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Fireworks and Freedom

By Carol Amato and Ann Koffsky
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

250 Wireless Blvd.
Hauppage, NY 11788

Fireworks and Freedom is a Fourth of July story and activity book from the Let's Celebrate Series by Barron's. It is a 48-page paperback book. The first 27 pages tell the story of Independence Day, including the events that led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the way that Americans have celebrated this holiday over the years. The activity portion of the book features lyrics to traditional Fourth of July songs and simple craft and recipe ideas.

This book is not written strictly for homeschoolers, but it could certainly be used in a homeschool setting. For those who take the summer off from traditional schooling, this book would be great for summer reading and continued learning. Those who school year-round or who use a unit-study approach will find this book a good add-on resource for a study on United States holidays or American history.

You could sit down and read this book in one sitting or assign small segments to be read each day along with activities. The activities make this book great for those who prefer hands-on learning.

I enjoyed this book, though I did find a few typographical errors in it. Also, credit is wrongly given to John Henry for the famous quote "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry is the true originator of this phrase. I did contact the publisher about this error as I felt it was too big to be overlooked; I have not heard back from them. I should also add that this book is not written from a Christian perspective. I did not find anything offensive in it; however, it does not mention our country's Christian heritage, which I think is an important part of the forming of our nation's independence.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2007

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