Thursday, January 29, 2015

Home For Christmas: Stories for Young and Old


::From the back of the book::



::My Thoughts::
Most Christmas stories you come across are based on Santa, Reindeer, Elves, etc. You do occasionally get the Christmas miracle stories which are also great to read. Sometimes though we just want a bit more. This is one book that takes some of the classics and puts them all together into an insightful, spiritual book that readers of all ages can enjoy. I actually had not even heard most of these stories myself so it was nice to get to read them. And each story you read will make you think and count your blessings! It's great for the whole family.

I love the way this book is set up also. Each story different, and a reader can take it at their own pace. You can read a story a day, or even more if you choose. Read aloud as a family or silently to yourself. If there's some stories in here you have already heard you can either re-read them or read the ones you haven't heard.

I love reading Christmas stories that make you think. All of the stories I read in this book are eye openers. They are heart-felt, insightful, spritual, and they can really get you thinking. Filled with kindness, peace, and goodwill after reading this book you'll be left with some great Christmas stories you won't soon forget.




::Product Details::
  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874869242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874869248



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for free from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Star for Jesus ~ Book Review



Let me start off by saying that not only is this an ADORABLE book but we really loved it. How refreshing it is to find children's stories about Jesus. Especially books with such a powerful message! How simple of a reminder that all we need to do is look at the stars and think of Jesus. Another reason why I love books such as this for my kids, especially as we are now in the Christmas season, is because it's a great reminder at what the season is all about. Not gifts and such, but the birth of Jesus and celebrating Him.

This book is excellent for children in many ways. The words rhyme often and are very easy to understand. The illustrations are vivid and very well done. It will capture your small child's attention. Especially for the really small ones. This is a board book and easy for them to hold with no worries on ripping pages! I would highly recommend it to any of you parents out there with young readers. It's a good lesson to be reminded of how the three wise men followed the star to where Jesus was, and how we can remember to worship Him today. My children loved it. Especially my toddler he has had me read to it to him almost every night since we got it. So parent and kid approved in our house I am glad to say. We hope you will check it out! :)



::From the back of the book::
"God made the stars and put them up high to shine down on earth from up in the sky." But long ago God made a special star. He put it in the sky to send a message: "Jesus our Savior has come …" We can look at the stars at night. And we can remember that a long time ago, Jesus' star shone among them.


Would you like to purchase this book for your little reader?
Board Book      Nook


::Product Details::
  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Board book: 14 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310712165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310712169



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Prayers for the Stolen ~ A Book Review



This book definitely grabs your attention from the first page. When Ladydi's mother is trying to make her ugly and make her look like a boy I knew this book was going to have me hooked. I wasn't wrong in my prediction as it was an extremely hard book to put down, and it was riveting. Just when I thought there was going to be a part that would drag or be something I would predict I was wrong.
Ladydi lives alone with her mother in a two room house with dirt floors. There are deadly scorpions, tarantulas, giant red and black ants, poisonous snakes, etc that are a part of their everyday lives. They eat very little and have very little. What they have has either come stolen or as gifts. Work is hard to find, and being out in the public eye is even harder. Ladydi lives on a mountain in Mexico where girls are to be hidden or else they will be taken. From birth until they can't hide it anymore these girls are made as ugly as possible and made to look like boys. Mothers dig holes in the ground and cover them with leaves so when the drug traffickers come to steal a girl to sell the girls can hide in a hole in the ground and perhaps have more of a chance to be saved.
This is a world where prostitution, kidnapping, murder, and drugs is a part of their everyday lives. Nobody blinks an eye to find a dead man in the desert, nobody asks questions when they stumble upon a drug field, and everyone knows better than to call the police when a drug trafficker comes knocking on their door armed with guns searching for a pretty girl to take and sell.
It is extremely heartbreaking to read such stories, but it's a reality in this world all over that such things do exist. If you do your research it's a serious issue that has gone on for years.
This book puts these issues in a story from a perspective of a young girl growing up in such a lifestyle. In Ladydi's world you will experience all of these and more. But this book is also heartbreaking and I wish I could have learned more about what happened to the characters later on to see how some of them ended up. I also wish some more information on big events would have been given in the book to understand some things a little better.
I still think this is a powerful, brutally honest, eye-opening read and I definitely recommend it.



::This book is available in::
Paperback   Hardcover   Kindle   Nook



::Product Details::
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080413880X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804138802




::About the author::
Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French literature in Paris, France. She has an MFA from the University of Southern Maine.

