Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ordinary People Change the World

I have been a fan of Brad Meltzer for quite awhile. I have read a number of his adult bestsellers and love watching his television series Lost History and Brad Meltzer's Decoded.  His love for history is always clear in his delivery, whether through television or the written word. 

I am Abraham Lincoln
by Brad Meltzer
I am Jackie Robinson
by Brad Meltzer
I am Rosa Parks
by Brad Meltzer

I am Amelia Earhart
by Brad Meltzer

When I heard he was going to be writing a series of books for young children on historical figures I knew it was going to be great. I would expect nothing less. I have to say though, he far surpassed my expectations with his series of book geared to children from kindergarten to third grade. The series Ordinary People Change the World includes books about many famous historical figures including Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, & Jackie Robinson. Books about Lucille Ball and Helen Keller will be released later in 2015. They are perfect introductory biographies for this age group. The research and language used allows young children to understand the hardships overcome by each of the famous individuals, while encouraging the reader to follow their own dreams and aspirations. There is a clear sense of positivity in each of the books, even those whose life was cut short. Amelia Earhart’s story ends with a parade following one of her historical flights. Abraham Lincoln’s story ends following the historic Gettysburg Address. Each book ends with a two page spread of photographs of the historic figure and Jackie Robinson’s also includes a timeline with significant dates highlighted including: 1942 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, April 15, 1947 – his first game with the major-league team the Brooklyn Dodgers, and other history making events. I highly recommend all of the titles in this wonderful series of biographies for young children. I can't wait to see the next set of historical characters he will present in this series.

Meltzer's website provides a few printable activities to go along with the book series. Activities include a page for children to draw a picture of their hero - "Who's Your Hero?", a chart with brave deeds where you must decide if the heroic deed was performed by Abraham Lincoln or Amelia Earhart - "Guess the Hero",  and "What Makes a Great Hero?" where the heroic traits of Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart are listed and the child can list the traits of their personal hero. There is also a word search and a connect the dots activity.

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Dial Publishing Company has provided a complimentary copy of the following titles for review purposes: I am Amelia Earhart, I am Abraham LincolnI Am Rosa Parks, and I am Jackie Robinson.

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