The Strange Creatures Of Dr. Korbo

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He then ran forward and almost dropped his sword at what he saw. Gus was facing a monstrous ant. It was at least six feet tall, bright red, and was evidently a vicious insect. Others were coming through the tall grass, snapping their huge jaws as they came.

Book: The Strange Creatures Of Dr. Korbo by Gilbert Morris, Moody Publishers, 2000
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Adventure/Futuristic
Target Audience: Boys and Girls 13-17
Subject: Love for others, leadership, fear of failure
Summary: Babies and strange dangerous animals. A bad combination but that’s the latest mission Goel has sent them on. A magician is taking away the babies with plans to do experiments on them the way he has done on the animals. The sleepers can’t let that happen! The animals are huge beasts! A gentle squirrel is transformed into a vicious eighty pound creature with teeth like a lion, ants are six feet tall with attack on their minds. Creatures that are half lion half bull guard the magician’s palace. It’s up to the sleepers to rescue these babies and stop the evil magician.
Notes: This story deals with a few elements. One of them is humility – a character in the story is kind of portrayed as not as intelligent as the rest and yet he is a hero in the story. Then there’s the babies – the idea that changing diapers isn’t manly or cool is there but the male sleepers are heroes for it. Another issue is that of leadership – Josh is again fearing that he doesn’t have what it takes to lead the others. 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: 4.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Mark 9:35 – Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Ciao on the Runway

Monday, February 20, 2012

I decide to pray specifically. I ask God to help Paige not to do anything regrettable. I ask God to help my mom do her job to best of her ability. And then I ask God to use me as a buffer if needed. I hope I’m dead wrong, but I believe tomorrow has the potential to go totally sideways on all of us.

Book: Ciao by Melody Carlson, Zondervan Publishers, 2010
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls
Subjects: Fashion, dating relationships, sex before marriage, relationship with family
Summary: Dylan and Paige’s engagement is on shaky ground thanks to Eliza and Paige has plans for revenge. Erin just hopes her sister doesn’t do anything completely foolish. On The Runway is scheduled to hit both New York and Milan soon, but the girls are concerned that their mom will be too much of a mother to be a good director. When she’s not worrying about the show and her sister, Erin is trying to figure out how to respond to Blake’s new job – starring in a reality tv show himself – about blind dates! Erin seriously thought she was ready to make more of a commitment to Blake and now he’s dating other girls as a career – and expecting her to come on his show and do the same! When Erin discovers evidence that Dylan may truly not be ready to be faithful to her sister she has to figure out how to respond in a way that her sister will listen to. In between all these worries, Erin is still caring for Fran as she undergoes a transplant and trying to help Mollie recover from postpartum depression.
Notes: Just like the others in the On The Runway series, much more is taught about fashion than faith. Erin is a Christian and mentions praying a few times in this book, even specifically taking note that she needs to pray before making a decision at one point. However, the moral lessons taught are not from a Biblical perspective, just logical. Erin tries to convince Paige to not have sex before marriage and the reason given is that it will hurt more if they betray you, not because it’s wrong of breaks God’s standards. And who to date or whether or not to date or when to date is based on feelings, rather than on what she believes God wants from her life. This is the last book in the series. It ended without much of any resolution about anything – just both girls recognizing the value in their relationship as sisters. None of the unbelievers were witnessed to or become Christians, nothing was resolved about the show and nothing was resolved in any of the potential relationships.
Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

The House On The Corner

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

“Things are changing” she said now, seriously. “Nobody notices, but I do. Things are being forgotten. Even children are forgetting sooner and sooner.” I looked up, not really knowing what she was talking about.

Book: The House On The Corner by Michael Rains, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2012
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure, allegory?
Target Audience: Boys 11-13?
Subjects: Salvation?
Summary: Chester only intended to go on a quick errand. Drop something off and come home again. Simple. Except he never made it back home again. First came the time at his uncle’s house with his uncle’s strange friends. One exaggerated comment and he’s drug into a web of secrecy and high risk. Then came the visit to the house on the corner where Agent B delivers the terrible news that “they” are coming. A quick phone call allows Chester the opportunity to go with these people for a month’s vacation. In the midst of saltine raids at the stores, helping mix chemicals and checking the time at a particular house daily, Chester learns about the Eternal Flame and The What and the Brain Snatchers.
Notes: I think this is supposed to be an allegory about spiritual warfare and satan’s attempts to take over the world while Christians fight against it through faith in Christ. However, I could be wrong. This is honestly the most confusing book I’ve ever read. Nothing is explained. A clue on a bubblegum wrapper, chemicals in a toothpaste bottle poured down pipes, raids on stores to collect all crackers, checking the time on your watch while at a particular location every day, hurried evacuations at the announcing of strange signals, a garden club and many more random elements are tossed together to make this story. If it is an allegory, it is for adults who are deep thinkers, not children. The main character is a young boy so that would appear to be the target audience, but isn’t necessarily. I think there’s a lesson in here about the battle between good and evil but it’s hard to sort through the nonsense to find it.
Recommendation Scale: 1/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Child Of Destiny

Sunday, February 5, 2012

You are the protector Hana. It is you. This has all been because you will be great. A hero.

Book: Tomo Child of Destiny, Jim Krueger and Tom Bancroft, Zondervan Publishers, 2008
Genre: Graphic Novels
Target Audience: Girls 13-16
Subjects: Friendship, trust in God, patience, battles between right and wrong
Summary: It is time for Hana to learn her history and that of her parents – and of her people. She is young, but evil is waiting on the doorstep and Hana must be prepared. In this story Tomo and Grandfather take Hana through history to learn how they came to this world and what happened to her parents. Most importantly, it is time she learn that she is to save her world!
Notes: As with the others in the series, I am not the expert on graphic novels. This story, as mentioned above, tells of the history of Hana’s people – how they came from another world when the king died and the wrong brother seized the throne and killed Hana’s father. There is a prophecy that she will become the protector of her people. This book contains the following spiritual elements: friendship – when Hana’s friend has to figure out how to be friends with her and challenge her old friends to do what’s right while still being their friend as well, forgiveness – when grandfather talks about forgiveness between himself and Hana’s mother, and patience – as Tomo and Grandfather try to teach Hana the importance of the right timing for things.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

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