Most of the reading for the past week was dominated by pb10for10 (see Three Little Pigs post below), but I did notice this book sitting on the library shelf last week:
Betsy Hearne was my library science professor ten years ago at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She had recently released Seven Brave Women at the time and she incorporated the book into her Children’s Literature class. I didn’t think too much of the book at the time. I found it too wordy and questioned if children really cared about Hearne’s relatives.
Boy was I wrong! Earlier this year, I read a revealing article in the New York Times titled “The Stories That Bind Us.” The premise of the story is that children are longing to connect themselves to their family histories. In the modern era, we are so focused on the future that we often don’t do enough to ground our children with a sense of continuity and tradition. Hearne achieves this on a very personal level by writing about seven generations of women in her family, while at the same time making a political statement about the importance of women in history. Women didn’t always fight in wars, she emphasized, but that that doesn’t make their contributions any less important.
My children were deeply moved by this story. Plus, it encouraged me to think about the women in my family history and relate those stories to my kids. Ages 4+by