Does your family love to learn about real people from history? Are you interested in stories of heroes that helped shape the world today? The Heroes of History & Study Guide by YWAM Publishing may be a great option for your family! We were picked to review the book Heroes of History- William Bradford, and we really enjoyed it. Here is what we thought…
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What is the Heroes of History Series?
The Heroes of History is a 29 book series written by Janet & Geoff Benge. With each book, your student will be taken back in time to recount the lives of those that shaped history. Choose from history greats such as Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Thomas Edison, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Each book comes with a comprehensive study guide that compliments the book. You will find numerous activities to choose from in the study guide, making the book and study guide a course in and of itself. While you can simply use the book to supplement your child’s history lessons, I would highly recommend diving further than that. The study guide offers study questions for each chapter. We used these to help my son better understand what he was reading as well as to help him imagine what life was like during that time.
The study guide for Heroes of History-William Bradford includes activities such as:
- Historical Timelines
- Essay and Creative Writing Topics
- Hands on Activities – some ideas include
- Hand sewing
- Wood carving
- Making children’s games from that era
- Audio/ Visual Activities
- Making an interactive timeline
- Create your own adventure novel
- Arts and Crafts inspired by that time period
- Planning a fieldtrip
- Social Studies
- Names, dates and places
- Related Themes
If you are interested in learning more about christian heroes from history, you will want to check out the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Each book covers a person whose life really shows what it means to live for God. After reading Heroes of History-William Bradford, we are excited about trying out a book from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series too!
A Summary of Heroes of History-William Bradford by Seth (Middle School)
The book is about William Bradford’s life, and his struggles of finding a place to where he could practice his own religion without being persecuted or shamed upon. It talks about how with a group of other separatists he started a colony.
The Early Days
It all started in England where he started going to a separatist church with his friend William Brewster. He started to agree with these beliefs and he became a member. However, his family did not like this, but he continued to go to the separatist church anyway.
As William became older, the separatist church wanted a place to go to where they could practice their own religion without others being unhappy with them. They decided to move to Holland, and there William got into the sewing industry. There he met his wife Dorothy, and they had one son named, John.
Living in Holland was difficult due to the language barrier and the lack of money, so they decided to move to Jamestown in the New World. They took two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell, but the Speedwell kept having leaks. They decided to move the passengers to the Mayflower instead.
Life in a New World
It was a very long journey, with cramped quarters called the tween deck. Since they were so close together, people began to get sick and living conditions were unsafe. The living conditions plus the lack of food caused many deaths. After the long journey was over, they finally arrived in the New World. However, due to bad weather, they had landed in the wrong place.
They tried to make the best of things and find suitable living arrangements. William’s wife and many others died due to lack of provisions while he and other men were off looking for a place to settle. Eventually they found a place suitable for living and began to build a settlement. Since they did not know anything about the new land, people were still starving. This is until they began to make a relationship with the Native Americans living there. Things got worse before they got better, but eventually they learned how to survive in the new land.
Ultimately they were able to build a government and the settlement turned in to a large community called Plymouth. William remarried a woman named Alice, and he became the second governor after the death of John Carver. He was well liked and spent 33 years as the governor of Plymouth.
During his time as governor, he made peace with the Native Americans and would settle disputes between the colonists and the Native Americans. One of William’s most important achievements was his help in creating the Mayflower Compact, which would set the foundation for America’s early government years later. William died May 7, 1657 at age 67.
Seth (age 12)
“I really liked learning about William Bradford. I was surprised by all the things he had to do and at such a young age. The ship seems pretty bad, and I would not have wanted to do the things he did.”
“Typically I find biographies a bit dry, but I was pleasantly surprised. This story was engaging and full of action. It kept my son interested, and he really liked the hands on activities from the study guide.”
Review Crew Thoughts…
You don’t have to take our word for it though. Other members of the Review Crew have been hard at work reviewing other books by YWAM Publishing as well. I highly recommend you check them out. Simply click the link below to read some other great reviews.