Abraham's Journey: A Celebration of The American Dream from Inspiring the American Dream was written by Kathleen Basmadjian, PHD and Robert K. Basmadjian Jr. It is a fictional story about a young boy named Abraham who is growing up in the present times that we call the Great Recession. Both of his parents have just lost their jobs, and Christmas is just around the corner. Abraham and his sister are told they will not be receiving Christmas presents this year due to the lack of income.
Abraham decides to try and "save" Christmas himself by trying to earn money for presents. While using his smartphone, Abraham Lincoln pops out and takes the boy Abraham on a cyber journey to meet both historical and present day people that will help him realize he has talents already inside him just waiting to come out and be used to make an income.
The book doesn't state exactly what "The American Dream" is, so I asked my kids what they thought it was after reading the story. Here are their responses...
9 year old- Making money by making things to sell.
8 year old- Taking care of your family by selling stuff.
6 year old- Going on a trip with Abraham Lincoln.
4 year old- I don't know?
Abraham's Journey was written for children ages 7-12, so two of mine fell into that age range. We had many discussions after reading the book about the meaning behind the story. Although using your God given talents and giving are wonderful things to do, that is not all the American Dream is about in my opinion. It is a well written story, and left the door wide open for me to add in a more biblical view of what being sucessful should mean in this life.
The back of the book also has short biographies of the characters in the story, which was nice because we have never discussed a couple of these people before. I also had to clarify that some of these people were no longer living while some were, as the journey he went on portrayed them all together.
I like that this book encourages kids to work hard and use talents they have to make a living, it also encourages perseverance and not giving up when others tell you that something cannot be done. The historical figures in the book include Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill and Melinda Gates, Norman Rockwell, Mark Zuckerburg, and of course Abraham Lincoln. All of these people have achieved great things, but I was sure to let the kids know that none of these people did these things all by themselves. God gave them the courage and talents they possessed, and when we use our gifts for God's glory then success is imminent. Becoming rich and having worldly possessions is not a true measure of success.
I feel like reading this book has opened up some great discussions with the kids!
You can purchase this paperback book through the Inspiring the American Dream website for $14.99. Or get the kindle version for $9.99.