Classical Academic Press (CAP) is a wonderful company that offers products on subjects like languages, Bible, poetry, art, and logic. They produce "superlative educational materials to advance the revival of classical education" (CAP). If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you may have seen my reviews on their products Latin Alive, God's Great Covenant, and The Art of Argument. Each of these are fine examples of the products that Classical Academic Press offers.

We've, once again, been blessed to review another great product offered by CAP, The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic. We received both, the student text and the The Discovery of Deduction: Teacher's Edition. This curriculum is geared for students in 8th grade or higher. It may seem like formal logic would be a difficult subject for students as young as 12 or 13 to learn, but Classical Academic Press has creatively designed The Discovery of Deduction to explain it and make it "accessible and relevant" to them. This curriculum emphasizes "the practical and real-world application of soundly structured, deductive logic" (CAP).
The Discovery of Deduction (TDOD) should follow a study of informal logic, like CAP's The Art of Argument, but can be a stand alone curriculum if you choose.

So what is Formal Logic? Let's start with the definition of logic first. It is the "art and science of reasoning," according to TDOD, and it can be divided into two sections, formal & informal..


Informal logic (inductive) deals mostly with generalizations that can be debated and the content of the argument. It is not typically an absolute but could be considered "shades of grey".
Formal logic (deductive) "looks at reasoning in the abstract". It focuses on the form of the argument and isn't so concerned with the content of it. The argument would either be valid or invalid (absolute values).

There is, obviously, much more to logic than the brief descriptions I gave above. To me, logic is a fascinating subject and I enjoy teaching it. Classical Academic Press' The Discover of Deduction really breaks formal logic down into simpler terms and makes it fun.


Why should your student learn about formal logic? I could give you many reasons why logic is important, but CAP said it best in TDOD with "one of it's greatest personal benefits is the ability it gives you to examine and clarify your own personal thoughts, or your own mental acts." (pg. 33) Though understanding logic may not seem to be essential in life, it's rewarding on a personal level, and can ultimately become fundamentally vital to our children.

So how, exactly, does The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic teach formal logic? It starts out with an introduction and compares and contrasts it to informal logic. The student will also learn a little history on logic. Then jumps into lessons. Each lesson, beginning with lesson 1, offers objectives in the beginning, then discussion, review, questions, "deduction in action", and "Socratic dialogue". The "Deduction in Action" sections offer either an historical piece, or a suggested activity that encourages deeper exploration into the topic. For example, in lesson 1, the text encourages the student to download Socrates' "Apology" and gives the needed website. Then there are questions to answer. Throughout the text, the "Deduction in Action" are interesting and fun. We enjoyed taking that step to learn more. It does actually enhance the understanding of the lesson. 

The Teacher's Edition offers the entire student text, as well as answers, teaching tips, and sample essays, dialogues, and arguments. It was really nice to have the answers, especially to the "Deduction in Action" sections. These are an important aspect to the lesson, in my opinion, and I certainly do not know all of the answers. It was great having the suggested responses/answers to refer to. But most of all, having the entire student text was wonderful. I knew exactly what they were reading and could follow along or correct on the spot.

You can download a sample chapter of the book, including the table of contents here. And a sample chapter of the teacher's edition here

The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic also includes a glossary in the back as well as 2 very interesting articles, "Analyzing Arguments Inductively" & " Handling Religious, Moral, and Ethical Disputes". Both of the articles really create deep thought in the reader, in my opinion. My kids and I had interesting discussions after reading them. It was a great way to introduce (or expand our discussions of) certain topics relevant to today's world. 

How To PurchaseThe Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic is available for $26.95 and The Discovery of Deduction: Teacher's Edition is available for $29.95.
What We Thought: Again, we loved this curriculum. CAP has offered terrific products and have not disappointed us with this one. We worked together on it, at least twice a week We were able to expand our knowledge of formal logic well. We have been in speech and debate for several years and have learned informal logic because of it. It was really nice to explore formal logic for a change. I do believe I will be using this for our club next season. It's a good contrast to informal logic, and just as vitally important.

The discussions that we had each week with the lessons were great. We enjoyed the Socratic dialogue, too. It was interesting to see Socrates in action, explaining formal logic in a way that made sense. 

