Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream {TOS review}


Many still come to America because of the hope of achieving the American Dream that includes success, social status and a future of a lifetime of wealth among other things. These are accomplished by determination, diligence, faith and by regardless of who you are. The dream is for all people to achieve.

Robert K. Basmadjian, Jr. and Kathleen Basmadjian, PhD. of Inspiring the American Dream have written Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream, which encourages children to still hold on to the American Dream, by showing them examples of people throughout history who have been successful at achieving it. The book is geared towards children between the ages of seven and 12.

Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream introduces its readers to Abraham and his family, who are faced with difficult financial times. It takes place during the Great Recession, which occurred somewhere between the years of 2007-2009. This might account for the use of technology in the book as well as the people Abraham meets on his journey, which include Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Both of Abraham’s parents have recently been faced with unemployment only a few weeks before Christmas. Although he and his sister are saddened by the news, Abraham is determined to figure out a way to keep the merry spirit they know as a family by ensuring that there are presents under the Christmas tree for all.

At this point, Abraham pulls out his smartphone and begins searching for job opportunities. The first thing that popped into my head was that the family could start saving by collecting Abraham’s cell phone, which I think he is too young to have. I do applaud the fact that he used it to search for a way to assist his family.

As Abraham is texting, a man with the likeness of Abraham Lincoln (Abe) pops out of his smartphone screen and invites Abraham to join him (seen on the cover of the book above).

Suddenly, he (Abraham) found himself transported into a cyber-world!
- a quote from the book.

Abe takes Abraham on a time travel journey, which is sudden, but that is how things work in cyber- world; they are fast and that is the pace of which the book moves.

Abraham has brief encounters with each of the famous people giving the reader snippets of their accomplishments. Although the authors include more information in the back of the book about the people Abraham meets, it would have been nice if that information were part of the story. The introductions are brief and teaser-like that may promote conversation, but it would be nice to have that information developed into the story, which I think would be enhanced. All people, especially young aged readers, may not be familiar with some of the people Abraham encounters on his journey.

Reading through the book was like doing a cyber-search on the people and the information that was shared would be similar to what someone would find quickly moving through the Internet.

I was alright with Abraham meeting people from the past, like King and Rockwell. My confusion occurred when Mark Zuckerberg and Amelia Amelia Earhart showed up on the same page and in the same time period. River read the book independently and as an Amelia Earhart fan, he was also a bit confused as to how/why Zuckerberg and Earhart were together.

Overall, I like the promotion of working towards the American Dream and Abraham’s initiative to step up and help his family, but I think the character’s motivation was somewhat misdirected. It is great to want to have presents under the tree, but after having experienced job loss in the family, I have realized what is truly important and it is not the material things.

You do see growth in Abraham as he is able to find a hidden talent (painting) that allows him to earn money for his family. Abraham also, from his introduction to the people he meets, is motivated to go past his family and extend help to others by the end of the book.

The introduction to the various people in history is a great way to share people of achievement with your children. All of the people Abraham met accomplished great things, but there was only one person, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a Christian. I know that is not required content in a book, but I would have preferred introducing my children to people, who achieved the American Dream, but also relied on achieving it through the abilities of God rather than on their own abilities.

Availability
Abraham’s Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream is available as a physical book for $14.99.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: The product featured in this review was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own.
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