Monday, November 23, 2015

Black Friday Special!

All Albert Marrin Titles only $9.00 each!

Save over 35%

Or get all six for $49.95 and save over 40%

Great Christmas gifts for those history buffs in your family!

These books are so engaging, readable and informative, we know you're going to love them and this a a price that cannot be beat! 

Dr. Albert Marrin was born in New York City in 1936. As a junior high social studies teacher he learned about the power of stories, the ability of a well-told tale to draw youngsters attention and light up that spark of curiosity. That story-telling ability has propelled him into a career as a prolific writer. He's written over 40 books for young adults as well as four academic titles and has won many awards including Washington Post Childrens' Book Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the James Madison Award for Lifetime Achievement, several Horn Book awards by the Boston Globe. He consistently appears on the best book of the year lists of the American Library Association, and receives frequent recognition by Book Lists, and the Western Heritage Award for best juvenile nonfiction book presented at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame among others. Winner of the 2008 National Endowment for Humanities Medal for his work, which was presented at the White House, was given "for opening young minds to the glorious pageant of history. His books have made the lessons of the past come alive with rich detail and energy for a new generation."

We couldn't agree more! Marrin also served as professor of history and chairman of the history department at Yeshiva University until he retired to become a full time writer. It was at this point that he was able to devote his energies to making history come alive for millions of young people. 

Here at Beautiful Feet Books, we have been able to reprint six of his titles on American history. 

Fought in a small Asian country unfamiliar to most Americans at the time, the Vietnam War became a cause that divided the nation and defined a counter-culture. The first televised war, newscasters became a force creating the greatest anti-war movement in history, while American boys suffered and died in jungles and rice paddies against guerilla soldiers they rarely saw face to face. As Marrin does so well, he brings an objective look at the complex issues that brought America into this war, that compelled her to stay there, and that prevented her from pursuing a definitive conclusion. Beginning with a history of Vietnam from ancient times, readers will understand the cultural, religious, and geo-political forces that made Vietnam a desirable territory conquered again and again by rival nations. They will learn how America's initial efforts to support anti-communist forces led to greater and greater involvement eventually spanning the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon. Through photographs, perceptive epigraphs and first-person accounts, Marrin puts a human face on a multifaceted war. As Everett Alvarez, the longest-held POW in Vietnam, says of this book, "One of the book's strong points is that it portrays the war the way the men who fought remember it."

"Marrin writes insightfully about the life of Adolf Hitler and attempts to ascertain the reasons for his fanaticism, as well as the motives of those who blindly followed him. The author forgoes sensationalism, and his matter-of-fact writing style and recitation of events are more than adequate to chronicle the horror. Step-by-step, he describes how Hitler, a seemingly shy, insecure young man was able to inspire a defeated nation that saw the extermination of many of its citizens as it salvation." - Booklist
School Library Journal: Best Book of the Year

Adolf Hitler—der Fuehrer—rose from a childhood of obscurity to wield more power than probably any person in history. His control over his subjects was so complete that he literally shaped every aspect of their lives—the slightest defiance of his authority meant torture and death. Marrin carefully traces the forces that framed Hitler's fanaticism; readers will learn of his hardhearted and abusive father and his doting and indulgent mother who continually schooled Adolf in his superiority over other children. When he is twice rejected at a prestigious art school in Vienna, Hitler's delusional thoughts of himself seek a scapegoat for his seething anger. This was the genesis of Hitler's raging anti-Semitism that would play out in the deaths of over six million. Hitler's path to power included a heroic career as an infantryman in World War I where he earned six medals for bravery, including the Iron Cross. But Germany's surrender plunged him into a dark depression. In this state he began to believe he was called by God to "right Germany's wrongs, rebuild her armies, and punish the traitors." The rest is history, and Marrin brings the tragedy of Hitler's dark reign to the young adult reader in a manner that is honest, forthright and sobering. Illustrated with maps and photographs.

