Are you looking for a fun book to teach your kids about the American Dream? Then you might want to check out Inspiring The American Dream company and their new book Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration Of The American Dream.
Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration Of The American Dream is written by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian. It is a very colorful and creatively illustrated book. It retails for $14.99 for paperback and $9.99 for downloadable kindle version. It is written for kids ages 7 to 12, but I think kids of all ages would enjoy it.
Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration Of The American Dream is a story of a boy named Abraham who takes a journey through cyber space to solve an economic problem his family is faced with. The economy has hit a recession. His parents lost their jobs and don’t have enough money to buy gifts for Christmas. Abraham still has his cell phone and decides to look for a job. He texts his friends for help. But before he learns of where the local jobs are, somehow his phone becomes a time travel device and takes him to meet great Americans from history.
His guide on the journey is Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest Americans who ever lived. Through his journe,y he learns to combine hard work with creativity, to help his family overcome disappointing economic circumstances. Abraham finds a way to make a special Christmas holiday happen after he meets many famous Americans who have struggled before him on the journey of life in America. They teach him to find his talent (which is art), and use it to create something (paintings), then market his products through social networking (like Facebook) so lots of people can be exposed to his products, and sell the item to someone who wants it. He used the money from the sale to buy gifts for his family, but also share gifts and money with children in an orphanage. In the process of working hard to reach his goal, he learned to care about others, and to give to those in need. Hopefully through is example, his family and others will learn to reach the American Dream as well.
Famous Americans the children learn about in the book:
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) president, lawyer, legislator
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) artist
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) first woman pilot to fly across the world, author
Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968) Social activist proponent of civil rights
Melinda Gates (1964- ) philanthropist and wife of Bill Gates
Bill Gates (1965- ) one of the inventors of the personal computer, microsoft corporation, author, philanthropist
Mark Zuckerberg (1984- ) computer software developer, inventor of Facebook, philanthropist, business man.
In the back of the book is an in-depth description, called Character Biographies, of each famous American mentioned in the book. There is also a section of vocabulary words called Definition of Terms to further the learning. Words with definitions include:
The American Dream
The mission of Inspiring The American Dream is: “to inspire today’s youth, by instilling in them the values, principles and virtues necessary to achieve the American dream.”
My son is 12 years old, and loves to read story books. He snatched up the book before me when it arrived. He was very quick witted when he saw the Abraham Lincoln character on the “smart” cell phone. He would like to know where he can download the app! He loves time travel and history, and tech stuff. Though it is a short story, and he would love to read more to the story, he gave the book two thumbs up.
When he was done with it, I read the book through to all of the children and I stopped along the way to show the
m the illustrations and ask them questions about what was happening in the story. The book was easy for them to understand.
Then one day this past week, we had an ice storm that took out the power and computer service at our house. We filled our day with stuff to do at the kitchen table where we had the most light through the windows, until the house got to cold and we had to move to the living room and sit under blankets to warm up. While sitting at the kitchen table, and taking a break from playing board games, my son snuggled his younger brother and re-read the book again to all of the children. I was very pleased they sat so still listening to their brother read the story and they were able to tell me what happened in the story and why.
Our family can relate to this book on many levels both as children and as parents. Like Abraham in the book, my husband and I both had an economically poor childhood and faced many difficulties. We both overcame alot and worked hard. We both started working to meet basic needs like clothes, shoes, school supplies, etc. when we were only 8 years old. We both began lawmowing for neighbors as our first jobs. We both worked all the way through school taking on any job we could to earn money. We both left home to go to college. We were both working at the same place and met in college. We worked hard everyday of our lives. We started our own businesses with our skills. We shared our time, talents, and earnings with others all along the way. We had begun to reach our American Dream when things in the economy hit us hard. In 2004 our family began to experience a downturn in the economy. We had to make some serious changes over the next couple of years to hang on. But in 2008 we could not hang on any longer and we shut down our businesses and moved across the country to a new state for a new job. For the last five years we have struggled to regain our American Dream. Our kids have experienced this whole process. Though we shower them with love and our time and take them to do activities, they have had Christmas(s) and birthdays that were bleak in terms of gifts. They have gone without new clothes etc. at times. We have had to give up many of the things in our lifestyle including foods we enjoyed eating and instead ate things that were less expensive like PBJ sandwiches, etc. We won’t give up on reaching our dreams. Our kids know we are on a journey, and if we keep working at it together we will all get there someday.
Personally, I have always loved learning about people who have worked hard to build a future for themselves and their families. Their work ethic is inspiring. Their hopes and dreams are ones we can all identify with. Their struggles are personal, yet similar enough to relate too. Their hopes resonate through out the American culture.
Ultimately the ancestors of almost everyone here (except for Native Americans), immigrated to this land. Immigrants are the epitome of the American Dream. Some were brought under duress (apprenticeship, slavery, etc), some escaped from political, religious, or ethnic wars or persecution. Some came for economic freedom and for land to farm. Many today immigrate for education, jobs, and political asylum. Immigrants are the fabric this country was built on, and as they work, build families and communities, and assimilate to the culture, they become the economic backbone that drives who America is. We need the next generations to grab hold of what these Americans experienced.
But sadly today, many people do not know how to achieve the American Dream because they do not know how to persevere and endure hardship, they don’t know how to have hope for change, to dream big, to identify a plan that uses their strengths, and work hard to achieve their goals. We have become an “I want it now” society. Our children think they are entitled to privilege. They don’t know the value and blessing of hard work to attain their goals.
Is the American Dream in jeopardy? Many think it is disappearing, because the current generations of people do not understand its significance or how to achieve it. This is the inspiration for a cultural movement in our country. Read this passage from the Inspiring The American Dream website:
“For centuries people from around the world have come to this great country to realize the American dream. People took great risks. They worked hard. They were creative and industrious. They knew there was no guarantee for success, but they knew that if they persevered, they could succeed. Maybe not themselves, maybe their children, or maybe their children’s children. This was all the incentive they needed.
Ironically, the very success of earlier American generations achieving the ‘dream’ has now led to a new generation, with very little, if any, understanding or motivation to pursue it. Attitudes of want rather than need, expectations to have, rather than to have earned, have replaced thrift and hard work as cornerstones in modern day society, threatening the American dream’s very existence”. source
I want my children to know and appreciate how hard the generations before them worked to achieve the American Dream. I want my children to know what their dad and I have done to overcome economic hardship. I want them to see us achieve our dreams. I want my kids to have the tools to reach their own American Dream for themselves too and pass on their knowledge to the next generation. We can keep the American Dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness alive for the generations to come.
Be sure to check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about this product.
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.