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Saturday, March 02, 2013

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

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Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream written by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian from Inspiring the American Dream, is a fictional story about a boy named Abraham who sets out on a journey with a "wise old man with a white beard" to learn all about the American Dream.

The story begins with Abraham's parents losing their jobs right before Christmas.  Abraham and his sister soon learn that they will not be receiving any Christmas gifts this year.  This leads Abraham on a journey to save Christmas.


Photobucket He uses his smart phone to text his friends to see if he can find some jobs he could do.  Suddenly, a man, who turns out to be Abraham Lincoln, reaches out and asks young Abraham to touch his hand so he can help Abraham save Christmas and learn about the American Dream along the way.  Lincoln stresses to Abraham that, "you...and only you...are capable of making that dream come true."

Soon he's meeting well-known people from the past and the future including Martin Luther King Jr., Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates.  They help Abraham discover his talent for art and with their assistance, he's able to earn enough money to buy Christmas presents for his family.

My Thoughts:

I admired Abraham's determination in the story to help "save Christmas."  However, we have taught our children that Christmas is not about receiving gifts; it's about serving and giving to others, so the story would have been more enjoyable to me if Abraham's determination would have been towards trying to find a way to earn money to financially help his parents.  I will add that the story does end with Abraham's family donating items to a homeless shelter.

My philosophy on young children texting led me to dislike the fact that this was the method of communication the authors chose for this young child.  I also didn't appreciate how this boy was so quick to talk to a stranger and go off with him on a "magical" journey.  Young children are very impressionable, and I wouldn't want young readers to think that this is an acceptable and safe thing to do.  This is a topic I would discuss with my child.

In my opinion, Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream did not give a clear definition of what the American Dream is.  It seemed to me that it reflected more on the character traits each individual had in achieving his or her dream.

I had my 11-year-old son read the story to my 6-year-old.  My oldest son's response at the completion of the story was, "This was supposed to be a book about the American Dream.  It seemed more like a story about getting money."  My 6-year-old's response when asked how he enjoyed the book was "It was okay."

Although this story was not enjoyed by my family, mostly due to our difference in philosophy, your family may feel otherwise and may especially enjoy the large illustrations found throughout the book.

On the last pages of the book the authors include a brief biography on each of the characters mentioned in the book.  If read aloud to your child, I would start off reading this section first so that the child has some background on who each of these characters are.  You and your child could use this information to jumpstart some more research on these individuals.

Cost: $14.99
Amazon Kindle version: $9.99
Ages: 6-12
Pages: 31

Read what others from the Schoolhouse Crew are saying about this book by clicking on the banner below.

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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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