School Library Journal "Best Books of the Year"

When Joseph Djugashvili was born the son of a poor shoemaker, few suspected he would rise to become one of the twentieth century's most ruthless and powerful dictators. Enamored as a young man with the revolutionary politics of Lenin, he joined the underground Marxist Party and began his pursuit of power by leading strikes and demonstrations. Six times he was exiled to Siberia for his illicit activities, escaping many times despite below freezing temperatures and on one occasion an attack by a pack of wolves. His instinctive ability to command authority and divide the opposition through lies and deceit set him on a path he would follow to become Russia's most absolute dictator. He was never reticent to shed innocent blood in the pursuit of his own ends, and he carefully orchestrated demonstrations that brought about massacres that he then used to his own revolutionary ends. His vision was far reaching, and while his initial purpose was to establish a Soviet socialist state his larger goal was world domination. Ultimately responsible for the deaths of over 30 million—13 million alone in the Ukrainian famine he caused—Stalin's life is a sober and heartbreaking account of the reign of terror suffered by countless millions at the hands of one man. Illustrated with photographs.

Victory in the Pacific covers events from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor through the battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, Savo Island, the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, Corregidor Island, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima , and Okinawa. In each case, readers see the battles through the eyes of the men who were there, landing on the beaches, running raids in PT boats, dodging kamikaze bombers, and flying missions over Japan. In an easily accessible style, Marrin relates not only the important details of these conquests but also explains the military strategies of both the Allied forces and the Japanese. Readers get an overarching view of the war that helps to bring understanding especially as American forces drew increasingly closer to Japan and the Japanese grew ever more determined to fight to the bitter end. Marrin helps readers to understand the Japanese mindset that made surrender impossible and ultimately led to the decision to drop the atomic bomb in the interests of saving millions of lives. For the young adult reader, or even an adult unfamiliar with this period of WWII history, this book provides a sobering but inspiring look and the men and women , the nations and ideologies, that battled over half a century ago in the Pacific theater. Illustrated with diagrams, maps and photographs.

Portraying the sterling character of this admired hero, Marrin paints a complete picture of this complex man. Divided between his dislike of slavery and his loyalty to his beloved Virginia, Lee rose from an impoverished and tragic childhood to become one of the greatest military minds America has ever known even while being lauded for his kind, generous leadership. Marrin writes of Lee while including the stories of the ordinary soldiers, the Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. The victories, defeats, successes and failures of each side are portrayed in vivid and personal detail. Used in the Literature Approach to U.S. and World History, from the Civil War to Vietnam study guide.

Marrin relates the gripping story of how the Yanks "came over" to aid the European Allies and turn the tide in the first Great War. How the United States mobilized industry, trained doughboy soldiers, and promoted the war at home makes for fascinating reading in one of the few books on this topic for young adults. The human cost of the war is poignantly related in tales of the action at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Woods, in the air with the daring men of the Army Air Corps, and with the Lost Battalion at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne. From the sinking of the Lusitania to Armistice Day, Marrin tells the heartrending and inspiring story of the "war to end all wars." Illustrated with maps and photographs.

All of the above titles are available on our website and we're offering a discount when you purchase more than one! Save over $35.00 when you purchase all six in our Albert Marrin Collection, a Cathy Duffy Top 100 Pick for Homeschool award winner! 

You can read reviews from other parents and readers at the links below:

And as a little bonus, you can watch Albert Marrin read from his book Flesh & Blood So Cheap, a finalist for the National Book Foundation Young Person's award. 


To learn more about Albert Marrin, visit his website

Our new 2015-2016 catalog is now available! If you want to view it right now it's available online here. And if you would like to request a hardcopy, click here
We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

And if you've enjoyed this, please feel free to share using the buttons below!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

History of Science Notebooking

Today, Melissa from Reflections from Drywood Creek writes about our History of Science. Although she's using last year's version (it's since been updated), everything she shares is still relevant! She put together a spiral notebook with much of the assignment work for her children. For those of you who like this approach, check out all the photos she shared! Here's a sneak peak, for the entire entry, visit Melissa's blog here! Thank you Melissa!

