Sunday, March 3, 2013

Abraham's Journey {Review}

Inspiring The American Dream is a website created with this purpose:
Our mission with this new venture is to inspire today’s youth, by instilling in them the values, principles and virtues necessary to achieve the American dream. We hope you enjoy the journey!
A part of this new venture includes a new book entitled, Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream by Kathleen Basmadjian, PhD and Robert K. Basmadjian Jr. It is available for $14.99.

I was given a chance to review Abraham's Journey, which is intended for children, ages 7-12. The book is 32 pages in length. I read it aloud in its entirety to all my children during one of our daily lunchtime reading sessions. My 16 year old also read it aloud again to us a week or so later.

The story takes place during the "Great Recession." I was not familiar with the term Great Recession, so I had to look it up. I was originally expecting a story set long ago, so I was surprised to learn that it has a modern-day setting. 

Abraham and his little sister find out that they won't be receiving any Christmas presents due to both of their parents losing their jobs. Abraham texts his friends on his smart phone to see if they have any ideas for him to be able to make some money. Then, also via smart phone, Abraham is taken into cyberspace with his host, Abraham Lincoln. Throughout their journey, they meet several well known individuals, both from history and from present-day America. These characters include: Martin Luther King, Jr., Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill and Melinda Gates. 

Through each of these contacts Abraham is encouraged to find his dream and talents and to pursue them. He discovers that he is a talented painter and is able to paint pictures, which then he is able to sell to make money for his family. He waits for everyone in his family to wake up on Christmas morning to show them the surprise presents he has under the tree and to tell them about his profitable journey. 

While my children and I love an imaginative story, this one left us quite disappointed. Several of my older children had problems with a child, whose parents are both without jobs, having a smart phone. They also complained that Amelia Earhart and Mark Zuckerberg were in the same scenario. She died 45-50 years before he was even born. It was just odd to them. Also, Amelia Earhart is a classic, historical, American icon, whereas Mark Zuckerberg is not, in my 16 year old's humble opinion. 

While I think the story has it's positive points, such as Abraham wanting to help his family, and in the end, the family giving gifts to the homeless shelter, it just left me scratching my head. I am a patriotic American and believe that we all have gifts and talents. I do, however, give the credit to God for those gifts and talents and not myself. I would not buy this book but would possibly check it out from the library to go along with a study on Presidents' Day or on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday or on characters in American history. Sadly, it is not enough to stand on its own. 


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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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