Friday, August 31, 2012

Uncover Exciting History Ebook

Amy Puetz's Golden Prairie Press recently sent a variety of ebooks to 100 reviewers from the TOS Review Crew.

We were chosen to review Uncover Exciting History. The short description from the Publisher's website says that Uncover Exciting History is "Revealing America’s Christian Heritage in Short, Easy-to-Read Nuggets" in 184 pages.
There are stories of patriots and events that are well known as well as those that may be lesser known, but equally worth learning about.

To give you a sense of what is included, here is the Table of Contents
  1. Christ Bearer: Christopher Columbus    1 
  2. Settling the New World    7 
  3. The Lost Colony of Roanoke    13 
  4. The Pilgrims’ Legacy    19 
  5. The Great Awakening    25 
  6. The French and Indian War: The Struggle for Mastery of North America    31 
  7. Freedom Founded    37 
  8. Crossing the Delaware: A Turning Point of the Revolution    43 
  9. The Making of a Republic: The Story of the Constitution    49 
  10. To Kentucky and Beyond: America Begins the Push Westward    55 
  11. To the Shores of Tripoli: The Barbary Coast Wars    61 
  12. The Lewis & Clark Expedition    67 
  13. Miracle at New Orleans    73 
  14. The Second Great Awakening    79 
  15. Daniel Webster: Defender of the Constitution    85 
  16. The Mexican War: America Expands in the Southwest    91 
  17. The Oregon Trail: Road to the American Promised Land    97 
  18. The Pony Express: Uniting the East and West    103 
  19. A Tale of Two Generals: Biographies of General Lee & General Grant    109 
  20. The Spanish American War    117
  21. The Klondike Gold Rush    123 
  22. The Great War: America in the First World War    129 
  23. The Legacy of Alvin York: American Hero of the First World War    135 
  24. The Great Depression    141 
  25. The Navajo Code Talkers    147
Bonus Chapters
  • The Hand That Rocks the Cradle: Mothers Who Changed the World Through Their Children    155 Medieval Explorer: Marco Polo    163 
  • Evangelistic Explorer: David Livingstone    169 
  • Daring Explorer of Antarctica: Robert Falcon Scott    175
What we liked: 
  • The stories and people that were featured and mentioned~ made *me* interested in learning more about some of them.
  • The Christian worldview presented in each chapter presents the firm foundation our country was built upon before God was taken out of the equation in some of the more revisionist textbooks. 
  • The availability of the book in a variety of electronic formats (pdf, epub, and mobi) as well as printed and audio.
  • The Dig Deeper portions at the end of each chapter that help to solidify and/or extend the learning.
What we didn't like:
  • While the stories were good, the writing felt a little "Choppy" to us. There were not great transitions between paragraphs~ seeming to jump from topic to topic within the chapters, so that I occasionally felt more like I was reading a series of interesting encyclopedia entries aloud to my children rather than a narrative (not quite what I expected).
  • To go along with that, sometimes the phrasing seemed a little archaic~ However, if you are used to reading to your children from older literature (written more in the 18th and 19th centuries), this won't come across as odd. 
  • I felt that there was information included that doesn't seem terribly relative to the topic. For instance, in the chapter entitled  "To the Shores of Tripoli", we are introduced to a number of naval commanders. One of them appears to have been rather uninspiring, and was therefore only mentioned 3 times. In fact, he was only afforded one complete sentence: "Captain Samuel Barron lacked initiative and also suffered greatly from a liver problem." I just wasn't sure what the liver problem had to do with the man's naval career....???
To get a taste for yourself, you can download a sample chapter (Chapter 8. Crossing the Delaware: A Turning Point of the Revolution) to see if the writing style fits well with your homeschool.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
My basic feeling is that the stories bring out some of those 'nuggets' of history that might not be so obvious to today's mainstream culture, but can have a huge impact if more people know about them.  Uncover Exciting History is one of those books that could inspire you and/or your children to look into some of our history on a deeper level. However, "great literature" it is not.
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this and the other books up for review from Golden Prairie Press:
Heroines of the Past Bible Study e-book
Ten Girls from History e-book
Costumes with Character e-book 

As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Review Crew Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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