Friday, August 8, 2008

More literary gems

I'm writing this during commercial breaks for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I admit to being a mildly rabid Olympics fan, and I'm attempting something of a unit study with the kids on this subject. Tonight Ian and I painted Olympic flags while we watched the parade of nations. It was nice, especially because the rest of our day just wasn't that harmonious. Sigh.

Just wanted to share a couple other recommendations. I'm currently reading this great book called Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation. Most of us know what a great gal Abigail Adams was, but we know hardly anything about, say, the prodigious mind and talents of one Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a matriarch from SC who makes me proud to have a daughter (also from SC!) named Eliza. (Let's just say that age 16, her father went off to Antigua and left her to manage his THREE plantations ... she later almost singlehandedly introduced the indigo crop and convinced Great Britain to snap up unheard-of amounts of it.) I'm not very far into the book, but I love Cokie Roberts' writing style, and I love learning about these unsung heroines (Benjamin Franklin's wife; Aaron Burr's mother, etc.) who helped found our nation. It's one of the things I love about studying history -- learning the little-known stories of the amazing-yet-ordinary people who lived and worked behind the scenes.

And speaking of such people, the current soundtrack in our van is the audiobook version of Little House On The Prairie Low Price CD. The narrator, Cherry Jones of the velvet voice, is excellent, and not only are all the kids captivated (Caroline shrieks with delight when Pa says things to Ma like, "Come and see the roof, Caroline!"), but I have actually taken the wrong exit from the highway and made us ten minutes late to swimming lessons, which reminds me why I read the Little House series seven times through as a young bookworm. I'd better be careful or we'll end up in Dallas one of these days.


Julie said...

I think that is so wonderful for us to find out about the unsung heroes in woman's history..I just found out it was a woman who invented the bullet proof vest! And...many other inventions we use today. When I took woman's history in college I was shocked at all the things they left out of the history books about women in "regular" history class in high school and in college! I fully intend on educating my son on both the female and male historical accomplishments!:)

Becca said...

I love Eliza Pinckney's story! One of my favorite ladies of history.

We're Olympics junkies around here, also. I don't expect to do much for the next 9 days!