As you may know, we are using Beautiful Feet History of Science this year (5th & 6th grade).  The guide was recently revised, but I have the older edition.  We are about twenty lessons in and it's going well.  We complete two lessons per week.

The study uses a mix of living books, experiments, and notebooking.  There are also discussion questions, vocabulary words, and timeline figures.  So far, we've read Archimedes and the Door of Science and Along Came Galileo, both by Jeanne Bendick.   I love the living book approach of these books!  They are truly a mix of history and science...continued here.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Books for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we love this holiday! Today I'm going to post our favorite Thanksgiving stories so you can share them with your families this year. If you have others that you've discovered, please post them in the comments.

This sweet book is perfect for introducing the history of Thanksgiving to your youngest children. Dalgliesh's Caldecott Honor title combines lucid text with folksly Americana illustrations by Helen Sewell. Beginning in England the book follows the Pilgrims on their quest for religious freedom to Holland and then to Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their devastating first winter and the help they received from the Natives all pave the way for a day set aside to celebrate God's faithfulness to this little band of brave seekers.

Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey
This treasury has long been one of our favorites so when we had the opportunity to expand it and add illustrations from our beloved Christen Blechschmid, we jumped at the chance. Follow the Pilgrims as they seek the freedom to worship as they choose and move from England to Holland and, finally, to the New World. You'll love these endearing stories and they will add a whole level of understanding to the sacrifices these brave souls made in order to be able to follow their consciences. 

Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness

Gorgeous illustrations accompany this story of Bartholomew, Mary and Remember Allerton. These young siblings relate their adventures aboard the Mayflower, a journey that took sixty daysand learn how difficult it is to carve out a new life in a wild and foreign land. Squanto and Samoset play a starring role in helping the Pilgrims grow their own food. Harness's illustrations and maps provide detailed information on geography, ships, farming and more. 

The Pilgrims of Plimoth by Marcia Sewall

A long-time favorite, The Pilgrims of Plimoth is a bit more advanced than the previous two titles but just as lovely and rich with detail. Sewall's illustrations are sumptuous and her text is expertly research while being very approachable. Sewell includes quotes from journals kept by some of the Pilgrims, adding a first-person feel to the text.

Relating the remarkable story of Squanto's life, this book is a whirlwind of adventure. Eric Metaxas is one of our favorite contemporary writers and he does not disappoint with this children's account of Squanto. Many people do not know that when Squanto first approached the Pilgrims he addressed them in English! How did a Massachusetts Native come to learn to speak the Pilgrim's language? Learn about it and in the next title.

Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
This account is among the best we've seen it tells the amazing story of Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe, who went to London with some of the first English explorers, was sold into slavery in Spain, and finally returned to America where he befriended the Pilgrims when they landed.

The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty
The perfect family read-aloud this book tells in detail the story of the Pilgrim's quest to find a place where they could worship God according to their consciences. The Pilgrim's love of freedom played a significant role in the establishment of religious freedom in the States. Their willingness to give up the comforts they enjoyed in England, leaving behind family, friends, and possessions behind is a reminder of what so many have to sacrifice for their faith. 

William Bradford, Pilgrim Boy by Bradford Smith
This lovely book relates the childhood of the famous Pilgrim leader. Learn about his life in rural England and how he came to his strong convictions. Circumstances in his life prepared him for his essential role in the band of Pilgrims and children will enjoy hearing about his adventures as a child.

If you are interested in adding these titles to your library, give us a call at 800.889.1978 and we'll give you free shipping when you order all seven titles! 