My daughter (17) believes that this curriculum would be best in a class or club format. She didn't necessarily like having to do it with just her brother (12) and me. She likes deep discussion and, though we could get to that point sometimes, other times we had limited time. But it's nice to bring the topic back up while we're driving. We usually drive for at least 30 min. when going somewhere, which offers a lot of time for thoughtful discussions.

I am confident you will like The Discovery of Deduction, and that your student (and you) will learn a great deal from it. Try it out but downloading the sample chapter and see. 
 
 
An old Cherokee told his grandson,
“My son, there’s a battle between two wolves inside us all. 



One is evil.

It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, dishonesty and selfishness.


The other is Good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, compassion & truth.”



The boy gave this some thought and eventually asked, “Which one wins?"


The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."

Author Unknown
 
 
Teaching writing and grammar can be both challenging and exciting. As our children are learning the basics of grammar, there is often frustration while they try to link it all together. But once they've reached the point where they can put their thoughts together and write on paper what their ideas are, there is an exciting new world they've entered that they can share with others.

Essentials in Writing offers a complete language arts program for grades 1 through 12. Each grade offers lessons appropriate for that level: from sentence formation to writing a research paper. Each course comes as a DVD set and includes PDF printable worksheets and answer sheets. There is also an included instructional guide for you to help get started. 

Essentials in Writing was created by Matthew Stephens. He is also the instructor in the videos. He earned an Elementary Education degree and is certified in Elementary education and Middle & High school English. His goal with Essentials in Writing "is to help produce confident writers who enjoy the study of language". By achieving this goal, students will learn "the concepts that are critical to effective written communication".

As members of the SRC, we received the 8th Grade Essentials in Writing curriculum. It is recommended for students ages 13-14.
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This 4 DVD course includes:
* 64 Video Lessons *
* 157 pages of worksheets & answers *
* 15 optional grammar review video lessons *

The 8th grade curriculum topics include:
* Sentence Development *
* Writing Techniques *
* Paragraph Development *
* Compositions *
* Narrative *
* Compare & Contrast *
* Formal Essay *
* Persuasive Essay *
* Choosing/Narrowing a topic *
* Expository Essay *
* Research Paper *
for additional syllabus

So How Does It Work? With the 8th grade course, you have the option of having your student review grammar with the "intense grammar review". It is on the same CD/DVD as the PDF worksheets. It is not required for the course and does not have worksheets to complement the lessons, but is a nice review for students that might need it. Topics like subjects & predicates, nouns/possessive nouns, subject/verb agreements, adjectives & adverbs, capitalization, & punctuation are all covered in the 15 supplemental lessons.

Mr. Stephens recommends reviewing these at the beginning of the course if necessary and then referring back to them should your student not be familiar with a topic during the course of the year.

Once you have made the decision about the grammar lessons, you and your student will move on to the actual lessons. Mr. Stephens suggests reviewing the worksheets first, then watching the lesson (you can view a sample lesson below), complete the worksheet, and finish with a quick look ahead at the next lesson. There is no set time that is required for each lesson, it is dependent on your student's understanding of the subject. 

One of the great ideas that are in place with this program is that the worksheets correlate with the video lesson by number and letter; for example, 3A & 3B worksheets are to be used with video lesson 3. It's a good way to keep track of the lessons. The video clips are short, maybe 5-10minutes long. Mr. Stephens uses a white board to demonstrate the lesson. Each lesson spins off of the previous one so the student is learning in progression. While learning writing, the lessons encourage reviewing your work and ensuring your complete thoughts are expressed. If they are not, then the piece is modified. Mr. Stephens stresses the importance of writing what you're thinking so that your reader can enjoy it the way you intended.

How To Purchase: Each grade level can be purchased for $40, which includes all of the video lessons, worksheets, answer sheets, and instruction guide. This is an incredible price for a full year language arts curriculum. You can also purchase a pre-printed workbook for $20 if you prefer not to print out the worksheets. Essentials in Writing is upgrading their program to digital and will be offering their PDF files via a digital route instead of on the CD's. Not all grades are upgraded yet, as of this review date. If you have any questions prior to purchasing, they have a contact us tab on their site.

