What a wonderful book! While the book is specifically aimed at teens (there is a longer version for adults), there is much here that is appropriate foWhat a wonderful book! While the book is specifically aimed at teens (there is a longer version for adults), there is much here that is appropriate for adults as well. The author's purpose is to provide comfort for those who want so much to be good and yet fail time and time again. The focus here is on the Savior's Atonement and what it really means in terms of repentance and forgiveness and receiving the daily strength we need to face our challenges and temptations. The author emphasizes the CONTINUOUS nature of the atonement, how it's power never fails and never wains. At the end of each chapter, Brother Wilcox shares ideas for teaching these doctrines and ideas to others around us, a great idea for teens who love to talk to their friends about everything. A great book to help teens understand the importance of not giving up and relying on Jesus Christ to help us repent and change for the better....more
Sandra Markle has written another fun environmentally friendly tale. What makes this one particularly interesting is that it occurs within a city andSandra Markle has written another fun environmentally friendly tale. What makes this one particularly interesting is that it occurs within a city and it's based on a real yearly event (see author's end note). Not only does the author provide a sweet story about a mother, grandmother, and daughter enjoying the rainy weather but they also help out the toads trying to cross the road to get to the pond to mate and reproduce. And the road is really closed to allow the toads to make their journey safely. Just proves to me that humans and wildlife can adapt to each other. I especially loved how well the text and illustrations complement each other. It's nice to read something in the text and see it reinforced in the illustrations (which are gorgeous)....more
Sometimes in life it's easy to see only the differences between us as women. After all we have different talents, different backgrounds, and differentSometimes in life it's easy to see only the differences between us as women. After all we have different talents, different backgrounds, and different experiences. Sister Oscarson, in this gift book, highlights however the value that comes from associating with and supporting each other despite our differences. She shares a story about a young girl helping her mother serve a sister with multiple sclerosis and the impact it made on all involved. Mary and Elizabeth from the Bible nurtured each other despite their difference in age. As sisters we need each other, and I for one am grateful for the reminder for as she states, "There is no age barrier when it comes to Christlike service."...more
Elly Mackay presents a sweet story about a young girl finding a place for herself after her family moves. Initially unhappy moving from her country hoElly Mackay presents a sweet story about a young girl finding a place for herself after her family moves. Initially unhappy moving from her country home to the city, the girl finds hope in the nearby Butterfly Park. But when she discovers there are no butterflies in the park she is determined to bring them in and she recruits her neighbors to help her. The remarkable thing here are the illustrations which are clearly scenes created using cut-paper. It creates a real feel of community and atmosphere which I found soothing and beautiful. The theme of finding and creating beauty wherever you are also shines through loud and clear....more
I love the idea behind this book. Sharing facts about king penguins through silly questions. While the questions are silly, the answers are not. The iI love the idea behind this book. Sharing facts about king penguins through silly questions. While the questions are silly, the answers are not. The illustration with the penguin using himself as a bowling ball is my favorite illustration and the information about how penguins can move faster on land (ice) by sliding on their bellies is interesting. This book is bound to be of interest to penguin mad readers or any young reader who has lots of questions.
Could an Octopus Climb a Skyscraper? That question and others are answered in this book. While the information about octopuses is factual the questionCould an Octopus Climb a Skyscraper? That question and others are answered in this book. While the information about octopuses is factual the questions and illustrations are more fanciful and silly. That makes the book perfect for sharing with younger children. I even learned some things that I didn't previously know, such as that octopuses have three hearts and blue blood. This is a series of books that I can heartily recommend, especially for young readers with endless questions....more
Uma wants more than anything to be an Adan (healer) like her father. But her half-English, half-Euit ancestry and the fact that she is female stand asUma wants more than anything to be an Adan (healer) like her father. But her half-English, half-Euit ancestry and the fact that she is female stand as major obstacles to her dream. After she and her father are abducted and taken to the Pendragon castle to help the queen conceive a child, everything changes. Soon, Uma is on her own desperately trying to find a way to survive and free her people from captivity. When she meets Jackrun, the king's nephew, she finds someone she can trust and perhaps even love, if she allows herself to be a woman rather than just a healer. But when the king's son is murdered she struggles to define herself and find a way to save herself from the plots that swirl around her.
I haven't read the first two books in this series and I think it would have helped if I had, but the author does a good job of introducing enough of the culture and beliefs that I wasn't too lost. I just had a feeling that knowing what had happened before would have made the story that much easier to follow. I did enjoy the book though, for such a long book, the plot moves quickly as Uma faces various challenges and crises. I think the parts I enjoyed the most though were her interactions with Jackrun. Jackrun is my favorite kind of hero, a courageous and kind person who struggles with his own identity as the Son of the Prophecy, including a unique talent that he's very self-conscious about. Jackrun and Uma connect I think because they both are still figuring out who they are and what they really want. That theme unlies the whole story but is overshadowed by the political intrigue and betrayal. An enjoyable read for YA fantasy lovers everywhere.
Note: this is definitely a YA fantasy because it includes an attempted rape, a bit of language, and sexual references (not graphic) as well as some violence (torture, hanging, burning, etc.)...more
What happened to Frannie the caterpillar? That is the mystery that Pipsie, nature detective and her friend Alfred the turtle set out to solve. After sWhat happened to Frannie the caterpillar? That is the mystery that Pipsie, nature detective and her friend Alfred the turtle set out to solve. After searching all around the yard and house they find a clue: a chewed up leaf. This leaf leads them to a bug expert at the local zoo who tells them what to look for in order to find Frannie. This book makes a nice companion to a nonfiction book on monarch butterflies since it blends fact and fiction. The illustrations are adorable and make the book bright and appealing....more
As a 'pirate' captain, Izzy needs a pet. When she meets Oscar, the octopus she and her friends think that he will fit the bill. But as Izzy discovers,As a 'pirate' captain, Izzy needs a pet. When she meets Oscar, the octopus she and her friends think that he will fit the bill. But as Izzy discovers, an octopus has unique needs as well as abilities. The illustrations are cute and work well for the imaginative nature of the story. A fun story about friendship and discovering one's unique talents, after all, even octopuses have special abilities that help them survive. The additional information about octopuses at the end of the book is a great touch....more
I love Shadow Mountain's A Proper Romance line of clean romance novels. All of them have been wonderful and A Heart Revealed is no different. What I eI love Shadow Mountain's A Proper Romance line of clean romance novels. All of them have been wonderful and A Heart Revealed is no different. What I especially liked about this one is the depth that the characters develop and the nature of the challenges that Thomas and Amber face. I've read many regency novels (clean ones anyway) and I love the genre (I'm not sure why because I wouldn't want to have lived then), but I haven't read any quite like this one.
Thomas I liked from the beginning, he's a decent man in search of a wife at his mother's bidding. But after trading part of his inheritance for land, he's invested his future in hard work. Amber on the other hand is very unlikeable for the first part of the book because she's so self-centered. Sadly for her everything changes when she is struck by a strange malady that leads to great humiliation. It was interesting to watch Amber face the changes that came her way especially since she basically has to do it on her own because her own family rejects her. The contrast between her way of life at the beginning of the story and later is acute, but it teachers her a lot of things that she had never noticed before, including the value of love in marriage.
One of the things that I found intriguing about this story was the realistic details that the author includes about the period both upper and lower class. The strength of this story lies in the character development, especially Amber's as she faces a life that she had never imagined would be her's. The story is very believable and full of heart as Thomas and Amber grow to know each other and adapt to their changing circumstances....more