Lily Vanessa And The Pet Panic

Friday, June 17, 2011

Something else didn’t make sense. Everything seemed to be going along so well that a strange feeling was beginning to build in her. It was like Mom always warned. Maybe this was the “calm before the storm”. Maybe “the excitement” was just ahead of her.

Book: Lily Vanessa And The Pet Panic, Bethany House Publishers, 1997
Lily Vanessa and the Pet Panic (Twelve Candles Club) 
Genre: Adventure
Target Audience: Girls 11-14
Subjects: Responsibility, Love for others, friendship, racial differences
Summary: She’s worse than the “new girl” in town because she’s not even going to be here more than a couple of weeks! But that doesn’t stop Lily Vanessa from wanting to make friends. So when she connects up with the Twelve Candles Club she is thrilled at the possibility of becoming friends with them. She had no idea what she was getting herself into though! The next thing she knows she is part of a team taking turns caring for Cat Woman’s many pets while she is gone for a few days. The many pets include a ton of cats, guard dogs and a crabby goat that has a tendency to attack people!
Notes: In the midst of this adventure story are a number of spiritual elements. The most prevalent is about friendship and reaching out to those around you who may need a friend. First there’s Lily Vanessa herself who is in need of a friend, but before long, she finds herself wanting to reach out to Cat Woman. Her grandmother challenges her in this, saying maybe Lily Vanessa has been placed here at this time specifically to reach out to Cat Woman. Another lesson is about fear. Lily Vanessa is very nervous about using her talent of singing in front of others but realizes after surviving a dangerous situation that if God can help her with that, He can certainly help her with singing in public. This is the eleventh book in the Twelve Candles Club series, books about a club of girls that baby-sit and do other odd jobs to help people and earn money.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Peter 3:15 – But in your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Mask Of The Wolf Boy

At the time Fu-lin had believed God had saved them, but now… now the missionaries were surely dead, and he felt alone and lost. What good was God who let His servants die? Who even let innocent little children die?

Book: Mask Of The Wolf Boy by Dave and Neta Jackson, Bethany House Publishers, 1999
Mask of the Wolf Boy: Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth (Trailblazer Books #27) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 10-16
Subjects: Persecution, Trust in God, Fear, Missions
Summary: Year after year Fu-lin has the same nightmare and wakes up smelling something strange. It seems to be a warning that something bad is about to happen. When the Boxers start threatening the Goforths and tragedies befall them, Fu-lin finally decides it’s time to make his get away. But his decision weighs heavy on his heart and makes it quite difficult for him. He finds no comfort or peace from God. After all, God has allowed so many tragedies already, He is apparently no help.
Notes: This book tells the story of Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth, Canadian missionaries to China. It is #27 in the Trailblazers series, a series designed to introduce readers to famous missionaries throughout history. The authors always have young characters who interact with the missionaries and who the story is centered around. These characters often are helped by the missionary, then learn to understand the heart for the lost themselves.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Night Of The Vanishing Lights

“This is kapu place!” the trembly voice interrupted. “Leave before you bring on the revenge of the night walkers.” The last two words seemed to vibrate in the darkness before fading away like a dying echo.

Book: Night Of The Vanishing Lights by Lee Roddy, Focus On The Family Publishing, 1994
Night of the Vanishing Lights (The Ladd Family Adventure Series #10) 
Genre: Adventure
Target Audience: Boys 11-15
Subjects: Bullying, Love for others (including those difficult to love), Friendship, Obedience
Summary: Disaster is coming! Literally! Daniel “Diz for Disaster” Davis is coming for a visit. And right in the middle of what could be a dangerous mystery too! As far as Josh and Tank are concerned, things couldn’t possibly be any worse. And they’re suspicions are proven true. From the moment Diz gets off the place troubles start. When he makes trouble with a bully and determines to right the wrong things go from bad to really bad. When he disobeys and disrespects a cultural rule, things go from really bad to downright disastrous and soon their very lives are in danger – just as Josh and Tank predicted.
Notes: This is the 10th book in the Ladd Family Adventure series. In this book Josh and his friends have to learn a valuable lesson about judging others. Diz may be clumsy and unable to follow social clues and hints, but his heart is right. Throughout the story, he is determined to do what he can for others and at the end, even risks his own life to do so.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 12:9-11 – Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Freedom Run

“I’m afraid you're right, Eveline,” he said. “We can’t go anywhere tonight.” I looked and Uncle Andrew bug-eyed. “But Clarence is going to—“ “My daddy? You’ve seen my daddy?” “Yes Eveline. He’s well. But we have a problem. Your father is going to try to run away tonight—and we won’t be with him!”

