Reviewing Bessie’s Pillow Published by Strong Learning Inc
This a review of the book, Bessie’s Pillow published by Strong Learning Inc.
Kira loves to read. Love is an understatement, actually. By the age of 6 she had read virtually all of the young children’s section of our local library. This was on top of her own personal collection which held 200+ titles.
Her love of reading was inherited from my Mother, I imagine. Many of her personal collection were given to her by my Mother before she passed from cancer in 2009. I mention my Mother as the following review will have quite a bit to do with her.
I knew prior to receiving the book that this would be a wonderful lesson for Kira, especially with the current state of affairs in our country with immigration. As descendants of immigrants, I felt this was a perfect lesson prompt for Kira about immigration. Linda Bress Silbert’s “Bessie’s Pillow” is an absolutely perfect way to begin a homeschool lesson about immigration. Her historical fiction first person account of an immigrant’s plight truly is outstanding and a perfect way to introduce a young mind into the world of an immigrant.
Kira quickly read through the 279 (small font) novel in an afternoon. I did not ask Kira to read it quickly. This was her own doing. Although she loves reading, she does not love every book she reads. Bessie’s Pillow falls under the category of a book she loved.
Kira’s favorite character was Nathan Dreizen. Kira normally finds history boring, but said this story was great.
After reading the book, Kira was curious and eager to learn more. She asked permission to visit the Bessie’s Pillow website as mentioned in the back of the book. Once we visit the site and landed on the Discover Bessie’s America page, the fun began!
Once we began exploring the website we quickly navigated to the European Immigration page. Once there, we started our own little ancestry search. I knew a handful of information only. As I mentioned earlier, I lost my Mother in ’09 to cancer. I lost my father at the tender age of 11. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents have also passed. Although I do have quite a gigantic family on both sides, I do not have a great deal of lineage information. In tow with what little I could remember, we began our search. What a delight this was! I had done this once before in about 2007….information was not as readily available as now, however, and I could not find much at all. This time though, we found a plethora of knowledge all at our hands courtesy of the links on :Discover Bessie’s America page!
My Mother’s grandparents hail from Ireland and Germany, we found them in no time. Our search took us back to my great-great grandparents before we were forced to stop for dinner! I printed off what we found. We next will begin our search on my Father’s side, then we get to begin my husband’s ancestry.
Now our St. Patrick’s day celebration and my preparation of brisket and soda bread has a new meaning for Kira, as do the decorations around our home on the holiday. The history behind the celebrations we have will help keep traditions for many generations to come, I hope. I fondly remember my Nana telling me stories and now I can share those with Kira.
Our searches have not cost us a single penny either! Although there are several sites out there that may provide more information at a price, we managed to obtain all our information without spending any money!