Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Door in the Wall

The Door in the Wall   *****
by Marguerite De Angeli 

The Door in the Wall is a good story because the boy is brave and has courage. The problem is that he can’t walk. If you do not find out what you can’t do, you find out what you can do. He still could help the kingdom. You should read it.   

By Sabrina Staples, age 7

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook

Junie B. Jones is not a Crook  *****
By Barbara Park

Overview: The story is about a kindergartener named Junie B. Jones. One day her grandpa gets her brand new mittens. She is so exited to go show all of the kids at the school! She is a little annoying showing all the kids her mittens. While she is at recess, someone steels her mittens. 
Themes: This is a mystery about who stole Junie B. Jone's mittens.

Positive Elements: The good things that happened in the story are that Junie B. Jones finds her mittens, and the crook gets caught by the teacher.

Negative Elements: The only bad thing that happened is a kid stole her mittens.

Conclusion: I think any kid should read it, but I think seven and older is probably best. I think seven and older is best because my sister Sabrina who is seven is getting through them pretty slow. I enjoyed it, and I am now reading other Junie B. Jones books in the series!

By: Summer Staples
Age: 9

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Agents of Babylon

Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell us about the End of Days *****
by Dr. David Jeremiah

Overview: This book is a kind of a Bible study on the book of Daniel. Each chapter of the book begins with a fictional depiction of each chapter of Daniel. Then Dr. Jeremiah leads you through the actual text of that chapter of Daniel. Then the end of the book's chapter has principles for today from the text.
Theme: the end times
Positive: Dr. Jeremiah writes so clearly. He writes in a way that anyone can understand no matter how much they already know about the Bible or about Daniel in particular. Someone who had never read the book of Daniel could pick up this book and understand it.
Negative: The fictional account of what happened in the biblical text is a little repetitive. Dr. Jeremiah says that he included the fictional story to help draw people into the story. It's true that there were aspects of Daniel's life that I hadn't thought about before. However, I am always cautious to mix fiction with my Bible study.
Conclusion: Studying the end times can be frightening to me. But Dr. Jeremiah's book is filled with so much hope. He reminds us that even though judgement is coming to the Earth, God is with us. We already know the end of the story...that we will be with Him in heaven. And that's something to hope in!
The end of the book has an appendix with over a hundred instances where God is at work in Daniel. It is a good reminder that everything happens because God is directing it. Very encouraging!

I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Maniac Magee    *****
by  Jerry Spinelle

Overview: This is a tall tale of a young boy, without a family, who is seeking a place to belong.
Themes: friendship, prejudice, family, home
Positive elements: This book shows how one person can make a difference in a community. We see what it means to truly be a friend and what is means to belong to a matter the color of your skin.
Negative elements: Maniac Magee suffers through some hard things including the death of a dear friend.
Conclusion: My girls were talking about how this was one of their favorite books we've read lately. I also found it truly moving. I highly recommend it! 

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang     *****
by Ian Fleming

Overview: A fun, well-written story about a family who buys a magical motor car.
Themes: family, adventure
Positive elements: The family is good to each other and goes on adventures with the magical car. This book is just good, old fashioned entertainment.
Negative elements: The bad guys kidnap the two children out of their beds, which was a little scary for my five-year-old. However, the bad guys are a bit silly so they really aren't very terrifying. And they don't mistreat the children.
Conclusion: My girls loved this book. We got it on CD from the library and really enjoyed listening to it as a family. It's a pretty short book so it's good for shorter attention spans. I was surprised how completely different the book is from the movie and the musical.  

Touching Godliness

Touching Godliness    *****
by K.P. Yohannan

K.P. Yohannan spoke at our church this summer, and I picked up a couple of his books. This book had some similar ideas to his "Road to Reality," but this book is more theological than practical. 

"Touching Godliness" had some good food for thought. Yohannan spoke a lot about our attitudes towards submission and authority as Christians. He is very conservative; for example, he believes that women's heads should be covered. But the book was a good reminder of the blessings that come through a life completely submitted to Christ and to those in authority above me.

At the end of the book there is an overview of each chapter and questions for a discussion.