What We Thought: I have to admit, I wasn't totally sure about the reaction I would receive when we started this. My son (7th grade) was a struggling reader, and now is sort of a "struggling doer". He's not fond of schoolwork, most of the time. My daughter (12 grade), on the other hand, loves school. So I chose to use this course together with the both of them, to see how it would go. With him a year behind the level, and her several years ahead, I thought it might just work. 

I did start with reviewing the optional grammar lessons. Since my son had struggled for so long with reading, many other aspects of language arts fell to the wayside as we pushed forward with reading. I really liked the lessons that Mr. Stephens added. The first review lesson, subject/predicate, is a basic sentence structure lesson, but it's a very important one. Knowing how and why the two go together is essential to moving to the next step. Actually, all of the grammar review lessons are basic lessons, but are so important to have a grasp of prior to moving on to the lessons in the curriculum. I was impressed with how much my son actually did remember about basic grammar. He didn't necessarily remember the titles, but while going over it together, he would be able to remember the concept quickly. The last review was on capitalization rules. This was definitely a lesson my son needed to review. We have gone over this many times before, but it seems like he was able to understand it a little better after watching Mr. Stephens explain it.

Since I usually add in photos to my posts to break up all the print, I'll add a sample video here of one of the lessons by Mr. Stephens. My review continues below the video.
For the curriculum itself, as I said above, we worked together doing it. We set aside time each morning to complete at least on lesson. One of the first things my daughter said was, "why didn't we have this when I was learning these[lessons]. I wouldn't have had to review so much for the SAT". Mr. Stephens seems to be able to take each lesson and explain it in simpler terms, like taking a math equation and simplifying it before completing it. My son wasn't too keen on it at first, but then realized it wasn't so bad. I printed out the worksheets and after the lesson would have him try to complete as much as he could. I think he surprised himself, even, that he could do it. 

For this review, we moved a little faster through the lessons to get the full feel of the program. It was important, though, to ensure that my son understood the lessons prior to the next one we chose. We quickly moved through the first few lessons of sentence development. The biggest issue was expanding the sentences to become a complex sentence. 

While going through this program, I was reminded of an episode of Little House on the Prairie when all the students needed to write an essay about someone they admired. Laura was young, but chose to write about her mother. She couldn't write all of the words she wanted and couldn't form the essay the way she had it in her head. She spoke one "essay" while another, much simpler version, was on the sheet. There's more to that story but it made me realize the importance of Mr. Stephens' goal. Encouraging children to be able to communicate what they're thinking through their written words is inspiring. 

Going back to our experience. As we moved on to higher lessons, we came to lesson 11A: Using imagery in writing. It discusses using "vivid language" to bring your words to life. The worksheet references Mark Twain's "Don't tell me the old lady screamed. Drag her in here and let her scream!". It sounds funny but makes a ton of sense. Don't just say it, show it. I remember teaching this to my daughter a few years ago. It was difficult for her to get at first. With this lesson, my son finally was able to get it. Though I was doing most of the writing (it's coming along, though, lol), he was coming up with the ideas. It was fun working with him to create little stories from each individual sentence. 

Several of the lessons (personal narrative, persuasive & expository essay's) are similar to speeches that we have in our speech & debate club, so both of my kids have had experience writing them. But the way that Mr. Stephens broke the lessons down really allowed them to work through the creation step by step. It made the process simpler and more enjoyable.

Overall, we really liked Essentials in Writing. The one thing that we didn't really like was the audio quality of the DVDs. It sounded like there was a slight vibration or echo. It did this on our t.v. and on the computer. It wasn't too overly distracting, but was definitely noticeable.

I am impressed with the quality of the curriculum in Essentials in Writing, aend am confident you will like it, too. You can see samples of the lessons on the website for each grade as well as the corresponding syllabus. Check it out for yourself. $40 for a full year language arts curriculum is an excellent price. To read reviews from SRC members for other Essentials in Writing grade levels click below.
 
 
I have been working on this post since January. It's crazy, but everytime I try to finish it, I'm interrupted. The irony is, that's what it's all about. Read on to learn what I'm talking about.
Have you ever heard about choosing a Word of the Year to focus on throughout the year: pray on, think about, or set a goal toward? I have recently been introduced to this through a fellow blogger. 

