Copyright © 2008 by David Macaulay  

This website has been been made possible in part by a grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities.

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On behalf of the board of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, I welcome you to! The NCBLA has created this site as a companion educational guide to Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, a book that we hope excites you and the young people in your life about our nation’s history, and inspires both young and old to read more about America’s rich heritage.

This website is primarily written for adults who live with and work for young people – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians, teachers, librarians, mentors, coaches, and community leaders. We hope that the ideas and activities we suggest will help you ignite young people’s interest in our nation’s past as well as provoke them to thoughtfully consider our future. In her introduction to the first White House historic guidebook, Jacqueline Kennedy wrote, “It never hurts a child to read something that may be above his head.” With that in mind, we hope that many young people also will find our site compelling and useful.

As in Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, we have purposely juxtaposed contradictory primary and secondary historical sources so that young people can experience what historians often discover in their search for objective truth – multiple perspectives representing different points of view. We want to inspire young people to seek reliable historic and contemporary information sources that represent a wide variety of perspectives. We hope they will read, listen to, and reflect on these sources with a critical eye and ear, then discuss their thoughts and opinions with you – in the car, at the dinner table, and in the classroom.

In, you will find expanded book content for Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, as well as ideas, activities, and discussion questions related to book topics. Also included is an American history resource and literacy center, a guide to presidential field trip destinations, and an extensive young people’s bibliography. We will be continually adding to the site to include more book-related content and activities, as well as information on civic education. 

Come on in, get comfortable. Explore, read, think, enjoy – and share what you learn with the young people in your life. Please come back and visit often!

Mary Brigid Barrett

President, Executive Director, and Founder
National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance