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I Said I Could and I Did: True Stories of 20th-Century Americans


Jim Weiss (Narrator)

Availability: In stock



Publisher: Peace Hill Press

Shipping Weight: 10 ounces


In this inspiring collection of true stories of 20th Century Americans whose gifts transformed the world, you will meet:

- George Gershwin, who composed musical masterpieces, and his lyricist friend, E.Y. Harburgh (The Wizard of Oz and more)
- Navy Admiral Grace Hopper, the quotable computer genius who led the way into the age of high technology
- Langston Hughes, whose belief in possibilities drove him to overcome racism and write immortal poetry
- Nellie Bly, the pioneering woman journalist whose breathtaking adventures literally took her around the world
- Charles Steinmetz, the scientific genius with a giant heart lodged in a body four feet tall
- Harry Truman, whose boyhood readings in history later guided his own history-making decisions as President of the United States.
- These stories will have you shaking your head in wonder of the vast (and vastly entertaining) variety of ways in which humans can strive for greatness.

ALA Notable

About Jim Weiss and Greathall Productions:
Since 1989 master storyteller Jim Weiss has produced award-winning audio recordings for children that bring classic literature, mythical tales and history to life. His audio stories for kids foster insightful family discussions and ultimately lead children to the bookshelf. Enter his storytelling halls where thinking families gather. His is a place where the minds of children come alive and imaginations soar.

A wise man once said, "A child is the greatest resource our republic possesses." In 1989, sharing this sentiment, Jim Weiss and his wife Randy started a company called "Greathall Productions" to bring to life for children the greatest stories from classic literature and history. Jim and Randy had never heard of "a professional storyteller," and did not know if there was an audience for what they were doing. They only knew that the classics, from Aesop to Shakespeare, from Greek mythology to King Arthur through Dickens and Dumas, were often ignored or presented in a way that radically changed the original stories. They knew from experience, however, that a story well told would ignite a love of learning in a listener. Their goal then, as now, was to instill in children the lifelong love of great literature by telling the stories on a child's level without altering the authors' intent.

Greathall’s primary focus is classical literature, history, and science presented in a clear, exciting way that encourages children to read the originals for themselves. Rather than reading from a set text, Jim “tells” stories in his own words, reinvigorating a timeless oral tradition. He maintains the integrity of the source material in rich language that appeals to grown-ups and children alike. His style is that of a beloved and trusted parent or grandparent, using easy-to-understand, vivid language, occasionally enhanced by explanations and asides. Families tell us they “bond with literature” in their homes and as they drive along in their cars by listening to Greathall recordings.

With Greathall Productions' recordings, children and adults experience in entertaining form the tales we all need to know in order to be literate. Represented here are the two most common sources of English language quotations, the Bible, and the works of Shakespeare. Journeying among our Greek mythology recordings, you will learn the origin of such terms as "a Midas touch" or "a Herculean task." For a Greathall listener, phrases that pop up every day in conversation, or on the evening newscast, become meaningful. Best of all, Greathall recordings are fun for the entire family. Play a Greathall recording in the car and everyone will want to listen, and then hear another. If mom or dad has the original book waiting at home, the child will want to read it.

While reading a book and listening to an audio recording are different forms of entertainment and learning, studies show they reinforce one another. At the end of the most recordings, Jim says, “If you liked this story, get the book at a library or bookstore and read it for yourself.” While Greathall recordings are never meant to take the place of reading, for children who can’t or won’t read the classics, listening to a Greathall recording ensures comprehension, appreciation, and involvement. For avid and confident readers, the recordings will lead them straight back to the original books.