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Jun 21, 2017

Rush Revere ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Sometimes, on the Homeschool Review Crew, we get to check out products that the kids think are "just for fun."  In this case, Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh is certainly fun for the punks, but also allows them to learn a bit about the founding of our country.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series is a set of five fiction books for elementary/middle school aged children.  In this adventure series, about our young country, students from Manchester Middle School learn about American history from substitute teacher, Rush Revere and his very unique horse, Liberty.  The books are illustrated with a mixture of pictures depicting scenes in the modern storyline and pictures and real documents from American history.

Freedom, Cam, and Tommy are the students who do the bulk of the time travel with Rush Revere and Liberty.  The kids are known as Rush's Time Traveling Crew.  I thought that was fitting that they joined up with the Homeschool Review Crew to get the word out about this book series.  In The First Patriots, another student tags along, the middle school principal's daughter, and she is Trouble.
The books in the series include
  1. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims - In the first adventure, we meet a very seasick Rush Revere on the deck of the Mayflower.  He is a history teacher who shares his love of the founding of our nation with a group of students from Manchester Middle School. He travels to Holland, the Mayflower, and the early American settlement of Plymouth with several students and his magical, talking, smart alecy, sometimes invisible, time traveling horse, Liberty.
  2. Rush Revere and the First Patriots - This edition of The Adventures of Rush Revere takes us back to the time just before the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, Samuel Adams, Ben Frankilin...  This is all about liberty and freedom.  Why we wanted it.  What we were willing to do to have it.  Our time travelers even pop in on King George III at Windsor Castle.
  3. Rush Revere and the American Revolution - The modern day focus of this book has Cam struggling to deal with his father's deployment.  By meeting more of the patriots fighting for out freedoms at our country's beginning, Cam is better able to understand the importance of his father's contributions to freedom today.  They meet men like John Hancock, George Washington, and Dr. Joseph Warren.
  4. Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner - Here, the Crew sees Francis Scott Key as he pens the Star-Spangled Banner.  James Madison and Betsy Ross are introduced to us, too.  You'll learn more about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The modern tale is set in Washington DC on a field trip.
  5. Rush Revere and the Presidency - Cam wants to run for student body president at Manchester Middle School,  He thinks being president is all about pizza parties and getting his way.  They travel with Liberty back to George Washington's inauguration, meet with John Adams, and then Thomas Jefferson at the time of the Louisiana Purchase.
(There is room in the box for one more book...  Just something I noticed. *wink*)

When the box arrived, my husband picked up one of the books and marveled at the weight and quality of the book, as well as the thick, decorated pages.  Our book set came tied with a beautiful blue Adventures of Rush Revere ribbon.  Xavier was especially excited, as he is the one punk who has the ability and the desire to read, read, read.  It isn't easy keeping him in fun, interesting books.  He has already read a couple of the books thanks to grandparents who sent them for Christmas one year.  His first comment after looking at the book covers was to express relief that Rush's head was now a more normal size (in the first few books, it is oddly disproportional). 

While Xav read some of them himself, I also read aloud a couple.

The best things about the series:
  • Book quality - These hardcover books are high quality.  Around 210-260 pages each, the paper is very thick and the binding is strong  The full color dust jacket is glossy paper.
  • Accurate facts
  • Hilarious talking horse - Liberty is always starving, which I guess the punks can relate to.  If there's one thing they can do, it's eat.  He is sassy and funny.
  • TIME TRAVEL (always fun)
Things we didn't love:
  • There is a lot in each of the books devoted to the current time period.  This is great for building a "relationship" between the readers and the characters, but just be aware, the books are not strictly historical fiction.
  • The writing is juvenile (which I guess is the point, and is fine for the books the punks read to themselves, but for read alouds, I prefer literature that develops vocabulary and critical thinking skills, not just entertains).
Merrick said,
I like the talking horse.  He is so funny.  He likes to eat.

Xavier's review:
The part I liked best was the one where Liberty pretended to be a phantom horse and scared off a spy.  Liberty is a bit funny, especially the bit where he ordered pizzas.  Another thing I liked was when Cam almost got vaccinated with a saw and sprinkle medicine.  That's way worse than a shot nowadays.  (*Note - I think Xav may be misremembering this part a bit, but he was quite horrified to learn people were cut rather than stuck back then.)

Malachi's thoughts:
General George Washington, the first ever president of the United States of America, swore some president's oath.  He was the first one to say it.  Liberty is a silly horse.  I have a bookmark that says, "I am a Li-buddy."

The Limbaughs also have a website with a section just for homeschoolers.  Here, you'll find study guides with answer keys, quizzes, games, and scholarships.  You can even write to Liberty the horse.

While these books are not "quality literature," they are far better than most of the other newer books out there now, targeting the 8-12 year old age range.  There is no shock factor, or potty humor, or inappropriate content of any kind in this series.  And, bonus, there is some actual educating going on in these pages.  Bottom line, they're fun and a little dorky and the boys LOVE these books, get a serious kick out of Liberty, enjoy learning history in such a fun manner, and look forward to reading them all again.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}

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