Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution

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We’ve all heard the stories here and there of women and their roles in fighting for our country’s independence, but many of these stories are apocryphal at best and some are almost certainly untrue. Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution sets the record straight on the many—and true—accomplishments of women during the Revolution.

Laurie Halse Anderson has compiled numerous true stories of how women helped win the war, from acting as spies to actually joining the army. Each page has conversational text that is engaging even for reluctant readers. There are also comic book-style illustrations with text boxes telling about specific ladies and their exploits. At the bottom of each page is a timeline combining major events from the Revolution with deeds from those daring dames. The book is geared toward elementary students (and I would use it with older kids, too, due to the sheer amount of information), but even adults are going to learn something new.

At the end of the book, Anderson includes even more information with sections on even more women, details about whether some of those stories we’ve heard are true or not, and background on the different groups in the country at the time. If that’s not enough, there is a lengthy bibliography for those who want to learn more and there are web resources listed, too.

Independent Dames is a book that proves that women didn’t sit back and let the men do all the hard work and that history is definitely not boring!

April Grand Giveaway — Trailblazer Books (and a free book for everyone!)

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This month our Grand Giveaway sponser is Trailblazer Books by Dave and Neta Jackson.


The award-winning TRAILBLAZERS are action-packed historical fiction novels introducing great Christian heroes. Each page-turning book portrays a significant period in a hero or heroine’s life and ministry as seen through the eyes of a young protagonist. A page in the front of each book explains exactly what is fiction and which events and characters are historical, and a “More About” chapter at the end provides a brief biographical overview of the hero’s life.

There will be FOUR winners! Each winner receives the CD with all 40 Trailblazer eBooks! It also contains 8 curriculum guides to go along.

Plus, everyone is getting a freebie!

The kind folks at Trailblazer Books are offering all of you the chance to download a FREE book, Kidnapped by River Rats, at this link:

Click to download your free gift!

For those of you who don’t win, you can purchase the Premium Edition CD with all FORTY books ($320 value) for $39.60. It includes PDF, ePub, and MOBI formats for Kindle, Sony, Nook, KOBO, and iPad. This really is a wonderful deal, especially considering some of these wonderful books are now out of print!

Click here to view a free sample.

To enter the giveaway, visit the Trailblazer Bookshelf and then come back to tell us which book you think your child would read first.

Use the Rafflecopter below.

I hope you win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Show & Tell ~ Robin Hood

There are so many fascinating things to study during the Middle Ages period, but I think one of the favorites is the story of Robin Hood.  We are also studying the Middle Ages this year in our homeschool, and the boys were fascinated with Robin Hood, remembering the Disney movie’s portrayal as I read from our Mystery of History book.  Homegrown Learners also recently stopped their regular history lessons to go down a rabbit trail.

I love how she is using her British accent to read and study more about this time period.  What a fun way to keep it exciting for her students!  There is SO MUCH information on the Homeschool Share study of Robin Hood.  You don’t have to plan anything extra!



Mary is the mother of 2 children who choose the Delight Directed path, when the opportunity arises. Mary blogs their homeschool adventures at Homegrown Learners.

Uncle Sam and Old Glory

I love American history! We live in such an amazing country and our history is made up of so many fascinating stories that we’ve all heard so many times—so many times, it seems, that the specifics begin to blur a bit and when our kids ask for details about something, we’re not completely sure anymore! Or perhaps you have the opposite problem: You know so much about our history that when your kids ask a question, you go overboard with your explanation and bore them out of their minds. Whichever problem you have, Uncle Sam and Old Glory:  Symbols of America is a great resource to solve it!

So what is a symbol? As adults, we know exactly what symbols are, but it may be a new concept for young children. In the introduction, the authors talk about how “symbols give us a sense of community and show other countries some of the things that are important about America: freedom, democracy, and a spirit of optimism.” Even young children will be familiar with some of the symbols discussed, and they may even be able to find them in your home!

Delno and Jean West have compiled information on fifteen different American symbols, ranging from the American flag to Smokey the Bear. They reveal the origins of the symbols and what they mean, and in some cases, they talk about how the symbol is viewed or treated today. In the section about the American flag, for instance, they talk about how some people burn the flag as a protest and how that has led to disagreements among Americans.

Each symbol is covered in about a page of text and has an accompanying picture. The publisher lists the book as being geared to seven to ten year olds, but these would be great as short read alouds for younger children, too. Because there are so many short sections, you could use this as a resource to pull out when you’re learning about different topics—the Mayflower and pilgrims at Thanksgiving, or the buffalo and cowboy when you’re learning about westward expansion. Whether you sit down and read it all at once or break it up into smaller pieces, the topics are interesting enough and short enough to keep any child’s attention.

The pictures in Uncle Sam and Old Glory are beautiful! At the risk of sounding like a complete book nerd, I will tell you that I think woodcuts are one of my favorite kinds of illustrations—second only to collage. Christopher Manson’s pictures have an old-fashioned feel to them that matches the topic well, but they also have bright, clear colors that are very pleasing and child-friendly.

Uncle Sam and Old Glory would be a great companion to Homeschool Share’s Independence Day unit, too. July 4th is just around the corner, so put this one on your library hold list today!