All of these books will prepare your family for a Thanksgiving that's truly established on gratitude. One more way to prepare children is to make a Thanks Giving Tree. Ann Voskamp provides a beautiful free printable on her website here. Throughout the month of November, children record things they are thankful for on leaves and attach them to a tree. By the time Thanksgiving comes along you and your family will have cultivated an atmosphere of thankfulness that will be a wonderful blessing. 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catching up with Jessica

Today we're catching up with Jessica. She and her boys are working their way through our Early American History study. If you missed the first entries in her series, here they are: Part I and Part II. Today Jessica talks about how homeschooling through difficult times poses unique challenges and sometimes you just have to press through. We have structured our study guides to take these sorts of circumstances into account. We know as homeschoolers ourselves that life is unpredictable and everyone needs flexibility. So if it means stretching a six week term into eight weeks like Jessica did, our studies are easily adjusted. We also want your history studies to be a time of connection where you can take a break from all the pressures of school, curl up on the couch with your kids and get lost in great literature and story. 
Here's Jessica: 
homeschooling through hard times - we need to be faithful in our charge to educate our children and yet a thorough education is so much more than just open book learning.I can just hear this long, deep sigh emitting from my oldest when I look at this picture – and that is how I feel.
Term two has been rough. homeschooling through hard times - we need to be faithful in our charge to educate our children and yet a thorough education is so much more than just open book learning.
Outside circumstances have been unpredictable and tossed us to and fro on the waves of uncertainty and we have learned to cling to the rock that is higher than us and stronger than our problems.
So much in these past eight weeks have been miserable and just buckling down and getting through. Yes, eight weeks. Our six week term turned in to an eight week one as we just plowed through as we were able.
It’s the beauty and handicap of home education – the weight of it all is on you, and sometimes rest is required in order to handle it at all. So over the past eight weeks a bit of a lighter load was distributed and we focused on joy and good attitudes and thanking the Lord for His provisions and just breathing.
And things are looking much brighter as we head into term three and no one is worse for the wear for having taken things at a much slower pace. In fact, I would venture to say we are better off for it. sweet and delightful living history books and nature booksWe read some delightful books this term through our Beautiful Feet History curriculum. It is perfect timing as we head into the Thanksgiving season – we started with Pocahontas by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. Can I convince you that these masterpieces are worth having in your collection?! The art work is beautiful and the stories are captivating. We are so enjoying reading through them and saturating ourselves in their beauty.
(See the blow dart gun in the above image? That is my life. Blow dart guns accompany many outdoor school adventures.)the story of Pocahontas
From Pocahontas we moved to Jamestown, New World Adventures by James E. Knight which was another rich story (not quite the same compelling illustrations!) But written as a mother recollecting her father’s adventures and journal entries in the New World it is detailed and intriguing. enrichment activity for learning about early American history - a game played by native americans
 {a game we played – one that is said to have been played by the Native Americans and taught to the Pilgrims – see how to play the bowl game here.}
And from there we went to Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey – I had never heard of this book before and, to be honest, it didn’t look like an exciting book. But wow! I was so wrong. This collection of stories about the Pilgrim’s adventures is excellent and the conclusion of each chapter had my kids asking for more and left me with a deeper appreciation and understanding over what the Pilgrims endured.  It is a great book to read leading up to Thanksgiving, and one I am going to be including in our Thanksgiving basket for years to come.lots and lots of tea to get us through homeschool
The guidebook for Early American History walked us through thought provoking questions and enrichment activities – and I added a bit extra in the form of a lapbook on Jamestown just because they enjoy such activities.
outdoor homeschool fun
I am thankful for the Lord’s sweet provision and grace while homeschooling through hard times – we need to be faithful in our charge to educate our children and yet a thorough education is so much more than just open book learning. And the balance to be found can be hard. And maybe we leaned too much towards rest and taking things easy while homeschooling through hard times, but we can only do what we can do – and (I think!) we made it and things are looking up.

Thank you Jessica for sharing this part of your homeschooling journey with us! You can read her complete post here

Our new 2015-2016 catalog is now available! If you want to view it right now it's available online here. And if you would like to request a hardcopy, click here
We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

And if you've enjoyed this, please feel free to share using the buttons below!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Favorite Read-Alouds for Toddlers

My 22-month old son loves to be read-aloud to and I love reading to him. As his attention span lengthens, we've been able to read books that have a bit more of a plot and are moving away from simple word books to story books. And like most youngsters, Iren likes to have the same stories read over and over and over again. In order to help preserve the last remaining shreds of sanity for other mothers of toddlers, I'm sharing my list of books that I enjoy reading (even for the 64th time) and are also baby approved. These are appropriate for your littlest listeners.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Iren loves this classic. The repetition lends itself to a nice cadence and he loves when we get to the page where he can say "It's a BEAR!"

