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Book Review–Oscar’s American Dream by Barry Wittenstein

For those of us who moved from the town you grew up in, have you ever driven through certain parts of your hometown when you visit, remincising about how the neighborhoods used to look and how the businesses changed? You may find yourself saying things like, “this used to be a so-and-so” or “when I was a child this was a _____”. I do it just about every time we travel to my hometown, and my family and I currently live in the town my husband grew up in, so he does it often too. Well, our recent #bedtimeread, Oscar’s American Dream, the latest picture book written by Barry Wittenstein, epitomizes these conversations, but more beautifully written than my husband or I could express.

“A local news reporter wrote that if you wanted to see American history, you just stood in the doorway of the corner store, and history came to you.”

This quote from Oscar’s American Dream, illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, perfectly summarizes this well told story. This recently released book tells the story of not just Oscar, but many different people who take that brave step to not just start a business, but often to also immigrate to a new country.

As much as I can recall how my hometown has changed since I was a child, I’m only going back a few decades. Another awesome thing about this book is that it spans a century! It starts with Oscar in 1899, and ends in 1999, with a variety of store owners in between. So if you want to share with your children what going down memory lane is like mixed in with a history lesson, then Oscar’s American Dream needs to be added to your reading list! (You can also find some fun learning activities to go along with this awesome book here.)

*Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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