Monday, August 1, 2011

Review of American Challenge by Susan Martins Miller, JoAnn A. Grote, Veda B. Jones, Norma J. Lutz

Rating:  3.5 Stars
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-Synopsis from Barbour Publishing: Girls are girls wherever they live—and the Sisters in Time series shows that girls are girls whenever they lived, too! This new collection brings together four historical fiction books for 8–12-year-old girls: Lydia the Patriot: The Boston Massacre (covering the year 1770), Kate and the Spies: The American Revolution (1775), Betsy’s River Adventure: The Journey Westward (1808), and Grace and the Bully: Drought on the Frontier (1819), American Challenge will transport readers back to the formative years of our nation, teaching important lessons of history and Christian faith. Featuring bonus educational materials such as time lines and brief biographies of key historical figures, American Challenge is ideal for anytime reading and an excellent resource for home schooling.

Review: I decided to step out of adult fiction and reminisce a bit while reading the collection of American Challenge stories.  When I was in elementary school, I adored the American Girls books, so I was drawn to historical setting of these inspirational fiction stories for children.  It is always refreshing to see fiction for children and young adults that introduce characters that young readers, especially girls, can admire. The American Challenge collection offers readers a glimpse into various aspects of American history through the late 1700s  to the early 1800s.  At times, the sections of historical fact make the plot move slowly. Some of the language could be more authentic to the time periods, but the "modern" dialogue probably makes the characters more relatable to today's youth.

As an adult, I have read other fiction geared to the 8-12 year age group that has completely captured my interest. This collection did not draw me in, but I believe I would have enjoyed the books as a child.  The stories introduce light elements of faith and teach good lessons about morality and character, while presenting key aspects of our nation's history from the perspective of young characters.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Barbour Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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