I read this book aloud to my children last night, only to find out they had already picked it off my bookshelf and read it on their own. Drawn by the...moreI read this book aloud to my children last night, only to find out they had already picked it off my bookshelf and read it on their own. Drawn by the idea of a match, no doubt! They quickly learned why playing with matches is a bad idea and that even a Prophet of the Lord was drawn to play with matches as a little boy.
But more importantly, they caught the message to listen to the warnings, the whisperings in your heart that try to stop us from making a choice with grave consequences.
Filled with beautiful, vivid and life like illustrations, One Little Match has a great moral message and a happy ending. Dan Burr crafted some masterpieces with the faces on little Tommy and his friend Dan. Short, sweet, to the point…this a great family lesson tool.(less)
I love this series! Cragbridge Hall is a great way to introduce your school aged children to historic events, futuristic time travel fantasy and valua...moreI love this series! Cragbridge Hall is a great way to introduce your school aged children to historic events, futuristic time travel fantasy and valuable lessons about character.
In book two, The Avatar Battle, Abby and Derrick, brother and sister team are at it again. Trying to get through a very challenging curriculuum at an exclusive school for only the smartest of the smart, while battling Muns, evil mastermind who wants to change history. With scenes from the Civil War, the burning of the Hindenberg, and futuristic giraffe fights there is plenty of action packed adventure. Chad's characters with a sense of humor are sure to keep both children and adults turning pages.
I enjoy the little lessons for life that are written into the plot about competition, using power wisely, having character and integrity. There is mild violence, but nothing that keeps me from recommending the Cragbridge Hall series to my own little ones.( They were more excited than I was when it came in the mail, and I get pretty excited about books.) Thank you to Shadow Mountain for publishing family friendly, good quality books.
Favorite Quote "We can't waste all our energy wishing the past were different--we must learn from it and love forward."(less)
Women and girls lift their voices declaring that we are beautiful daughters of God, not defined by the world’s standards in this compilation of short...moreWomen and girls lift their voices declaring that we are beautiful daughters of God, not defined by the world’s standards in this compilation of short essays. Each one infuses and empowers as it explores where true beauty comes from–within.
I love books like this that offer so many points of view from women and writers in all different stages of their lives. We would be wise to read a chapter a day, or to share this book with our daughters and friends. Especially good thoughts with summer approaching, swimsuit season and the many women who hide in shame. There is no shame. Your body is a temple. It is a gift!
Reflection and writing allow us to see ourselves and others more truthfully, more compassionately. Our personal experiences challenge the illusion of culture. We begin to see how unfulfilling and shallow the messages are. We sense a newfound strength and power to stand up to false standards of self-worth ad refuse to allow ourselves to be merchandise in the marketing of beauty. Real beauty isn't merely decorative; its primary function is to connect--to our innermost beings to one another and to the world around us. Real beauty does not divide or diminish us--it opens and inspires us. It is not only possible but natural to live peacefully in our body, to be comfortable in our own skin, for each of us to love our bodies and find ourselves beautiful." - LeNae Valentine, editor.(less)
I've read all of Sarah's books and I think this one is by far her best yet! It was born of sacrifice and hard work on her part and those characteristi...moreI've read all of Sarah's books and I think this one is by far her best yet! It was born of sacrifice and hard work on her part and those characteristics become so much more real in her main character.
Katie MacCauley has made a decision to join her fellow Irishmen on the Irish Road in her small town of Hope Springs, Wyoming. The town is divided by prejudice and hatred, the Irish "Paddys" targeted as foreigners in a harsh land. The Red Road will do anything to get Katie our of their site, our of their stores and our of her employment as a housekeeper for Joseph Archer. Tensions are heating up and there are those convinced that blood will be spilled before the division can be settled.
