Monday, May 6, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Papa's Pearls

For my latest review I was given a copy of Papa's Pearls which is a book written by Diane Flynn Keith a homeschooling mother and entrepreneur who wanted to share some of the pearls of wisdom that her father passed down to his children and grand children. 

Diane's papa was a street kid during the depression who was headed down the wrong path in life.  When an opportunity presented itself to make changes he took it.  In the book Diane shares many stories from her papa's life in hopes that his wisdom will help the reader "transform your life, achieve your dreams, and strengthen or rebuild bonds with your family."

The book is written more in the self help style rather than as an novel or biography.  Instead of sharing his experiences and wisdom through the course of his life she has each chapter divided by the pearl, or pearls, of wisdom that chapter covers.  Each pearl of wisdom addresses some teaching that everyone should learn in the course of their life such as "when you fall down get back up," "you gotta do what you gotta do" and "be grateful everyday."  As each pearl is presented you are given examples of when and how papa used that pearl and how it affected those who heard and lived by his example.

I found that most of the pearls were pretty common sayings, like those mentioned above and probably wisdom most parents share with their children already. There are a few more unique pearls such as "Doodle-lee Do It!" and "keep a foxy pocket" but the messages behind them were still fairly common.

The story of her papa was endearing.  It was interesting to read of his courtship and love for his wife and family, his history, and I certainly admired his hard work and dedication but I found the book lacking any real uniqueness to it.  There are many men from the depression era who made a good life for themselves. I think it might have been a bit more interesting to read if it had been more of a biography than a book full of pearls.  It was just one cute story after another without anything really tying them together.  While it was entertaining at first it made for tedious reading as the book went on.

The book was fairly short, just over 100 pages. I would say it was geared towards adults but older students may be able to relate to some of the advice.  Personally I didn't learn any new life lessons that I didn't already know.  I also didn't agree with every pearl of wisdom he had to share such as the power of positive thinking and some of his business advice. I also found it really lacking much from a perspective of faith which is important to me when looking for wisdom. There was one chapter about his faith but it too seemed disconnected from everything else. If I were recommending a book to pass on to family and friends to help really transform and strengthen their lives, this would not be one I would choose.

You can purchase Papa's Pearls by following the links on her website.  It sells for $21.97 and comes autographed by the author.  You can learn more about the book by visiting the Papa's Pearls website or to read other opinions hop on over the the Schoolhouse Review Crew by clicking on the banner below.


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