Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner (Step into Reading)
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Francis Scott Key was a very busy man. He and his wife had 11 children. He was a lawyer and many people came to him for advice. But whenever he had a moment, he would jot down a line of poetry. He loved writing poems. When the War of 1812 broke out, Francis became even busier. He was well-respected and often called upon to help keep the peace as the war between the United States and England raged on. One fateful night Francis and his friend helped talk the British Navy into releasing a prisoner of war. But they couldn't return home just yet because the Battle of Fort McHenry was starting! If the British captured the fort, America might very well lose its independence. Francis and his friends could only sit on a boat and observe the battle. For 25 hours they watched in awe. What Francis saw inspired him to write a poem that would become America's national anthem! This Step 3 reader is perfect for children who are ready to read independently.
Text copyright © 2012 by Monica Kulling Cover art and interior illustrations copyright © 2012 by Richard Walz Photo credit: Armed Forces History Division, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Step into Reading, Random House, and the Random House colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Visit us on the Web!
air was black with smoke. “The country is lost if the fort falls,” said Dr. Beanes. “We are safe as long as our flag still flies,” said Francis. The bombing went on for twenty-five hours! At dawn all was quiet. Was the flag still flying? Francis looked into a spyglass. There was so much smoke, he could not see the flag. He could not even see the fort! Suddenly sunlight cut through the smoke and fog. Francis saw the flag! It was flying high above the fort! Baltimore
was safe. America was still free. Francis was filled with pride and joy. He sat on a barrel and began to write about the battle. He wrote about how happy he was to see the flag still flying. He wrote about how much he loved his country. Francis’s poem was printed in the newspaper. It was set to music. Soon people across the country were singing it. We still sing it today in schools and at sporting events. The War of 1812 ended on February 17, 1815. Francis went
Ad astra per Harley. —R.W. Copyright Dedication Title Page First Page About the Flag Francis Scott Key loved writing poems. He wrote them on horseback. He wrote them late at night. Once Francis even wrote a poem after a battle. It became America’s national anthem. Francis lived in Georgetown, Virginia, near the Potomac River. He and his wife had eleven children. Francis was a lawyer. People came to him with their problems. Francis liked to help. He was
loaded, fired, and cleaned cannons. But he was slow and clumsy. After ten days, the army sent him home. In the spring of 1813, American troops burned down government buildings in Canada’s capital. More than a year later, the English troops struck back. In August 1814, they marched on Washington. They set fires all over the city. They burned down the White House! The British didn’t stay for long. They planned to attack Fort McHenry next. Fort McHenry protected