$7.95 each - Published by Barbour Publishing, www.SistersinTime.com
by Moriah Harris-Rodger
When so many history books focus primarily on the men in history, itís easy to forget that young girls were even faced with historical events. Also, because they are absent in many historical accounts, it is more difficult for them to learn about the events because they have less to resonate with. When a reader finds resonance in an idea or character, he or she is more likely to form opinions of what happened, spurring critical thinking.
"Sisters in Time" is a collection of chapter books for children ages 8 through 12 and is written with Christian undertones. Each of the 18 books, about 140 pages long, tells a story of a fictional girl who lives at the time of a true historical event. Seven of the books were written by Norma Jean Lutz, and the rest are written by JoAnn A. Grote, Bonnie Hinman, Veda Boyd Jones, Susan Martins Miller and Colleen L. Reece, women authors who bring a different perspective of history to life.
The historical events taking place in these books are all part of American history from 1620, when the Mayflower sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, to 1944, during World War II. The events in between include the Great Depression, the battle for womenís rights, the labor movement, all important events that are essential for children to learn so that they can understand the events that shape America today. The events, however, are not written like traditional textbooks, but like narratives that show the event from the perspective of the young girl.
Often historical accounts focus on the person or people who were actively involved in the event, but changing the perspective reminds readers that these events affected more than just those historical figures. These events really happened and changed the way many people in America lived or thought. By taking the perspective of a young girl, seemingly the least likely to be affected by these events, the reader is better able to look at the big picture and why these events are important to remember and changed the American consciousness.
The books seem to be created with homeschooling in mind, too. Many of the books have supplemental information on the "Sisters in Time" Website, www.SistersInTime.com. This is where a parent can find reading comprehension and vocabulary tools, further information on the historical events, fun facts about the time period and games.
Though a boy would probably enjoy reading these books, they are perfect for a young girl as an introduction to American history or for those who are already familiar with the events. By exposing young girls to books like these, they will not only better understand and form opinions about historical events, they may be inspired to think about their place in history, what it means to be a young girl living in the year 2005; that they are part of a time that their grandchildren will read about in their history books. M.H.R.
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