As a descendant of Irish who came to America, I learned a great deal about the hardships they faced, the desires they had to maintain their heritage and the work ethic the Irish modeled in putting down roots. I especially enjoyed reading about coclannon, one of my favorite Irish dishes, and hearing some of the Gaelic words written into conversation. Sarah demonstrates through tradition, family relationships, loyalty and love, just how tightly woven the Irish settlements were. She shows the character's weaknesses of short tempers, raw emotions and pride, as well as their ability to laugh and press forward with tenacity and courage in the midst of adversity.
I cried several times. I felt the feelings of these people and grew to love them as my own. Hope Springs is a tale of one woman's vow to turn her tragic past into triumph and to make a difference in her community. It is also a beautiful story of how love can heal all wounds and a heart has the power to choose its path. I highly recommend this series as a prime pick for well researched, beautifully written historical fiction and clean romance. Sarah M Eden's writing pulled at my heart!(less)
This book completely changed my way of looking at things! It pretty much takes everything we’ve ever thought about finding happiness and flips it arou...moreThis book completely changed my way of looking at things! It pretty much takes everything we’ve ever thought about finding happiness and flips it around so that a new perspective is possible. For many of us, we can find point zero (where we are surviving, but not thriving), but pushing past point zero to happiness is difficult. Wendy is a PHD Psychologist suggests “if you want to get happier, don’t try to get help with your problems. Don’t turn to therapy for answers..”
Wait, what?!! Here’s her answer “while turning to others to help us be happier is not a very successful approach, offering help to others is.”
Everything you’ve been clinging to will shift after reading Ulrich's point of view.
While short in pages, this little book is packed with new ideas and simple suggestions to challenge and lift. I will be re-reading it often and using the exercises in each chapter on my journey to creating habits of happiness. Want to know more about her quirky suggestions? Read on…
1. Stop worrying about your weaknesses. 2. Don’t even try to get motivated to exercise. 3. Stop hoping to find friends. 4. Don’t try to feel happier. 5. Celebrate failure. 6. Don’t try to get help with your problems. 7. Don’t endure to the end.
When I received The Kiss of Deception in the mail from Mac Teen I had never read any of Mary Pearson's previous works nor had I heard of her latest, s...moreWhen I received The Kiss of Deception in the mail from Mac Teen I had never read any of Mary Pearson's previous works nor had I heard of her latest, so there were zero expectations. However, about five minutes into this book, I knew it was going to be epic!
"Holy good book batman" was my reaction after turning the last page.
Completely engrossing, excellent high fantasy with lush world building, suspense and the stuff classic fairy tales are made of. The story is told from multiple perspectives which I generally do not like, but Pearson executed it flawlessly and I didn't feel confused or put off, just intrigued and curious how this mystery would all unfold. Between a betrothed, a prince, an assassin and a ladies maid there is plenty of plot spinning.
Because we are so far off from the book release and I do not want to spoil in any way I will just say this...incredible!
I cried I soaked in the seaside villa with bright colors and common tavern folk I relished the scenes with travelers who roam and wander, living in tents as gypsies I second guessed myself all the time trying to tease out who is who I enjoyed the rich, old mythical taste of kingdom, myth and legend I finished and entered a reading slump I grew to feel compassion for good guy and bad guy alike I want book two!
Similar to: Brightly Woven by Alex Bracken, Mistwood by Leah Cypess
parental content: (view spoiler)[moderate violence, some swearing (mostly toward the end of the book), threat of assault (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is the first book I've read in the Valentine Valley series, but it is actually #4 in sequence. A Promise at Bluebell Hill can be read as a standa...moreThis is the first book I've read in the Valentine Valley series, but it is actually #4 in sequence. A Promise at Bluebell Hill can be read as a standalone, but ultimately I think readers will enjoy getting to know the back story behind this small town group of activists, shop owners and close friends.
The small town setting. Valentine Valley, Colorado has a homey feel. Its a timeless community where everyone knows each other.
The loyalty between the characters and the depth of relationships between family and friends. This is a feel good about women book.