So what exactly is the concept about? I believe that it's about selecting a word that represents a goal you'd like to achieve or a change you'd like to have in your life (or within your family). 

Every year, millions of people look at the new year as a means to set resolutions and attempt to accomplish them: like going to the gym, or eating better, or getting organized. Whatever they might be, most people do not end up completing their resolution or reaching that goal. Why? Probably because it turns out a little more difficult than thought, or it's impractical, or even illogical. I do not usually set resolutions because I think it's irrational to believe that the drop of a ball or stroke of a clock can actually change a person's attitude about something. However, I am going take this challenge to pick a word that encompasses a few of the things that I've been thinking about changing or modifying in my life.

So how did I choose my word? I asked my daughter, lol. I actually did ask her. . . but after I had thought about it for a while. I had chosen a few words that represented definite areas in my life that need to change (or that I would like to change) and then talked with her about it. She has an incredible insight into many things. Though we tease that she over analyzes everything, she is wonderfully blessed with the ability to think through things, and add an element of innocence with intelligence. 

My word? Simplify. Why did I choose this. Let me start with the definitions and then I will explain:

From Merriam-Webster online:

- to make simple or simpler: as
a: to reduce to basic essentials
b: to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline
c: to make more intelligible : clarify

All 3 of the definitions are relevant to why I chose simplify. 

A. "To reduce to basic essentials". We always have something going on in our family. From work, to school, to music, to dance, to here and there, it seems like our days consist of running, running, running. I would like to see our days more simplified. More of the "basic essentials". How can we accomplish this? There are many ways, I think. And I am praying we find one that works for us.

B. "To diminish in scope or complexity: streamline". Simplifying life doesn't just mean going to the basic essentials, either. It means making things run smoother, streamlining. (Or at least that's my opinion of this definition.) I would like us to work together to find areas that we can "diminish" the complexity of and streamline the flow of things. 

C. "To make more intelligible: clarify". I think this might be the first step we (I) need to take to accomplishing the other 2 definitions. Turn to The Lord for direction. Clarify our goals and where The Lord wants us. Allow Him to lead us through each day and simplify according to His word and His will. Of all of the definitions listed, I believe this is my favorite. It turns my eyes upon Him.
Now that we are well into March and this post is about the word of the year, I can actually add in how it's been going. Though we haven't totally simplified yet, I think we are on the right path. We have found a new church to attend. Church is a vital part of focusing on Him and clarifying our days. The messages heard, the lessons learned, and the fellowship that occurs are all so important to a christian's walk. We are trying to decrease our time away from home, although this hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped. Being home may not always seem relaxing because of the various tasks that must be done, but it is essential to being able to get to the basics. Realizing that all of the extras in life are not as important as what we have been blessed with right in our own home.

The one thing that is happening as a result of me trying to simplify, is that we are drawing closer to each other, as a result of growing closer to Him. I love that. He knows our every need. I am so thankful for my family and that He loves each of us. I am thankful that He has guided us to this point, and will continue to direct us in His path, if we only keep our eyes, and heart, focused on Him.

How about you? Do you have a goal that you are keeping this year? Or is there one you'd like to start working towards?

Thank you for reading : ^ )
 
 
 
 
As members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we have been introduced to many great products over the years that supplement our homeschool curriculum. Lone Star Learning falls into this category.

Lone Star offers products on subjects like math, science, and language arts. They are "committed to providing quality teaching tools, created by teachers, for teachers." They have physcial products as well as digital products available. For our review, we received a free one year membership to their digital product Target the Question.
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Target the Question is an easy to use product that is designed to increase your student's math problem-solving skills. It is based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) publication Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and is also correlated to the Common Core State Standards and to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
Target the Question utilizes an interesting concept to increase the students understanding of problem-solving. The student ultimately learns to find the pertinent information needed (and get rid of the extraneous info) to solve the question. To do this, the teacher and student work together with the problem of the week, until the student is then able to create additional questions based on the relevant information given.

