by Dave & Neta Jackson
|Religious/Secular Content||:||- yes, emphasizes that when we put our trust in the Lord, even when things look bad, He is faithfully working for a better end for those who lean on Him.|
|Adult Content||:||- no|
|Mature Topics||:||- yes-does deal with racism in an honest and open way.|
|Strong/Inappropriate Language||:||- Uses many terms that were common of the day when referring to African-Americans. (I only substituted words a couple of times.)|
|Drug/Alcohol Use||:||- no|
|Educational Value||:||- exposes children to how racism can affect the lives of others, and how pride and deceit can harm|
|Positive/Negative Message||:||- Promotes the desire to love people as God does, unconditionally. Encourages children to see the importance of working together as a family. Focuses on the recompense of hard work.|
Although these books have been around for a while this was our first reading adventure with the series. I read this with my three oldest, ages 5.5, 7.5 and 9 years. Obviously the older two were better suited for the book, but my 5 year old took a lot away from it, and enjoyed it very much.
The Forty-Acre swindle is set in Alabama in the late 1800's. It focuses on a young boy named Jesse Turner and his family. As was typical with the day, Jesse and his family face a good amount of racism from the, as the book labels it, "white folk" of the community. The only thing in the world that Jesse and his family own is their land, 40 acres of tired cotton farmed land. When someone begins to sabotage their efforts in harvesting for the new year they become desperate. As a chance meeting the Turner's meet a man by the name of George Washington Carver who does all he can to teach the Turners and their neighbors how to be self-sufficient farmers. With Mr. Washington's help the Turner's luck seems to have taken a turn for the better until the mysterious problems start, and their harvest is threatened once more.
This was an amazing book!!! The kids could not wait for each new chapter! I don't really know why I stayed away from these books but I am glad to have begun a friendship with the series.
The Jacksons spare nothing. This book is written about a very difficult time in our nation's history, yet the Jacksons do not shy away from bringing the reality of the things many African-American families endured during those difficult years. At first I was taken aback at the way some of the dialogue was written but it's a portion of our history that I decided our children needed some exposure to, so we read on. The story unfolds in an awesome way, and God's hand is seen clearly in how He used George Washington Carver to help many people become more self-sufficient, gain a knowledge for God's awesome creation, and become encouraged by his strong faith in the Lord.
I highly recommend this book! We will begin our 2nd book of the Trailblazer's series soon!!