July 2014
The Rocket’s Red Glare: Celebrating the History of The Star Spangled Banner (Book and CD)
by Peter Alderman


I just got this book yesterday and I’ve very excited about incorporating it into our study of patriotic music next year.   The book contains a CD with a recording of our national anthem as sung by Jo Dee Messina.  Her version is not as ornamented as some (which is good)  nor as true to the melody as I would like (which is bad), but on the whole,  it’s nice enough, ESPECIALLY if this was part of a sub lesson.  I plan on using my own recording or having the students sing it themselves when we use it.  The biggest problem with her recording is that it is VERY VERY S-L-O-W!!
The BEST part about this book is that it has a nicely recorded reading of ALL of the text in the book….. The recording is about 8 minutes long and even includes a spoken reading of ALL of the verses of the Star Spangled Banner.    I REALLY like this book because it retells many of the historical facts that I often forget to share with my students when I’m feeling low on time.