How It Works: Target the Question Digital is available for grades 1-7 and can be purchased in English or Spanish. With the program, you will be able to download a pdf file that contains the following:

* 36 Problems of the week with 4 "extension sets" (extras) *
* 5 daily questions for each "problem of the week" *
* Virtual draw pad *
* Tutorial *



And a pdf file that contains:
* An  introduction to your specific grade Target the Question program *
* Teacher directions *
* A complete answer key for each of the problems *
* Correlations to the CCSS and TEKS *
* Student "Think Sheets" *
* Diagrams of "problem-solving strategies" print outs *


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Once you purchase your license and are able to login, you will gain access to your "dashboard". You will click into the program and see the program page. 

On this page you will see a button to start the program as well as the downloadable pdf file and tutorials.



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When you click on "Start Program" you will be taken to your Problem of the Week menu. 

To begin, you will start with week 1.

Each week you will see a brand new word problem. You and your student(s) will review the basics of the problem and begin to filter out the relevant information and the info that may not be necessary. 

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The problem to the left is from week 5 of grade 7. You can click the picture to enlarge it.

For the sake of the review, I added a few extras to the screen. The first screen you will see does not contain any question. You will simply see the problem along with the  toolbar at the bottom. 

After you have reviewed the problem with your student(s) and are ready for the first question, you will click "Monday" and then a problem pops up in a purple box (as seen in the picture). The toolbar contains buttons for each day of the week, pencils, highlighter, eraser, cleaner, draw pad, and menu button. In the screen shot, you will see the words "family of 5 went" underlined in blue and "5" highlighted. You can easily use the tools to point out information needed right on the screen. You will also see in the screenshot the draw pad (to the left of the shot). In the draw pad you can also choose a pencil and "write" on the draw pad to complete a problem or to keep your screen clean.

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Once you have worked through the problem with your student, you can click the "view answer" tab and the answer will pop up in the same purple box. 

Now you can compare the student's answer and work together to ensure understanding. 

The program is designed to review one problem each day. 

How to Purchase: To purchase Target the Question, choose your language and grade and then your license term. You have the option of purchasing 1-5 years. One year of Target the Question is $59.99. After you purchase, you will receive an email with your login information.

What We Thought: We have used Target the Question for several weeks for this review. My son (7th grade), daughter (12th grade), and I worked together to review the problems and questions. It was nice to be able to work together and go over each of the questions. I was impressed with their ability to come up with additional questions for the problems (which is the ultimate goal). We began to ask simple questions to each other that were thought provoking and helped to draw out the important information in the problem. 

With each question of the day, I had each of them try to come up with the correct answer alone. It often became a game, with them challenging each other to think quicker about the problem. It definitely improved their ability to filter the information. As an added bonus, we frequently found ourselves discussing things "out of the box" about the problem. For example, with the problem above, we discussed working for $3.25/hr pulling weeds for so many hours in order to pay for the whole family. And, paying $.45 an inch for the fish. We thought this was crazy, but we live in the country and take our own boat on the lake to fish. It costs us only gas : ^ ) But I liked the fact that we were able to expand the discussion to economics just with this simple problem

We all really liked Target the Question. It was fun, yet worthy, from an educational point of view. Problem-solving can be challenging for many students, because of all the extra information supplied. This program is a wonderful concept to help. My daughter liked the program because she said "I liked that we could work with the same problem for the whole week and that there were different questions for the same problem. Because that way we were able to work on finding the right information for each question. With the weekly questions having the same root problem, we weren't jumping around to random questions that didn't have anything to do with each other." My son said "It was cool. I liked that it wasn't just questions, they had a story to them." 

I liked that both kids enjoyed doing it and we had fun together . . . doing math : ^ )

I think you will find Target the Question a great asset to your math curriculum. Whether you homeschool or your children are in a traditional school setting, Target the Question will definitely prove beneficial and rewarding.

You can try it out first (scroll to the bottom), if you're not sure. You can read more reviews from other members of the crew by clicking below.
 
 
The American Dream. What do you think about when you hear that phrase? For me, I think about immigrants coming to the USA from Ireland, Italy, and other countries, a hundred years ago or more, seeking the Promised Land. Whether it was freedom from oppression in their native countries or the economic hope that was possible, America opened it's doors to many people seeking a better life.

Today's culture may allude to the American Dream, but doesn't encourage youth as it once did. Robert and Kathleen Basmadjian want to change that.

To do this, they created Inspiring the American Dream and wrote their book Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream.

