Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Making History Come Alive

I Survived #7:  I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg 1863 by Laurent Tarshis

Historical Fiction

This installment is not as thrilling or engaging as the others and is probably my least favorite in the series so far.  Like all the others, the book starts right in the middle of the action.  This time, though, I just didn't feel connected to main character yet.

Thomas and his sister Birdie are running away from their lives as slaves to the north, yearning to be free.  When they run right into a battle, Thomas thinks all hope is lost and they will be captured and sold.  Instead, the Union soldiers take them in and shelter and protect them.  On the way, though, the company will have to first go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Will Thomas and Birdie survive the worst battle of the civil War?

These books take familiar or oft-referred to pieces of US history and make them accessible and interesting to young readers.  This is a great way to introduce 'new' readers to historical fiction. It is a great series for reluctant, male adolescent readers.  It is not a dry, history textbook kind of read.  These books put kids right in the middle of the action.  It is a quick and easy read.  This one is not too bloody or violent, even though is it about a battle int he war.  You do not have to read these books in order.  There is a different character and situation for every book.  It is a series that is checked out constantly in my classroom.  I can never keep any of the titles in stock.  It is great for grades 3rd and up into 8th grade, especially for boys.  Which would be my next question for the author:  Why no girls as main characters?

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