Clement is the author of the cult classic memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean Michel Basquiat) and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction, and The Poison That Fascinates.
She is also the author of several books of poetry: The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin); Newton's Sailor; Lady of the Broom and Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems. Her prize-winning story A Salamander-Child is published as an art book with work by the Mexican painter Gustavo Monroy.

Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She is also the recipient of the UK's Canongate Prize. In 2007, she received a MacDowell Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony named her the Robert and Stephanie Olmsted Fellow for 2007-08. Clement is a member of Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores."


Jennifer Clement was President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012. She lives in Mexico City, Mexico and, along with her sister Barbara Sibley, is the founder and director The San Miguel Poetry Week.




Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book, as a Blogging for Books member, in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book




Noah is an excellent children's book. It's a great new way to bring Bible stories to life that children can really get into. Especially ones who love pictures, considering this is a picture book. Usually I don't find a lot of picture books around targeted at older children so it's nice to find one with colorful vivid illustrations that help spark that imagination and vision, but this one does a good job of that.
If you are reading this to younger children there are a couple of dark photographs, and you have to be able to tell them the story since this is a wordless picture book.
For older children that are familiar with the story of Noah then they shouldn't have a problem getting through it. It will actually give them more time to look in depth at the pictures as they go and be able to visualize more.
I think all in all it's a great book. I hope the author will continue to make more children's wordless bible stories like this as we all enjoyed them very much.


::Product Details::
  • Age Range: 2 - 18 years
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House; SEW edition (October 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874866391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874866391





Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Their Name Is Today - Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World




The title couldn't be more perfect for this book in this day and age. In today's world it is violent, unpredictable, and can be damaging for our children. One of the main problems is how parents handle their children in this world. Rather than teach many parents are just letting their children go. Children, teens, etc., are just allowed to do as they please with little or no regard from their parents. There is hardly any guidance or structure anymore. Sadly, love, seems also to be absent. It's a heart-breaking thought and yet a true reality.
What parents don't realize is now more than ever our children need our love, strength, teaching, and guidance. This world we live in is not an easy one, and rather than ignore it we need to recognize and overcome.
Life can get so hectic that we often realize what the most precious and important things are in life. Our ultimate treasures, our children. Our children need our time, attention, love, and respect. They are little people and they want what we all want with love and respect.
This book is something that any parent, grandparent, family member, teacher, etc., should read at least once. It includes countless wonderful advice on raising, loving, and respecting our children. From limiting TV time to dealing with difficult children this is a handy tool to read over and over again.
I highly recommend it, and even if you don't agree with some of the advice/answers in this book you will still be glad you read it. I believe there's something for everyone within these pages.




::From the back of the book::
There’s hope for childhood. Despite a perfect storm of hostile forces that are robbing children of a healthy childhood, courageous parents and teachers who know what’s best for children are turning the tide. Johann Christoph Arnold, whose books on education, parenting, and relationships have helped more than a million readers through life’s challenges, draws on the stories and voices of parents and educators on the ground, and a wealth of personal experience. He surveys the drastic changes in the lives of children, but also the groundswell of grassroots advocacy and action that he believes will lead to the triumph of common sense and time-tested wisdom. Arnold takes on technology, standardized testing, overstimulation, academic pressure, marketing to children, over-diagnosis and much more, calling on everyone who loves children to combat these threats to childhood and find creative ways to help children flourish. Every parent, teacher, and childcare provider has the power to make a difference, by giving children time to play, access to nature, and personal attention, and most of all, by defending their right to remain children.




::Product Details::

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House (September 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874866308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874866308



  •  

    ::Purchase this book::

    Kindle     Paperback     Nook

     




    ::About the author::
    People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over 1.3 million copies of his books in print in more than 20 languages.

    A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years. His books include Their Name Is Today, Why Forgive?, Rich in Years, Seeking Peace, Cries from the Heart, Be Not Afraid, and Why Children Matter.

    Arnold's message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, C├ęsar Chavez, and John Paul II. Together with paralyzed police officer Steven McDonald, Arnold started the Breaking the Cycle program, working with students at hundreds of public high schools to promote reconciliation through forgiveness. This work has also brought him to conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Rwanda to the Middle East. Closer to home, he serves as chaplain for the local sheriff's department.

    Born in Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the United States in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, 44 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York.

    To learn more visit www.plough.com



     

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    A Robertson Family Christmas





    I am a huge fan of the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty. It isn't just because of their popularity, that actually has nothing to do with it. I love their faith, their love as a family together, and their laid back ways. There's just something about them all that is truly genuine, and you don't find that often at all. They aren't afraid to speak of their faith, to stand up for it, and no matter what they always unite as a family. Those are traits that should be present in every family, but just isn't the case in this day and age. So it's nice to find others out there like that.

