April 2016 Bundle
FREEDOM SERIES: STORIES OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
The story of Abraham Lincoln's life is one that I never get tired of. It was especially difficult to narrow down the choices for this volume. But here is what you'll find. I open the book with a simple introductory story of his life for young children. You'll notice the chapters are very short. The next book will appeal to upper elementary or middle grade students. It's written by James Baldwin, a name you may now be starting to recognize. He was a prolific writer of children's books in his day. This book, while telling the story of Lincoln, talks much more about the rising tensions of the day, not just about the issue of slavery but of States' rights as well. It is a good introduction to why the Civil War happened. You'll find very short chapters again. The third section of the book offers some lesser known snapshots of Lincoln as The Boy, The Man, The Lawyer, The Speaker, The Statesman, The Christian. Finally, the last section includes a sampling of Lincoln's wisdom in his own words.
WORLD HISTORY SERIES: STORIES OF ANCIENT EGYPT/AFRICA
There weren't a lot of books about Ancient Egypt and Africa for children that I could choose from. I was unable to find a good narrative to capture the scope of their histories. But I think these books offer some good foundational glimpses for children twelve and older. Of course, Africa is made up of many nations, each one with a unique story. The origins of Egypt are shrouded in legend and myth, so to neglect those stories is to miss the source of what we know about her. You'll find a number of them included in the reading. Then, you'll be introduced to several of her rulers, ending with Cleopatra and the fall of a once great and highly advanced civilization, with lessons for us today. Just a word of warning--the story about the treasure house has a disturbing element to it--a beheading that may be an image you don't want to plant. I leave that to your discretion. There is evidence that there were other wonderful civilizations throughout Africa, but they vanished without leaving behind their stories or art by which we could learn about them. So we'll have to rely on the accounts of what the daring and courageous explorers of the 1800s discovered as they pushed their way into the interior of Africa. Their willingness to sacrifice personal comfort -- and even their lives-- is a source of inspiration for us all.
GREAT LIVES SERIES: STORIES OF GREAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS
I have a feeling that I'll get some criticism for the image I chose for the cover of this book. I know it's not politically correct. However, from my point of view, it's reflective of one of the great contributions the Africans have made to the American story. I discovered many a child of plantation owners who loved to spend time in the slave quarters because it felt so 'real'. There was much joy and love and deep spirit in their stories and their songs that were planted in their hearts by them--even in the middle of their great trials and afflictions. Many seeds of a child's faith were planted in the arms of a Mammie who sung the songs of Jesus from her heart. The old Uncle Remus stories, recaptured in Disney's Song of the South, have been suppressed out of political correctness. Yet, they are full of moral truths delivered in the way they are best delivered--through stories that appeal to the imagination of children. I think we need to recognize and celebrate these contributions with gratitude-- not apologize for them or hide them. This particular volume celebrates the lives of a number of African-Americans who teach us vital lessons on overcoming and rising from the worst circumstances any of us can imagine. Slavery, unfortunately, is not a modern invention. It is not confined to one race. But maybe we can raise a generation who will learn the lessons from the past and stand up and abolish it in all of its forms forever.
NATURE, ART AND MUSIC SERIES: STORIES OF INSECTS
There is an amazing world going on right under our noses that can provide countless hours of pleasant observations by your children once their eyes have been opened, which the stories in this volume will help accomplish. The world of insects is absolutely fascinating and these stories are written by men and women who have discovered the joy of this world. The first stories will appeal to your youngest listeners as it connects to the care mothers give their babies--or sometimes, their seemingly heartless lack of care! These stories are followed by more detailed observations of the insect world that will appeal to a little older child but which are equally engaging. I didn't think the illustrations in these books were worth reproducing, but you can easily pull up full colored images from the web. And the best image of all is the real thing! Look for more stories in the N5 online library. Your insect lovers will especially want to make friends with Fabre whose writings you will find in the N5 library.
STORY HOUR SERIES: EPIC AND LEGENDARY HEROES
A child enters the heroic stage around age 8. The stories of epic and legendary heroes provide the perfect bridge between the world of imagination and the real world as these stories are partly grounded in fact and partly in fiction. I looked for entry-level stories to appeal to young hearts. Revisiting these heroes is a pleasure for life. In this volume, you'll find stories of Greece's Achilles and Ulysses, Rome's Aeneas, England's Robin Hood and King Arthur, Spain's El Cid, Ireland's Brian Boru, France's Roland, Germany's Siegfried, Scandinavia's Frithiof, the Dane's Beowulf and America's Hiawatha. "Men are not great or heroic because they are faultless; they are great and heroic because they dare, suffer, achieve, and serve." -Hamilton Wright Mabie When your children are ready for more stories, have them visit the S5 online library where they will find additional heroes as well as mythology of other lands. I kept all the Greek myths in the S4 online library. You may want to note there is a simple story of Ulysses that would be a perfect story for a new reader starting on p. 40. Use the pronunciation feature on your internet if you don't know how to pronounce the names.
MOTHER'S LEARNING LIBRARY: HISTORY
Details are provided in the Mother's Training study guide.