Beginning my 20th year as a homeschooler, I find all too often that I am the one who is in need of a curriculum change, not my children. One way I prefer to “shake things up” is by including some additional reading and literature resources to our base curriculum. Recently, I was introduced to Jocelyn Green and her book, Widow of Gettysburg. I am so excited to add this amazing literary piece to this year’s required reading for U.S. history in high school.
Jocelyn does a spectacular job of capturing the reader’s attention by dropping us into the events following the Battle of Gettysburg. Through a combination of action scenes, characters’ reflections, and a unique means of interweaving the Word, she brings the reader into the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of those who lived out this time in our nation’s history. One scene I particularly enjoyed so precisely described the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of one of the main characters (Libby), that I could almost feel the intensity of the Rebel soldiers as they grew increasingly frustrated and demanded Libby to get them food since they hadn’t eaten in days!
As a supplement to any United States history curriculum, this is a great time to introduce a historical book like this because it correlates with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This book could easily be integrated into U.S. history after 1875 and pick up with some of the after effects of war. The book lends itself to open discussion in a single family homeschool setting or in a cooperative homeschool enrichment class. In much the same way my husband and I require our high school students to read The Diary of Anne Frank, we can now add this book to the historical literature portion of our curriculum. With a discussion guide included, Jocelyn Green makes leading open communication about this time in our history simple, allowing for encouraging and implementing independent research and investigation of the era she writes about. The best part is that it is customizable to your own schooling needs. Spend as little or as much time with this book as you wish, and you will only increase the knowledge and understanding your students have of this pivotal time in America’s history!
“And at the end of ten days it was seen that they were looking better and had taken on more flesh than all the youths who ate of the king’s rich dainties…As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all [kinds of] visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:15 & 17, Amplified Bible)