I was gifted two books from
Genealogical Publishing Company to review. Both are by author Susan Provost
Beller. One is Roots for Kids A Genealogy Guide for Young People, 3rd
Edition and the other one is Roots for Kids Finding Your Family
Roots for Kids A Genealogy Guide for Young People is an introduction to genealogy and was
updated in 2020. A lot has changed since the first publication of this book, in
1988. Beller says the material can be used in three ways: as a twelve-week
enrichment class; as a four-to-five-week mini course; and as a self-taught
genealogy course. The book is comprised of twelve chapters that covers family,
local, state, and national records, analysis, evaluation, and ends with an
ultimate field trip where Beller tells her own genealogy story.
Reading the book, I felt for it
to be used as a self-study book, the student would have to be a very motivated, self-starter learner. There is a lot of reading in each chapter.
It would work well with adult guidance, but I think it would work better as a
teacher's guide for classes or mini lessons.
The book is filled with the
author's experiences and stories, definitions, charts, and homework. The
homework applies to information you will use in the following chapter. The
information is presented in an orderly manner, the way genealogy research
should be done. Each concept builds upon another.
The 102-page book is filled
with all the information a beginning genealogist would need. For independent
learners, I would recommend this book for motivated fourth graders, but it
would be better for middle school age students and above. For classes and
lessons, I would recommend it for fourth grade and above. Again, it is for
beginning genealogists. Those who have already conducted family history
research would find the book redundant.
- An Introduction to Genealogy
- You and Your Family
- Your Parents' Family
- Asking Questions: Genealogy as Oral History
- Putting It All Together
- Kinds of Records Found Locally
- Finding Local Records on the Internet
- Kinds of State and National Records
- Finding State and National Records on the Internet
- Evaluating Your Information
- Research Around the World on Your Computer
- The Ultimate Field
No matter who uses the book, I
am happy to see that there are resources available for children and teens who
want to pursue their family history. It is an area where more is needed.
2. Roots for Kids
Finding Your Family Stories is a companion piece to the Roots for
Kids book above. It contains short easy to read chapters that can be used
individually or a class writing prompts. The first eleven chapters includes a
story, an explanation of what is of genealogical value in the story,
definitions, and tips on how to get the information for a story. The last few
chapters explain how to organize your stories, records that help, and
information if you want to go further in your research.
This book could be used as a stand-alone
if the person has some knowledge of conducting genealogy research. It could be
used in a class setting, a group session, or for individuals.
The stories told keeps the
readers interest and will spark curiosity in the reader. It even sparked my
curiosity to write family stories about heirlooms. Some children may enjoy the
story aspect of genealogy rather than just the facts. Wherever one's interest
lies let them start. The important thing is to keep their interest.
- It all begins with one story
- "Witch" people are my family?
- Fact and Fiction
- Where were you when?
- Everyone's favorite topic-Food
- Butch, Baker, Chandler understanding last names
- First names can tell stories, too!
- Home, sweet home!
- Mapping your World
- George Washington visits Disney World
- You are one in a million!
- Organizing your stories
- Things that can help
- Take a family field trip to your past
- History is, after all, just lots of stories
Susan Provost Beller Roots for Kids books are needed when it comes to engaging young people in genealogy research. You can't go wrong with either
of these books if you are interested in children and teens learning more about
their family history. Do you need help engaging your youngsters in genealogy? This would be a good place to start.
If you are interested in purchasing either of these books, go to Genealogical.com
Disclaimer: I received review copies of each of books, but the opinions are mine alone.