BOOK LIST (to print) -- NETHERLANDS
This month's World History topics of Holland and Spain tie into the Month 2 American History topic because the Pilgrims first went to Holland for refuge and safety before they came to America. I don’t remember studying the history of Holland in school, but, after learning her history, I believe it would serve us well--and all freedom loving people -- to spend much more time with her. The spirit of Holland very much parallels our history. As John Adams wrote, “The origins of the two Republics are so alike, that the History of One seems but a transcript from that of the other.” The Dutch people bravely fought off Spain’s tyranny, and their nearly 200 year run of a Republic was just winding down when our Founders were declaring our Independence and writing our Constitution. I read that Alexander Hamilton, who was instrumental in the design of our Government, was married to a Dutch woman and had studied their history very carefully so that he could learn from their mistakes and try to avoid them in our new nation. Holland was the one place the Pilgrims could flee for safety in the day of their persecution. Because the Dutch had fought so hard to earn the right of religious freedom, they welcomed people of all faiths. It was a Golden Age for Holland when some of Europe’s brightest talents poured into their land of the free. Spain is tied into Holland because Spain was the country that was tyrannizing Holland and the Dutch had to free themselves from Spanish rule. Spain also gives us many lessons. But many of those lessons are demonstrating the people we DON'T want to be.
BOOK SPOTLIGHTS FOR HOLLAND:
BOOK SPOTLIGHTS FOR HOLLAND:
- Hana in the Time of the Tulips This is a sweet picture book story of the love of a little girl for her father in 17th Century Holland. "Ever since tulip fever struck Holland, Hana's father has been consumed by greed. Soon he is too busy to walk in the garden or kiss Hana good night or even realize how lovely the tulips are. Even worse, the tulip market is crashing, and now Papa is falling into despair. It's up to Hana to find a way to remind her father of what's truly valuable and bring him back to his family." The illustrations are exquisite, in the style of Rembrandt, and makes the book worth owning.
- Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates This classic story of selflessness, based on fact, weaves Dutch life, customs and history into the story. It's a wonderfully engaging way to introduce your upper elementary/middle school children to Holland while inspiring their hearts at the same time.
- The Boy Who Held Back the Sea is a retelling of the true story of a little boy who placed his finger in the hole of a leaking dike and saved his village. I'm not a big fan of how the story is told--I think you'll find a better version in the Story Guide this month--but each picture is like a fine art masterpiece in the style of the old Dutch painters. I'd use the illustrations to tell the story. I've always had a hard time picturing what a dike looks like. And the illustrations convey the littleness of the boy against the giant sea and the fear of the darkness as he holds on through his fears. If you like these illustrations, check out other books illustrated by Thomas Locker, including a beautifully illustrated version of The First Thanksgiving. Again, I wasn't a big fan of the way the story was told, but the illustrations make the book worth owning. I've been collecting them and haven't found one I didn't love.
- Olive Beaupre's Tales from Holland Olive Beaupre is who brought My Book House to you. This is a wonderful collections of legends and historical tales from Holland.
- Brave Little Holland, and What She Taught Us by William Griffis There are so many vital lessons freedom loving people everywhere can learn from the story of Holland. Griffis wrote this book particularly to the young people of America. Brave Little Holland is a good read for High Schoolers who are ready to make some comparisons and learn at a deeper level. Or, read it yourself and gain clues that will help you see things that are happening in our country today through new eyes.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom If you haven't read this book yet, put it at the top of your list for yourself. Everything we talk about here at The Well-Educated Heart is embodied in this story. The Hiding Place wasn't a secret room-it's a place found within every heart that enables us to get through the hardest of circumstances. It's a story of faith and love and courage. There's even a virtual museum online where you can actually see the Ten Boom home to visualize all that is taking place as your read the story.
Art Credit: Hustle and Bustle on the River Bank of a Dutch Town by Charles Henri Joseph Leickert (1860)