Those of you who’ve been following along with us this month know that I’ve been so privileged to be on my friend Bonnie Rose Hudson‘s book launch team. Each of the launch team members was given a pdf copy of Asia: Its People and History to read and use with our own families. For me and Jackson, it’s been a wonderful introduction to and prayer reminder for a part of the world that we’ve never visited, and know much less about than we do the Western world in which we live.
What does life look like for those who live in Vietnam? or Bangladesh? What challenges would a person face who lives in Nepal or Laos? Or, in China or Iran? Certainly in this day and age we’re more familiar with events occurring in China and Iran. And if we’ve studied 20th century U.S. history at all, we’re going to know a little more about Vietnam. But knowing about world or country events is a far cry from knowing what daily life is actually like for the people who live in that country.
Asia: Its People and History brings you and your children into a closer understanding of the daily life, history and culture of these six nations, with a caveat: what is life like for citizens of those nations when they become Christians? In many nations of the world, it is a relatively easy task to live as a follower of Christ. But there are countries of the world where professing a faith in Jesus Christ brings difficulties, persecutions and, in some cases, even imprisonment or death. How does a person live out that life and face those challenges?
Bonnie Rose Hudson answers those questions, and more, in this excellent book. We used it as a part of our homeschool day, but it would also be perfect for family devotional reading. It is designed to be completed over the course of 16 weeks (although families with older children can choose to cover ground more quickly than that). The book is written for children ages 8-14, but characters’ difficult situations are so gently written that it could certainly be used as a read-aloud with younger children. Each chapter is devoted to one of the following six countries (that I also mentioned above):
In each chapter, Bonnie Rose discusses life in these nations, in a mixture of creative fiction and actual fact.
- First, she introduces the reader via story to a child of that particular nation, and shares about the struggles that child endures because of his or her faith in Christ. Each story includes thought-provoking questions that will jump-start incredible family discussions (you will really be amazed with your children’s responses!). You’ll meet Regina, who experiences the upheaval of the Boxer Rebellion in China; Manisha in Nepal, who, when devastated by her mother’s unkindness, meets Christ through a traveling missionary; Thao, expelled from his Laotian village because of his faith, and other children whose stories bring us a visual understanding of life in these countries. These stories are interwoven with the sections on the nation’s life in the past and present.
- After the stories of children, Bonnie Rose introduces the history, geography and cultures of the nations in two segments for each country entitled “Let’s Talk About……” Readers also learn about the various people groups who make up the nation’s populations…..sometimes which number in the hundreds!
- Hands-on activities, both fun and interesting, teach more about each nation. These range from word searches, to crossword puzzles, to map/mosaic-making and animal safari games….even to ideas for cooking a Nepalese feast! I love including these types of activities with the more familiar types of learning by reading and listening. They provide fun and excitement while at the same time deepening our children’s understanding of the nations we’re learning about.
- Prayer points for Asia, Scripture verses, links to online resources and Biblical encouragement round out this book.
Bonnie Rose Hudson has a real gift for telling the truths of history in a gentle and loving fashion. When we began to homeschool years ago, we used some fantastic curricula. But sometimes the retelling of historical or cultural fact was heartbreaking….in my opinion, much too strongly presented for my then-second grader! So I am always on the lookout for materials and curricula which can present life and truth to my son, whose heart is so sensitive to the sufferings of others. This book succeeds completely in that aim! Asia: Its People and History tells the truths about these nations and the challenges Christians face there; yet it does so in ways that will, I believe, encourage children to pray without being so devastated about or unable to receive an understanding of these struggles of other children.
One of my favorite verses of the Bible is in Revelation 7:9 (NIV). Here is what it says:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
I think we Westerners can often live our lives forgetting about all the other nations (192-197, depending on who is counting). However, Bonnie Rose Hudson’s wonderful book will remind us of 6 special Asian nations….the people who live there….what their lives are like….and how we can pray. I love the doors she opens for us, and the reminder that God loves all the adults and children all over the world….just as I’m reminded when I see the verse above! And whether your children are younger than 8 or up to 14, I wholeheartedly recommend Asia: Its People and History to your family, whether it’s for family devotional time or for homeschooling. You’ll truly enjoy these trips to the far side of the planet!
And now, for the giveaway and book deal!
Bonnie Rose Hudson has provided two pdf copies of Asia: Its People and History, for me to share with two readers. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below telling me why you’d like to win a copy of Asia: Its People and History. The giveaway will close on March 7, and the winners will be announced on March 8.
And if you’re anxious to go ahead and purchase the book before then, The Schoolhouse Store is offering a 25% discount, through 3/14/14, using this PROMO CODE: 02asia14! (the exclamation point at the end is part of the code). That will move the ebook’s price from its regular $6.95 down to about $4.69. Just go to the Schoolhouse Store to take advantage of this deal!
It will also be available in print from in the near future at CreateSpace. And if you’d like to know a little more about Bonnie Rose, here is a short author bio for your enjoyment!
Bonnie Rose Hudson works with both SchoolhouseTeachers.com (http://schoolhouseteachers.com) and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine® as a curriculum creator and editorial assistant. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by and meet the star of her children’s series at Exploring with Jake (http://writebonnierose.wordpress.com/), look through the 10/40 window of the world and join others in prayer at Looking Out the 10/40 Window (http://lookingoutthe1040window.wordpress.com/), or stop by her author’s blog WriteBonnieRose.com (http://writebonnierose.com) for fun printables and discover how you can write for the homeschool market.
Enjoy—and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! –Wren