Friday, August 19, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 33 - The Journeyman

During the past week, I've been reading aloud to Sophia and Olivia The Journeyman by Elizabeth Yates as part of the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge.

This was actually one of the books from Sophia's fourth grade Sonlight curriculum for history. We didn't have a chance to read it last spring, so I was going to read it to her over the summer to wrap up that subject.

I'm so happy that I waited to read this book. It is set in New England during the 1800s. The girls and I will be heading to New England next month for a trip through six states. This book mentions several of the states that we will be visiting as well as some cities.

It gives an interesting historical picture of the pioneers and life during that time period. It focuses on itinerant painters who traveled from town to town seeking work and board. At times, they would simply receive board and food in exchange for their work. Other times, they also would receive payment.

The book explores apprenticeships and how early artisans began their work by learning directly from a mentor for about five years before being able to go out on their own and establishing their own business.

At that time, it seemed like people worked together more and helped each other grow in their field in exchange for time and labor. It was a mutually-beneficial relationship that helped foster the growth and expansion of the United States.

The book intersperses historical and artistic facts throughout the text. Hopefully, we will see some of the stenciling and symbols used in the artwork during the 1800s reflected in what we see on our trip next month. Regardless, The Journeyman has been a fascinating and engaging book to read this week.

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