Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Sometimes, when a review opportunity comes up, the product looks too good not to request. Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L Simmons/Heart of the Matter is one of those. This historical fiction novel takes place during the Civil War, but what makes it special is not just the novel. It’s the economics curriculum that comes with it! Yes, that’s right… it’s an historical novel and the Pursuing Gold: History and Critical Thinking Curriculum. As I was reading about it on Amazon to decide whether it would be a good fit for us or not, I decided that I really wanted Scorpion to read this book and study along with it. It seemed way too cool to pass up. Not only would he get a new viewpoint on the Civil War (history), but he would also get a better understanding of currency and how it all began in America.
Before I get too much further, let me offer you Scorpion’s thoughts:
When his father dies and his partner is injured, Peter Chandler suddenly finds himself in charge of the C&R Bank. Not only is he in charge, but it’s the middle of an economic crisis. What is he going to do? Peter has only a college degree – not a lick of experience – so he has to join forces with his injured partner’s daughter, Mary Beth. The Civil War rages around them. Political pressure to loan the government unsecured loans of gold pile up. Tempers and prices rise. When Mary Beth finds counterfeit money one day, things are suddenly much, much worse. When the signature on that counterfeit money is Peter’s, things are dire. Will Peter and Mary Beth be able to find the forger in order to save their bank? They must. In their desperation, they turn their focus on God to help them find hope and peace in this direst of circumstances.
I haven’t read a lot of historical fictions recently, but this one has one of the greatest and most interesting back stories of any. I really enjoy learning the story and with a good connection to the characters.
In this novel, it felt like even though we knew some of Peter and Mary’s history, you still get lost in the story.
The story did start a little slow, but the first few chapters introduced the elements of the story and seemed to bring you as the reader up to speed in what was happening in the story. With each chapter, we’re carried along with Mary Beth and Peter as they hunt the mystery counterfeiters, and it’s a very good read. I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this author can do.
Scorpion seems to be eating this book up. I’ve discovered him sitting in his room and reading it on more than one occasion since it arrived. Five years ago, that wouldn’t have been such a surprise, but he’s less of a bookworm now than he was then, so it’s nice to see him reading – and enjoying – a book again. The curriculum that goes with the book has also captured his attention. I don’t have to remind him to keep up on it. He’s doing exactly what the author suggests and reading a chapter, then doing the corresponding workbook pages. Every few chapters, he brings it out to show me and I’m always impressed with his work ethic.
Even though he hasn’t finished this book quite yet, he will definitely be keeping up with it. We definitely recommend it as a fascinating, unique look at the Civil War. Whether you need a supplemental book for a high school Civil War unit, or something that explores the origin of currency in America, Pursuing Gold is a book you should check out.
Make sure to head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew website for more information and reviews as well.
Cynthia L Simmons
Thanks for your review. It’s fun to see what kids do with the book.