    So I was very excited to get the chance to read A Robertson Family Christmas. This is such a unique and original novella. One that I got swept up in instantly. This book is about a teenage boy named Hunter, who is extremely withdrawn and depressed with the way his life is going. His parents are divorced, his dad and brother spend all their time together, and his mom is constantly working leaving him often times alone. When he finds out he has won a contest to spend Christmas with the Robertsons, when he didn't even enter a contest, he was angry. He wanted nothing more than to spend Christmas with his dad and brother, but was too stubborn to say so. So off he goes on the plane and soon finds himself in the loving zany house of the Robertsons. He tries to hide with his headphones on but the family gives him little chance of that. As he starts to really get to know them he still feels left out in the world, but finds that he also feels as if something is missing from his life. Taking part in everything from hunting trips, to cooking with Miss Kay, Hunter seems to realize a few lessons about life, love, and even faith...

    I love hearing about some of the Robertson's family traditions. And this book is definitely filled with tons of humor strung throughout to keep you laughing. I found myself laughing out loud just picturing some of the parts in the story they were so funny.

    The love of family and faith is also very strong in this book. I love that there was such a presence of this, but what else would you expect when talking about the Robertsons? The story went together so very well together and blended fiction with non-fiction perfectly creating a wonderful story that ages teens and up can enjoy.

    It's a short sweet book, and took me no time at all to read. At the same time it's also not a book I will soon forget! Miss Kay definitely has a knack for writing. Even though Hunter is a fictional character it would be easy to see this as a real teen going through the troubles he did. I felt often annoyed by Hunter's character. Even though he has been dealt a hard life in the story what with his parents divorce and loneliness he is very rude to people. But of course he's a teen so that's what is to be expected, and adds more reality to the story. The end of the story is so humbling and I wanted to read more very badly. I wish it continued! I can't say more about the ending without giving too much away, but I will definitely recommend you give this book a try! You won't be disappointed, especially if your a Robertson fan like my family is.



    ::From the back of the book::

    Based on real Robertson family Christmas traditions, this novella gives readers a window into the heartwarming and sometimes-zany moments shared by America's favorite Duck Commanders.

    Hunter Clarke wanted one thing for Christmas: to spend it with his dad and his brother. He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn’t enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers.

    Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it firsthand. From duck-hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family. Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?



     

    ::Product Details::

     
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414398204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414398204

  •  



    ::Also available in::

    Kindle      Nook      Hardcover



     

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Heaven Touching Earth - True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters

     


    This isn't your ordinary book. This is a book filled with TRUE stories of angels, miracles, and heavenly encounters. Each chapter has a testimony by a different person going into detail about their personal experiences of this sort.

    This is a wonderful book for those of you who, like me, like to read about encounters as such. These types of encounters cannot be explained away, and are heart-warming. Even when you don't see things happening in your life doesn't mean they aren't. And these types of books are further proof that whether you know it or not God is always at work. He works in mysterious ways.

    I enjoyed this book immensely. Each story pulled me in, and at times I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Of course I am a believer in God, miracles, and angels. But this book can even be for those of you who are just interested in the supernatural, or if you just want to reassure yourself of God's presence.

    Reading stories like this always strengthens my faith and belief. It gives us hope, and it warms our hearts. I highly recommend you give it a try. You won't be disappointed. There are all kinds of different testimonies to keep you hooked, and be prepared to feel a ton of emotions. Some of these testimonies even brought tears to my eyes, and of course held me on the edge of my seat.



    ::From the back of the book::
    God Is Closer Than You Might Think

    A thin curtain separates the physical world from the unseen spiritual realm. And sometimes God pulls it back to give us a glimpse of the other side. In Heaven Touching Earth, ordinary people share more than forty all-new stories of miracles, healing, divine provision and protection, and encounters with angels and demons.

    These true, uplifting stories will remind you that even when you don't see obvious evidence of God at work in your life or get quick answers to prayer, there is a loving Father who protects and provides and is always working on your behalf in the invisible realm.

    Whether you're simply curious about the supernatural world or longing for a fresh experience of God's presence, these inspiring stories will touch your heart and strengthen your faith in the God of miracles.



     

    ::About the author::
    James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including the Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, and God Encounters series, and the coauthor of numerous books in the Complete Idiot's Guide series. He and his family live in West Chicago, Illinois.



     

    ::Purchase this book::

    Paperback       Kindle     Nook

     



    ::Product Details::
     
    Paperback: 256 pages
    Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 16, 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0764211862
    ISBN-13: 978-0764211867

     

     


    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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