The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Young Patriots Series Review by Heather Jackowitz

Patria Press, Inc.
PO Box 752
Carmel, IN 46082

Patria Press has reprinted two wonderful old Childhood of Famous Americans biographies and given them a new look. The cover art on both books is colorful and appealing, and there are more than ten detailed black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout the pages of each. Each book includes a timeline, further information about the subject's later life, and a glossary. The reading level appears to be about third or fourth grade.

Abner Doubleday: Boy Baseball Pioneer by Montrew Dunham tells the story of the young boy who would one day be credited with inventing baseball. A short essay called "Who Invented Baseball?" explains the author's reason for specifically calling Doubleday a "pioneer" and not an "inventor." This is an enjoyable look at the boy who became not only the credited inventor of America's game, but also a famous Civil War general who fought in the Battles of Gettysburg, Antietam, and Fort Sumter.

Phillis Wheatley: Young Revolutionary Poet by Kathryn Kilby Borland and Helen Ross Speicher is the inspiring tale of the young slave girl from Senegal who grows up in Boston during Revolutionary times and becomes one of America's most famous poets. Children will learn about slavery, colonial schools, the Boston Tea Party, and George Washington in this outstanding biography.

Told as a fascinating story, these biographies are a wonderful way of making history come alive for young readers. Children are sure to be inspired by stories of ordinary children who do extraordinary things.

Patria Press has many more titles available. Visit to see sample chapters, cover designs, and more. You can also sign up to receive a free Young Patriots Series newsletter.

--Product Review by Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2005

And another of their volumes:

Young Patriot Series: Lew Wallace; Boy Writer
Martha E. Schaaf
Patria Press
3842 Wolf Creek Circle
Carmel, IN 46033

This book is Volume 3 in the Young Patriot Series. It chronicles the childhood of Lew Wallace, the author of the famous novel, Ben Hur. Beginning with a gripping tale of how he saved his baby brother from an out of control carriage, it continues to highlight events that shaped his life until the age of 19. Beautifully illustrated with black and white pencils drawings, this book made history come alive. The reading level is about 4th grade, although it works very well as a read aloud for all ages. While learning details of Lew Wallace life, there is also information about the workings of early state governments, national elections and political parties. It contains some great insights into the daily life of early Americans and the hardships that they endured, including how Lew dealt with the death of his mother during his elementary years.

This book is an excellent example of how real literature can teach children. It opens up history to the young and creates a genuine interest in events that happened a hundred years ago. No matter what method of homeschool you use, this resource would be a great addition to your homeschool. I found this book to be especially inspiring to young boys. In a day and age where reading and writing are not things greatly encouraged in young boys, this book is a wonderful way to show boys what a male author looks like in real life. How surprising it was to learn that the author of the best-selling novel of the 19th century was also a solider in the Mexican war and Civil war, an Indiana state senator, and governor of the territory of New Mexico. Unless you prefer textbooks, which records only the bare facts, this is a fantastic history resource for your homeschool family.

-- Product Review by Annemarie Williams, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2005