I love biographies. Biographies, unlike other history books, make it seem like you are getting to know a new friend. It’s the difference between “George Washington died in 1799” and “George Washington really wanted to make it to the turn of the century, but he was so sick and the doctors would not stop bleeding him. He finally was tired of the poking and prodding and just told them to leave him be. He likely could have made it if they had listened to him to begin with.” The problem I have found is there are far too few biographies for younger people that elicit this same familiarity. YWAM Publishing is breaking the mold and publishing enjoyable and emotion evoking biographies for people of all ages.
George’s life was full of heartbreak and disappointment. But it was also filled with purpose and adventure. You’ll learn about the adoration he had for his older brother Lawrence and heartbreaking circumstances in which George inherited Mount Vernon. You’ll read about his tyrannical and manipulative mother and his love of farming. You’ll also learn about about the economic and legal structure for the colonists (and by proxy the English in general) in the mid 18th century. Learning some of the ins and outs of farming and trade with England was fascinating (it’s much more complicated than you think). Woven in with the story line are several of the “repeated injuries and usurpations” that led up to the Revolutionary War. You’ll see familiar names again and again as our Founding Fathers’ lives collide in a course of events that changed the world forever. You feel as if you are there in Virginia, listening to Patrick Henry’s dramatic speech, “Give me liberty, or give me DEATH!”. You’ll be a fly on the wall in the congress as you see the surprise and anger in John Hancock’s face when George, and not himself, is nominated as the leader of the new American Army.
In addition to the biography there is a unit study to follow along with it.
The unit study guide includes activities to help your children cement what they have learned in the book. Activities including (but not limited to):
- Quote memorization, meaning, and display (art work)
- Display Corner (a display of objects that represent Washington’s life and work).
- Questions corresponding with each chapter
- Essay questions
- Ideas for creative writing
- Hands on projects
- Audio/Video project ideas (writing plays, movies, etc.)
- Arts and Crafts
- Field trip suggestions
- Geographical studies
- Related themes (Revolutionary War, Surveying, Bloodletting, French and Indian War, Civics)
- Additional book suggestions
I read out loud to my kids and would often hear “just one more chapter… PLEASE?” and I usually would… then a little later I would curl up and read ahead on my own :) While another trip to Washington’s Headquarters was unceremoniously interrupted by circumstances beyond our control, map work and vocabulary is always a favorite with my kids. And I got several good ideas from the essay questions and creative writing for my own writing and edification. Don’t be surprised if you soon read a post on how Washington embodies the quote by Thomas Paine: “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”
This book is very well written and it reads like a novel, with conversation, twists, turns, and adventure that your little boy will just love. It could easily be read on by a nine or ten year old on their own though it certainly can be enjoyed by the whole family. George Washington: True Patriot is $6.99 and the Unit Study Guide is $7.49.
I am looking forward to being able to add some more to our biography collection. Specifically I would love to read about Davy Crockett, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, and New Jersey native Thomas Edison. In addition to this series they also have an illustrated series called Heroes of History for Young Readers.
Prices are accurate as of the publication of this review
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