We, at the Cain house, love to read. Really love to read. If you've ever been to our house, you've more than likely noticed that books are our main inspiration for decor! So we just LOVE when we get a review for a book!
We read the book Abraham's Journey from Inspiring the American Dream.
Inspiring the American Dream is a movement by Dr. Kathleen Basmadjian and her husband, Robert K. Basmadjian, Jr. who believe
"The American dream is in jeopardy. Unless we, as parents, grandparents and educators, teach our children about this unique American ideal, the American dream will be lost forever." (website)
The Basmadjians set about writing and publishing Abraham's Journey ($14.99)in an effort to encourage children in their version of "the American Dream".
I received the book and eagerly sat down with my 8 and 11 year old to begin reading. The book opens with a family meeting. Abraham's mother and father have lost their jobs during the Great Recession. Though there will still be a Christmas tree, decorations, and singing- there will be no Christmas gifts. Abraham decides to take on "saving" Christmas. He then retreats to his room with his smart phone to text his friends about jobs, when out pops Abraham Lincoln! Honest Abe takes young Abe on some kind of a journey (magical? dream?) where he meets Martin Luther King, Jr., Norman Rockwell, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerburg, and Bill and Melinda Gates who are supposed to idealize the American Dream. Young Abraham is discovered as an artist when Rockwell sees him paint a background for a play and Bill and Melinda Gates buy it for their Foundation's wall. Young Abe has presents for everyone when they come downstairs Christmas morning and then they run off to the shelter where they give out blankets and such.
Wow......so that's what the "American Dream" is all about?!
My kids were glassy eyed. Here's what followed in a barrage :
"Momma, who is that Mark guy and why is he with Amelia Earhart? Was he her friend that was the co-pilot when she went down and didn't achieve the American Dream?"- Ben
"Wait, why was Abraham Lincoln in the story? He never really said much."- Abby
"Didn't Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart and her friend, Mark, die before Martin Luther King, Jr.?"- Ben
"Momma, why doesn't the American Dream involve God? It said that only WE can achieve the American Dream on our own."-Abby
"And if they had a Christmas tree and decorations and singing....why did Christmas need saved?"- Ben
"Why did he have a cell phone if his parents didn't have any money? They're expensive!"- Abby
"I've never heard of Mr and Mrs Gates before."- Ben
I've read some of the other reviews on this book because I wondered if I was the only one not getting it. I understand that technology is part of this day and age. I understand that a new standard of "success" is being raised. I even understand that people classify success in different terms than I do.
My version of the American Dream looks far different than Mr and Mrs Basmadjian's. How about Billy Graham? How about Laura Ingalls Wilder? George Washington Carver? I think you get my point. Why are the rich and famous the ones portrayed as those who have "arrived"? And I know not everyone believes that God has a hand in who is successful or not, but I sure do! I believe that no amount of success will fill the void left in our hearts when we don't allow Christ His rightful place there.
This book left too many unanswered questions and too many missed opportunities. I will say that there was a glossary of terms and mini-biographies of each of the characters in the back of the book. Also, it did pave the way for some great discussions with my kiddos.
As always, please take a look at what the rest of the crew thought....