YWAM Publishing was founded in 1960. They produce and distribute books of “exciting true stories of men and women who who changed the world”. YWAM specializes in books that focuses on evangelism, educational training, prayer, discipleship, ect. YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission. They are a group of believers trained and equipped to be part of fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20) I was so happy I got to choose from their Heroes of History series to review Heroes of History- Ben Carson: A Chance at Life.
Heroes of History- Ben Carson: A Chance at Life is the biography of an in-depth portrait of Ben Carson’s life. It tells of his struggles as a young black poor kid from Detroit who rose from poverty and became a successful pediatric neurosurgeon (brain surgeon). The book is a 192 page paperback. It is geared to kids ages 10+. There are 18 chapters with each being anywhere from 4-6 pages long. It sells for $9.99.
Benjamin S. Carson was born September 18, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were Sonya and Robert Carson. He has an older brother named Curtis. Benjamin’s nickname as a child was Bennie although people to this day mainly knows him as Ben. Life changed for him the day his father left and never came back home. He didn’t understand why at the time, but would not find out why until much later on in his life. This change caused his mother to now be a single parent who had to work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet.
In his elementary school years he was known as the class dummy. He was so embarrassed by his poor grades and inability to keep up with everyone else that he would “think up creative ways to make things better”. Getting glasses brought on another change in his life but it was for the better. His mother made some decisions (household rules) that Ben and his brother Curtis did not know would make huge impacts in their academic lives. She was a very hopeful and encouraging mother. You could tell how much she loved and believed in her boys. She even encouraged Ben in his dream of becoming a doctor when he grew up.
As my son read through the book we made use of the unit study curriculum guides they offer to customers to go along with a book they purchased. It comes as a zip file download. Once you have downloaded it you’ll want to unzip the file to have easy access to everything. Within the files there is a start-here button you can click to take you to the online browser page in the pictures you see above. The page has information about the person the story is about, the authors, and the unit study guides. The guides are also available on the zip file you download. They are PDF files filled with all the information and activities you can use to make more use of the Heroes of History books being read.
There are three parts of the curriculum guides. One being the Heroes of History (HH) Homeschool Overview. It is a 24 page PDF “designed to help you make the most effective use of the HH biographies and Unit Study Curriculum Guide”. It has all kinds of suggestions to give you ideas to incorporate into the kids learning. Another part is the Unit Study Part 1. It is a 69 page PDF. This is the curriculum guide that’s “designed to accompany the book being read. It provides ways to use the book as a vehicle for teaching or reinforcing various curriculum areas”. The last part is Unit Study Part 2. It is a 4 page PDF containing a fact sheet, printable maps, and a timeline.
We chose several suggestions and tweeked it to suit how my son best learns. For starters we chose to do a book report (see the pictures above). Our book reports are not done the traditional way. It is done lapbook journal style using printables I got from another source. I had him copy a key quote each day for a week in his best handwriting, and had him illustrate what he thought it meant. We discussed the chapter questions they included and even watched the 2009 movie “Gifted Hands” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. We also got to watch a 65 minute interview with Ben Carson done by the people at Patrick Henry College and some speeches he did which you can find onYouTube.
My son was really inspired by Ben Carson’s story. He really looks up to him and was mostly impressed by his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful my son got a chance to learn how Ben Carson rose to the top not on his own, but by having steady faith in God the Father. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Other Crew members reviewed many different titles in the Heroes of History as well as the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Click on the banner below to read what they had to share.
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