That the two main characters were willing to settle down and commit to one another, putting high push careers and political differences aside. They recognized the importance of marriage and family.
The scenic backdrop of bluebell fields and mountains. It’s a romantic place we would all want to visit.
The exploration and resolution of marital problems between Monica’s parents. There is a good plot arc as we see empty nesters work out how to enjoy each other without being directly involved in each others hobbies.
The trade market price. A paperback for $5.
I Struggled With:
The heavy and descriptive romance scenes. I admit, I typically do not read adult romance unless it leaves details to the imagination. This one was a little too fast moving and TMI for me. It’s definitely an adult romance, not for children or teens.
The push at political agenda and correctness. It felt forced to have an activist group against big development and preservation of fossils, flag burning protests, a female President of the US all rolled into one small town novel.
Overall, for me as a reader, the good outweighed the bad and I would read the rest of the series. But it would mean skipping right over the pages with detailed love scenes. I prefer a clean read with tension instead of having it all spelled out.
I loved the writing and the well developed characters and I am glad to have found out such a place as Valentine Valley really exists! (less)
I love Robert L Millet's teachings and writing. Living in the Eleventh Hour takes very small chunks of doctrine in each chapter which makes for a quic...moreI love Robert L Millet's teachings and writing. Living in the Eleventh Hour takes very small chunks of doctrine in each chapter which makes for a quick, light read. It's certainly not a deep doctrinal look at the signs and time of the second coming of Christ, not does it reveal "big new truths." However, I enjoyed it for exactly what it was. His counsel is straight forward and simple. I found that for me, this book was the perfect fit. It offers a hopeful perspective without the doom and gloom or long lists of signs of the second coming. Brother Millet re- emphasizes what we can do on a daily basis to have the Spirit with us and to keep our lamps filled with oil before the bridegroom cometh. I especially liked his story of how many of us, in fear of judging others fall into the "tolerance trap" and begin to tolerate the behaviors of others that are sinful without speaking up. The formula for preparation is built on the basic primary answers we all know and I am glad he kept it that way.(less)
Who can resist a book set in Paris amidst a Patisserie shop full of eclairs and pastries?! I'm excited this is a series, because anything with a baker...moreWho can resist a book set in Paris amidst a Patisserie shop full of eclairs and pastries?! I'm excited this is a series, because anything with a bakery involved and I am in! Paris Carvings started out with a girl, a big box, some high heels and a mishap with a door. Insert cute worker with Hershey brown eyes, a French accent and a missing passport and you have the beginnings of romance.
Chloe is about to leave her summer student exchange program in Paris when a mishap leaves her stranded and covered in whipped cream. But once she discovers just how nice the locals can be she doesn't ever want to leave! The trick is evading her tour group's hired henchman and her nervous mother while touring the dreamy Paris sites with her new- found "friend."
This is a feel good contemporary with a fun setting. There is a secondary story line of how Chloe deals with her boyfriend back home, written in flashback chapters of their relationship past to present. These were my least favorite parts of the novel as her BF is such a jerk! Red flags flying everywhere! But, overall this is a fun diversion. You can smell, taste and fell the warmth of a Paris bakery. Take me away to France!
(view spoiler)[ Definitely a read for older teens as there is much discussion of sex, innuendo and avoiding peer pressure. There is a hinting at coercion and sensuality. I was a bit distracted also by the taking of the Lord's name in vain which I don't like to read. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Summer time, the Hamptons, a cute boy and a case of a mistaken identity...check. Unexpected twist ending which leaves reader in a cliffhanger...check!...moreSummer time, the Hamptons, a cute boy and a case of a mistaken identity...check. Unexpected twist ending which leaves reader in a cliffhanger...check! Fun, YA contemp that you can breeze through while on vacation...yes.
