Archive for June, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

I work in tech, not high tech, just tech. A small software company to be exact. The smallness of the company allows me to do an amazing thing: I have every Friday off this summer so I can hang out with my kids.

It could have been great.

Instead, I decided to chart a new course in my life. One that requires studying for a test in July and taking a course over at the community college. One that requires finger prints and applications to multiple agencies. A process that won’t come to a close until May 2010 – when they announce the cohorts for that year.

Last night Peter told me that no matter what I cannot quit. He said it’s the same thing he tells the kids when they’re hiking: the most important thing is to keep on going. I’ll keep on keeping on. But good grief – my lazy summer has suddenly become very busy.

The Historic Journey

I just finished reading Obama: The Historic Journey. I like to have a sense about what I might read to my kids. For example, just today we picked up Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure! but first we had to read the synopsis of Ralph and the Motorcycle and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (Joshua, I assume you will be getting this for your nephew at some point) (we settled on Flat Stanley). Since I wasn’t sure what to expect, and Elliot already has plenty of opinion about Obama and the election – I wanted to read the book entirely before he could have any part of it.

Overall I liked the book. The pictures were fantastic. There wasn’t anything in there that I hadn’t read during the election. But then again, as we all recall, I was a littl obsessed during the election.

There were a few things that I thought could be left out, some over-editorializing. However, the book is published by the New York Times – so it stands to reason that there’d be opinions stated.There’s an entire page dedicated to Sarah Palin being mocked by SNL, going so far as to explain some of the jokes.

The publisher lists the intended audience as 9-12 year olds. If I did my math correctly, that would be 3rd through 6th grades. I think that’s probably about right for the writing level. However, I think most kids that age remember the election personally since it wasn’t that long ago and since they’re old enough to watch TV and use the Internet. In a few years kids won’t reference books for their history, it’ll all be online.

The book was published in mid-February. That did allow the authors enough time to list who Obama was nominating to his cabinet but not enough time to definitivly say what sort of dog the Obama family would get (either Labradoodle or Portuguese water dog … no mention of pound puppy). Maybe that’s the incongruency for me, it doesn’t seem to be written to a specific audience. Elliot, age 5, would care about the dog and what sort of plane Obama flew around in during the campaign, what sports he played in high school, what was his favorite food in college. Older kids would probably be more interested in the social ramifications of the first black president. Sadly, the book doesn’t go into depth in either case. However, at 94 pages it does provide a nice pictorial history of the election without slamming Sarah Palin, too much.

Thanks to MomCentral for the chance to review Obama: The Historic Journey.

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