Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Abraham's Journey {Schoolhouse Review}

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"Creative!" "Interesting!" These are the adjectives my kids used to describe our latest Schoolhouse Review Crew product, Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian.

Inspiring the American Dream presents Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream, an inspirational story about a boy who embarks on an unexpected quest to "save" Christmas after both of his parents lose their jobs during the Great Recession. As Abraham ponders and searches for ways to make money, a wise, old man in a tall, black top hat appears on his smart phone and transports Abraham into cyberspace. During his trip, he meets several famous Americans, past and present, who help him uncover his hidden talent and share advice on what it takes to achieve the American dream.       
Before reading Abraham's Journey aloud to my children, I read it to myself. Instantly, I felt a connection to the story since our own family experienced the same situation a few years ago. And right before Christmas, too. (If only we'd had a phone like Abraham's!)                             

The illustrations took me back to the days of watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons as a kid. They also reminded me of the countless Scooby Doo books I read to my children, my boys especially, when they were younger.

Through this imaginative story, the message is quite clear. It takes hard work, perseverance, risk, innovation, and even social media to be successful and achieve the American Dream. This message is interwoven throughout the entire book and comes in bits and pieces through several different historical and modern day icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Norman Rockwell, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill and Melinda Gates, and more.

Included in the back of the book are definitions of several terms, 7 short character biographies, and author bios.

Reading this book aloud to my kids, (ages 13, 11, 7) spurred us into a discussion about what we think the American Dream is all about. I really liked that the story included a very important aspect of the American Dream which is sharing with others. It's not just about acquiring wealth and/or fame.

I think the overall message is a good one, but I went a little further with my kids. It was the perfect time to remind them that, as Christians, it's important that we are following God's plan for our lives and keeping in step with the Spirit. Following God's plan might not mean success and living the "American Dream" as we understand it. If God's plan does include financial success for my kids, then I pray they will be cheerful givers as well!

If you'd like to celebrate the American Dream with your children, you can purchase the softcover book on the website for $14.99. As a read-alone book, I think it would be best for children ages 8-12.
Click to read more Abraham's Journey reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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