My Brother Martin — A Book Worth Reading

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is quickly approaching and I want to share a great book about him with you! My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a memoir written by Christine King Farris, King’s older sister. While many of the books on Dr. King focus on his accomplishments as a civil rights leader, this is the story of how he grew up and how his family helped shape his future.

In this book, we see the young M.L. through the eyes of his sister and her stories make him seem more like one of us than the larger than life legend we’ve always learned about. Hilarity isn’t something I would normally expect to find in a King biography, but you will laugh as the King children use their mother’s fur on a stick to scare neighbors out for a walk or when M.L. and his younger brother loosen the legs of the piano bench when they don’t want to practice with their strict piano teacher. Farris’s stories make Dr. King more approachable, especially for young children.

Also interesting to read is the way Dr. King’s family shapes his views on segregation and injustice. Growing up, the King children were fairly sheltered from the realities of life in the south because their parents chose not to frequent places where they would suffer from discrimination, such as the movies or the streetcars. There is even a white family across the street that the King children play with, but eventually, the neighbors tell them they aren’t allowed to play with them because of the color of their skin and the King children begin to learn what they will experience as they get older. Young M.L. asks his mother why the white people treat them so harshly and she tries to explain it all to him, leaving him with hope with the thought that, “someday, it will be better.” From his father, he hears about standing up for himself peacefully and with dignity. These early experiences gave the young M.L. the strength to become a man who changed the world.

Chris Soentpiet’s pictures are a gorgeous addition to Farris’s words. They are warm and inviting and do a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the lives of the King children. Soentpiet has captured the shock of the neighbors’ faces as they see something furry scamper from the bushes and the sadness of the King children as their mother tries to explain their friends’ behavior. He is an amazing illustrator! You may also find the Illustrator’s Note at the end of the book interesting to share with your children. Soentpiet describes meeting with Farris and touring the sites of her childhood and then explains how he took what he saw and used it to make his pictures. He even reveals which King family members he used as models in the book!

There are many books out there on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that you could share with your children, but few are so personal and touching. This is one that your children will remember long after because it doesn’t just relate the facts, it brings you into King’s life.

Happy reading!

 

New Year’s Resolutions

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If y’all are like me, you cringe at the thought of making yet another list of ill fated New Year’s Resolutions. Well, years ago I came across a list of resolutions that blessed me immensely. A list I could accomplish because it did not rely on me, but solely on my Heavenly Father.
May they bless you as well! Happy New Year!

(Click on images below to enlarge)

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!

May Grand Giveaway

 

We have a fabulous Grand Giveaway for May!

A wonderful company, Farmgirl Naturals has graciously donated a lovely gift basket for this month’s Grand Giveaway, for one very blessed momma!

This beautiful and fragrant basket includes 4 wonderful smelling homemade, natural soy candles. The scents include Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Pineapple and one surprise scent! But that’s not all! You’ll also receive 2 bars of homemade, all-natural Oatmeal Soap. This soap is perfect for all skin types! A perfect basket just in time for Mother’s Day.

Farmgirl Soy Candles...Cantaloupe!

Farmgirl Oatmeal Bar Soap

 

Don’t they look yummy? Farmgirl Naturals is owned by homeschool mom, Miranda. Miranda has been a friend of Homeschool Share forever and we are thrilled that she wanted to participate in this special Mother’s Day giveaway!

Take a look around Farmgirl Naturals. You’re sure to find all kinds of things to buy for yourself or as a gift for the ladies in your life.

Miranda also blogs her  homeschool journey with her beautiful family over at Memories by Miranda.

 

 

I hope you win!

Click here to familiarize yourself with our contest rules.

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