Sunday, August 31, 2014

Get to know Paul Book Review

Get to Know Apostle Paul by Nancy I. Sanders is a full color biography of Apostle Paul just for kids. It details Paul's conversion and ministry to the Christian faith. This book is easy to read and very informative of events told in the Bible as well as a few from other historians. It has facts and vocabulary words to help explain the story further.

I enjoyed reading this book. There are many colorful photos to help show the area and even some of the ruins of the places that Paul walked. Maps help show Paul's journeys and how the cities were laid out in Paul's day. While it does reference a few scriptures, it doesn't reference them as much as I'd like.

I was given this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review by Booksneeze.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Challenge on the Hill of Fire Book Review

Cover: Challenge on the Hill of Fire

Challenge on the Hill of Fire is the 10th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth go to Whit's End to get a green milkshake for St. Patrick's Day. Whit asks if Patrick is named after St. Patrick and thus begins there latest adventure in the world of St. Patrick. The Druids' religion dominates in Ireland during this time and the Bishop is trying to bring word of The One True God and free the people of Ireland from the Druids tyrannical reign.

This is so far my favorite Imagination Station book. I felt like I really got a lot of the feel of the time period and how the people lived. Patrick and Beth are tested in their faith as well and are tasked with really standing up for what they believe in. There is several instances of dying for what they believe in as a real possibility. A good read.

Problems in Plymouth Book Review

Cover: Problems in Plymouth

Problems in Plymouth is the 6th book in the Imagination Station series. Patrick and Beth find themselves searching for Hugh in the year 1621 near Plymouth Rock. They encounter Indians (Native Americans) as well as the infamous Squanto. The even get to experience the First Thanksgiving.

Another fun walk through history with small details about life in 1621. The children experience time in a teepee, muskets, Indians' bows and arrows, and the real story of what life was like for the Pilgrims when they first came to America. I enjoyed the little details and tidbits woven into this fictional story. A fun read for any age.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Showdown with the Shepherd Book Review

Cover: Showdown with the Shepherd

Showdown with the Shepherd is the 5th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth have to find Hugh after he took Mr. Whitaker's ring and vanished. They follow him to The Holy Land and Meet King David as a boy and witness his victory over Goliath.

Another fun story with lots of history woven into it. Very suspenseful and full of adventure, as well. A good read.

Revenge of the Red Knight Book Review

Cover: Revenge of the Red Knight

Revenge of the Red Knight is the 4th book in the Imagination Station Series. Patrick and Beth have been helping retrieve "lost" treasure from different time periods. They find themselves in a dark cave with the Imagination Station nowhere to be found. Turns out they are in Medieval England and may soon discover why they've been searching for the treasures.

This was a neat look at the time period. They learned about jousting and how revolts occurred and governments were overthrown. My kids enjoyed reading this book as well. I enjoy how the smallest details also help teach about the time period, namely the clothing that they had to wear. Another fun, kids book. I recommend reading it.

When I Fall in Love Book Review

Cover: When I Fall in Love

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren is another book in the Christiansen Family Series. This book deals with Grace and Casper Christiansen and their perspective love interests. Grace is unwillingly sent on a culinary school vacation in Hawaii for three weeks and meets Maxwell Sharpe. Casper meets Raina, a new girl in town during a rainstorm in which her car is stuck in the mud.

This is the second Christiansen Family novel I've read and so far this one is my favorite. At first, I was thinking it was just your typical romance novel, with mushy one-liners and lots of love at first sight. But this novel goes deeper and shares some insight and inspiration in the character's (and as it turns out mine as well) relationship with God. One of my favorite lines in the book talk about how you can't fix someone, only Jesus can. It is so true. That is just a taste of how Susan May Warren uses the characters' stories to encourage and turn the reader to seek God. I really enjoyed the story and want to read more about this complex and complicated family.

Monday, August 25, 2014

All for a Sister Book Review

All for a sister is another installment in this 1920s themed series. Celeste DuFrane is a girl who lacks nothing in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties. She has bit parts in films and longs to be a star. The arrival of Dana Lundgren to the DuFrane mansion after spending most of her life imprisoned for a crime she didn't commit changes Celeste's world forever.

This is the second book in this series that I've read. As in Allison Pittman's book, All for a Story, the characters are rich, complex and full of life. I especially enjoyed the format in which she used to tell the tale. The story is unfolded using regular narrative as well as a screenplay type set up to the scene and time jumps around as characters tell their sides of the story. I found myself quite intrigued soon after beginning this book and very much attached to the characters by the book's end. I recommend reading this well written story.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Days to a More Beautiful You Devotional Review

Cover: 30 Days to a More Beautiful You

Kylie Bisutti, former Victoria's Secret Model and author of the book, I'm No Angel has written a new devotional just for girls. It is a 30 day devotional and it contains scripture references and "true beauty tips" to help you be more "beautiful" just as you are. I liked this devotional. It was short, yet still deep and inspiring.

One of my favorite quotes came after the day's devotional on Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to rest and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." Kylie talks about how trying to fit into what the world thinks we should look like causes us to lose our God given individuality. She says, "God has created us not to be clones, but to be unique individuals." This is a small little book, yet it has a big, encouraging message. I recommend it for any "girl".

Uncommon Marriage Bible Study Book Review

Uncommon Marriage Bible Study

The Dungys have written a Bible study to be a companion to their book, Uncommon Marriage. I'm neutral about the study, but I do have pros and cons. I didn't like that they asked you to read and discuss the chapters in their book first. It felt to me that a Bible study should start in the Bible and then branch out. That is my major criticism.

I do like the way they clearly line out the format they wish you to use in the study and how to use it in different types of studies. I also enjoyed the extra activities and ideas to promote discussion and bonding. Like, I said above, I'm neutral on this study. I am sure someone could benefit and really enjoy this study. I also have no doubt as to the sincerity and hope of the Dungys to be encouraging, uplifting and inspiring. It's definitely worth a look through to see if it can benefit you in your current phase of life.

The Sentinels of Andersonville Book Review

Andersonville was one of the worst Confederate prisons during the Civil War. Located in Andersonville, Georgia, it housed around 33,000 prisoners in space built for 1/4 of that. Prisoners were mistreated, starved and hanged for petty infractions. It was so terribly run that one of the men in charge was actually executed after the war, for war crimes.

Sentinels of Andersonville is a story about doing what we can to help, even if it is a small thing. It sheds the light on human suffering and the indifferences to it. The fictional characters of the nearby town ,Americus, some ten miles away from Andersonville, decide something must be done about the appalling conditions on these "Yanks" and try to involve other members of the town. I enjoyed this story. There is a lot of history mixed in with the fictional story, and the characters were wonderful. They were full of life, complex and relatable. I recommend it to anyone who likes a historical bent to their stories. There are a few instances of what some could call almost graphic descriptions of wounds and ailments of the prisoners but nonetheless it is a great and well written story.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Antelope in the Living Room

Cover: The Antelope in the Living Room

Melanie Shankle had me literally laughing out loud with this book. At night while reading in bed, I would keep my husband up with my constant giggling and chuckling. She uses her dead pan sense of humor to accurately and very realistically describe what it is like to be married for over a decade.

At times, I would read portions to my husband that really made me laugh and he would find them funny as well.  It was a wonderful follow-up to her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings. It was funny and yet inspiring at the same time. A great read that I would read again and again. Highly recommend any wife/wife to be should read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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