Book: Freedom Run by Paul McCusker, Focus On The Family Publishing, 1996
Freedom Run (Adventures in Odyssey Fiction Series #10) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 10-14
Subjects: Slavery, Love for others
Summary: They’re going back! Even knowing that Matt has been sold as a slave, Matt and Jack get into the imagination station and go back. Matt promised Eveline he would help her and her father escape and so they return to the adventure. Jack is with Reverend Andrew posing as a bird watcher visiting the plantations that Matt, Eveline and her father, Clarence, are on. Jack and Reverend Andrew make plans for the escape, but when Matt gets severely whipped they find themselves in quite a dilemma. The longer they stay, the better chance there is of failure!
Notes: This book is one of the Adventures in Odyssey series. This book, the 10th in the series, is a sequel to a story started in #9. Two young boys take a trip in the Imagination Station when they’re not supposed to and Mr. Whittaker stops them. But due to the events in the adventure they beg to go back and finish it. This particular story deals with the issue of slavery. Two white people have to risk their lives to help the slaves escape. Then at the end of the story, the town of Odyssey has to make a choice about how far to go in opposition to slavery – whether or not to disobey the laws or not.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Galatians 3:28 –There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Roxie’s Mall Madness

Abruptly Roxie turned away and started out the window. She couldn’t help Eli or Lacy – and not even Faye. Roxie bit her bottom lip to keep it from quivering. What good was she to anybody?

Book: Roxie’s Mall Madness by Hilda Stahl, Crossway Books, 1993
Roxie's Mall Madness (Best Friends, Book 15) 
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 12-15
Subjects: Friendship, relationships with family (siblings), showing love to others, power of prayer
Summary: Faye is keeping a puppy hidden in her room and gets Roxie to promise to not tell. Lacy is crying about something and won’t tell what and makes Roxie promise to not tell. Eli is hanging around the bad kids from school and makes Roxie promise not to tell. None of her siblings will listen to her or let her help them at all either! So what’s a sister to do? Roxie concludes the best thing to do is just get away from it all. So she starts hanging out at all the mall all the time. It’s there that she finds someone else who is using the mall to escape from home, but for quite a different reason than Roxie. Julie wants to get away from an empty house. Her parents aren’t around much and with break-ins in the neighborhood, Julie is scared to be home alone. Roxie wants to help Julie too, but just like all the others, Julie doesn’t want Roxie to tell anyone. How in the world can Roxie be of any help to anyone?
Notes: This book has two big lessons in it. The first is obviously showing love to others. There’s even a sort of side story going on about Roxie and her friends showing love to an elderly lady and making a big difference in her life by doing one simple act of kindness. Roxie’s heart is totally in the right place in this story – wanting desperately to help those she cares about. The other lesson that the book never specifically says but that should be obvious from reading it, is that sometimes you MUST tell an adult what is going on. A puppy hidden in a room, a boy hanging out with the wrong crowd, a sister who cries herself to sleep at night, a girl who is left home alone in a dangerous time and place – these are all serious issues. Roxie’s big mistake was agreeing to not tell the adults what was going on. And then keeping that promise when things got worse was also a mistake. Sometimes love means getting help. Roxie thought she could do it all on her own. She did learn that she at least needs Christ to help her and realized the power of prayer, but the book doesn’t specifically indicate that she learned it’s not always good to keep secrets.
Recommendation Scale: 4.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Hostage On The Nighthawk

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Again Nicole started to cry. “The two ships are drifting apart, and some of the men are jumping into the sea and trying to swim back. Wait!...The other ship IS flying a British flag. They’re yelling ‘Pirates’ at us.”

