“Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner,” by Monica Kulling
Books and online fun

If you want to learn more about the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner, consider reading these books and visiting these Web sites:

★ “What Caused the War of 1812? by Sally Senzell Isaacs. Age 10 and older. Explore why a young and not-well-organized United States would declare war on the biggest naval power in the world.

★“Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Bannerby Monica Kulling. Ages
5 to 8. This “Step into Reading” book tells how Key watched the Battle of Baltimore and was inspired to write what became the national anthem.

★“The Town That Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story by Lisa Papp. Ages 6 to 8. This is a beautifully illustrated book about a boy who helped the town of St. Michaels, Maryland, avoid being destroyed by the British during the war. The story is based on what really happened to the town.

★ “Jean Laffite: The Pirate Who Saved America by Susan Goldman Rubin. Ages 6 to 9. Jean Laffite grew up in Spain and left home as a teenager to become a pirate. But during the War of 1812, he was a privateer — someone hired to attack British ships — and helped warn the United States that the British planned to attack New Orleans.

★ “The Flag Maker by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Ages 6 to 9. Caroline Pickersgill, the daughter of Star-Spangled Banner maker Mary Pickersgill, tells the story of the making of the flag that flew at Fort McHenry and inspired Key.

Web sites

★ Fort McHenry has created a Web site featuring perspectives on the war. Viewers can vote on whether the United States should fight or not. The results will be announced at the fort on June 18 in a ceremony marking the declaration of war. www.nps.gov/fomc/castyourvote .

★ For activities, games and fun facts on the USS Constitution, a ship from the War of 1812 that
was nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” go to www.asailorslifeforme.org.

★ The National Museum of American History offers an online exhibit about the Star-Spangled Banner. americanhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner.

Always ask your parents before going online.

— Christina Barron