We absolutely love history at our house. I was blessed to be raised by a father who loved history and I have tried to instill a love of history to my children as well. So, when we got the chance to review Bessie's Pillow from Strong Learning, Inc. we were very excited. We weren’t disappointed!
Have you ever had something in your family passed down from generation to generation that intrigued you? You might have wondered what the history or the significance of the object was? That is sort of what Bessie’s Pillow is all about. However it’s not just about the pillow but it is about 18 year old Boshka Markman (Bessie) who immigrated from Lithuania in 1906 to escape the persecution that many other Jewish people were experiencing in Europe.
Let me tell you, from the very beginning of this book my middle child, Joshua, was hooked. He practically begged for me to continue reading it to him since we used this as a read aloud for he and his younger brother Jacob. The book is super well written by Bessie’s granddaughter, Linda Bress Silbert and covers not only her immigration experience but her first years in America, her marriage and her family.
However, this is not just a fantastic biography, but it also comes with a study guide and some fascinating resources that make the story really come to life! I don’t know about you, but when I become entrenched in a historical novel that I really love, I want to immerse myself in that time period. Well, with the resources that come with Bessie’s Pillow you can actually see, hear and almost smell what it was like during that time period. There are movie clips, pictures and links to other sites that have to do with many topics that have to do with immigration and life in America during the 1900’s.
The online teacher’s study guide is also excellent. It includes questions and discussion topics for Language Arts, Social Studies, and, of course, History. It also has a fantastic time line that can be printed out and used while reading the book. The glossary of terms was also very helpful since many Russian and Jewish terms were used throughout the book that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
That’s not even all, though. The book itself has a fantastic section that gives more detail about many of the things mentioned in the book and what it was like living during that time period. There are also many pictures of Bessie and her family down through the years.
I know that you can tell by this review that we really, really love this book. It has become a favorite of Joshua and is also a favorite of mine. This 276 page novel can be used by all ages but an elementary ages child might need a little more help to understand some of the things that are happening and some of the language. To find out more about Bessie's Pillow from Strong Learning, Inc. click on any one of the links above. To find what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought about novel click on the banner below. You can also connect with the folks from Bessies Pillow on social media using the links provided below. Happy reading!