In a world where children will be forced to make some hard decisions, Girls Who Choose God gives them examples of women from the Bible to look up to a...moreIn a world where children will be forced to make some hard decisions, Girls Who Choose God gives them examples of women from the Bible to look up to and emulate. With stunning hand painted illustrations by Kathleen Peterson this book is a work of art. My children are still a bit young to truly enjoy them, but we will be using it as a read aloud and Sunday School tool. The authors highlight strong women and ask readers a question at the end of each story. A wonderful addition to your library and a great way to get discussion going about what you would do in a difficult situation to be more like these girls in the scriptures. Girls Who Choose God has a multi-cultural and ethnic feel. The pages are vibrant. Love the message!(less)
Where to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele's Wi...moreWhere to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele's Willow Springs reminded me a lot of Carla Kelly's romance novels, also by the same publisher. If you a re fan of the Wild, and I mean, Wild West, books set in the 1800's, you will like this one. Crissa is a Swedish immigrant who leaves her homeland bound for America. Once arrived, her life is about as complicated and cursed as they come. Luckily she has some great people to take care of her when sinister plots unfold.
There are definitely darker elements to this one as rape, prostitution, murder and violence are addressed. I think for my taste, it was a bit TMI in some parts. I'm not sure I would categorize it as completely clean. Though sex is not described in detail, it is a prevalent theme of the story.
I always enjoy historical elements in romance. And the main hero Drake was wonderful. The cover--gorgeous! There were a few editing issues, but since we received an e arc, I'm hoping those are fixed in the final copy. Lots of action, some fun references to the early Mormon church and an intriguing enough read that I finished in one day.
Not a bad debut! Thanks so much to the author for her kindness and to Cedar Fort for having us as a part of the blog tour.(less)
I picked up a copy of Destination Unknown from the Zondervan booth at ALA in Las Vegas this year. I know I can always count on Zondervan for high qual...moreI picked up a copy of Destination Unknown from the Zondervan booth at ALA in Las Vegas this year. I know I can always count on Zondervan for high quality, clean Christian reads. Destination Unknown is the second in a series about cousins, but having not read the first, I had no problem picking it up and loving it! SO, really it's more of a companion novel. Author Amy Clipston does an excellent job exploring the painful process of "finding oneself" as teen and separating your wishes from the pressure of peers and the expectations of parents. Whitney is in her senior year, coasting by as head cheerleader, and up until this point she's been the perfect child. 4.0 student, accepted into a prestigious college, with the popular football player boyfriend. A domino effect of events including a "D" in calculus causes a shift. Suddenly she's painfully aware that her mom's plans for her life may not be the same as her own and maybe her "friends" and true friends after all.
Whitney starts a downward spiral of small rebellions against her uber strict mother, and spends a lot of time on her knees. I absolutely love when teen titles encourage prayer. Christian behavior vs. church going Christian by name only is also explored. I will be passing this book on to my daughters and purchasing the author's other titles. I highly recommend it as a clean, contemporary read that hits on so many things: coming of age, bullying, repentance and loyalty without being heavy handed. Loved it!(less)
Meghan McGlinchey is set to clutch her eighth grade election when a chain letter shows up in the mail from Ireland and sets off a spree of bad luck. L...moreMeghan McGlinchey is set to clutch her eighth grade election when a chain letter shows up in the mail from Ireland and sets off a spree of bad luck. Luckily, her family is all set to go to Ireland and meet her father's long lost sister, but in the mean time there's a lot of mishaps coming her way!
What I loved about this book
It's part of Cindy Callahan's international middle grade series. We loved Lost in London and this one, set in Ireland is just as fun
The main character shares a first name with one of my daughters. She was all over it when this book came in the mail!
The setting- castles, people who look like leprechauns, sheep in the street and a bit of magic.
It explores looking at life as a glass half empty or a glass half full. There's a discussion about superstition.
Lucky Me is an age appropriate, fun, easy read.
The covers are colorful and will make a great gift set for your tween.
It gives a brief but realistic snapshot of some of the Emerald Isle's sites.
What I wish
I wanted to know more about Finn, the side characters and Meghan's parents. The story line is very focused on one girl and one boy.
Was hoping for a few more laugh out loud moments.
A winner. We will definitely be buying all of Cindy's books!
