Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: Away We Go Media: If You Were Me (children's books)

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This fall our school has been inadvertently themed towards missionaries and international studies. It's been a theme we have thoroughly enjoyed, so this review fit in quite perfectly. This series of children's books from Carole P. Roman focus on the experience of growing up in other countries around the world. We had the opportunity to receive and review these four books, geared to anyone under age 10 (but really my 11 and 12 year old enjoyed them too).

The books we received included:

All of the books are under 30 pages and the word counts (per two-page spread) ranged from 10 to 60 words.  The reading level is about 3rd to 4th grade, but it might not be meaty enough to hold their attention. We found it was a best fit as a read-aloud to my 6 and 7 year old children. Each book describes:

  • The country capital and global location
  • Major sight-seeing destinations near or in the capital region of that country
  • Common children's names in that country
  • Common family member names, and illustrations of the interiors of traditional homes
  • Names of currency
  • Major historical sites
  • Local ethnic foods
  • Recreational past-times
  • Major holidays unique to that country
  • The word for "school" is always the final detail
  • Each book ends with the phrase "So now you see, if you were me, how life in _______ could really be."
  • The last page is a list of words or phrases with their correct pronunciation

If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico is 24 pages long and has been awarded the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. We read this book immediately after receiving it, since we were headed to a International Food night planned by our homeschool group, featuring Mexico! It was hosted by a family who had just returned from a missions trip to Mexico, so this really brought home for us what life in Mexico might really be like. We were so impressed to hear how our young friend had given a pair of his own shoes away while serving other children in an orphanage there. We all brought yummy Mexican dishes to share that helped bring alive the pages of the book where the author describes tamales. Our family brought Spanish rice and  empanadas to share.

 photo if_you_were_me_in_mexico_cover_new_zps8edb4e1d.pngWords defined and pronounced in the book include:

  • Peso
  • Fútbol
  • Tamale
  • Muñeca
  • Descubrimiento
  • Escuela
  • and more...

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If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea is 26 pages long and describes life in this eastern country. My kids found this one the most interesting, since the words seemed so different to them. We have friends who enjoy eating and making kimchee, so that was a familiar word. Other words defined and pronounced included:

  • Min Sok Chon
  • Youngin-si
  • Taekwando
  • Agi Inhyeaong
  • Seol-nal
  • Hanbok
  • Haggya

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If You Were Me and Lived in France is 22 pages long and gives a glimpse of central Europe. After reading it we talked about how many European countries touched the Mediterranean Sea and made a Mediterranean styled fennel and onion savory tart for supper. Some of the words defined and pronounced included:

  • Boulangerie
  • Eiffel
  • Gustave
  • Poupée
  • Bastille Day
  • école

 photo norway_cover_zpsf09dea5b.pngIf You Were Me and Lived in Norway is 28 pages long and explores this colder arctic country. The stories of the snow hotel experience and the strange and hard to pronounce words really captured my children's attention. This book was the one where I really relied on the pronunciation key in the back. As is true with all of the books, the words are used in a English context, so you easily know what they are talking about.

Some of the words that were defined and pronounced in this book included:

  • Oslo
  • Din velkommen
  • Kirkenes
  • Vafler
  • Krem
  • Skiis
  • Sytten Mai
  • Skole

Bottom Line:
These books were fun and just right for my younger kids. They would be a perfect addition to any unit study, and are quite affordable in their Kindle editions. I look forward to seeing what other countries Carole P. Roman publishes next.

To read all of the reviews of these four books, and for purchasing information, be sure to visit the Crew Blog:


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*Prices and links are accurate at the time this is published, and are subject to change


  1. Thank you so much for the terrific review. I am glad you enjoyed the books. Kenya is already on Amazon and Turkey will soon follow. Happy reading!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Carole! And thank you for the beautiful books! Blessings!


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