acerca de is more literally related to the English concept of
about, both convey the concept of "near or around", in a figurative (and sometimes literal) sense.
sobre usually translates to the English word
Therefore, as with many phrases and words, you must translate the concept more than the word.
The book is about cats.
He was running about.
I'm about to leave.
And each of these have multiple possible synonymous expressions in English.
The book is on [the topic of] cats.
He was running all over the place.
I'm nearly ready to leave.
In Spanish, you see these translations follow more my second set of English phrases:
El libro es sobre los gatos.
Él estuvo corriendo en todos lados.
Estoy a punto de salir.
So in your specific example, sobre is the proper translation of the concept, and in English it's more like saying "on":
El libro es sobre la historia de America. (The book is on the history of America)
El gato está sobre la mesa. (The cat is on the table)
¡No camines sobre el pasto! (Don't walk on the grass!)