I was given the opportunity to review a series of books whose goal is to use a fun story to teach youth about American history. The series is the Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh. This is a set of five books written by Rush Limbaugh (some co-written by his wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh). Besides just the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series, there is also an accompanying website which contains different activities and further information about the characters and events of the books.
The books, themselves, are nicely made...hardcover with shiny dust jackets and heavy "aged-document-looking" pages. They are definitely a quality-made product. The author, Rush Limbaugh...well, we are probably mostly all familiar with him from his radio show. In the acknowledgments section of the first book, Limbaugh shares his inspiration for writing the series: his wife Kathryn reminded him of his "frustration with what many kids are learning today and suggested that (he) tell the amazing stories of our country's founding in an easy to understand way." And so we have this series from the Limbaugh family.
The books follow Rush Revere, a teacher passionate about history, who substitute-teaches and otherwise engages students from his local middle school. He wants to share his passion for history with the students, but also wants to teach them about life today through a historical context. His methods of teaching are based on time travel, aided by his camera and his time travelling buddy, a talking horse with lots of abilities named Liberty. Liberty has a lot to say about mostly everything.
Book one finds Rush and Liberty (and a few students) experiencing life with the Pilgrims, from before they began their journey to the new life at Plymouth. In book two, Rush, Liberty, and some students get to meet "the first patriots" -- folks such as Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and more (and have to stop a student from trying to change history!). In book three, one of the students' father is deployed overseas -- in the time travel adventure he and a few others visit the time period of the American Revolution to learn why people fought/fight and why freedom is so important, both then and now. Book four features a different student as Rush takes him and a few others to Washington D.C. to learn about our country's government and its history (and even the national anthem!). Book five is all about the presidency; students are engaged in an election in their school and they learn about some of the past presidents by visiting them and their families.
My 12 year old daughter was the one in our family who dove right into reading these books. She enjoys reading mostly everything and was glad to begin this series!
So what did we think? First of all I'll share her thoughts: "I liked reading the books. They’re more like story-ish than informational. I wouldn’t use them for actually learning in depth. It focuses on the horse a lot. It’s kind of too much that the horse can do. I like the history part of it too. But still, they are nice stories."
I also read some of the books, and truthfuly, I did not love them. I agree that so much of the book is about Liberty the horse, as well as how they were doing what they were doing. I realize that this is part of their appeal, it just didn't appeal to me. The writing style (and grammatical style -- punctuation, sentence structure, etc.) was not what I would consider "good writing" -- and that annoyed me a little as well. I think that maybe it was written in a casual, chatty style, which, I'm sure, will appeal to many folks -- it's just not my favorite.
All in all, I'd recommend these books as recreational reading for children; fiction which teaches about history is a good thing. My daughter, at 12 years old, is probably at the top of the suggested age for these books. I can imagine a family with younger children enjoying these as read-alouds, giggling together at some of the things Liberty comes out with.
You may also enjoy the many facets of the website that accompanies the Adventures of Rush Revere on which readers can play games (both online and printed), find resources for homeschoolers, take quizzes, find book suggestions, learn fun facts, and more!
|One of the word scramble games on the site|
Please click on the link below to see what other reviewers have to say about this series!