Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Graphic Novels For The Win

Let's talk about books for a few minutes!  It is one of my favorite subjects, after all.  I can remember the excitement of each of my children reading their first word, and once they could read entire books- well, that was pure joy for me!

The power of the written word is unending.  It spurs imagination, expands vocabulary, takes you to places you will never visit, and teaches you things you can not even fathom. There is very little that compares, and I am so very thankful I have a household of book lovers!

One of the advantages of homeschooling is we are able to do literary rich learning.  Not only do our textbooks teach us, but we are often able to tie the books we are reading to our current lessons as well.  Since history is a favorite subject around here, books that have historical stories, whether fact or fiction, are a favorite.

This is why when I saw the titles A Family Secret and The Search, offered by Timberdoodle Co.,I knew I needed them in our home!  Both books, written by Eric Heuvel, are about 60 pages long and packed with excitement and suspense.  These historical fiction books for young readers (5th grade and up) are graphic novels written about World War II.   In The Family Secret, a young boy finds his grandmother's scrapbook, and learns what it was like to live in Amsterdam during the German occupation.  The Search tells the story of a young girl, Esther, who was separated from her family during the war.  As an adult, and with her grandson's help, she seeks to learn what became of her parents.  The books are tied together with a surprising twist.

Both books are captivating, and while I bought them to further enhance the learning of my 7th grade son in his studies of WWII, I found his older brother, age 18, reading them, as well as his history- loving older sister.  A book that spans the ages is indeed a keeper. 

We love that these books are told from a personal perspective.  Giving thoughts and feelings to the characters who "experience" the war brings the stories to life, and I believe help younger children better understand how wars affect people, bringing much empathy and understanding to a generation who has not experienced such hardship as of yet.  While we have used these books to support our history lessons, they would be a good addition to anyone who enjoys history and the graphic novel style.  I admit it is one that is harder for me to enjoy, but that is not the case for my kids!  They have all thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend them.

Because of the sensitive subject matter and drama that is portrayed, I suggest a parent read these books first to determine if they are appropriate for your child.  There is one use of strong language in The Search.

Both The Family Secret and The Search are part of the Timberdoodle 6th grade Curriculum kit.  A downloadable study guide is also available.

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