It’s amazing to consider what children can accomplish. Take Solomon Schmidt, for instance. At age thirteen, Solomon has already written the first two books of an educational history series for young children. His 16-year-old sister, Cecelia, has also published two works of historical fiction set during the American Civil War era. Let’s take a moment to look at a couple of the resources developed by such young authors.
U. S. History Bites is a brief introductory guide to U.S. History encompassing thirty important events ranging from the Age of Exploration to the New Millennium.
Each event includes a short two-page summary using simple vocabulary and informative graphics and illustrations…
…followed by a vocabulary review, a “fun fact,” and three review questions to help children remember some of the key persons, places, or ideas associated with that event.
Although U.S. History Bites doesn’t fit into our family’s normal criteria as a family read aloud (we prefer reading historical narratives similar to Cecelia’s book mentioned below), it has served us well as an independent reader for our 2nd grader. In fact, our 8-year-old has enjoyed the layout of the book and his ability to easily read it out loud to us. It has also introduced him to some key events in U.S. history that we had not previously studied, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the history of the television. U. S. History Bites is a quick and simple springboard for introducing young students to significant events and issues in American History.
Solomon has recently finished a second book about the U.S. Presidents called U. S. Presidential History Bites. Visit the History Bites website for more details.
The War Rages On
In The War Rages On, Cecelia Schmidt captures the essence of the daily real-life struggles and challenges families faced in a war-torn United States. This charming story follows the life of 16-year-old Grace Johnson, a Christian girl during the Civil War era whose father supports slavery. Throughout the story, Grace struggles with her father’s stance on slavery, as it also causes a rift between her father and the young man who has asked her hand in marriage. While the story is infiltrated with themes of honor, integrity, purity, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice, a parallel also exists between the ongoing war surrounding their family and the war with sin inside their hearts.
The War Rages On offers a beautiful portrayal of courtship which is not often encountered in today’s historical fiction. As a mother of boys, I find it refreshing to read this depiction of courtship, which is not loaded with sappiness but instead reveals a true honor and integrity that I wish for my boys to emulate. Although this book was written from the perspective of a young woman, it held the attention and interest of our young boys. According to our three oldest boys (ages 13, 11, and 8), they enjoyed this book due to: action, suspense, an element of mystery, and a fantastic climax. For sensitive readers, the book includes death and conflicts in the story that reflect the struggles that the families faced during this time period. Overall, our family agrees that this book is a great family read aloud if you are studying the Civil War era.
Cecelia has recently finished a second book in this series called The War Within. Visit this link for additional details.
Disclosure: We received these books free for the purpose of reviewing them. I also received monetary compensation for the time invested in writing this review. The opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions, but your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.