My history lover was thrilled when she opened the package containing Bessie's Pillow from Strong Learning, Inc. I love receiving review products that instantly grab my children's attention, and this is definitely one of those products.
Like I said, Olivia loves history and so she grabbed the book as soon as it was delivered and sat down to read the first 15 chapters without interruption. She finished the reading it the following day, and I could tell she really enjoyed reading it because I'd hear little "awww, that's so sad" and other comments as she read. When asked what she like the most, Olivia replied that she enjoyed reading about how real people lived (and sadly died) during the early 1900's, and being able to tie that into the facts she knows. She like that this book added a personal, human reality to those facts. Knowing real people, and what they went through impacts her greatly, and she will remember this book for a great while.
I also read the entire book, and it took me about 3 hours to read it one night after everyone else was in bed. It's an easy read format and it just seems to come alive as you press on page after page. The author did a wonderful job of bringing each character to life, and showing their unique personalities throughout the book. I also loved that there are photos of the actual people in the back of the book. Personally, I love seeing the faces of who I'm reading about, and seeing if I've imagined them at all like they really were. There is also ample information in the back for you to be able to research and learn a great deal about the time period and the people and places mentioned in the book.
One thing that both Olivia and I loved is the online resources that are available with this book. By using these resources, you can turn this book into a unit study rather easily. Olivia loved being able to see the correlation between the storyline and the other things that were going on in the same time frame.
The only thing that we both disliked was the ending, it just didn't seem to fit, or do the story justice. If you read the Afterword, there is enough information there to understand the overall picture of what happened later in the lives of the characters.