Saturday, October 25, 2014

World History Detective® Book 1World History Detective
Published at Critical Thinking Co.

About the product

World History Detective® can be used as a standards-based, stand-alone textbook, a resource of supplemental activities to enrich another textbook, or as a review course for older students. Students begin by analyzing a lesson. Next, they apply critical thinking skills to answer multiple choice and short essay questions. Finally, students support their answers by identifying evidence learned from the lesson. World History Detective® includes geographical maps, timelines, and concept maps, and develops critical thinking skills in lessons that teach the roles that technology, power, institutions, ideas, and trade play in shaping history.

This book provides teacher and student introductions, list of historical topics, a lesson on identifying evidence, answers, critical thinking skills, identification of evidence, evaluation of evidence, as well as drawing inferences and conclusions.
My Thoughts

I stumbled on a new product from Critical Thinking a couple of months ago.   Since we were going to study the Medieval era as part of our homeschool, I was looking for a curriculum that will encourage my oldest son to read more about the Medieval Times and learn from it.   I had found some interesting novels but this specific product which I had discovered would challenge him in reading on a specific topics, find answers to questions and take the time to draw conclusions on his own.  

The World History Detective allow you child to become a Sherlock Holmes while travelling through historical events from the past.    The first book concentrates mostly on Ancient and Medieval Civilizations.

The table of contents is divided into four historic ages:

  • Prehistory – dating history, prehistory to Neanderthals, early modern humans, and middle stone age through the new stone age
  • Ancient Civilizations – Fertile Crescent and the Sumerians, Babylonian Empire, Hittites and Phoenicians, religious history of the Hebrews, Ancient Hebrews, Assyrians and Chaldeans, Persian Empire, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, Persian Wars, Peloponnesian Wars, Macedonians and Hellenistic Age, Classical Greece, beginning of the Roman Empire, Roman Republic Government and Law, Roman military, Phoenician Wars, Decline of Roman Republic, beginning of the Roman Empire, Daily Life in the Roman Empire, Ancient Roman Art and Literature, Roman Emperors, Christianity, Fall of the Western Roman Empire, and Ancient Celts.
  • Medieval Civilizations – Medieval Easter Roman Empire, geography of Europe, Barbarian Europe, spread of Christianity and Roman values into Barbarian Europe, founding of Western Europe, founding of England and Ireland, Medieval Russia, feudalism, age of faith, Medieval art and education, Crusades, conflict between kinds and popes, development of individual freedom, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Europe, fall of Medieval Society, geography of Arabia, beginnings of Islam, spread of Islam, Medieval Islamic science, math, business and literature, Medieval Islamic art and architecture, decline of the Islamic Empire, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, geography of Asia, China, Medieval Japan, Medieval India, Medieval Korea, Medieval Southeast Asia, geography of Africa, Medieval West African Empires and economics, and Medieval East Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • Early American Civilizations – First Americans, geography and Great Civilizations of Mesoamerica and South America, Mayas, Aztecs, Incas, Norteast Tribes, Southeast and Plain Tribes, Great Basin and Plateau Tribes, Soutwest and California Tribes, as well as Nortwest Coastal, Subartic, and Artic Tribes.

To give you an idea of how the lessons are presented, check the images below.



I am impressed with the quality found in the exercises.  There is usually a page and a half of reading to do (sometimes accompanied by maps) and the student has some multiple choice questions to answer as well as some written questions where he/she has to expand on the thinking use to formulate the answer.    These exercises are perfect to discover more about civilizations from the past as well as deepen a better understanding of history.   I am suspecting that more books will be part of this series.   I hope that a World History Detective based on Canadian History would be put together eventually.   I would be great to have something on Canadian History that would stimulate the critical thinking of the student. I am very pleased with World History Detective Book One as we cover the Medieval Civilizations as part of our history lessons.  

If you purchase the World History Detective Book One, you will also get free bonus review lessons which are downloadable from the Critical Thinking website.   Also, the answers are provided in the book.  You also have the authorization to reproduce the pages for your family use. 

The World History Detective Book One is available for purchase directly from Critical Thinking for the price of 34.99$ US.   in 2015, a software edition will also be available.  It is also available on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to The Critical Thinking Co. for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

_240_360_Book.1387.coverNelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is the most comprehensive and up-to-date Bible dictionary available. With a fresh new look and updated photographs, this new and enhanced edition is a wealth of basic study information with more than 7,000 entries plus more than 500 full-color photographs, maps, and pronunciation guides.

