Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley contacted me about reviewing a new book series called Wright on Time, about the RV-traveling, homeschooling Wright family of four. She said she'd send me a free book (the first one about Arizona) if I'd review it for her. I liked the concept, so I said yes, and I must say, I love her book!
First impressions are everything when it comes to kids and getting them interested in something, so the way a book LOOKS is very important. Lisa found a great illustrator in Tanja Bauerle. The cover is colorful and fun. But as a mom and a teacher, the two pages that precede the text are awesome! Tanya has pencil drawings of Arizona's state bird, flower, mammal, fossil, insect, and gemstone, plus a topographical drawing of the state. I'd like to see that in a coloring page!
Then we begin the chapter book. The 76 pages are easy enough for a young reader, and mature enough for mom or dad to read aloud. I really like the "teaching" that goes on incognito. The kids learn all about caves and their inhabitants (animal and mineral) as they explore, and I like the more difficult vocabulary words sprinkled in and the glossary in back. The mom and dad are active partners in learning and do a great job modeling homeschooling in an unschooling sort of way. Anything in this book would be a good jumping-off point for more study.
Plus there's a mysterious object they find buried in the cave wall and mention of their next adventure in Utah at a dinosaur dig. My kids loved books in series, and I know they would have really been into this one. I'd say the best ages for these books are 6-12. Book 2 about exploring Utah is coming out soon.
One thing you left out Lisa. How does the Wright family support themselves as they explore the US in an RV? I know there are plenty of us out there who'd love to try it. :)