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on July 12, 2012 :
I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review by the author.
My name is Gage Bailey and I am fourteen-years-old. My mother was given a copy of this book for review purposes as the author wanted the opinion of a kid who enjoys history - that's me! I really liked the fact that the author added so much more information in this book, more than you can find in the text books we get in school. The title is perfect. There are more than just "Americans" who helped to make the history of our country and I think it is sad that we don't get to hear about them at school. We are all beads on the same string, and everything we do, no matter how big or small, makes history.
The only thing I wish is that the author would have added more of her opinion in the book. I do realize it is non-fiction, but I would have liked to know more about what she thought when she was researching and writing it. What she as surprised as me to find out such important and interesting facts? I really liked this book and I recommend it to anyone who loves History!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on May 28, 2012 :
Ey Wade's "Beads on a String" tells us at the beginning that it was originally written two years ago as a textbook she could use for home-schooling her children. She was unable to find suitable reading material to support her needs for home-schooling her family so the core of their study of U.S. history became assembling the biographical and historical information from which this book was born. The major source for much of the material was the Internet (Wiki), so the research was readily incorporated into the process of home study and self-directed learning the family received. The "beads" are a metaphor for the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity of the United States, and the "string" is a metaphor for the whole of the USA. The book is large and fascinating---mainly a series of biographical vignettes of the people the author and her children selected as those who had a major impact on the history of the U.S. All of the "beads" make contributions; the "string" is the richer for the diversity of those contributing. "Beads on a String" has a lot to offer traditional K-12 schools and home schooling parents as supplemental material for various standard curricula in history, civics, and other social sciences.
Negatives include the need for more careful editing of typos and occasional grammatical lapses, a confusing and incomplete table of Contents, and the sheer size of the book, which at 170,000+ words is intimidating to begin.
On the whole, I recommend it highly on the as-is basis for selective browsing or as a reference source to share with junior high school and older students. With more careful editing I'd consider it as a potential candidate for a commercial textbook publisher to consider producing as an inexpensive e-book series for public school reference libraries.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
Leaping Tall Buildings Productions LLC
on June 02, 2011 :
I just finished Beads on A String and in all sincerity I have to say it is a work of subtle genius. Several years back I read one of the most unusual history books ever written, “The Peoples’ History of the United States.” Anyone who has read that revelation of history as events that really happened, as opposed to events as reported by those who were left holding the most power, will see a similar sort of understanding in this amazing work by Ey Wade. An alternative title for her work could well be, “A History of the People of the United States. I can give this work no higher compliment.
I was consistently fascinated by unexpected connections, accomplishments and contributions being added to the ongoing tapestry of our country by so many people from so many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, that I simply couldn’t put the book down. If I could ask for anything more, it would literally be just that…more.
This is the story of the heroes of our collective past. What is incredibly moving is that so many of these heroes have gone unsung for so long.
I can gladly recommend this book to anyone interested in the historical journey of the land we live in. Beyond that, I can just as easily recommend it to anyone who just likes a great read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)