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend kept a smile on my face almost the entire time I was reading. Gemma is sent to stay with her father for the summer while her mom and step dad are off to Scotland. But she dreads the Hamptons! Scene of a huge life changing summer that snowballed into a lot of hurt, she's trying to avoid the place of her crime. But when she meets a cute boy on the bus and his sister comes to pick him up the cat is out of the bag...or not.
Gemma is desperately hoping her nemesis Hallie won't remember who she is, and that the name printed on her coffee cup can be her alter identity for the time being while she explores things with Josh.
But things just keep getting weirder and weirder! A babysitting job turned nightmare, food poisoning, stolen shoes and a malfunctioning swimsuit are among the crazy happenings that keep Gemma on her toes. She keeps falling into such embarassing situations that publicly humiliate her, yet Josh seems to truly care. And Gemma finds herself drawn to him even though sister Hallie has warned her not to hurt him. Josh is a keeper!
I loved the writing, the characters and the ultimate lesson that honesty always is the best policy. While it is somewhat predictable there is enough of a plot twist that I predict readers will be pulled in for the entire series, not just book one. I would like to feel, smell and hear more about the setting in the next books as the Hamptons are perfect for summer.
I would recommend Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. Add it to your reading list!
Wow. Where to even begin with this book?!! I sat down to read it, and never got up. Read straight past my bed time, into the night, until turning the...more Wow. Where to even begin with this book?!! I sat down to read it, and never got up. Read straight past my bed time, into the night, until turning the very last page. For me, the writing was absolutely enchanting and dreamlike--a fairy tale shimmering to life in a modern day retelling by the beach. By far, the most magical book I've read in a very long time.
Wendy Darling's world is shattered when her twin brothers go missing after going surfing and then never come back. Her parents are shells of themselves, merely passing through the motions of life. Wendy, in the mean time, is convinced her brothers are still out there somewhere.
She's a straight A student-- Stanford bound in fact, but Wendy feels the tug of the ocean, the whispers of her brothers.
A chance meeting with a beautiful boy named Pete leads her to Kensington. Once the home of millionaires, now an abandoned neighborhood clinging dangerously close to the edge of a cliff backed up to the ocean. Wendy is sure her brothers could have know this very spot where the perfect waves crash in and the tide washes away the path that leads back home. She is inexplicably drawn to the salty air and fire-lit nights.
Second Star brought me back to my senior year in Califronia and the summers in between. Taking weekends at lazy beach towns, finding warm sand between my toes and then shaking it all out again to head back to school, the sunny days and carefree atmosphere.
Pete is perfect. He's exactly what you would imagine a modern day Peter Pan to be. Belle, his moody, angry girlfriend has secrets of her own. And the other lost boys, Hughie and Matt come together to form their own makeshift family. But there is a very real threat living on the other side of the beach.
He can hook you with his lies, his dust and his enigmatic pull. The love triangle all happens so fast you won't know what hit.
Wendy finds herself doing things she would never normally do, and second guessing her mind as she chases the second star in search of the truth. Lines between reality and dream becomes blurred (as often happens with trauma, love and loss), s0 much so that even the reader is not sure what is fact and what is imagining.
I'm guessing this is a standalone, because of the ending. I don't want to spoil anything for readers. But suffice it to say, Second Star is a twisty, turvy ride that will suck you in, pull you under and spit you back out wanting another wave. It takes everything you think you know and shakes it up-- but for me it was perfect.
Highly recommend Second Star. If you are looking for it to stick to your pre-conceived notions about the well known childhood story of Peter Pan, you may be disappointed-- but if you want amazing writing, here you'll find fast paced story spinning at its best. Thanks so much to Ksenia at MacMillan Teen Books for sending me this treasure! My advice... head over to NetGalley and request it. Pre-order and add Second Star to your wishlist NOW.
Content: Due to this being such an early review I won't list specifics yet. There are several elements of mature content but not in so much detail that it was bothersome to me, will release the parental warnings after the book is published.(less)