Their mission "is to inspire today’s youth, by instilling in them the values, principles and virtues necessary to achieve the American dream" (Inspiring the American Dream[IAD]).
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I received a copy of Abraham's Journey as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Though it is available also as a physical book, we received the ebook to read on our iPad.

Abraham's Journey is about a boy growing up in the Great Recession. His journey begins when he learns that his parents lost their jobs and Christmas would be without presents. He wanted to get a job to help his family out and to "save Christmas" (IAD). While texting friends, Abraham Lincoln pops onto Abraham's screen and takes him on a time-travelling journey to learn about the American Dream. Along the way he meets "successful American icons" (IAD) like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Amelia Earhart, Norman Rockwell, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill & Melinda Gates. Each of the characters speak to Abraham about working to find his special talent, reaching his goals, and the American Dream. 

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Throughout the story, Abraham learns about perseverance, imagination, self-reliance, and entrepreneurship. He learns that the American Dream is not just about wealth, but about sharing with others and making a difference in their lives. 

On the last few pages of the book, there are definitions of terms used and character biographies for each of the people Abraham met in the story. The biographies are brief excerpts, but it was nice to read a few of the facts. It also encouraged us to learn more about each of them.

The artwork was interesting and detailed.. On our version of the book (the ebook), the colors were vivid and bright. Each picture is relevant to the story on the page, which is nice. 

How To PurchaseAbraham's Journey: A Celebration of the American Dream is recommended for kids ages 7-12. The ebook is 40 pages long (including the cover pages and title page). The physical book retails for $14.99 and is available through Inspiring the American Dream. The ebook is available through iTunes or Amazon (Kindle edition) for $9.99.

What We Thought: Overall, we liked the book. It did inspire us to learn more about the American Dream and the characters referenced in the story. After reading the book, my son first pointed out the biographies and definitions in the back. He liked that partof the book the most. The next thing he pointed out was one of the pictures. 

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Being a 12 year boy and preferring to look at the pictures before reading, he explores all the little details of each picture. So when he saw this picture, he excitedly called my daughter and said "look, it's Data's arm!!" This, of course, was in reference to Star Trek, lol. But what he was looking at was a yellowish blanket that Abraham is carrying and his father's adjacent hand. They blend together and look like a "severed arm", according to my son. It kind of does, too. This was just a lighthearted observation : ^ ) It did not distract from the overall story.

My daughter (17) liked the story, but stated that some of the words seem a little big for kids 7-12 and the concept of the story might be too mature for the younger reader. She also thought it seemed more like a book that parents might read to their children. This would actually be a good thing, because then, discussion of the American Dream and all of the historical figures can take place. 

I like the premise of the story. But I do agree with my daughter that some of the words are not typically in the recommended age group's vocabulary. I also agree that the overall concept may be missed by the younger readers. But I like that the idea of the American Dream has been revived by the Basmanjian's. Their dedication to helping the youth of America realize their potential is refreshing.

Although I liked the idea of the story, the art work, and the goal of the story, I was disappointed in the general historical content. As each character was mentioned, there was little discussed about what made them an important figure in American history or relation to the American Dream. The first 3 characters actually had almost nothing written about them. There are the brief biographies in the back, but a better place may have been in the front of the book so the reader has an idea of who each are before reading the story. Though I knew the characters, the one thing I wasn't sure about was the "Great Recession". I actually thought it was the Great Depression and couldn't understand why Abraham had a smartphone in the early 1900's. I did figure it out, though. This was one definition that I thought should have been in the back and wasn't. 

My main concern with the story is that God was only mentioned once, in the phrase "God's children". To me, the American Dream includes Him. I do not believe that we can get anywhere without Him. Abraham learns about "faith" but it's more of a faith in himself and his talents. I admire that he wanted to help his parents and that he learned compassion for others, but he started his journey with the pretense of buying Christmas presents to "save" Christmas.

I do think that Abraham's Journey is a nice book and would be inspiring to many. If you are teaching about the American Dream, it would certainly be a nice introductory story for your kids to read. 

So the question remains, is it possible to achieve the American Dream? That is a question I can not answer for you. I do know that working hard to achieve your goals, and allowing The Lord to lead you, will most certainly bring you closer than just sitting in your chair, watching t.v., and wishing you had . . . whatever that dream is.
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