Our Favorite, Most-Loved Living Book Finds from this week’s reading…

This week’s Living Book picks…

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Indian Captive was a longer read, but well worth investing the time.  (I’d compare the length to Little House on the Prairie – though it was slightly longer).  This is a fascinating living book about the true store of Mary Jemison who lived in 1758 in Pennsylvania.

After Natives invaded her family’s home, she was taken captive by a group of Seneca.  The story follows her journey as she moves through grief, fear, hatred for the Seneca people who took her, and then eventually acceptance of her new life. She grows to love the people and understand why she was taken captive (it was part of ancient traditions).

The Seneca people treat her with kindness and love and the book truly gives a different look at Native culture from so many other books that center around the time of settlement.  She decides to remain with the Seneca when she grows up.

There are illustrations throughout.  We loved this read – it was engaging for all three of our children as a family read-aloud.  (Ages 10, 8, 7.)

Life in a Longhouse Village

Bobbie Kalman has a ton of non-fiction books that are well-written, engaging, and well-loved.  This one was particularly interesting to us as we bought it at the gift shop of an actual Longhouse Village site near our home in Southern Ontario.

Tons of detail about all aspects of life for Natives living in Longhouses.  The illustrations in this book are beautiful and draw you right in.  The kids really enjoyed this read, even though it did read much more like an ‘information’ book than we are used to.  Well done.

The Buffalo Are Back

This was my favorite find from this week and I wrote about it in THIS post.  I grabbed this off the library shelf thinking we would read it for a Nature Study read in our Morning Basket.

Well, as we read through it, I was astounded and pleasantly surprised that it was actually all about settlement in the American Prairies and how settlement and the elimination of the Buffalo and Native populations hugely affected the ecosystem in a very negative way.  
(Including why there were infestations from locusts like we read about in the Little House series!)  

Beautifully written with breath-taking illustrations. One of my favorite picture book living book reads in a long time.

Jean Craighead George has many wonderful living books that we’ve enjoyed, including, The Eagles are Back, and The Wolves Are Back.  (She also wrote the very well known novel, My Side of the Mountain.

The Courage of Sarah Noble

We read through this novlette together in three days.  This is a very well-known and well-loved tale from early American settlement (1707).  Sarah Noble travels with her father to place where they will settle with their family.  She must have courage as she is the only help to her father on this long and dangerous trip.

She makes friends with the native children and all ends well with her family settling happily in their new home in the West.  All the while, little Sarah kept up her courage, as she was called to do.

This is a charming, light-hearted tale for young readers.  I feel it would appeal largely to girls, which was certainly the case in our home.   I read it aloud, but it could also be used as independent reading for children who are ready for easy novels.

Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?

Can I just say, I LOVE Jean Fritz.  (She is 100 years old, by the way!)  We have loved everything we’ve read by her and her American History stuff is just plain awesome.

They are so well written and the illustrations captivate our whole family – young and old.

Why don’t you get a horse, Sam Adams? is a funny, tongue-and-cheek look at the life of Sam Adams in the time of Colonial America and the American Revolution.

I honestly would love to own all Mrs. Fritz’s books if I could… and I’m not even American… haha!

GREAT living books for history!

W Is For Webster: Noah Webster and his American Dictionary

This is a super engaging living picture book.  Honestly, living picture books which are also historical fiction are just hands-down my favorite books to read with the kids.  They get so much out of them and they are so attentive!

The illustrations in W Is for Webster are super unique and really captivating.

This books takes us on a journey through Noah Webster’s life, starting in childhood when ‘Noah loved to learn and read and use big words’.  The story walks through the ups and downs of Noah’s life as he works towards what will eventually be a 20 year project of writing what we know as the ‘Websters Dictionary’.

Really neat book!

The Secret Church (Louise A. Vernon Religious Heritage Series)

This is another one of my favorite authors for history, especially church history.

This was a read-aloud for my son who is 10.  We read it together.  This book follows a young boy as he lives life in the 16th century when religious feuds were dangerous in Germany.

The main character, Richard’s cousin and family become Anabaptists, which is illegal and brings strong persecution.  After helping their Anabaptist family members hide from persecutions (stoning), Richard’s family starts to feel the Spirit moving in their hearts too.  They also see the truth and want to be Anabaptists.

The decision to embrace what they believe is right and follow God no matter what leads to a dangerous and exciting journey for both boys and their families.

I loved this book because it is a beautiful historical fiction novel – but it is also a book showing two young boys who choose to stand firm in their faith in the face of persecution.

And those are our faves from this week!
Blessings to you as you read and learn this week!

PS.  Have you seen my Living Books Pinterest board?  Yeah… I’m sorta crazy about books…

Follow Cassandra’s board Learning with Living Books on Pinterest.

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