Book: Hostage On The Nighthawk by Dave and Neta Jackson, Bethany House Publishers, 2000
Hostage on the Nighthawk: William Penn (Trailblazer Books #32) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 11-18
Subjects: Showing love to others, responsibility
Summary: While sailing away to avoid one problem, Theo and his mom and sister find themselves in another problem. Theo’s mom takes it on herself to solve this one and they wind up in yet another scary situation! This time, the place they turned to for refuge wound up being a pirate ship with plans to use them as hostages to gain freedom for a criminal. Theo has been living his life letting others do what they want, keeping quiet when he knows something, but he is finally realizing that he does want to be his “brother’s keeper”. But getting himself, his mother and his sister out of this situation is going to be just about impossible!
Notes: This book tells the story of William Penn, the founder of the city of brotherly love. It is #32 in the Trailblazers series, a series designed to introduce readers to famous missionaries throughout history. The authors always have young characters who interact with the missionaries and who the story is centered around. These characters often are helped by the missionary, then learn to understand the heart for the lost themselves.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Over The Edge

 “No one outside of yourself and a few law enforcement people I’m working with, knows I’m not convinced of Todd’s guilt. I’d just as soon keep it that way for a while. I don’t want you kids out there asking questions and stirring things up. The last thing I need is another murder.” Jennie swallowed back the rising concern that she or Ryan had already asked too many questions.

Book: Over The Edge by Patrica Rushford, Bethany House Publishers, 1997
Over the Edge (Jennie McGrady Mystery Series #9) 
Genre: Mystery
Target Audience: Girls 14-18
Subjects: Crime, loss of loved one, dating relationships
Summary: Ryan won’t even give her the time of day! Then after virtually ignoring her, he has the guts to turn around and ask to borrow her car! Jennie isn’t entirely convinced that Ryan’s friend is as innocent as Ryan claims. The police seem to think he killed his girlfriend and Jennie doesn’t have any evidence to suggest otherwise. But unless she proves something one way or the other, her relationship with Ryan is going suffer greatly. The trouble is that if the killer is not Ryan’s friend, that means he could kill again if someone were to get in his way.
Notes: Trusting the people you care about seems to be the big theme in this story. Jennie gets mad and refuses to trust Ryan even when he does everything he can to prove that things aren’t the way they seem. And Ryan gets mad when he isn’t entirely convinced that Jennie is entirely convinced of his friend’s innocence. Then there’s the whole murder question – can you trust someone who says they didn’t kill someone when the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.
This is the 9th book in the Jenny McGrady series, sort of a Christian version of Nancy Drew books. Jennie is a teenager who gets involved in every crime she finds out about, often putting herself at risk in the process.
Recommendation Scale: 1/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Assassins In The Cathedral

He was working on his second scene, where King Mwanga ties up the three boy servants and threatens to throw them in the fire if they don’t give up their faith. But the image of his sister and Charity Kivengere being thrown into the army trucks by the soldiers kept pushing into Yacobo’s mind... It made the story feel too frightening, too real.

Book: Assassins In The Cathedral by Dave and Neta Jackson, Bethany House Publishers, 1999
Assassins in the Cathedral: Festo Kivengere (Trailblazer Books #28) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 11-18
Subjects: Persecution, Forgiveness, Love for enemies
Summary: Uganda is a scary place to be. Yacobo is busy with his schoolwork, writing a play based off of the true story of three servant boys being martyred for their faith. But the play starts to feel very real when people Yacobo knows and loves become martyred as well. Festo Kivengere encourages the people to stand firm in their faith and keep pursuing the play, but when even more persecution comes, Yacobo finds he no longer even wants to.
Notes: This book tells the story of the Ugandan evangelist and bishop Festo Kivengere. It is #28 in the Trailblazers series, a series designed to introduce readers to famous missionaries throughout history. The authors always have young characters who interact with the missionaries and who the story is centered around. These characters often are helped by the missionary, then learn to understand the heart for the lost themselves.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Matthew 5:11 – “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me

I Was An Eighth Grade Ninja

“I need to confess to you, I’m a little scared.” “You? I don’t understand.” “I left Japan a long time ago… and I’ve never really had anyone in my life for very long except Tomo. So the idea of having a young lady move into the house is more than a little frightening for me.”

