Mar 5, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Abraham's Journey

We were asked to review the children's book Abraham's Journey from Inspiring the American Dream. This book is the story of a young boy named Abraham who's parents lost their jobs during the Great Recession and thus were unable to provide Christmas presents that year. Abraham decides to "save Christmas" and starts looking for a job on his smart phone. Instead of a job, however, he finds Abraham Lincoln inside his phone and goes on a "journey" to the "cyber world" where he meets several historical figures (Martin Luther King Jr., Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart) as well as some more modern day folks (Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates) who "help him to uncover his hidden talent" so that he can afford to buy gifts for his family. On Christmas Day, after he shares the gifts with his parents and sister, they all visit a homeless shelter with donations.

I have to admit that I was uncomfortable sharing this book with my children. My idea of the American Dream was of immigrants who, unable to survive in their own land, no matter how hard they worked, were able to come to America, work hard, and provide for their families. I thought the Christmas gifts issue was a little more in the way of a "want" than a "need". I want my kids to dream bigger than "stuff" with the afterthought of sharing with others. I want them to put others first and dream about something bigger than a present.
I was also uncomfortable with the ease which Abraham made his dream come true. I want my children to realize that dreams are hard-won and that it isn't as simple as flaunting a "hidden talent" but that sacrifice,  failures, and hard work for possibly many discouraging years are needed to fulfill our goals.
I did like that Abraham did display compassion to the less fortunate that he meets in the story and that he expresses his appreciation and understanding of how blessed he is that he has a family who loves him. I appreciated that his family was grateful for the gifts they received and that the story ends with Abraham and his family sharing their blessings with the homeless.
I also enjoyed the brief biographies of each of the historical characters at the end of the book.
We received the Kindle edition of this book, and I have to say, the quality was great. The illustrations were lovely and my favorite part of the book. It is a short book and can be easily read in one sitting. It is aimed at kids ages 7 - 12 and can be purchased as a soft cover book for $14.99, or the Kindle edition from Amazon for $9.99.
You can read what other Crew Members have to say about this book on the Crew Blog.

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