Cummings feels that "to understand the present, we must grapple with the past. History books and primary sources can take you on a time travel adventure and allow you to explore the people, places, and events that have shaped our world."
Rebels and Revolutions is part of the Mystery and Mayhem series which include 10 books. It is published by Nomad Press, an educational publisher whose mission is to provide middle school students with the tools and skills they’ll need in a future not quite imagined. They are doing this by looking at the past. Biographies, project-based narratives, nonfiction picture books, and historical mysteries make up their title list.
Discussion questions for Rebels and Revolutions can also be found on Cummimgs's website by clicking on the book cover image and scrolling down for them.
Are You a Rule Breaker?
Cummings's introduction to Rebels and Revolutions surely will catch your attention.
The book is a classroom and library resource aimed at ages 9-12. It profiles the stories of 5 people who are racially and ethnically diverse, both males and females. Each chapter is a short vignette about 22 pages. It's just the right amount of information to sustain a student's attention and easy to follow written in a conversational tone. The stories follow in a chronological time period with some overlapping starting with the American Revolution and ending in the late sixties. They profile individuals who took a risk and dared to make a difference. Each chapter addresses the questions: What do you do when you see injustice unfolding? Do you stand and fight? People who do are often called traitors, agitators or rabble-rousers. But they are also the people who are often the driving force toward change.
The reader is introduced to the lives of five firebrands who used muskets and marches, boycotts and lawsuits in their struggle for justice. Joseph Plumb Martin committed treason when he joined the Continental Army to fight for American independence. Sengbe Pieh's fight for freedom took him from the bowels of a slave ship to the nation's highest court. Yosh Kuromiya, a Nisei of Japanese ancestry living in the United States, resisted the draft during World War II based on injustice. Claudette Colvin was denied the most basic rights because of her skin and faced daily discrimination. Her voice was a predecessor to the Rosa Parks bus boycott. Cesar Chavez challenged the power of the agricultural industry and became a voice of hope for thousands of poor migrant workers. I found all their stories educational and inspirational. The glossary in the book was a helpful reference tool when reading.
The author hopes readers will recognize that revolutions are born out of injustice and rebels like the ones featured in the book are patriots. They do so because their lives become untenable, and their goal is to improve life for themselves and those they care about.
And don't forget to check out the author's creative ideas for making dioramas in the classroom as a fun and effective project based learning experience.
Thank you Judy for sending me your book for review and your input.
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