Content: sneaking out, one kiss, some snarkiness between school girls (less)
I have been a fan of the Otis books since the very first picture book in this series came out. Who wouldn't fall in love with a tender hearted old fas...moreI have been a fan of the Otis books since the very first picture book in this series came out. Who wouldn't fall in love with a tender hearted old fashioned red tractor that makes the best of friends with everyone on his farm?
Fall has set in, the leaves are changing, the pumpkins are ready to harvest and there is a chill in the air. Along comes a new addition to the hill, a scarecrow! At first everyone is scared of this sour faced, stern statue who stands watch each and every day alone. But soon, the crows pick at him and all turn away to ignore him. Otis, friendly as he is, can not understand why Mr. Scarecrow is so serious! There are no smiles, no greetings, no hellos. Can anyone befriend him?
With beautiful illustrations and a message that will bring a smile, we give Otis and the Scarecrow 5 stars. Loren Long teaches that even the unfriendliest of neighbors need someone to stand by them. Otis has won us over once again!(less)
I grew up in a home with a very prepared mother who was always storing water, toilet paper, and "you name it" in our pantry, under our beds. I underst...moreI grew up in a home with a very prepared mother who was always storing water, toilet paper, and "you name it" in our pantry, under our beds. I understood the importance of personal preparedness and emergency supplies. Still, I didn't know the deeper ins and outs of home storage or water purification. The Practical Prepper looked awfully daunting at over 300 pages, but once I dove in I found myself easily gliding through it all and soaking up the practical advice within. This book has websites for research, vignettes that illustrate different types of people, spreadsheets to help you plan your 72 hour kit and photos of the essentials.
I learned a lot and the authors really got me thinking about what would occur in the event of a natural disaster or war related threat and how my family would cope. I also truly enjoyed stories of canned goods that have stood the test of time in a sunken ship. Even for the most skeptical storer, this book is a must have! I do wish there was a list of supplies discussed at the end of each chapter because I found myself making mental lists and wanting to write things down as I read. It would help to have a shopping list or simple checklist for those of us who like to see things laid out and ready to mark. Otherwise, the Practical Prepper was the best book on preparedness I have read thus far. I would recommend purchasing it!(less)
Simon Peter is a man we know about from the Bible. A man who was asked to cast his net and then leave behind his life as a fisherman to follow Christ....moreSimon Peter is a man we know about from the Bible. A man who was asked to cast his net and then leave behind his life as a fisherman to follow Christ. In The Peter Potential, we learn even more about this story and the many others that came throughout the ministry. We are asked to apply the teaching to the multitude, the personal invitations to cast out a little form the shore and then into the deep. Through nautical photos, graphics, quotes, scripture and text, the authors challenge the reader to a higher level of discipleship, a trial of faith and the ship overflowing with blessings when we take a challenge from the Lord. This is a book I'm going to have to read several times to pick up on the layers and lessons. I've been through it twice and it's left me pondering how I can become more like Peter.
The only drawback with the flow of the book, is that I wish the authors would have separated Peter's distinct experiences and stories by a small break or chapter. There are several vignettes rolled into one book. It was a bit hard to know where one ended and the other began. Overall, an uplifting and though provoking gift quality read that holds hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Beautiful.
My Favorite Quote To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy of that moment finds them unprepared and unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour- Winston Churchill p.20
The Lord is completely aware of you, He has miracles in store for you, and He knows what He is about to do. Give Him all that you have to offer. He will bless it. He will make it more." p.64(less)
I purchased Her Rebellious Heart a few months a go as a free download on Amazon, and since we went to the Scottish festival this weekend, I wanted goo...moreI purchased Her Rebellious Heart a few months a go as a free download on Amazon, and since we went to the Scottish festival this weekend, I wanted good a historical fiction with roots in Scotland. I was pleasantly surprised that this was clean, and the setting was authentic. I loved the descriptions of the North Sea, the crumbling castles, the tartans and feuds between clans. My only complaint is that at times the Scottish dialect was present and others times it wasn't. Do not becomes "dinna" etc. Also, the flow could have been more smooth and the main villain definitely needed to be fleshed out more fully. It seems like the author cut the conflict short. It reads more like a novella than a full story. With more editing and filling out of story line this could have been much more. I did enjoy the surnames in the book...main man Aidan MacLeod carries my ancestral clan name!
