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Showing posts from November, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in Greece

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“So you see, if you were me, how life in Greece could really be.” If You Were Me and Lived in…Greece is the first book I’ve read in this early learning book series. What an interesting concept—teaching children what it would be like if they lived in different countries, visited famous landmarks, and participated in various customs. This non-fiction series awakens an appreciation and hunger for history in young readers. Not only is the reader entertained and educated, but also builds his/her vocabulary with words from each particular culture. If You Were Me and Lived in…Greece takes the reader through Athens, the Olympic games, and meals, names, activities, and landmarks unique to the area.  How refreshing to read about peers growing up in different environments than the reader is accustomed to. I, as an adult reader, learned a thing or two. ;) One of the aspects I really enjoyed about this book is the diverse skin and hair colors of the children in

Trading Secrets

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“The truth may set you free—but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.” Trading Secrets is the second book I’ve read   by Melody Carlson. (The first being, The Christmas Cat, which is a charming, quick-read.) I’m not very familiar with Amish fiction or Young Adult reads, so this was a new experience for me. I can’t say I’m a fan of either, but the story was still enjoyable. Fifth grader Micah Knight exchanges letters with a far away pen pal, an Amish boy, Zach Miller. Zach, understandably so, thinks Micah is male, and she (Micah) doesn’t tell him any differently. Well, wouldn’t you know that would make for a strange and anxiety filled detail to overcome when, as seniors, they’re about to meet in person. Will he resent her for deceiving him? As a teen, I had a pen pal, so it wasn’t difficult for me to relate to young Micah Knight, and the excitement that went along with it. Add deception to the mix and that excitement is tripled with anxiety. Trad

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco Book #3)

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“Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long…. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do.”   Message from Psalm 90:14-17 Surprised by Love ,  is the first book I’ve read by Julie Lessman . I just loved the cute, coy look of the girl on the cover art. Her persona piqued my interest, and so did the title. This story takes place in the early 1900s. It centers on a young woman, Megan McClare, who isn’t yet comfortable in her skin. She’s coy, less than beautiful, and teased in school, until circumstances cause her to lose her unwanted chubbiness. She then tosses her thick glasses out for inventive contact lenses, and accepts an intern job at the district attorney’s office for the summer, with hopes of becoming a lawyer or doctor. Of course, you know there has to be romance involved, and a love triangle ensues, leaving the new and improved Meg spinning in confusion. I enjoyed this

So Much the Better, by Megan Means

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He who strives to keep gladness in his heart remains strong. So Much the Better , by Megan Means, is an 89-page, 17-chapter book (each chapter containing 3-5 pages) for elementary or middle school children.   Although the book is short, it contains a full, robust storyline and interesting and a beloved animal cast. It took me (an adult) less than two hours to read the book in its entirety. Both entertaining and edifying, the story gave me a smile and left me satisfied. Little lion cub, Ari, gets swept away by an intense storm called the Black Wind, and is separated from his mother. When he wakes, unsure of where he is or what exactly happened, he’s frightened and alone. He’s determined to find his pride and hopes the friends he makes along the way can help him do so. On his journey he meets a whole cast of creatures (some friendly, and some not) and learns numerous lessons—courage, wisdom, forgiveness, friendship, and strength in numbers, to name a few. The animal cast

The Christmas Cat

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“Gram taught me a lot of valuable things. Like telling the truth and persevering even when a situation looked like it was hopeless.” The Christmas Cat , by Melody Carlson , is a fun, cute, heartwarming tale. When Garrison Brown’s grandmother dies, he is left in charge of finding homes for her many cats. Though her dying wishes are mighty peculiar and difficult to follow, he’s determined to carry them out. In doing so, he meets a variety of people, overcomes fears, and learns more about his grandmother, as well as himself. As a cat-lover, and owner of a Maine Coon, (pictured on the cover) I connected to so much in this story. Cat’s are finicky, affectionate, and make unique companions. The author shows these traits and infuses the story with just the right amounts of humor, grace, and depth. The Christmas Cat is a cheery read, with lots of heart and Christmas cheer. A great gift for cat-lovers, as well as those who just enjoy lighthearted, feel-good quick  reads.

God Gave Us Angels

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Purchase God Gave Us Angels at AMAZON “I’m going to pray that God sends his angels to watch over you, whether you can see them or not.” God Gave Us Angels is filled with short phrasing and lovely pictures that tells a cute story about Papa Bear and his daughter, Little Cub. The story begins with Little Cub, on a tree branch, looking for angels. She tells Papa Bear the bunnies told her angels are all around them. She asks Papa Bear a series of questions about angels, Have you seen one? What do they do all day? Do they have halos?   and more. Papa’s answers are honest, clear, and satisfy Little Cub’s curiosity. There are many aspects of this book that make it extra-special. The story never contradicts Bible teachings, references to God are capitalized, Little Cub’s curiosity is realistic, and Papa Bear’s responses are loving, kind, and non-judgmental. There are no bratty outbursts, no outrageous, or weary parental replies—just a sweet, loving family relat

At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads Book #1)

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Purchase At Bluebonnet Lake at AMAZON .   At Bluebonnet Lake is a gentle flowing story about Kate Sherwood, a city girl in a fast-paced job, who visits a rustic (and rundown) resort with her grandmother. She not only faces the prospect of love, but she finds herself as well. Rainbow’s End, though a ramshackle country resort, holds a unique charm, just as the patrons staying there. The amenities are quaint, and definitely behind the times, with sketchy Internet and phone signals, but that might just be what these people need. Get away from the hustle and bustle and experience what really matters in life. To be honest, the beginning moved a little slowly and it took me a bit to get totally immersed, but ultimately, I enjoyed the story and the nostalgic presence residing throughout. I wasn’t particularly drawn to Kate at first, but she grew on me as the story progressed. Her personality seemed a little mismatched for her business paced job, making her a tad unbe