Sunday, 14 July 2013

Book reviews

I have had the wonderful opportunity to review 2 books by Susan Kilbride, a homeschooling mom.

 The first book review is for a children's historical fiction series on early America.  The book I read was the first in the series "Our America...The Pilgrim Adventure."   I have to say straight off this book will greatly appeal  to my daughter.  Why, because while the book concentrates on the historical facts of the time, it also includes a little bit of fantasy as the main characters travel back in time.  My daughter loves anything related to fantasy, mythology and time travel.  But don't let that turn you off this series as it is well written for children and is jammed packed with historical content of the period.  It sort of reminds me of the Magic Tree House books but for older children.   I enjoyed this book so much and even learn a few more things about the pilgrims that I didn't know and I thought I was well read on this period. For example I didn't know about complex role of Squanto and the pilgrims and local Indians.  I love that the author includes several pages at the end of the book explaining additional historical facts.  After I read this book I immediately went to the web (my go to source for information) and continued to learn even more about Squanto and his role with the pilgrims, many people only know the sugar coated story about how he helped the pilgrims but there is much more to this story.

I enjoyed the above book so much I went to the kindle store and immediately downloaded and bought Mrs. Kilbride's next two books "Our America...King Phillip's war adventure" which took place about 50 years after the pilgrims.  I will be honest I had never heard of this period in our American history so this was all new learning for me. If it was taught in school, I don't remember it.  Again the story interested me so much that I bought an adult book on King Philip to gather even more information and I will be adding this into my American history curriculum for my children.  The third book in the series is "Our America...The Salem Adventure". This period of history I did learn in school and it always fascinated me.  Once again I picked up a few more facts that I wasn't aware of.  I will definitely be using these books in our history lessons.

In addition to the great books, Susan has included activities related to the above books.  Since we 
love doing hands on history activities we will be trying these.  Want to have the kids try their hands at 
Making a Quadrant, building a Travois, playing Indian games, or making an Indian meal, make sure you 
Check out her website: and see what she has to 
offer to make history come alive for your children.

Right now Susan Kilbride is offering a chance to down load her second book in the "Our America series", King Phillip's War Adventure free on Kindle for a limited time July 15th through to the 17th. You don't have to read the books in order so it is a great chance for you to pick up the book and gather your own opinions and just in time to add this book to your history lesson for the upcoming year!!!

The second book I was able to look at was Susan Kilbride's science book

This book is broken down into 2 groups, the first half of the book is written for ages 4-7 and includes chapters (experiments) on magnets, human body, insects, plants, and health to name just a few.  The second half of the book is for ages 8-13 and includes atoms and molecules, matter, chemistry, weather, forces and motion, light and color, simple machines, and health just to name a few.  

Each chapter in broken down into sections starting first with a list of materials needed for the chapter.  Everything listed are easy to find items, which is always important in my mind, I hate shopping for obscured items that take weeks to find before you can complete an experiment. Next, the chapter will include several activities on the subject so you can choose to do all of them or just pick one or two depending on your schedule, often times the author includes additional resources or TV show suggestions, ie magic school bus (for the younger age group) that will relate to the subject.  Lastly, a chapter test is included.

This is great book for homeschoolers with multiple age groups and like to do science in short unit study bursts.  This upcoming school year I know I will be looking at the weather activities human body, and health chapters for my kids:)   She also has a science book on electricity on Amazon that I will be looking into as that wold appeal to my son.

I received the science unit book and the American series...The Pilgrim Adventures free of charge, all opinions expressed are given honestly and based on my experiences only.  


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