Monday, September 26, 2011

The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge by Ian Wilson

Even though I don't presently have any 8-12 year olds in my house, I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge by Ian Wilson to review. A drawing factor for me was the fact that the author is Canadian and I love to promote Canadian authors. I also have an almost 6 year old and have shared books with her before that were geared towards older children.

When I got the book I decided it was probably a bit too much for my almost 6 year old right now but I will probably share it with her in a few years time.  I decided to read through it myself at this time, but I have to admit that I struggled with getting through the book.  I found it a little tedious at times.  I don't know if an 8-12 year old would have the same reaction or not.

There were some parts of the book that I did really like - like the fact that one of the main characters is from a homeschooling family.  That was a nice surprise.  I don't remember being told that before I read the book but it definitely made me more interested in the book.  There are few books that I have found that have a homeschool connection.

I also loved that the boys and their dad developed a scale model of part of the railway system.  We have a friend that is into model trains and I thought that he might be interested in sharing this book with his boy when he gets a little older.  I think it's a great way to encourage learning and the development of father-child relationships.

Along with having a Canadian author, this book also has a Canadian setting.  It is set in Ontario and is sprinkled with bits of Canadian history, especially surrounding the CNR.  I don't really know much about the CNR so I'm not sure how much of the details in the book are true and how much are fictional, but it has sparked my interest to learn more about it and to include it in my child's learning in the future.