Abraham's Journey

Inspiring the American Dream

I am an unapologetic patriot.  I love this country and all it has to offer.  Instilling that same mentality in my children is very important to me as a mother and teacher.

Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream by the folks over at Inspiring The American Dream seemed like it would be in good company with the rest of our books.

Abraham's Journey

Abraham’s Journey is the story of Abraham, a little boy who’s family has been left struggling by the recession.  In an effort to save Christmas for his little family, Abraham receives help from an unlikely source.  Through the amazing power of the internet, Abraham learns how people (both past and present) harnessed the different aspects of the American Dream to make their dreams come true and change the world.

Inspiring the American Dream

Abraham meets historical icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Amilia Earhart as well as prominent present day figures.  On each step of his journey they give him suggestions on how to harness his talents and hard work to reach his dream of helping his family.

Inspiring the American Dream

Abraham’s Journey is well illustrated, introduces children to some very important aspects to reaching your dreams, and introduces them to some important and admirable people.  At the end of the book there is a list of vocabulary words like “innovation” and “personal responsibility” as well as one or two paragraph biographies about each of the people Abraham meets.

Photo-404-12-There-We-Are-Now-Officially-Connected

While I thought this book had amazing potential I found that it fell short of my expectations.  While I am certainly not opposed to literature containing fantasy or similar themes (I actually thought the idea of using the internet as a way to travel was very creative), Abraham’s experience was not something that my child can look to for inspiration.  While he learned about hard work, determination and courage along the way, HIS success was based entirely on chance, luck, knowing the right people and (for lack of a better word) magic.  When I read a book to my children, I want to be able to refer back to it and say “remember how Abraham (insert desired characteristic here), YOU can do that to!”  I just wasn’t able to do that with this book.  I would have preferred it if Abraham had been successful as a result of what he learned on his journey, not because of the doors that were opened to him during it.

I also thought that Abraham’s Journey missed an amazing opportunity to teach ACTUAL history in a fun way.  I hunger for history.  I want my children to hunger for it too.  The historical figures that Abraham met only briefly touched on what they did or why they warrant admiration.  There wasn’t enough meat to whet their appetite.

Abraham’s Journey did give me some awesome jumping off points.  When we finished reading it we immediately got on the internet and looked up the people discussed.  We watched Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and talked about what it means.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.  

…And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

That is real history, warts and all!  Real history is passionate, emotional and sometimes ugly.  It’s also amazing, inspiring and wonderful.  We don’t need to dress it up or dumb it down.

Martin Luther King Jr. has been one of the most inspiring men in American history and he rightly belongs in a book about the American Dream (as do most of the characters in Abraham’s Journey).  I just wish there was more.

The authors, Kathleen and Robert Basmadjian, state on their site “The American dream is in jeopardy.  Unless we, as parents, grandparents and educators, teach our children about this unique American ideal, the American dream will be lost forever.”  While Abraham’s Journey didn’t light a fire in me, the Basmadjians are quite right!  The American Dream is being lost to things like instant gratification and the entitlement mentality of today’s youths.  We need more people who are willing to fight for what made this country great and I look forward to seeing what they may publish in the future.

You can buy Abraham’s Journey in paperback from Inspiring The American Dream for 14.99 or the kindle ebook for $9.99 at Amazon.com.  I would say it is perfect for ages 8 to 12(ish).

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

{Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.}

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for an honest and thorough review!

    Like

  2. Alexa says:

    Your blog looks AWESOME! I’m sad to say I haven’t stopped by as often as I’d like, but I’ll be back more often. I am really impressed with all that you have done!!

    Like

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