This book is #37 in The American Adventure series, but don't worry, you do not need to read the books in order if a particular time period strikes your interest. Reading them in order does have a benefit concerning the books leading up to and following wars because it gives readers a broader understanding of the build up of conflict and the period of restoration following great loss and difficulty.
"The Flu Epidemic" is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1818-1819. Not all of the surviving soldiers had returned to the states from WWI yet, and more individuals worldwide had been killed by the Spanish flu outbreak than the number of people killed in the world war. Some other historical events woven into the plot include the killing of songbirds by school children with slingshots and the crash of a low-flying plane in downtown Minneapolis.
These are excellent fictional history books to get any elementary or middle school boy or girl interested in American History. I enjoy reading them aloud to my pre-k through 4th grade sons. These books are wonderful if read in order, but they can be enjoyed out of order or by just reading a single book if one in particular fits a topic you're interested in. They paint a good picture of what life may have been like during different significant events in the history of our nation. This book in particular is dealing with WWI, which was then referred to as "The Great War."
This book is #33 in The American Adventure Series. Set in the early 1900s in Minneapolis, MN, this book discusses the effects of the gramophone, particularly the introduction of ragtime music to family homes. John Philip Sousa, famous musician and composer of "Stars and Stripes Forever" is quoted and discussed as the main characters are boys who participate in band and look up to his example. Some of the character issues addressed in this book include adjusting to being a blended family (having a step-parent), how to respond when friends become jealous or unkind toward us, how to be mindful of others needs, and exercising self-control and discipline to meet a goal despite unhealthy peer pressures.
In this book, the children have been expressly told not to spend time with, or even be around newsboys, or other children of the 'rougher' sort that ran around without their parents and perhaps with disregard to social standards for behavior. When a newsboy helps Esther get home after she sprains her foot/ankle, she's unsure how her parents will react. She and her cousin, Ted, slowly become friends with him and discover he only works as a newsboy because his father was injured at the railroad and then lost his job. Humor keeps the book from being too serious or negative because Esther is forever finding herself in situations where she's scolded for unladylike behavior. She's a clumsy girl with good intentions and as the book wears on, she does discover a need to be more mindful of her behavior around others. She also demonstrates humility when being corrected or embarrassed.
The children travel with family to the Chicago World's Fair and discussion of the exhibits they viewed could lead to fascinating research or unit studies about the time period. From farming, to women's rights, to a towering Ferris Wheel, there is much to see during their visit. Returning home from the fair, the gravity of the unemployment situation bothers the children and Esther comes up with a way to help families who are having a hard time getting enough food. Eventually, the city takes more notice and begins to tally the number of unemployed and plans are made to help assist these families.
We use these books as part of our homeschool history to give the children a broad overview and spark their interest in American History. I've been very pleased with them and have only discovered a few books which had plots or content a bit too intense for my 6 and 4 year olds. All have been very appropriate for my 4th grader and enjoyable for me to read as an adult. I've learned a lot through this series that I hadn't learned in school and it's much more pleasurable than memorizing dates or watching a dry documentary.
Want to pin a post? Click on the Post Title (in orange) to be taken to the post page. Then hover your mouse over an image and a "Pin it" button shall appear. I apologize for the inconvenience, but this ensures your pin will redirect to the proper URL.
I am not much of a blog reader. There's only a couple I check on occasion:
Love this girl's writing... feels like she's a long distance friend. Well, her sister is my long-distance friend, so that probably helps. Either way, what an inspiration and encouragement- you just need to check out some of the places life has taken Leah and be strengthened and inspired by the love that oozes (yes, oooozes) from her heart for Jesus, His people and His creation!
If you like nummy recipes, or have special dietary needs (or both!) check it out. ALL of her recipes are Vegan, and many can be made gluten-free. I stumbled upon it when searching for dairy/egg free treats to make for my kiddo and have gotten hooked on several recipes. Okay, "hooked on" doesn't portray it well enough. How about "addicted to"? That's more fitting. Will definitely be going back for more!