Monday, April 15, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Knowledge Quest

 photo 61867_10151551915578243_1408297526_n_zpsc18fa83b.png Many of you may know the company Knowledge Quest by the amazing History books, time lines and maps they sell by the truckloads, but did you know they also have a line of historical fiction books as well?  We got to review one this past month and we could have not been any more pleased!
Sacagawea ebook, an interactive historical novel, is written about the famous woman that helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition west to the Pacific Ocean.  Originally written by Karla Akins in four separate parts, this ebook is now available as a whole, encompassing 112 pages of suspense and excitement. 
 photo SacagaweaBook_zps004a015c.jpgA quick download to my iPad was all it took to get us started!  I used this book as a daily read aloud to my kindergarten and 5th grade sons.  The plan was to read one chapter a day for 16 total chapters, but that got quickly trashed as the boys often begged me to keep reading "just one more chapter!"  The only thing that slowed us down was my voice getting tired...these are hefty chapters!  Since we have spent most of our military life in the mid west, my kids have a real interest in the exploration in that area.  Sacagawea is one of the explorers we have read a lot about, but reading about her in a historical fiction book really helped bring her character to life for us.  To get a glimpse of what she may have felt or thought was a neat addition to the research we had done previously.  While many of those thoughts and feelings are only speculation, Kayla relied on and often quoted diary entries made during the famous expedition.
The story is intense let me tell you!  From raiding Indians to waterfalls and mudslides, there is a lot of action.  I was a little concerned a few times when we started to read about the injuries some obtained on the journey and the dogs they bought to eat, but I guess it should be no surprise that it did not seem to bother the boys at all.  Go figure!
But what makes a book interactive?  All of the links throughout the text.  Wow!  Each time something was mentioned, from a coyote to a river to a specific weapon used,  there was a Internet link to go to for more information.  Some were even you tube videos on a particular subject.  This did trip us up for a while because at first every time the boys saw a highlighted word they wanted to click on it, but we finally agreed that they could look at as many as they wanted AFTER I had finished reading for the day.  That worked out better for us and was less of a distraction than going back and forth.  After we finished reading I left them to click away.  Don't worry, I did not miss much as they were continually running in to show me what they found.  Many of the links take you to Karla's personal blog, The History Scroll, that provides a wealth of information she learned from her research for the book.  Those were definitely our favorite links.

What can you do with this book?
First of all, enjoy!  It can be just a fun read aloud for the whole family!
Secondly, tie it to your history studies!  If you are going to be studying Lewis and Clark I would add this to your must read list.  It really will make a great addition.
Thirdly, use it as a springboard for a research paper.  Or two. The links are amazing!  Obviously a lot of time, thought and effort has been put into each link and I can see book reports flowing from those links alone!

You can purchase of complete ebook  Kindle edition for $4.97.

Happy reading!
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  1. I loved this review! Thanks for sharing it and it made me smile reading about how your boys liked the research blog. The picture is precious. May I use it in my newsletter? Thanks for the great review and God bless your homeschooling efforts!

    1. Thank you Karla for your kind words! You are so welcome! We really enjoyed the book and hope there will be more to come. How about Crazy Horse? ;) You most certainly are welcome to use it in your newsletter. I am honored you would ask!


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