I love books. Of course I love books. They’re full of stories! So it is here where I will post book reviews of books historical in nature. Books about family history, historical fiction, books written “back then”, family memoirs, and more. And because my daughter Ellie and I read so many books together, many of these reviews will be written by both of us. Some will be written by only me, and some will be written by only Ellie. Our first book review we wrote together, is about the historical fiction novel, Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, and that will be posted next week. We have a pile of books to read next, and she (and my 3 year old son) have literal piles of books in their beds that they read as they go to sleep. We have several bookshelves, and my husband Ben just built us three more. Basically, we can’t get enough of books. And then, the other day, my daughter tells me she “doesn’t like silent reading.” I informed her that she does this all the time, and she looked at me and said, “Oh, yeah.” She does, too. She reads all the time. We go to the library and she stocks up. Many of the books she’ll be reviewing are the time travel historical novels from The Magic Treehouse series. The books we’ll review here will be for children and young adults, since this blog is about bringing history and genealogy to children, and helping parents and teachers do just that.
Why are we reviewing books here? Because of my firm belief that stories build our lives. And to learn to pay attention to our life stories, and the life stories of others, we must learn to immerse ourselves in stories. And good writers are dedicated readers. We learn to tell stories by reading them. We learn to tell stories by listening to them. We learn to tell stories by learning from those who have told stories before us.
I’m also a firm believer that we can best learn about history through reading stories. The real reason I became so interested in history in the first place was because I read a fictional story set on the Oregon Trail when I was in middle school. It was one of the Dear America series (which we will be reviewing here), and after that first one, I couldn’t get enough of those books, and the bits of history they told.
We’ll be taking suggestions, and we’ll also be taking submissions from authors to review for a small fee starting in March. Keep an eye on our blog, and if you’re an avid reader with your kiddos, subscribe to our newsletter for updates – and check back later this week for our review of Number the Stars.
Happy reading, y’all!