Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bessie's Pillow Review

Strong Learning, Inc.

I had the honor to read a book called Bessie's Pillow from Strong Learning, Inc. Bessie's Pillow is considered a historical fiction book. How ever it is based on old family stories that were passed down through the generations so I guess you could consider it a biography. We had 6 weeks to read this book and to be honest with you I read the hole book in under 8 hours. It was a slow night in dispatch, it was a good thing because it was a good book and I wanted to finish it. This is a 276 page book about an 18 year old Jewish girl that flees persecution in Lithuania back in 1906.  The name Bessie's Pillow comes from a pillow she carried from her home town in Lithuania to the United States. She was to deliver the pillow to the son of a family friend who had moved to the United States. The son had left for America a year or so earlier and had forgotten the pillow. It was important to the mother that son get the pillow she had made for him. As Bessie is departing the friend tells her that it is a long trip and she may use the pillow along the way. The pillow has the words "May this Pillow bring you peace. " embroidered on it. The pillow turns out to be a great blessing and gives her comfort along the way as she endures the trials of coming to America and becoming an American citizen. Eventually the beloved pillow that gave her so much comfort in the first year of being in America leads her to her husband when she finally decides its time to take it to its rightful owner.

Bessie's PillowBessie's Pillow is for middle to high school students so my 4th grader has not read it yet but I did preview the online resources that are available for it. There is a Teachers Guide with some suggestions and ideas for expanding learning. It has a good number of discussion and essay topics, oral history and life stories, some ideas for term papers etc. It is really a great resource for those with high school age students http://bessiespillow.com/images/teachers-resources.pdf.  I will be printing off a few things for the girls to use when it comes time for them to read it.
There is also an additional resource located on the website called Bessie's America http://bessiespillow.com/bessiesamerica/. This resource offers things like photographs, radio shows the family would have listened to, Famous people, Food and recipes etc. These are all great ways to enhance your students learning experience. I loved the extra resources that were included I felt that they added a lot to the book and the learning experience.

Bessie's Story is one of tragedy and triumph. She has so many real struggles during her life but she never gave up.  I can only imagine what it was like for her to flee her home at 18. Knowing that she may never see her family again. This book is a great piece of someone family history. Family history is important for everyone with out it our children will not know where they came from. This book was a well written and It reminded me of the way my grandmother used to tell our old family stories. It drew me in so well and the next thing I knew I was turning the last page wondering how I finished it so quickly. Its a book my girls will read when they get just a bit older.

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Bessie's Pillow {Strong Learning, Inc. Reviews}

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1 comment:

  1. You read this book in under 8 hours! Wow! So glad you enjoyed my grandmother's story.

    Dr. Linda