Carole Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In… Colonial America is charming and intriguing — the perfect combination to immerse your young ones (and maybe yourself) in some food for thought about how lives differed between then and now.
Mrs. Roman keeps the main part of her story focused from the perspective of a child living in colonial New England, and leaning on the story of the Pilgrims. We get a bit more of the story here than is traditionally shared, with the story-telling child reflecting on what life was like in Europe before the sea journey, and what it was like to live in a harsh environment while everyone spent the winter building homes… in a place where no one really knew how to make a living.
The story teller shares more familiar parts with us, as well, including how the native peoples supported and taught the colonists how to survive.
The clothing of children in the colonial era was quite different from today, as well as the idea of what schooling was – for boys and for girls.
Although the narrative of the book centers around the New England region, Mrs. Roman does include a list of other colonial era figures, well know and from other parts of the American Continent. Some are well known (Pocahontas) and others less so. I was bemused to learn of Ann Hutchison, a mother of 15 children (bless her!) who rebelled against the strictures of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and was eventually tried and drown out, going on to resettle in New York.
If You Were Me and Lived In… Colonial America is part of Mrs. Roman’s “If You Were Me and Lived In…” series which explores children living in a wide range of areas and times, and creates a way for today’s children to relate to those times and places. I’m looking forward to exploring other titles, myself!