Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Look Where We Live

Look Where We Live!
A First Book of Community Building
Scot Ritchie
Five friends join the street fair to help their community raise money for the library. The children check out each of the various activities and learn more about their community. They learn how they can fit in and make a difference.

Each page has bright, colorful illustrations that are full of detail. The pictures help tell the story. Each page has a description of what the children find as they visit each part of the street fair. Then in bold print the author tells why that particular person is contributing to their community. At the back of the book are instructions on how to make a puzzle that illustrates community. There is also a glossary for those harder to understand words. This book would be a great addition to a classroom or home school curriculum. The book encourages unselfishness, awareness of others, kindness, compassion, and respect of others. It also opens up the opportunity for dialogue about community.

I received this book free of charge from Children's Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

In Firefly Valley

In Firefly Valley
Texas Crossroads Book 2
Amanda Cabot
Marisa returns to her small Texas hometown with her tail between her legs. She'd planned to be wealthy and working for a large company by this time. Instead she's driving a car with a suspicious rattle and not a penny to her name. The new owners of Rainbow's End have hired her and she's grateful for the job. But her home has too many painful memories.

First, I love the cover. It highlights the romantic path this book takes so well. The story is sweet with a tiny bit of conflict. The author weaves a message of faith throughout the book. This time there were actually several romantic stories being told at once. I would recommend this book for people who like light romance, books with a Christian message, or stories with a Texas feel.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place
Corrie Ten Boom
Corrie and her family own a watch shop in the Netherlands. But when World War II starts their loyalties are tested. They can't sit by and watch while thousands of Jews are killed. So they secretly alter their home to hid a few people. When someone betrays them they are all rounded up and sent to the concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsie must endure the most terrible conditions. Corrie is amazed at her sister's faith and learns to trust in God no matter the circumstances.

I loved the adult version and was so excited to see an edited version for children. Both of my children enjoyed the book. Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing and inspiring woman. Her story reaches out to the young and old alike. It's one that I felt blessed to be able to share with my family. The black and white drawings were a plus with my young readers. The story, while dealing with harsh reality, didn't cross the line as far as too much information. This is a book I would recommend every household having in their library.

I received this book free of charge from Chosen in exchange for my honest review.

The Diva Diaries

Catie Conrad: How to Become the Most Unpopular Girl in Middle School
The (Desperate) Diva Diaries
Angie Spady
Catie has a lot on her plate. She's not exactly popular at school, her brother is completely gross, and she's really stressed out. But as Catie attends her youth group at church, the pastor shares things that helps her cope with her stress and be more compassionate towards others.

The style of the book is similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The main character confides in her diary and adds notes and pictures. The author was able to bring in spiritual lessons without them coming across as preachy or too heavy. The book showcased a typical child and made her interesting and her journal entries engaging. Middle school children will love the story and be blessed by the spiritual insights. This would also be the perfect book for the reluctant reader.

I received this book free of charge from Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Never Say No

Never Say No
Raising Big-Picture Kids
Mark and Jan Foreman
The authors are somewhat famous in that they are the parents of Jon and Tim Foreman of Switchfoot. They've written an inspiring book about how to raise kids in a world that is full of selfishness. The book is about how to pull your children above the petty things that pull them towards being self-centered and create a child who loves God and is compassionate and caring about the world around him. It's divided into three sections so the reader can jump in wherever they feel the need in their parenting. But it's best read from cover to cover.

Written in a personal, down to earth style, the writers have captured the essence of what most Christian parents want for their children. I was humbled and inspired as I read. I want this for my children. The stories and examples shared gave me a jumping off point and the concepts, while to the point, also left room for individuality. This is the parenting book that I will be recommending to everyone. It's just that good.

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lord John's Dilemma

Lord John's Dilemma
Grenville Chronicles Book 2
G.G. Vandagriff
 Lord John has returned from war exhausted and battling depression. He's sure that the cure for everything will be to marry Miss Lindsey and settle down in the country. But a certain Miss Haverly keeps catching his attention. She's an enigma that he can't figure out. His intrigue is catching the attention of other people and if he isn't careful he may jeopardize the marriage with Miss Lindsey.

I love regency romances and this had all of the romantic elements. It has a tiny bit of intrigue, lots of romance, and a beautiful setting. The characters were entertaining and added depth to the story. I enjoyed the plot and loved the ending. The clean, sweet romance will appeal to anyone who enjoys regency novels.

I received this book free of charge from I Am A Reader in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Capture the Moment

Capture the Moment
The Modern Photographer's Guide to Finding Beauty in 
Everyday and Family Life
Sarah Wilkerson
Large photographs with easy to understand explanations fill each page. The contributors explain the concepts behind capturing that perfect moment and making it a moment of beauty. A wide variety of aspects are covered such as lighting, composition, posing vs. free style, black and white photography, and equipment. The book has enough variety that professionals and beginners alike will be able to learn and enjoy it.

I loved the presentation. The photography is beautiful, the sections are nicely laid out and easy to understand, and the concepts are explained concisely. This is the perfect gift for photographers, parents, and beginners,  but also work well for a coffee table book. It's definitely a book I'll be keeping and sharing with my photographer friends.

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.