Excerpt from my blog review and giveaway running 12/5/2013-12/9/2013:
When I was given the opportunity to review Christmas From Heaven, a zing of exci...moreExcerpt from my blog review and giveaway running 12/5/2013-12/9/2013:
When I was given the opportunity to review Christmas From Heaven, a zing of excitement went through me. I had been wanting a new Christmas story to add to our collection, and I was thinking this one might be a good choice. Well, after reading it to my children and enjoying the DVD included with it, the votes were in—this is a fabulous Christmas story!
What I like most about Christmas From Heaven is that it tells a story from history about how someone gave true Christian kindness in a time of post-war tragedy. I had heard of the Berlin Candy Bomber before, but I didn't really know the story in any detail. The book has photographs of the people, planes, and thank-you's sent to Lt. Halvorsen aka The Berlin Candy Bomber. An extra treat is having the Christmas DVD to watch with the story read by Tom Brokaw along with music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We had just read the book, but my children were just as engrossed in the telling of the story on the DVD because of the added features from the performance.
I highly recommend Christmas From Heaven to anyone who would like an uplifting historical story for Christmas time. (less)
The Janitors series is a fun set of children's literature that is very readable for the seasoned adult. High adventure is found lurking within these p...moreThe Janitors series is a fun set of children's literature that is very readable for the seasoned adult. High adventure is found lurking within these pages situated within the rugged terrain navigated by students, adults, but best part is the janitors.
There is something to be said for the unsung heroes who keep our schools clean by battling the daily grunge. The lead characters, Spencer and Daisy, lead the Rebels to meet the Glop with destruction. This finale to the series is a triumph over trash, making it perfect.
Young people will enjoy diving into this unearthly realm. Trash and all. (less)
Most of the books I read lately are either fiction or of the textbook variety, so you can imagine my surprise to come across an opportunity to review...moreMost of the books I read lately are either fiction or of the textbook variety, so you can imagine my surprise to come across an opportunity to review something fresh and new.
Drawing Out the Dragons is an intriguing biography of sorts that inspires. It has quotes from many world figures and pieces of the author's journey to become the writer he is today.
I kept putting myself in the author's shoes and thinking how I just need to hang on a bit longer for the right stuff to come along. Owen does not paint a perfect picture, but he does show us the power of perseverance and setting goals you work hard to achieve. I came away from reading his life sketch rejuvenated.
I hope you will give Drawing Out the Dragons a read. It will surprise and delight you. (less)
Longing for Home, by Sarah M. Eden, begins out on a trail that takes the Ireland-born Katie Macauley to the small town of Hope Springs, Wyoming to fig...moreLonging for Home, by Sarah M. Eden, begins out on a trail that takes the Ireland-born Katie Macauley to the small town of Hope Springs, Wyoming to figure out what home really means. I, too, was carried along for the ride in more ways than one.
The concept of what home is has been something I've thought about quite often, and so this beautiful Irish-threaded story struck a harmonious chord for me. The elegant stitching of Irish dialect and 1800s American colloquialisms creates a language delight that transports you into the story's world. Because of her apparent Irish flair, I wanted to get to know Katie better and see where her efforts would take her, and Eden does not disappoint. Excellent character development, intriguing plot twists, and delicious foreshadowing make for a page-turner novel you won't want to put down.
One of my favorite quotes from Longing for Home:
"When a man finds such a treasure, he doesn't part with her for anything." -- Tavish O'Connor, talking about his horse.
I know this is jumping the gun a bit since the giveaway on my blog doesn't start until August 6th, but I just couldn't hold in the excitement from reading this refreshingly romantic tale. (less)
After reading Edenbrooke, I thought there could never be any other novel as perfectly lovely as Edenbrooke. But I repent the notion. To limit the arti...moreAfter reading Edenbrooke, I thought there could never be any other novel as perfectly lovely as Edenbrooke. But I repent the notion. To limit the artistry and glorious writing talents of Julianne Donaldson was an error.