Overall, if you want a short historical Scottish read as a taste of the era, this may be a good pick, but I would wait until it goes up for free again.
I sometimes get in serious reading slumps, when I just can't find a book to fit my mood. I was in one when Becoming Lady Lockwood arrived in the mail....moreI sometimes get in serious reading slumps, when I just can't find a book to fit my mood. I was in one when Becoming Lady Lockwood arrived in the mail. I think I may have cheered for several reasons. One, I took the author photos for Jennifer and two, I am a huge fan of both historical fiction and maritime tales. Jennifer Moore sweeps readers away to an adventure on the high seas between Jamaica and England. Lady Lockwood has just been widowed in a marriage of convenience. Having never met her husband, she is actually happy to be unattached and now able to avoid the societal pressures that come with being single. She is headstrong and independent with a fortune of her own wrapped up in sugar, when Lord Lockwood's brother appears. A marine captain, he's been sent to summon Lady Lockwood back to London. There is friction, of course, as the captain calls our main heroine by her maiden name--Amelia Beckett while on board his ship. He is out to challenge Amelia and his brother's arranged marriage and reclaim all of the family fortune. Sailing through enemy waters in time of war makes for a dangerous journey.
I absolutely loved every page of this clean Regency romance. Jennifer's characters were enjoyable, even side characters had personalities to remember. They have a lot of growing to do. There is mystery, intrigue, and action to keep readers turning pages. I highly recommend this one to fans of Julianne Donaldson and Sarah M Eden. It is a clean pick with historically correct factoids and a unique plot. Well done Jennifer! Can not wait to read all Ms. Moore has up her sleeve in the coming years. (less)
The very first thing that grabbed my attention about this book is how beautiful and colorful the illustrations are. This is a high quality publication...moreThe very first thing that grabbed my attention about this book is how beautiful and colorful the illustrations are. This is a high quality publication printed on thick paper with rich imagery. It will stand the test of time. I gave it to my 8 year old to read and she gave The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law two thumbs up. She found the early reader book "interesting and educational." We later read it aloud as a family and she STILL remembered the facts, the premise and the little details. That says a lot to me when after a few weeks away from a book my children still remember it.
As a mother and patriot I loved the idea that right is right and wrong is wrong. That the law is applied in every aspect of our lives and affects each and every one of us. Those in government can either further our freedom and help us succeed, or they can take our hard earned money and give it away. The concept of legal plunder is introduced in beginner terms and broken down for children as are Frederic Bastiat's philosophy from his book "the Law."
Connor Boyack has given us a wonderful teaching tool and roots to interest even the youngest mind in the rightful place of government. His main character Fred gardens, cans and has a library overflowing with books ( my kind of role model.) We loved the Tuttle Twins and we are excited for book 2! Well done Connor.(less)
Short, powerful, beautiful, to the point. Author Adam Smith affirms marriage is not for you, it's for the one you love, for your future children. Take...moreShort, powerful, beautiful, to the point. Author Adam Smith affirms marriage is not for you, it's for the one you love, for your future children. Taken from his viral blog post, this gift book is wonderful for newlyweds or nearly deads, to remind them what marriage is all about. Marriage Isn't For You is chock full of photos, great graphics and perfect fatherly advice. Five stars. I loved it. Sometimes the message hits home when it is compact and tastefully presented. Perfect.(less)
My children are huge rock hounds and collectors, so when they saw this book in the Albert Whitman catalog, they requested it. We loved the multi- medi...moreMy children are huge rock hounds and collectors, so when they saw this book in the Albert Whitman catalog, they requested it. We loved the multi- media digital illustrations which are colorful, and bring the story to life. For a non-fiction book, These Rocks Count is interesting and easy to read. The only drawbacks for us were that 1) we haven't had a great experience with rangers being nice to children as of late, and one of the main "helpers" in this story is a ranger, and 2) we weren't quite sure why everyone was hugging and listening to a boulder.
What did we love? We really liked learning about all the different places you can find rocks and minerals: toothpaste, cell phones, etc. My children were excited to see a geode featured as this is one of our favorite types of specimens. Overall, I would recommend this one for teachers or mothers of young learners.(less)