Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream

There are some things I feel pretty strongly about.  For one, I take very personally the responsibility to teach my son to do his best regardless what he is given. To be resourceful. And generous.

Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream, written by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian, is a children’s fiction story that celebrates the undeniable American spirit. We recently received the Kindle copy of the book from Inspiring the American Dream

We meet young Abraham as he discovers that due to both of his parents losing their jobs, the family's Christmas celebration that year is going to be different than the ones before. There isn’t simply any money for gifts. 

While searching for a few odd jobs to help his family, he is suddenly sucked into his Smartphone and is guided through a fantastical journey by someone who is obviously Abraham Lincoln, but never named (Josiah said, “Mom! Isn’t that Abraham Lincoln?). Along the way Abraham meets figures from our history, past and present.  

The glossary in the back of the book defines the American Dream as follows:

-The ideal that the American system of self-government allows for any and all individuals to pursue and achieve a fulfilling and successful life.

The individuals that Abraham meets along the way certainly embody that ideal. Abraham, himself, is challenged by said individuals to cultivate his own gifts and then in turn give back to his family and community. 

What a great premise! And how much we need a good dose of that spirit injected in our society today.

The illustrations are very nice and reminiscent of the old comics.  They aren't extremely kiddish so Josiah didn’t feel like he was reading one of his favorite board books from back in his preschool days.

I loved the glossary of terms in the back. They defined words like; Innovation, Imagination, Charity and Courage. 

There is also a brief biography for each historical figure introduced in the book. I thought that was a very smart choice. We read through all of them, especially considering that Josiah really only recognized Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King and Amelia Earhart. I almost wish we would have read those first. 

This isn’t a history book. Abraham is introduced to several historical characters, but we are just given brief glimpses into their individual contributions to American society.  The book isn’t telling their stories…It is telling us Abraham’s story. 

The book’s message, to discover your talents and gifts and to work hard to achieve successes so you can be a blessing to your family and society in general, is very well presented. 

My issues with the book were more logistical than anything. Without giving too much away there were a few instances that left me scratching my head.  I also wish that Abraham might have worked a little harder to achieve his particular American dream (other than a magical journey)  I do understand that this was meant to be a lesson for him and the readers. 

The book isn’t very long. The story could have been flushed out a bit more, but I appreciate the need to keep it moving. As Christians our faith in God, rather than our belief in our own ingenuity is what makes the difference. I can also see how God can place people in our lives to help us realize His purpose and will.And I like that Abraham was able to learn from those much wiser than himself. 

Josiah, however, didn't share any of my misgivings. He enjoyed the story simply for what it was. A young boy having a truly remarkable experience.

I really think this is a good addition to any study of Civics. I liked that the characters the authors chose to highlight were from all walks of our American Life. They all had a unique story.  Just like every one of us. 

You can purchase Abraham’s Journey on your Kindle for 9.99 The print copy is available for 14.99.The book is intended for ages 7-12.

You can also visit Facebook to get to know more about the book and the authors.

You can read other reviews at The Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. 

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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