Big Dog...Little Dog, a Bedtime Story by P. D. Eastman
This was a story I heard about from my husband long before we had our own children. It was his favorite and has now become one of Iren's favorites! It's great for introducing concepts like big and little and it's fun to read using silly voices.

Goodnight Moon
Such a classic! Iren loves finding the mouse on each page and our copy is huge lap book that despite it's sturdy pages is in very poor condition from repeated use.
Goodnight Mr. Darcy
Such a clever take on Pride and Prejudice! Iren has the best godparents ever and they have provided him with some of the most endearing read-alouds. This one makes me smile every time Iren pulls it from the bookshelf and shoves it in my hands.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
This book was a gift from friends in Scotland and it's by an Edinburgh author and is pure whimsy. Iren is always demanding that we read "Grullalo!" Different voices for each character are essential and when I was reading it aloud on a flight recently, I would have sworn that the people in front of us were leaning toward us to hear how the story ended.

Lentil by Robert McCloskey
The very first time we saw Iren was during an emergency sonogram when he was the size of a lentil. So incredible to be able to see his tiny heartbeat! From that point on we referred to him as "Lentil" which reminded me of a book I loved growing up. So I got a copy and it's been sitting on our shelves Iren's entire life. It's definitely not written for tiny listeners but Iren started pulling it off the shelf and it's now a favorite. I'm not sure how much of the story he actually comprehends, but he loves the illustrations and is constantly pointing out things asking "What's this?"

The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood
Iren's favorite babysitter gave this to him and he's grown to love it! One of those fun stories that builds on itself, it's great for an after nap snuggle. 

The Wheels on the Bus illustrated by Sylvie Kantrovitz Wickstrom
This is the best illustrated version of the classic song I've seen. Lots of fun details, it's helped Iren learn all the motions so it's great to pull out when he needs to burn off a bit of energy.

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg
I love the Ahlberg's books and the illustrations capture youngster's attention. This one is a fun rhyming book that references well-known fairy tale characters like Mother Hubbard, Tom Thumb, Robin Hood, the Three Bears, and more. The illustrations are lovely and great for asking your little one to point out different objects.

The Obadiah Books by Brinton Turkle
I grew up with these and absolutely love them. The stories emphasize kindness, consideration, and generosity. They distinguish between bravado and true courage. The illustrations transport you right back to 18th century Nantucket. Absolute musts for a family library.
The Mini Masters series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober
Such a clever way to introduce your toddler to classic art, this four-book boxed set features the artwork of Degas, Matisse, Monet, and Van Gogh. Each book has a poem that ties the paintings together into a coherent story. Perfect for bedtime as all four can be read quickly and end with some sort of reference to bed-time or resting. 

These are just a few of our favorites and I'd love to hear about yours! What books were you able to read dozens and dozens of times without feeling a bit nutty? Any books you really hated but your youngster loved? We have a book on shapes that I cannot stand but Iren loves, so it still gets pulled out even though I try to hide it behind other favorites! 

Our new 2015-2016 catalog is now available! If you want to view it right now it's available
online here. And if you would like to request a hardcopy, click here.

We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

And if you've enjoyed this, please feel free to share using the buttons below!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Welcome new readers and veterans!

We're happy you're here! If you're new to our blog, we've redesigned our Welcome Page. On it you will now find links to helpful series, our new and updated study guides, popular posts, and more. We hope it helps everyone navigate through the blog more easily as there is a lot here. Check it out here.

Our new 2015-2016 catalog is now available! If you want to view it right now it's available
online here. And if you would like to request a hardcopy, click here.

We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

And if you've enjoyed this, please feel free to share using the buttons below!