Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Carole P. Roman (A Homeschool Review Crew)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Members of the Review Crew have been sharing Carole P. Roman's assorted series of books with their families.  Each written by author Carole P. Roman, these books have won numerous awards, including the Homeschool Review Crew's Blue Ribbon Award, and are a really fun way to expose learners to geography, cultures and world history.

About Carole P. Roman

Carole P. Roman is an award-winning author who began writing books after being dared to do so by her son.  After writing her first book based on a video game that she liked to play, she has now written over 35 books.  The "If You Were Me and Lived in..." series allows elementary grade readers to explore what life would be like for people living around the world at various periods of time.  Describing clothing, food, education, games, and religion for each time period, readers are introduced to cultures that differ greatly from our own.  She also has a similar series of non-fiction books for older readers.  Her books, both fiction and non-fiction, have won over 100 awards.

For this review, we were given out three choices from the many various titles offered from the various series.  This was extremely hard to do as there are so many wonderful titles to choose from. Ultimately,  we selected the following titles from the culture and history selections:

If You Were Me and Lived in... Renaissance Italy
If You Were Me and Lived in... India
If You Were Me and Lived in... the Ancient Mali Empire
If You Were Me and Lived in... the Mayan Empire

About The Books:

If You Were Me and Lived in...India 

Part of the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World", this 26 page book introduces younger readers to two children from India as they describe their culture.  Readers learn general facts such as where India is located and what is the country's capital city as well as holidays that are important to the Indian culture.  Readers continue on to learn what the children call their mother and father as well as their school, how they dress, what they eat and how they like to spend their time.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Renaissance Italy

This 54 page book, illustrated by Silvia Brunetti, discusses the period of time in Tuscany Italy in 1480s. The book covers topics such as the fact students did not typically attend school due to the many diseases at that time period but instead were homeschooled, about the discoveries made in the fields of sciences and artists of that time. Readers are introduced to famous Italians such as Filippo Brunelleschi, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Niccolo Machiavelli and learn about the lives of the people living during that time were, depending on their financial class.

If You Were Me and Lived in... The Ancient Mali Empire

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova, this 78 page takes students back to the height of the Mali Empire in the 14th Century.  The book describes the rise of the empire, the history of the cities, and then introduces readers to the traditions, food, music, clothing and other aspects of life during that time period.

 If You Were Me and Lived in... The Mayan Empire

Part of the same series as The Ancient Mali Empire and Renaissance Italy, within the 68 pages of the Mayan Empire, readers will encounter the ancient Mayan Empire and what life was like for them nearly 1500 years ago.  Written from the perspective of a 15 year old boy, readers learn about the religious beliefs, society system, and more.  This book is illustrated by Paula Tabor.

Our Review

It's always a real pleasure when we get the opportunity to review books by Carole P. Roman.  This time around was no different.  These books have beautiful illustrations and are packed full of facts to introduce children to the cultures of other countries as well as different periods of time in history  (although, one of the books in the If You Were Me series discusses what life would be like on another planet, Mars).

For our review, we read these books together as a read aloud at the beginning of our school day. The first book, about India, was a very quick read for us as it's written for a younger student and we were able to read it within a few minutes.  The kids really wanted to read this one because we often go out to eat Indian food and so they were curious about the culture of the family that runs the restaurant.  The book proved to give a nice little introduction to the country and would be great for a student around 3rd-4th grad. 

Reading the India Book aloud during school
The other three books we received are written for an older audience which is where my kids are currently at.  Out of the three, the kids really enjoyed the book about the Mayan Empire, followed closely by the book about the Mali Empire book.   They related to some of the things in the Mayan book, such as the making of tamales and we had discussion in regards to the fact that members of the Mayan society had arranged marriages at 15 years of age.  It also led to much discussion about what a woman's place in that society was and how even males were limited to what they could achieve simply by being born in the wrong caste of their society.

Illustrations from the Mayan Empire Book
We followed that book with the book about the Mali Empire.  Imagine my kids surprise when we read that in that time period, your parents arranged for your marriage at around 12-13 years of age.  As we are only a few weeks away from Ashleigh turning 12 and Garrett is already 13, this totally took them for surprise. Both kids are very happy, after having read these books, that they live in the time period that they do.

Beautiful illustration from the Mali Empire book
 Our last book was about Renaissance Italy.  The kids have studied the Renaissance period in regards to art history so some of the material, especially in regards to the art masters of that time, were familiar to them. This book they found very relatable - such as playing chess and checkers, wearing nice clothing, going to dances and the invention of the violin.  There were again some things that we could use for discussion, such as the fact that the Italians put beauty over health - this was mentioned when discussing that they word lead makeup on their faces.

Illustration from the Renaissance Italy book.
We really enjoy the Carole P. Roman books and over the years have a very nice collection of them.  I personally like that while the book is fine for the kids to read on their own time, it can easily be used for a springboard for discussion or even to encourage independent research for the kids to learn more. Our only, very minor complaint, as well as a suggestion, is that next time the books go to print, that the author utilizes an editor to proofread the text before the next publication.  The books contain many typographical errors which can be distracting for some readers.

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For more information about Carole P. Roman and her books, be sure to visit the author's website.  You can also find the author on the following social media platforms:

Members of the crew were given their choice of four books from a large list of offerings of books from Carole P. Roman.  These selections range from storybooks for young children to the history and culture series for older readers.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.

Carole P. Roman's Histroy, Geography, Bedtime & Captain No Beard series {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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