facts, maps, photos, and illustrations to bring readers further into history.

About the authors

Rona Arato is a children’s author with a strong interest in human rights. As a writer and editor for over twenty years, she has written on a wide variety of subjects including education, business, travel, fashion and Internet technology. Her work has appeared in mag-azines and newspapers in Canada, the United States, and England. Rona is the author of Fossils, Clues to Ancient Life and World of Water (Crabtree, 2004) and Ice Cream Town (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2007). Her new books include Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson for Napoleon (Fall 2008), Making a Difference for Maple Tree Press (Fall 2008), and Design It! for Tundra Books (Spring 2009). Rona began writing in the mid 1970s while raising her three children. She has also worked as a public relations consultant for profit and non-profit. She has taught adult Creative Writing for the Toronto District Board and conducted business writing workshops for profit and non-profit organizations in the Toronto area. She has written educational materials for organizations including Mosdos Press in Cleveland, Girl Guides of Canada, and B’nai Brith Canada. From 1994-1998, Rona had the privilege of serving as an interviewer for Survivors of the Shoa, a Steven Spielberg project that recorded the histories of Holocaust survivors. It was this experience that fostered her interest in and desire to write about human rights. Rona discovered Josiah Henson’s story while researching a project on Canadian heroes. She was immediately taken with his strength and courage in the face of seemingly insur-mountable obstacles. His dedication to human rights and freedom spoke to her heart and she hopes that his story will affect others, especially youth, in the same way it has affected her.

Rona Arato's profile page

Ben Shannon's profile page


  • Commended, National Parenting Publications Awards, Children's Products Competition, Honor Book

Editorial Reviews

A fun approach to history.

A valuable resource for the classroom.

Resource Links

The high impact spin author Arato adds to all of the stories is the real life adventure, drama, romance, and tragedy of ordinary young people living through these historical times...a valuable supplementary social studies resource for young researchers.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

[N]eat, emotive, unvarnished stories...are engaging and inspiring.

Kirkus Reviews

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