Usually the Homeschool Review Crew sends out curriculum; this time it was a handful of books by Carole P. Roman. Her books are colorful paperback books for elementary students. For this review, I received two history books (If you were me and lived in… the American West, and If you were me and lived in… Colonial America), one from her preschool series (The Crew Goes Coconuts), and one from her Oh Susannah series (Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag).
What we liked about the If You Were Me series:
- By taking the “if you were me” perspective, these books are written in second person. Most books, children or adult books, are written in third person and occasionally first person. It rare to see a book written in second person. This forces the reader into the story in a unique way.
- We’re covering American history in our homeschool co-op this year, and the Colonial America book fit perfectly with last week’s lesson. As we read the book, my son kept asking for more details. He studied the picture of the log cabin in particular, trying to figure out how the men would have built the buildings.
- These books are thorough. Both of the history books I was given follow the same pattern in their content (which is great – this way I know how to use the book as a history supplement!) Both of these books (Colonial America and Wild West) cover everything from big events of the time, how the traveled, what they ate, how the dressed, the common baby names of the day, how they would have spent a typical day, and who were the famous political characters back then.
- The books also contain a glossary in the back filled with words young elementary students may not know.
The history books were the ones I focused on for this review period, but I did receive two other books.
The Crew Goes Coconuts is a part of her Captain No Beard series. This series teaches basic life skills in a creative way: a child’s stuffed animals come to life as a pirate crew. In this particular story, the characters are picking on each other and need to learn to get along. As a special needs mom, I liked that this gives a concrete example of how a reconciliation conversation might go. At the end of the book, all the characters turn back into stuffed animals and the kids’ mom walks in to ask what was going on. It’s similar to a scenario that plays out daily in our house!
The other book I received was the first from her Oh Susannah series. This is meant for kids older than mine, but followed the same method as the Captain No Beard series: this series take a look at issues elementary students might face and shows how Susannah handles them.
Carole P. Roman has also written a series on “If you were me” set in different countries and even different planets.