Monday, July 11, 2011
I'm delighted to share with you recent book reviews of The Golden Pathway by Homeschoolers and Mommy Bloggers. Be sure to visit each of their websites, these ladies write wonderful blogs and offer up giveaways and insights into the world of Homeschooling and parenting.
July 11, 2011
As a homeschool mom – especially given our heavy use of unit studies and “living books” – I am always on the lookout for good historical fiction for children. (Historical fiction is easy to find. Historical fiction for children isn’t always.) As a result, I was happy to be given the opportunity to read and review The Golden Pathway , by Donna M. McDine.
The Golden Pathway addresses a tough subject – slavery and the Underground Railroad. The suggested audience is readers aged 8-12, but I will probably include my 4-year-old when we read it as part of our study of that time period.
I would probably not use this as my children’s only exposure to the time, as I’m concerned it might give them a unrealistically one-dimensional view of the place and the people. To put it plainly, I wouldn’t want them to draw the conclusion that every white southerner was cruel, based on one story of one (fictional) family. In context, though, I found it to be an excellent introduction to a difficult period of history.
The only thing I dislike about the book is that the story centers around a young man who defies his father in order to care for and free the family’s slave. I would have preferred to read my children a story about a family working together to end injustice rather than one about a son going behind his father’s back. The reality, however, is that, that sort of thing happened. (When it really comes down it, I would rather not have to read my children books about racial slavery in the first place! But it happened, and those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. So we read about the ugly truth.)
All in all, I think this is a good introduction to the topic, with a story centered around a young person so that young people can readily identify with it. I will probably be reading it with/to my children, rather than handing it over – but maybe that’s a better idea, anyway, given the nature of the subject.
After reading the book and the author’s note about code words, you might want to sing “Get On Board” and/or “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Disclosure: I was provided with this book, free of charge, by the author to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Reviewed by Rachel Ramey ~ http://www.titus2homemaker.com/2011/07/the-golden-pathway-review/
July 3, 2011
I had the privilege of reading and reviewing Donna M. McDine's children's book The Golden Pathway. This picture book is about southern slaves and the underground rail road.
More specifically, it is about a young boy who's father owns a plantation. While on the plantation he befriends a slave who is the target of his father's drunken rages.
I did enjoy the story and the knowledge that the story brought. The pictures are beautiful and Jenkins (the slave) make the story seem more real than the actual main character, David. I could honestly see myself using this book in my middle school classroom. I would not recommend it for younger children due to the presentation of the subject matter. However, for struggling readers in upper elementary and middle school this is a great resource that I can't recommend enough.
I look forward to having my 8th grade students read this during the upcoming school year.
Reviewed by Sara Cart ~ http://carts3bears.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-review-golden-pathway.html
June 24, 2011
The Golden Pathway by Donna M. McDine is set in the times of slavery in America. It tells a poignant story of a boy that sees how his father treats his slaves. He tries to help one of the slaves. His father is a difficult task master for his slaves and his family. After hearing his father beat one of the slaves he shows courage and compassion by slipping out to take care of the beaten slave. The young man figures out a way to help this slave boy escape to freedom. He has heard of the freedom trail and helps to send his friend to freedom and a new life.
Even though this story is set in another time in history, it still speaks to children of our generation. It teaches love, compassion and courage. Many children of today see difficult things growing up. They go through painful things. I feel this story speaks to them in a special way. It gives hope and shows the almost forgotten art of kindness.
I believe our children need to learn about history. This book teaches a lesson in history and also teaches good character traits at the same time. It is written for children ages 8 to 12. It is beautifully illustrated by K. C. Snider.
I was given this book to read and review and give my honest opinion. I have not been paid to do this. I have written an honest review of this book.
Reviewed by Karen Dobson ~ http://grannysperspective.blogspot.com/2011/06/golden-pathway-by-donna-m-mcdine-book.html
June 4, 2011
The Golden Pathway by award winning author Donna McDine is a book written for children ages 8-12 , but I think this is a must read for all ages. The book is about a young boy, David the son of a slave owner, his father, and a young slave boy named Jenkins. The book shows the battle between wrong and right even within families. David witnesses the brutal beating of Jenkins everyday and wants to help him out. Despite enormous risk to himself David searching for a way to get Jenkins out. The use of period language really helps immerse the reader into the book. The illustrations are beautifully done, showing you the struggle David and Jenkins go through together. It helps to remind you what an important part in history that the Underground Railroad played!
Reviewed by Rebecca Fry ~ http://momof-3boys.blogspot.com/2011/06/golden-pathway-by-donna-mcdine.html
May 13, 2011
Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.
My Review: What a powerful story of good will by Award winning children’s author, Donna McDine. She takes you back in time showing us that slavery did exist and how the Underground Railroad helped slaves escape to the north where they gained their freedom.
The message we should take from this story is that there are good and faithful people willing to make a wrong right by satisfying anything to help others. What a wonderful illustration by K.C. Snider bringing the story to life. I highly recommend The Golden Pathway to History teachers, parents, and children.
Reviewed by Ella Johnson ~ http://mymcbooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/book-review-the-golden-pathway-by-donna-m-mcdine
Thank you for your time and interest!
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.