Sun Kissed Sky

Sun Kissed Sky
The sunrise kissed clouds by our house

Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: Through Stress and Strain

A picture of the book we read.

Salem Ridge Press offered up a few books for review and I chose one called Through Stress and Strain A Story of the Huguenot Persecution.  The book is for ages 8-adult but I read it aloud to my three boys
and although it was hard at times for them to understand since it is an older Victorian book first published       in 1887, they really enjoyed it.  It starts in the year 1666 when a family of Huguenot's (which are French Christians) finds out that their oldest son has been taken away to live in a convent where he will
be taught the King's religion which is Roman Catholicism.  To the Huguenots this 
seemed worse then the news of their sons death would have been.  I don't want to give away to much
but I will say that the books goes on to show the persecution that the Huguenots had to 
endure under the King's laws including and maybe mostly the loss of their children to the convents if they even so much as seemed interested to hear what the King's religion was.  Once they said they wanted to know what the religion was they were considered Catholic and not allowed to ever leave the faith.  Some families lost their only child and some lost several of their children.  This was very disheartening to the people of the simple faith who wanted nothing more than to worship God as they saw fit.  My boys were so sad when the son was taken away and to hear of the trials that they were facing.  
Every now and again I'd have to stop and reiterate what I had just read to make sure that they were
understanding what had just happened since it had political talk and a lot of bigger words in it.
I really loved that at the bottom of the pages there was a definition for a  lot of the bigger words sometimes it was a French word or term that was described and it really helped even me understand what somethings were.

Here is a picture of the pages the print is larger and you can see at the bottom where they put the definitions

My favorite part of the book is the talk about God and their love for him.
At times I was a more than put off by the Roman Catholic church and I wondered how
Catholic people might feel about the book but it is a part of their history and so must
understand that.  My second favorite part of it is that there wasn't anything that I had to
keep out.  It was very clean and tasteful, free from any twaddle (Charlotte Mason word for books
that are just full of junk and are not good reading I'm sure there's a better description out there for it).
I felt while reading it that I was really reading something worthwhile to my boys and that they
could really learn a lot not only about religions and our history but better vocabulary and honestly a better way of writing in general.  People back then were not dumbed down as they are today and
they could read books with this type of language without it being a problem.  I love that we can
revisit that type of writing.  I think we might even revisit the vocabulary words
and add them to our list to learn.  Some of the French ones we probably won't go
back over but the other's would be fun to hear my children say in normal conversations.  We read the book a chapter a day sometimes a bit less if their attention spans were not with it that day.  It was perfect
because having the flu was so tough on us and we had something good to read together but that was short enough that we didn't have to rush through it.

I really want to read some of the other books that were offered up.  After reading this one it
really gives me hope in the others.  When I finished reading this book with my boys
they all agreed that they really liked it.  You can purchase this book for $12.95 in softcover or $22.95 in hardcover.  There was 149 pages and the print was a nice size not huge but not small either making it easy for my 8 year old to read it on his own which he did several times.  We are going to be finishing up this lesson on Huguenots with a search of more information on the internet.  I plan to use this book as a launch into history during this time period how
useful to have this story and see into their lives before we dive in.

You can read more review from the Schoolhouse Crew of either this book or the others one that were offered up, here.

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