Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Abraham’s Journey by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian (Schoolhouse Review Crew)

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Product: Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream

Vendor Contact Information: Inspiring the American Dream

Age Appeal: Boys and Girls ages 7-12

Format: Paperback book or Kindle Version (ISBN 978-1-620200-10-0)

Price: Paperback- $14.99 and Kindle- $9.99

Abraham is living during the Great Recession with parents who are both out of jobs.  Christmas is not far away and there is not enough money for Christmas presents, so Abraham decides that he is going to earn the money to buy presents.

Abraham is texting his friends looking for odd jobs when Abraham Lincoln comes on the screen and takes Abraham on a journey in a digital world.  Abraham visits different American icons who help him realize his special talent and how to use it to earn the money.

Abraham’s journey ends with a special Christmas Day with his family.

Our Experience:

While B is old enough to read the book on his own, C is not able to.  I chose to read the book to both of them and then we talked about the characters and their importance, what Abraham learned, and the “Definition of Terms” in the back of the book.

What I Liked:
  • I liked the illustrations and the detail of the story.
  • I thought the addition of the descriptions of Abraham Lincoln, Norman Rockwell, and the other characters.
  • I liked the “definition of terms,” because it gave me a sense of what was important in the book. 

What I Disliked:

  • It would be nice if there was a list of the important characteristics of the story at the end of the book, that are not in the definitions.  I can take the story though and make a list of what is important and discuss it with my children.
  • I thought it was strange that a family would still have smart phones if the family was having financial troubles.
  • I didn’t think it was important to include social media in the American Dream.  I know that many people find it important, but for a person just starting out to achieve success I think hard work and working locally might be more important and cost effective.


What B (boy, age nine, officially in third grade) Liked and Disliked:

Abraham’s Journey was a good book! You can read it over-and-over again and it will seem like new! Now I will tell you about the book. Abraham is a boy who wants to by gifts for his family. And The Wise Old Man helps Abraham buy gifts for his family!

If you want to know more read the book. I think this book would be good for kids my age.

What C (girl, age seven, officially in first grade) Liked and Disliked: 

  • Loved it!
  • So detailed.
  • Really applied to kids my age.
  • Fun and you learn about Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dad's Call:

I was disappointed in Abraham's Journey. The personal qualities of perseverance, creativity, and hard work were not brought out in the main character's story. Abraham was surrounded by people who have accomplished great things using those qualities but they weren't applied to Abraham. He was taken on a different route to success. Unfortunately not one of perseverance.

I did like most of the illustrations in the book. They were well drawn and conveyed the storyline in the picture.

The best part of Abraham's Journey is where Abraham and his family go to a local shelter to help out. The story hits the bull's eye here that whether you are in a time of prosperity or depravity you can always help someone else.

Even with those positives I would not recommend this book because of the absence of the personal qualities in Abraham's story.

Momma would recommend, because it begins conversations about the American Dream.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream by Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian 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.  All links were current when posted.

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