For Spacious Skies

Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful"

Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807525302
  • April 2020

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  • 9780807525296
  • April 2020

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  • Nowadays, most people singing “America the Beautiful” have no idea of the political and social context behind the poem Bates wrote. Churnin tells that story in a spare and lively text beautifully complemented by…Baumert’s gorgeous panoramic illustrations…A handsome volume befitting its subject.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • This picture book biography about a strong, smart woman and her contribution to American culture is a strong choice.

    - School Library Journal

  • The story ends on a high note in 1920, with Bates casting her ballot after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted voting rights to women…The richly colored, nicely composed artwork will help children visualize the period setting while enjoying the portrayals of Bates and beautiful landscapes.

    - Booklist