Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Radio Interview and Book Review for Just Fine the Way They Are by Connie Wooldridge

Just Fine the Way They Are
Listen in on Connie's Radio Interview today at 2pm EST at to learn more about her book Just Fine the Way They Are-From Dirt Roads to Rail Roads to Interstates.

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge's vivid imagination and spirited storytelling are fueled by her love of travel, adventure, and the unconventional way she embraces all life has to offer. She's lived in seven states, Washington, D.C., Athens, Greece and Seoul, South Korea; was a Latin major, a flight attendant for a major airline, raised four children who are five years apart in age, and worked at a job she'd dreamed of having as a little girl - a librarian in an elementary school. From the time she learned to read, Connie loved to escape into her favorite stories - mysteries and fantasies. While other girls were devouring Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventures on the American prairie, she lived in the fantasy worlds created by 19th Century Scottish writer George MacDonald or went sleuthing with Nancy Drew.

  • Reading level: Ages 6 and up

  • Hardcover: 32 pages

  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (March 1, 2011) 

  • ISBN-10: 1590787102 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1590787106

  • Review:

    Mr. John Slack, a tavern keeper in 1805, was not happy when two senators from Ohio and Connecticut had decided to  tell the U.S. Congress that the United States needed a National Road so the folks who lived in the East could get to the Ohio RIver. Wagon drivers would stay the night at his tavern while their wagons got stuck in the mud going up a nearby hill. It brought him business, a National Road would cost him money. In his mind, things were just fine the way they were.

    But Congress went and built a National Road in 1816. Unlike Mr. John Slack, other people wanted the National Road. It was where ideas  and people and things could be sold back and forth across the country. But soon the National Road lost it's newness and another idea came along in the 1830's. People began to be in awe of the steam locomotive. Once people began to see what it could do the thirst to be able to move faster to get from place to place took over.

    But, of course, you can't please everyone. The people who used the National Road were upset because they felt that it should be better maintained. It now had potholes and weeds in it during the 1850's, and when people began to ride a new invention known as the bicycle, a new wave of complaints came where Congress should build better roads, especially with the invention of Henry Ford's Model T.

    Because of the pressure from the nation. Congress agreed in 1912 to spend money for a national highway system that would include the National Road. Things began to evolve quickly combining innovation with the needs of the people. But people didn't expect pollution and other problems. Were things really fine the way they were?

    This is a wonderful tool for teachers and parents to use to teach social studies skills. Readers will learn more about how transportation has transformed America and how transportation is essential for expansion. The reader will be able to see how transportation has changed and evolved over the years and how communities are changed by transportation. Just Fine the Way They Are, is a well written account of the history of transportation which includes detailed and realistic illustrations that are appealing to the reader. Readers from 6 and up will delight in how America has changed, yet will also understand some of our current problems as well which involve the environment. People wanted progress, things to become faster and easier, but certain things weren't taken into consideration at the time. Wooldridge tells the history of transportation in a brief, detailed, yet fun way, that will suck in the reader, while the illustrator, Richard Walz, drives the message home. Highly reccomended for use in a classroom and homeschool setting. 

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