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An Important and Timely Series of Historical Novels Reissued
We’re announcing a major update and revision to an important series of historical novels: the Homesteaders series. This collection of six books follows two families as they leave their home in Norway in the 1860s and journey to America in the hopes of building a life for themselves and their children in the land of promise and opportunity. They suffer repeated tragedies, but they are strong in their faith and in their love for one another, and their strength and perseverance, as well as their willingness to work hard to achieve their goals, offer important lessons for children.
Certainly, immigration is a fraught issue today. There are passionate advocates on all sides of the argument of whether or not to allow others into a country that is not their own. But sometimes we forget that in 1862, when President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, he was quite literally inviting immigrants to come from other countries to help Americans settle the vast Midwest, which was primarily wilderness at that time. He wanted the influx of labor and culture and commitment and diligence that would come with the people who were willing to make the perilous journey across oceans and mountains and deserts to make a new life in a country that needed them. In fact, his administration was so dedicated to that idea that they were almost giving away the land to anyone who would settle it by establishing a homestead on it.
The Homesteaders series welcomes children into that time in American history, allowing them to connect on a personal level with characters who understood the gift that America was offering them, who cherished their new country and sought to learn its customs and its primary language, but who, for obvious reasons, brought with them and would not abandon the important elements of their culture—the very things that have made America the incredible melting pot that we have spent centuries being so proud of.
The Homesteaders series is not just about immigration, of course. It’s about life in the Dakota Territory (specifically what is now North Dakota), where the weather could be cruel and diseases like smallpox were deadly. But it was a place where communities were built and people relied on one another and helped one another out and made sure to practice the timeless, heart-warming quality of loving their neighbors in ways that perhaps we do not do enough of today.
There are plenty of lessons for children in these six books, which can be purchased individually or as a set, but all of them are lessons that will stand children in good stead as they navigate the world today. It is a series that should not be missed.