Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon (1922)

The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon (1922)
Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project or MainLessonDotCom
Ages: advanced children (12 & up)
Price: Accepts donations/FREE

I found this book on Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project or MainLessonDotCom which interested me b/c I am always seeking resources for teaching world history to children and teens.

While working on our lesson plans I've been compiling a resource list for the Middle Ages: Rome to King James which I will use MOH 2 and TruthQuest History: Rome, Middle Ages and Renaissance/Reformation as the guides or spines.

I came across The Story of Mankind by Van Loon.  At first glance, it was an excellent deal as it's on the public domain from Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project, but upon reading the sample pages, I saw that this book is full of error not only in its retelling of evolutionary beginnings of humanity but also in its retelling of the historical figure, Moses.  Van Loon completely ignores Moses' faith in the God, Jehovah but tells the story as an outsider to faith citing that God was the god of Thunder and Lightening~uh??? yeah??? Ya think?  This interpretation is in no way consistent with Biblical accounts of Moses that many know as the prince of Egypt who emancipates God's people after a show of God's amazing power in the plagues. Van Loon never bothers to share about the plagues or the Red Sea crossing, but he does retell the receiving of the Ten Commandments as one where Jehovah at the instruction of Moses dictates the laws to Moses who in essence, writes them down...AMAZING what twist this is to the narrative of the Bible!

Side NOTE:  The Story of Mankind was a Newberry Medal winner for children' lit and has been updated most recently in 1999. Source.

SisterT's Take:  NO LIKE! Aside from "error spotting!" RUN from this one! Definitely secular and anti-God. I do like the hand drawn illustrations that give the book charm.  They aren't cutesy, but good pen and ink style, and  I do love this site which has over 500 books in many genres.  This is an excellent resource that is free and by donation only. AMAZING!

I received no compensation for reading this book other than its free use; my opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Apryl said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one that really disliked this book. I checked it out from the library with high hopes, and didn't get very far before I decided it was going right back!