Features include:

  • Cross-references to major translations
  • More than 7,000 up-to-date entries
  • More than 500 full-color photographs and maps
  • Enlarged type size for easier reading
  • Visual Survey of the Bible from The Open Bible

My Thoughts

I’ve always wanted to have a Bible Dictionary but we never really got one.   We had a kid’s version but I found that it wasn’t complete enough.   So I was delighted to be able to select the new Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary and be able to review it.   I was really excited when it came to our door and quickly opened it to read more about the book of the Bible I was reading at that time – Job.    Essentially, the book of job deals with age-old questions with one being probably the most asked throughout the world – why the righteous suffer? 

This bible dictionary gave me the structure of the book including a study and teaching outline, the authorship and date, the historical setting, the theological contribution as well as a special consideration.   Within the book of Job God takes the time to answer Job at the end.  In Job 39: 13-18 the ostrich is scorned because of its nesting habits.  Tucked in the text concerning the book of Job, you can see two beautiful pictures of ostriches one demonstrating how their nest look like.

Reading about the book of Job in the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary helped me to grasp a better understanding of the book as well as enjoying he truths presented in a form of poetry.   I have now a new appreciation of the book of Job and see the necessity of returning to it on a regular basis.

This new and enhanced bible dictionary contains cross-references to major translations with over 7000 entries.   You will also be able to visualize and admired more than 500 full-color photographs and maps.


This bible dictionary is definitively more packed with information than a children version.    With over 1220 pages you can be certain to find the information you want to read when searching through this book.   At the end of the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, you can discover nine maps linked to the Bible:

  1. The Nations of Genesis 10
  2. The Exodus from Egypt
  3. The Conquest of Canaan
  4. The Kingdom Years
  5. Jerusalem – From David to Christ
  6. Palestine in Christ’s Time
  7. Paul’s First and Second Journeys
  8. Paul’s Third and Fourth Journeys
  9. The Holy Land in Modern Times

The Nelsons’ Illustrated Bible Dictionary can be a beautiful gift for a student who is going to Bible College or a great addition to your personal and homeschool library.    I plan to use this volume in my personal studies and also allow the older kids to use it for sections in Awana or for personal study when they want to learn more about something specific.

The Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

1608Pandemic Contagion
From Z-Man Games

Last year I had the privilege to review the game Pandemic from Z-Man Games on my blog.  Since the release of the new edition of the game, two expansion packs were also release: Pandemic in the Lab  and Pandemic on the Brink.  Pandemic is also available as a game on your Apple devices.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t expecting to receive the new version of the game – Pandemic Contagion – which will be release in store later this month.  This time the game has a completely different twist – you are the disease and there is no cure!  Though I will admit that with the various viruses going on right now having this game has mixed feeling…  

The game is described as this on Z-Man Games website:

For too long has the human race assaulted diseases. For too long has mankind found cures and other means to eradicate them from the planet. Now, the diseases are fighting back and humanity doesn’t stand a chance! Will you be the disease that exterminates humanity?
A new, non-cooperative game in the Pandemic line! Become one of the diseases in this new game that reverses the roles and where you must now try to annihilate the human race.

I personally experienced the same sickness twice in my lifetime – once as a child and once as a young adult.   I was told back then that the reason why I caught it a second time was because the sickness has change over a period of 20 something years and because of that many university students were getting the new “version” of it.  Not fun because I had to be very careful in being expose to sunlight for a certain period of time.   So I am not surprised in seeing a game based on the fact that diseases modified themselves in order to take a revenge on humanity.  

The box contains sixty contagion cards, twenty-four city cards, twelve event cards, six WHO cards, five player disease boards, five score markers, five petri dishes, seventy-five disease cubes and one scoring board.  The disease cubes are made of a transparent plastic in five different colors – blue, red, yellow, black and purple.   The cities that will be attacked are: Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Sydney, Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai, Tokyo, Milan, Essen, London, Paris, Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Bogota, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and New York.  The WHO cards includes events like clean-up, PR program to raise public awareness, the efforts being spread globally, a cure found, deployment of medical teams and vaccines available.   As for the events cards, they are essentially ways for the diseases to spread more rapidly throughout the world like attendance at worldwide festivals, travels, refugees, government collapsing, and more.  The disease boards and the scoring board are made of strong cardboard while the cards are very colorful.  

This game could make a great gift for Christmas for someone in your life who loves to play out-of-the-ordinary board games.   It is definitively not your normal game board and will provide great family time when you play with your kids.

Pandemic Contagion is available for purchase at your favorite games store, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Z-Man Games for sending me the product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Homeschool Adventure


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