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My Dinner With The Founding Fathers: A Collection of Short Stories About Dining with the Men Who Built America/The Men Who Built America Coloring Book Review by Lori Juarez

A.L. Talarowski
Under The Sun Publishing

My Dinner with the Founding Fathers is a collection of short stories published by Under the Sun Publishing that shares creative conversations the author, A.L. Talarowski, and important figures of the early United States have over dinner in the present day. The Men Who Built America Coloring Book supplements the book with pictures of each figure featured in the short stories and a brief paragraph about the person's contribution.

The author organizes the five-part book by significant events: Heroes of the Revolution, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Early American Presidents, and The Declaration of Independence. In addition, the book includes important and memorable historical figures like Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Witherspoon, and Thomas Jefferson. The book can be purchased by visiting the publishing company's website, and it is currently listed for $17.76. The e-book and audiobook are also available for purchase. The coloring book is $7.99. The book and coloring book are sold separately; however, the coloring book is not necessary to enjoy the benefits of the book.

The short stories are wonderfully and creatively written to make history enjoyable. It is humorous, witty, and charming so that children and adults alike will enjoy the storytelling of Talarowski and learn much about the founding of America. The author shapes the characters' dialogue from primary sources such as documents and letters the figures wrote; each source is cited.

As mentioned, My Dinner with the Founding Fathers is suitable for all ages. However, I chose to use the book and coloring pages with my eleven-year-old daughter, who had not studied US history until recently. We used the book as a supplemental resource to gain an understanding of the early United States and introduce critical historical figures. In addition, our homeschool used the book to explore a specific event we were learning about. For example, because it featured Nathaniel Greene and Samuel Adams, we found My Dinner with the Founding Fathers useful when discussing and reading about the Revolutionary War. It appears to be most suitable for homeschooling families; however, it is also an excellent resource for history teachers and enthusiasts.

I found it most helpful that the book does not feel like studying history; instead, the setting of the stories, the humor, and the dialogue presents itself as leisurely reading. Also, the footnotes provide a quick way to find the resources for further research. This is especially helpful for those who choose to teach history through exploration rather than specifically assigned readings. The book is an excellent homeschool tool that can help develop reading, history, and research skills packaged in a fun and knowledgeable short stories. The short stories make it more enticing for parents or teachers who worry about students with shorter attention spans. Each story is no longer than ten pages, but the author uses the pages wisely as she equally packs entertainment and learning throughout. An introduction of each person featured on the Cast of Characters pages at the front of the book gives extra biographical information outside the short story texts.

Overall, this has been a fantastic supplement in our homeschool, and I appreciate the care the author took to make history more enjoyable for students. The humor, fact-based dialogue, footnotes, and coloring pages give equal amounts of history and fun to satisfy both the parent's and child's expectations.

-Product review by Lori Juarez, The Old Schoolhouse®, January 2023