Book: I Was An Eighth Grade Ninja by Andrew Simmons and Rob Corley, Zondervan Publishers, 2007
I Was an Eighth-Grade Ninja (Z Graphic Novels / Tomo) 
Genre: Graphic Novel
Target Audience: Girls 13-16
Subjects: Friendship, loss, battles between right and wrong
Summary: Hana settles in well after the death of her mom and her move from Japan to California to live with her grandfather. At least, she settles in well for a time, until new friends suddenly turn on her and strange beings from another world come and make an attack at her grandfather’s martial-arts studio! Suddenly Hana doesn’t know what to think or feel!
Notes: I am not certain I am the best to review this. I find the graphic novel format harder to follow and the story lacking any depth. But I suspect that’s intentional. The spiritual content of the story is the shown, but not declared, faith of Hana’s grandfather and the pastor of his Church and the pastor’s daughter. The pastor’s daughter starts making friends with Hana till her old friends get jealous and demand she turn on Hana, leaving this girl with a tough choice of whether to continue to show love to the new girl as her father has asked her or whether to continue being friends with the same girls she was. At the end of the book there is a reference to the Sword of the Spirit so I suspect the series will focus somewhat on the armor of God, but at the end of this first one, there’s just that one hint, nothing more.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

In Pursuit Of Giants

Slowly, quietly, a monstrous creature entered the camp of the Akalbasars. Jared stopped struggling with his bindings and lay as still as possible when he saw the huge beast. Grendoth! For a few moments the animal looked over the scene before it. A low growl arose from deep within its throat. Then it leaned down, using its small front legs for support, and swallowed whole the first Akalbasar in front of it.

Book: In Pursuit Of Giants by Peter R. Sterling and Augustus R. Kelvin, Ol’ Bune Publishing, 1995
The Chronicles of Seth: In Pursuit of Giants 
Genre: Suspense, Adventure
Target Audience: Boys 16+
Subjects: Cannibalism, Biblical History, Trust in God
Summary: His beloved and three of her friends have been captured by the Nephilites and Jared will stop at nothing to get them back! He follows them through the dreaded jungle filled with dinosaur beasts and cannibals, facing death over and over again as he desperately tries to catch up to them.
Notes: Determining genre was hard for this book. It claims to be a focus on history, what it might have been live to live between the time of banishment from the Garden of Eden and the time of the Flood, specifically focusing on the line of Seth and how they continued to follow God and pursue what was right. But it’s pretty hard to say this is just an ordinary historical fiction book. First, there’s no record of what life was like at that time. The Bible mentions very little about that time. Second, it was more like a horror story! Vicious dinosaurs coming out of everywhere and killing numbers of people! When it wasn’t dinosaurs doing the killing, it was the Nephilites. When it wasn’t them, it was the Akalbasars – a cannibal tribe of people. It was disgusting! There wasn’t much beauty to be found in this story. It was just a horror story, not much more. Sure the main character trusted God and the Nephilites scorned the Sethites for their legendary honesty and devotion to God, but the disgustingness of the book kind of made everything else in the book seem secondary.
Recommendation Scale: 1/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Rendezvous On The Runway

“Okay girls,” Fran announces as we get out of the car. “CafĂ© de Flore is one of my favorite restraints in Saint-Germain and I don’t want you two having a catfight once we’re seated. I’ll go see if I can get us a table and you settle your differences before you join me.”

Book: Rendezvous On The Runway by Melody Carlson, Zondervan Publishing, 2011
Rendezvous (On the Runway) 
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 17-25
Subjects: Fashion, Friendship, Relationship with family (sisters), Dating relationships, alcohol
Summary: The Forrester sisters are on the runway again – this time in Paris! Erin’s role as Jiminy Cricket isn’t as needed this trip. Paige has sobered up more after seeing a young girl killed due to the careless choices made. However, she’s also not ready to finish growing up and Erin is a definite target whenever something doesn’t go her way. Erin is finding it hard enough to be forced in front of the camera multiple times without her sister getting mad when someone acknowledges her instead of Paige. Then there’s the guys. There are about three guys pursuing Erin and at least two actively pursuing Paige. What’s a girl to do with all this attention?
Notes: Just like the last book in the On The Runway series, much more is taught about fashion than faith. However, this book does a better job than the last one. Erin is taking her concerns to the Lord in prayer and Taylor and Blake actively witness to a group of people. Sadly, the Bible and turning to God’s Word for wisdom isn’t a part of it though. However, once again, good moral lessons are taught. Taylor, being the character from the Carter House Girls series who struggled with alcohol addiction and went through rehab and became a believer, shows up again in this series and shares her experiences and views on the danger of drunkenness to any who will listen. There is also a little section on showing love to others and what that looks like when Erin gets things Paige wants and has to decide whether or not to give up everything of hers for her sister just to make her sister happy.
Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Mark 12:31 –The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Death By Babysitting

Nellie sucked in her breath. “You mean like somebody actually abandoned that baby and didn’t want to be traced?” How could anyone ever do that?

