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Scott Hastings and Geraldine Ames, The Vermont Farm Year in 1890

Charlie Emond:

"Having just taken a group of basic level students to Billings Farm, I was glad to have had this book to read first. It is well-written and well-arranged. I can certainly see using it in classroom situations and on a variety of levels. There are sites in Vermont which could go along with each season and I would recommend the Billings Farm as one such which is excellent. Another experience mentioned in the book is maple sugaring and every Vermont student should go out and see this done. I took a group this year and it turned out to be a very important and educational learning experience. It is also one which I was able to tie in with the Native American experience on this land."

Mary Jean Smith:

"Teacher Use--Excellent resource for a teacher to use with a unit on Farming. It has detailed descriptions that teachers and students could use to make replications for the hands-on aspect of a unit. Directions for making “hayracks” (small piles of hay), recipe for “Switch” (a drink to prevent heat prostration), the how to of using a scythe, the hows and whys of making stone fences and wire fences. This book is full of rich material that any teacher could put to good use. I would love to do a unit on farming and have students use this book to divide the unit up into parts. I could see it as a great cooperative group unit."

Zachary Kent, Calvin Coolidge

Mary Jean Smith:

"There is a great timeline in the back of the book. It would be a great resource for an interdisciplinary unit about Vermont history. The book could be used as a resource for projects or a reading assignment.

The book tells a great deal about what it was like to grow up during this era. It gives a clear view of how sickness was nothing to fool around with. Because of the rural life, medical attention could be obtained but sometimes too late."

Maudean Neill, Fiery Crosses in the Green Mountains: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan in Vermont

Charlie Emond:

"This is a surprising book. For one of my college level classes I used a video and reading series called 'The Shadow of Hate.' The video begins with an immense KKK march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, and it is just as chilling to the soul as this book is. This video might be a good visual aid or companion piece if this book or the ideas in it are extracted for class use."

Mary Jean Smith:

"This could be used as a supplement to a unit about diversity and prejudice. High School students could read this and discuss the points made about how the Klan got started in Vermont and what caused its downfall.

It was startling to read about the KKK actually being active in Vermont. It was even more startling that there were actually so many that thought the KKK was a group of people with high moral standards who promoted their patriotic duties to the fullest and had no ulterior motives. The vulnerability and naive attitudes of some Vermonters stood out in the book. Along with these attitudes came the fortitude of the press. The sections of articles printed from newspapers of that time are very interesting and add to the readability of the book."

Michael Sherman and Jennie Versteeg, eds., We Vermonters: Perspectives on the Past

Charlie Emond:

"I found this to be an excellent reference book and I especially liked the write-up on Franco-Americans. I am not sure how it might fit into a class on Vermont history as it is not your typical chronological and inclusive textbook. The individual essays are well-written and might be useful in certain circumstances, perhaps in photocopy form."

Mary Jean Smith:

"The diversity of the articles in this book means the teacher can use only some of them unless they are doing units on many topics. The articles are written in college textbook fashion. The reading is not "pleasure reading" but content reading. The bibliographies at the end of each article are extensive. Teachers could surely use these sources.

The article by David A. Donath, "Agriculture and the Good Society: The Image of Rural Vermont" was very interesting and gave a lot of information about different eras in Vermont and the changes in the agriculture industry. This particular article would connect very well with The Vermont Farm Year in 1890. I found that many of the articles in the chapter "Making a Living" very informative concerning the industrial history of Vermont. Articles discuss Vermont’s contributions to America, from the first marble quarry in America located in Dorset in 1785 to the agricultural industry, which is closely related to Vermont’s identity."