by Heather Bock
I was given the opportunity to review Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin, and I can easily say I’m so glad I was. This is a book that will stay on my shelf for years to come, one that won’t gather dust because I hope to use it regularly. You could put it on your shelf, too, if you enter and win the drawing below.
I’m a homeschooling mom, and the lens through which I teach is classical. One of the classical tenets I love is to steep your students in great literature, especially that has stood the test of time. Because of this viewpoint, I have already made reading, and in particular, reading related to our history curriculum, the backbone of our learning time. I use Story of the World for history, which I love, partly because the activity book that accompanies the history readings has lists of quality books that relate to who and what we’re studying that week in history. As a result, I have read a lot of stories from around the world to my kids–stories from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Japan, and more as we studied ancient history; stories from the Middle East, Africa, Germany, South America, Australia, and others as we delved into the Middle Ages; and I just picked up stories from the library from Scotland, the Netherlands, and Spain as we head into early modern times. These have been invaluable for giving my kids a broader view of their world. They have fleshed out the history in a rich way.
Therefore, although I loved the idea of this book, which gives lists of recommendations for great tales from around the world, I thought I didn’t need it because I already had such rich lists from which I draw weekly. However, after looking through the book, I realized it had something in which my lists were mostly deficient–books my kids could read on their own. Most of our history stories are ones I read to them. They are part of our curriculum, and I want to make sure we experience them together. What I’ve struggled with lately is finding good books for my kids to read on their own as they start becoming more independent in their reading, books not on my curriculum list, but on their reading level. The selections in Give Your Child the World are not only listed in order of geography, but in order of reading and maturity level, a very helpful tool for me.
I love that the author gives her own ideas for how to give children a global perspective besides reading, and the book is sprinkled throughout with other parents’ ideas on the topic. After telling her story, she also gives a case in the beginning of the book for the power of story, a case I enjoyed reading but didn’t really need as I was already sold on the idea. I loved her quote, though: “Nagging lectures from Mom and Dad simply can’t compare with the lessons of a story whose time has come.”
I think it’s obvious that I recommend this book to homeschooling parents who want their kids to see the world as more than just the city in which they live. However, I recommend it to any parent who desires that for their kids, and I would even recommend it to those with no kids, for the reason C.S. Lewis gives above: “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” Although I have traveled quite a bit, I myself have benefited greatly from reading books from around the world to my children, and I believe anyone else would, too.
The winner for the book Dwelling Places by Lucinda Secrest McDowell has been notified by email! Thank you to all who entered the drawing.
I get to give away one copy of Give Your Child the World, too! Here’s how you can enter to win: If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog by email, you can win one entry by clicking the button “follow” in the above right corner and typing in your email address. If you’ve already subscribed, or if you just want more entries, you can earn entries by sharing this book review post via social media. Remember, though, you have to be subscribed for your shares to count as entries. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three). Be sure to let me know in a comment if you’ve shared in a place where I won’t be notified and be sure to let me know your name so I can announce the name of the winner. I will announce the winner next Saturday when I post a guest post by a good friend of mine, so look for it! Thank you!