Blackmoore is completely detached from the storyline of Edenbrooke, yet Donaldson captures that element of magical delight present in her first feat of writerly greatness and places it within the heart of every character, scene, and plot advancement. There is everything a reader could want--adventure, intrigue, and romance which unfolds beautifully sans any hint of explicit sensuality.
One of my many favorite quotes comes from the words of Henry to Kate: "I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you..."
Blackmoore will stand on its own as the best romance novel for 2013. Get to reading it, and spread the word. (less)
The first book in a series has the heavy responsibility of introducing an entire world of characters and, sometimes, a literally new world to us. In T...moreThe first book in a series has the heavy responsibility of introducing an entire world of characters and, sometimes, a literally new world to us. In The Inventor's Secret, Chad Morris is able to hook the reader with the quirkiness of Abby, not so unique genius of her twin brother, Derick, and a secret-laden plot that twists and turns in unexpected directions for these two teenagers.
The story draws upon fantasy, historical facts, and futuristic (on the brink of dystopian) reading interests. Because of this fact, I recommend the first Cragbridge Hall book to lovers of all these areas, ages 10 and up.
As an adult reader, I was pulled into the innovative concepts and found it a very entertaining read. (less)
While this is a shorter length book, Shoelaces for Christmas by Craig S. Buehner packs a whole lot of story into its few pages. The story starts out a...moreWhile this is a shorter length book, Shoelaces for Christmas by Craig S. Buehner packs a whole lot of story into its few pages. The story starts out at a gripping pace and never lets off the gas.
This is a story of how life's challenges and the suffering of others changes a young man's perspective on what Christmas and even what life means to him. I was compelled to read and read until I had it finished. There is never a slow moment--only layers of meaningful expressions teaching about life and love and the gift of Christmas.
My heart was truly touched as I was moved to tears by this beautiful story, and I encourage everyone to give it a read. You'll be glad you did. (less)
In a world where bullying never seems to end, books like Pingo and the Playground Bully can make a difference. The simple message it suggests shows al...moreIn a world where bullying never seems to end, books like Pingo and the Playground Bully can make a difference. The simple message it suggests shows all who read it a solution to the ever-present not-so-imaginary monster lurking in the shadows of our society.
The art, done by Brandon Dorman, is colorful, imaginative, and enticing. The coupling of the great message with uniquely expressive artwork makes for a delightful masterpiece of a children's book.
Pingo and the Playground Bully is a picture book, and, yes, it is directed at primary school-aged children, but I suggest it would make a difference at any age in any educational environment.
I recommend it to readers of all ages.
Disclosure: I was given one copy in exchange for this review, as well as one copy to give away to you!(less)
First off, we all know how much I am in love with purple, so the cover itself was intriguing. The artwork is quality and fun, and the purple clinches...moreFirst off, we all know how much I am in love with purple, so the cover itself was intriguing. The artwork is quality and fun, and the purple clinches it for me. And no, I'm not kidding. We really shouldn't judge books by their covers, but we all do it. And this quick judgment was spot on.
If you liked The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull, you will enjoy its sequel Arcade Catastrophe even more. The level of intrigue and creativity is pushed farther taking the story in surprising directions.
According to my 13-year old, "The characters have better powers than in the first one." Who needs more motivation to get reading than that, right? Just so you know, he devoured the book in three days.
In honor of Halloween and Book Appreciation next week, I have a giveaway running on my blog for one copy of The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe beginning 10/31/2012 and ending 11/7/2012.
Disclaimer: I received one ARC of The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull in exchange for this review. (less)
A uniquely informative and surprisingly applicable book. Bronco Mendenhall has a story worth telling and reading. The strategies outlined within these...moreA uniquely informative and surprisingly applicable book. Bronco Mendenhall has a story worth telling and reading. The strategies outlined within these pages are not just for football or business, but for anyone wanting to reach out to others and be successful. It has an over-arching theme of positivity.(less)