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text 2017-09-19 12:42
More for the Education Shelf
5th Grade Geography: Seas and Oceans of the World: Fifth Grade Books Marine Life and Oceanography for Kids (Children's Oceanography Books) - Baby Professor
4th Grade US History: The Civil War Years: Fourth Grade Book US Civil War Period (Children's American Revolution History) - Baby Professor
4th Grade Geography: North and South Poles: Fourth Grade Books Polar Regions for Kids (Children's Explore Polar Regions Books) - Baby Professor

I realize that these state that they are for 4th and 5th grades, but I felt that they might have some information that would be good for what we are studying, but these were too young. I felt that they would have been good for kindergarten or 1st graders over 4th or 5th graders. 


The pictures in the books were very well done and the wording was definitely for teaching, but was definitely too young for the grades mentioned. 



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review 2017-09-18 22:49
Finally Allowed on the Computer!
No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews
For Home And Country: A Civil War Scrapbook - Norman Bolotin

Sorry, I know they are different genres and different uses, but this is the first time in 5 days I have been allowed on the computer! We have 3 computers and 5 people and someone is always on the computer and I hate doing updates on a tablet or phone, so I have been waiting for a computer to be vacated so I could get on and make updates. 


Since I finished the Civil War book first, I will start there. This is another book that I got for school use. It was a really good read and full of some interesting facts, that I will be using when I lecture on the Civil War (tomorrow). The girls are not going to be happy, but there is a test at the end of this study grouping. This book was full of names, dates, and facts that they may not be aware of, for instance, our current army is uniform in looks and dress, while Revolutionary to Civil War forces were mixed and matched adding problems to the fight, attacking their own sides. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for information on the Civil War or Wars in general. 


I finished "No Nest for the Wicket" by Donna Andrews today. I love her books and this book is no exception. I reread this book because she had a new book come out in August and another coming out in time for Christmas. Her books are full of words that are fun to use in vocabulary tests (yep, my kids were groaning as I would say, "Oooooh, here is another word!" 


In this story, Meg's family member referred to as Mrs. Fenniman, reads about a new sport, Xtreme Croquet. She loves croquet and loves the idea of playing Xtreme Croquet. With the help of Meg's family, her dad getting the farmers to let them use their land, and Mrs. Fenniman posts that they will be having a competition and opens it to anyone who wants to play. A team of college boys comes to play and "The Dames," members of the Historical Society and another group from town with "The Clones" and Meg's family team are playing. As they play, the competition is ruthless and Meg's ball is hit into some briars and she finds the body of a woman, no one admits to knowing. When they find out who she is and where she is from, it becomes apparent that many of the competitors are lying. Meg tries to find out who really did the deed and stumbles across another mystery and learns the truth about the Pruitts that make them appear to be less than they are, because of a prank from some college kids in the 1950's. 



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url 2017-09-14 03:24
Arguing History #3: Was Presidential Leadership Decisive in Determining the Outcome of the Civil War?

My third Arguing History podcast is up! In it, I host historians William J. Cooper and Richard Carwardine in a discussion of the question, "Was Presidential Leadership Decisive in Determining the Outcome of the Civil War? " Enjoy!

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review 2017-09-11 15:18
Another Book for History Class
Civil War Forts (Uhc) - Victor Brooks

This year we are studying the Civil War. We are looking at what led to the Civil War and the Battles. While I sat at the library waiting for my girls, I spied this book (and about 6 others) sitting near where I was and grabbed them up to see if they would be good for the lessons. 


I started the one yesterday and finished it this morning. It is a fast read and very good information on the Forts that were battled over and why they were battled over and how the fight for it took place. 


The front before the forts lists dates and the order that the battles took place. The first shot of the Civil War, by whom and where. First person to die in the Civil War and how that happened (an accident during a celebration). 


The author also talks about how the different generals and officers knew each other and their connections and their feelings about this war. 


On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and the information it contained. Definitely, recommend this book to others who homeschool or just want more information. This was found in the "Teen" Room at the library. 

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text 2017-08-27 18:14
Remembering Confederates by reading about them

A couple of days ago the New York Times ran a piece related to the ongoing controversy over Confederate memorials in which the author recommended three books "that address two Civil War generals and one president . . . and how they are remembered." The books recommended are good ones, though not the best that could have been chosen given the stated goal (Wallace Hettle's Inventing Stonewall Jackson, for example, is a much better work to read for understanding the general's posthumous image than James Robertson's massive tome).


What struck me as I read the article, though, was the futility of its purpose. Are we really to believe that the people who are loudly objecting to the dismantling of Confederate monuments are doing so because of a concern that history will be forgotten without then? As many people have pointed out, if anyone is truly interested in learning about them, all they have to do is go to one of the many libraries which are chock full of books about the Civil War, its origins, and its aftermath. Yet I strongly doubt that any of the people so loudly complaining about historical ignorance have bothered to read any of these works, not the least reason being that doing so would expose them to uncomfortable truths that contradict the stories posted on the plaques of those monuments they are now championing.


Still, if I am wrong here then I would encourage anyone who is sincere in learning about the leading figures of the Confederacy to read these books instead, all of which provide far more information on a single page than can be crammed onto a plinth.


The Marble Man: Robert E. Lee and His image in American Society by Thomas L. Connelly. The biography of Lee recommended in the Times article is a fine study for anyone wanting to understand the real person. What Connolly does by addressing Lee's lionization is more subversive, though, and the fact that he did it 40 years ago made it a braver effort than it would be today. Connolly's tendentiousness has been criticized both then and afterward, but his book remains important for understanding how Lee came to have such an over-inflated status in the popular imagination.


Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper. This is not just the best biography ever written about the president of the Confederacy but one of the best biographies I have ever read. Cooper presents a complex portrait of a man of considerable gifts and convinced views about the virtues of slaveholding, views which drove him to renounce his citizenship and lead a rebellion. Anybody with more than a passing interest in the Civil War needs to read the book for Cooper's rehabilitation of his tenure as the Confederates' chief executive, which was often criticized as a means of rehabilitating the mistakes made by Lee and other Confederate generals.

General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier by Jeffery D. Wert. As Steven Holmes recently explained, there's a reason why monuments to Longstreet are few and far between. Though among the most successful Confederate commanders, after the war he committed the apostasy of urging his fellow Southerners to work with African Americans politically rather than subjugating them with a new regime of inequality. That he was excluded from the memorialization that took place during the Jim Crow era is among the best evidence for the true purpose of all of those statues.

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