Book: Death By Babysitting by Susan Kimmel Wright, Herald Press, 1994
Genre: Mystery
Target Audience: Girls 14-18
Subjects: Responsibility, Abuse, Foster care/Adoption
Summary: Can too much stress kill a person? Well, if dealing with nine crying screaming babies isn’t enough to kill Nellie and Peggy, it’s certainly enough to make them so distracted they don’t even notice someone walk into the room to drop off another baby. The trouble is that the person who dropped the baby off never returned for them – at all! Even after being on the news for a few days the person never returned for their baby! Nellie and Peggy feel horrid, as if it’s their fault somehow. Surely there was some way they could have been more aware of what was going on in the room! So they set up out solve the mystery themselves. Well, Nellie sets out to do so and drags Peggy and their own friend Rick along with her. But when it is discovered the baby has been abused, Nellie starts to wonder if finding the original mother is such a good idea after all!
Notes: This book seems like a typical teen mystery case, but it tackles some serious issues. It deals with abortion, abandonment, abuse, and perspective towards life in general. In a discussion, some suggest that maybe if a baby is aborted, it was a better thing for it anyway than having to go through life with bad parents. Nellie, Peggy, and Rick have to not only think through what they believe about life, but how to get others to see the same thing. So hidden within the mystery and overly dramatic teenagers sagas is a real issue that teens need to think through carefully.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Job 12:9-10 –Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

The Spell Of The Crystal Chair

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

“Our enemy are called the Yanti. We were once united as one tribe many years ago. But for some reason, war came and the tribe was divided.” “What was the war about?” Dave asked quietly. “No one remembers now.”

Book:  The Spell Of The Crystal Chair by Gilbert Morris, Moody Publishers, 2000
The Spell of the Crystal Chair (Seven Sleepers: The Lost Chronicles #1) 
Genre: Allegory/Futuristic
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 13-18
Subjects: Trust in God, War, Prejudice
Summary: Ask anyone in the Lowami tribe and they’ll tell you just how savage and fierce and evil those people in the Yanti tribe are. But if you ask anyone in the Yanti tribe, they’ll tell you the same thing about the Lowami tribe. Both tribes have a few people in them who follow Goel and a few who are stubborn and uninterested in following Him. The Lowami come at Goel’s suggestion to find the Sleepers to help them win their battles against the Yanti. When the Sleepers arrive though, soon they find things to be a bit different than they thought. The real enemy isn’t the Yanti at all, but the Dark Lord and his evil followers. In this frozen land of ice and snow the Sleepers once again have to rely on Goel to provide the way to win the battle.
Notes: In this book, once again the Seven Sleepers have to place a great deal of trust in Goel as He sends them into battle without specific details, just promising He will be with them. The other characters in the story learn a little bit about war. They live in cultures that have battled one another for so many years, no one knows why they are battling each other. When they get to know one another, they realize they are only hurting themselves and that it’s stupid to keep fighting someone who isn’t really so different from you after all. The Seven Sleepers series is Science Fiction in that it is futuristic. It is not meant to be fantasy. It is meant to be realistic fiction set in the future, but it seems like fantasy most of the time! The story takes place after the earth has been almost destroyed by nuclear warfare. What's left has been genetically changed and messed up. All sorts of strange creatures and people exist now that didn't before. Whether it be giants, dinosaurs or something else, most of "Nuworld" is strange and seems like something that could only exist in fantasy. The sleepers are 7 children who were placed in sleep capsules right before the war began, then the capsules opened 50 years later to this genetically altered world.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

James 4:1 - What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

Haunted Waters

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
 I fought to stay focused. There was no way I could afford a seizure now. Bryce said the green car was behind us, but I forced myself not to glance back. It was like monsters in your closet or under your bed- you knew they were in there but you didn't want to look.

