This graphic novel's extended imagination sequences about Narnia and Lord of the Rings, math jokes, and amusing plot made for an excellent break at woThis graphic novel's extended imagination sequences about Narnia and Lord of the Rings, math jokes, and amusing plot made for an excellent break at work today....more
Thoroughly grounded in a big-picture understanding of Scripture and God's redemptive purpose, this book addresses a sensitive topic with grace and truThoroughly grounded in a big-picture understanding of Scripture and God's redemptive purpose, this book addresses a sensitive topic with grace and truth. To make a plausibility argument for celibacy, the author articulated evangelical missteps that have diluted the church's stance on sexual ethics or made it difficult for same-sex attracted individuals to find community in the church. In our modern cultural and evangelical climate, it seems like cruelty to tell someone that they should deny an ever-present desire, but understanding the purpose of life according to the gospel transforms our approach to self-denial and makes it seem plausible and worthwhile to give up sin. Also, even though marriage and children are blessings from God and accomplish some of His purposes, they are not the be all and end all of life. Churches need to make room for single people as integral parts of the community, rather than promoting marriage as a mark of holiness or the sole means of leading a fulfilling life and accomplishing the work of God on earth. This book should be convicting and personally engaging to all Christians, regardless of their sexual orientation or life experiences, because it makes a convincing case against cultural mantras that the church has weakened to or accepted, addresses evangelical overreactions that idolize the nuclear family, and provides a push for each of us to reexamine our lives in the framework of taking up our cross and following Jesus....more
This book was enthralling. I rarely read modern adult publications, since I expect them to be inappropriate, but I have made exceptions for two Kate MThis book was enthralling. I rarely read modern adult publications, since I expect them to be inappropriate, but I have made exceptions for two Kate Morton books and am very glad I did. The other, "The Lake House," had a premise that appealed to me more, but even though I enjoyed it a great deal, the pat ending was so contrived that it took away from the thrill and mastery of the preceding mystery. Because of that experience, I kept my expectations low for this book's resolution, but I knew I would still enjoy the atmospheric prose, complex characters, twisting and turning story, and seamless, fascinating transitions between time periods. Once again, I was delighted with Morton's style.
There were adult themes in this book which prevent me from giving it a blanket recommendation, but they were handled with uncommon discretion for a modern adult novel, and this was such a satisfying story. From the beginning, I was amazed by the evocative writing and characterization. The historical part of the story was set in World War II, my favorite time period, and the attention to period detail and atmosphere was thoroughly impressive. I enjoyed this so much. The story was fascinating, even though it was often very sad, the ending far surpassed what I expected, and the plot twist surprised me so much that I had to read the paragraph over three times before it could sink in. I am thoroughly impressed, and so glad I read this. It was a well-rounded, meaningful, satisfying emotional and literary experience, and I'm so glad I gave it a chance....more
I don't usually go for sparkly pink and purple juvenile novels, but when I realized that this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling about a princess who expI don't usually go for sparkly pink and purple juvenile novels, but when I realized that this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling about a princess who exploited her pre-curse invulnerability by cliff diving and monster-fighting, I decided to give it a try. THIS IS MAGNIFICENT. I wish this had been around for me to read when I was in middle school and going through my fairy tale retelling phase, because this is everything one could want: clever and original retelling, cheeky humor, female character willing to be herself, goofy antics, unexpected twists, and lots of theatrics. This even has comic book style illustrations throughout. What a winner. Everyone needs to read about Hamster Princess....more
I found this at the library and was surprised that American Girl had released another new historical character so soon after Maryellen. I checked thisI found this at the library and was surprised that American Girl had released another new historical character so soon after Maryellen. I checked this out and was thoroughly delighted with it, because even though I still think it's silly for the company to proclaim a book a classic at the moment of its printing just to fit with the rest of the series redesign, this is a fabulous novel that could stand alone in excellence even apart from the American Girl company. Set in the Civil Rights Movement, it deals with big, difficult topics in a child-appropriate way and never sacrifices good storytelling just to make a point. The characters are charming and distinctive, the storylines are interesting, and the emotional appeal is masterfully done without seeming manipulative. I am thoroughly impressed with this book on every level, and look forward to reading the sequel.
Many books that deal with big topics end up winning awards and being much-loved by adults but do not reach children effectively. This book is different, because you don't need a grown up perspective to see value in this book. It treats the times and topic truthfully while still remaining friendly to young readers, and is grounded in ordinary life a child can relate to: the small concerns and childhood dynamics make the big picture issues come through in a real and personally affecting way. I am amazed by how good this book was, and even though I wish I could have read it as a kid, I'm so happy it exists now.
As a sidenote, I appreciated the book's inclusion of Christianity as a core aspect of the family's life. I expect books to be politically correct and ignore any potential religious leanings of the characters, but because this book was about a black family in the 1960s, it included church as an integral part of their life and portrayed it in a real, vibrant way without being preachy or snide. All throughout the book, there were quotes from different hymns, and that delighted me....more