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K. I. Knight and Jane R. Wood

Finding Family Treasure

A group of fifth graders research their family histories, by authors K. I. Knight and Jane R. Wood

Ms. Johansson is teaching her class of fifth graders about the history of America, and has a special family history project planned to engage the students. She has invited a genealogist, Ms Tucker, into the school to show the students how to research their family histories and produce a family tree. While most students are looking forward to the project, there are a couple of students who are a little worried about the task. One boy, who was adopted as a baby, knows little about his birth family and is anxious about sharing his story after he was teased by a classmate. Another boy refuses to participate in the project, as his father does not like to talk about his past.

With a little help from Ms. Johansson and Ms Tucker, the students research their own family histories and learn about the early immigrants to America, and major historical events that happened across the world, including the holocaust, the slave trade, and the trail of tears. One student learns he was descended from one of the earliest documented Africans to arrive in Virginia in 1610, after the ship he was travelling on from Africa to New Spain was hijacked by English pirates. Another student discovers that a distant relative helped the colonists and provided supplies to the troops when the war broke out against England in 1775. While the students learn about their own family histories, they also learn about their commonalities and shared history.

Finding Family Treasure is an entertaining and fun book for middle grade readers about the history and culture of America, expertly researched and written by authors K. I. Knight and Jane R. Wood. Told through the perspective of a diverse group of young students, the book brings American history to life for young readers. With additional resources and information about researching family history, this book may encourage readers to conduct their own research and produce a family tree.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A wonderful book, providing a fascinating insight into American history for young readers.

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