Book: Haunted Waters by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, Tyndale House Publishers, 2005
Haunted Waters (Red Rock Mysteries, No. 1) 
Genre: Mystery/Adventure/Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 13-18
Subjects: Remarriage, Bullying, Relationships with family, faith in God, death
Summary: Bryce and Ashley, twin teenagers are adjusting to life in a new town, new school and new family. Their dad was killed, their mom moved, remarried and became a Christian. So did Bryce and Ashley. As they go on a trip with their new step-dad, Ashley takes a picture of something that turns out to be dangerous and bad guys are willing to do anything it takes to get their hands on that photo. They aren't sure who the bad guys are. They could possibly be connected to the threats made to Bryce by a bully at school but they just don't know anything for sure - except that they are in great danger.
Notes: This book is an interesting mix of action and realistic fiction type issues. Bryce and Ashley take turns narrating chapters and sharing their thoughts and feelings. Bryce is dealing with a bully at school he is afraid of and isn't sure how to respond to it. Ashley is trying to be a witness to a friend from school, but finds herself too afraid to speak up when put in a compromising situation. Both are trying to adjust to their new stepfather and stepsister while still honoring the memory of their father. There are a few interesting discussions of spiritual issues in this book - Ashley's attempt to witness to her friend and their new stepfather's spiritual state - he is angry at God for taking his wife and child. It's not an all consuming theme running through the book, but it is there.
Recommendation Scale: 3/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
1 Peter 2:12 – Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Grace And The Bully

She heard the reverend say that it was God’s will that all should come to repentance – that God willed no one to perish or be lost. Grace wondered, “Does that include people like Raggy and the riffraff that live in Sausage Row?” No matter how she twisted and turn the words around in her head, she just couldn’t see any way that she could love Raggy Langer or set an example for him. She wanted to strike him and make him leave Drew alone forever.

Book: Grace And The Bully by Norma Jean Lutz, Barbour Publishing 2006
Grace and the Bully: Drought on the Frontier (1819) (Sisters in Time #8) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 10-14
Subjects: Love for others, bullying, poverty, responsibility, growing up
Summary: Grace doesn’t want to be little Gracie anymore. She longs to grow up and truly be helpful to her family. When drought strikes she gets the chance to grow up, but not the way she thought. She finds herself disobeying her parents while she goes out of her way to show love to some people that she previously thought of as bad and unworthy of her love, or God’s love for that matter. All of her attempts to be helpful won’t be enough though if the rains don’t come so the river rises again.
Notes: This book does a really good job challenging status quo! Grace and her cousin have to reach out and show love to people that are “bad”, including a saloon lady! It does communicate effectively that disobeying parents is never a good idea, but it also shows that sometimes what you’ve been told about people isn’t necessarily right. The Sisters In Time series does it's best to tell a historically accurate story about a young girl in a different time period. The goal is for young girls to see the similarities between themselves and the girls back in history.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Hunter Brown And The Eye Of Ends

Before I knew it, I was dreaming of sand frogs, Shadow creatures and Boojum spit… a strange combination by anyone’s standards. Little did I know, before my dreams ended, things would get a lot stranger.

Book: Hunter Brown And The Eye Of Ends by The Miller Brothers, Warner Press, 2011
Hunter Brown and the Eye of Ends (Codebearers) 
Genre: Fantasy/Allegory
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 12-18
Subjects: Relationships with family, trust in God, love, sacrifice
Summary: Can the Author really be trusted? That’s the ultimate question Hunter has to wrestle with. The future has been seen and it doesn’t look too good! Someone has created a way to avoid facing the future, a security for themselves. While figuring out what to do, Hunter’s mother and sister get captured, his friends get captured, the bad guys look like good guys, the good guys look like bad guys, motorcycles go through walls, giant spiders pursue, information about his father gets discovered and Hunter risks death multiple times! In the end, Hunter may have to be willing to give up everything to save what he loves.
Notes: This book wrestles hard with how much we can trust God! Multiple characters see what is supposed to be the future and when it looks as though the Author will let them do, some abandon their faith and turn to their own security. Some hold on all the more tightly to their faith recognizing the futility of life without God. It truly shows the characters wrestling with it, especially when someone close to them makes the opposite choice. This is the 3rd in the Codebearers Series.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Corinthians 2:9 – However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

Total Pageviews