Monday, August 22, 2016

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal  *****
by Tyndale Publishers

I know these adult coloring books are quite the fad right now. However, this book is truly beautiful, and I'm excited to work through it! The pages have beautiful color and each devotional page has scripture, a prayer, a small space to journal, and some have a simple, creative activity. One page has you draw things you're thankful for and another has you list things you appreciate about your family. Then you can color in the designs on the pages as well.

This book isn't a devotional in the sense that it should replace your daily Bible reading. It is simply a fun, creative aspect to add onto your time with the Lord. 

This hard-covered book would  make a great gift for middle-school girls and older or to work through yourself.

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


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Listening for Lions

Listening for Lions  *****
by Gloria Whelan

Overview: Rachel Sheridan is a missionary kid in Africa. Her parents die of disease, and she is forced to stay with an English family nearby. This family has just lost their only daughter to disease, and they devise a plan to use Rachel to impersonate their daughter and get them a fortune.

Themes: honesty, family, African life, working hard to achieve your goals

Positive elements: The story is well-written and full of wonderful descriptions of life in Africa. Rachel learns that living a lie will burden you, and you must tell the truth no matter what may happen. 

Negative elements: Lots of people die due to disease. Rachel is pretty much kidnapped and made to live a lie. The family that takes her is very manipulative and treats her poorly.

Conclusion: I found this book because it was on a reading list of good books about Africa. I truly felt like I was in Kenya, at a remote missionary hospital, following Rachel around. And after she is kidnapped, I struggled with her on when it is right to lie and when the truth must be told. I would recommend this book to older elementary kids just because of all the death at the beginning of the book and her mistreatment of her "kidnappers."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Christ in the Sabbath

Christ in the Sabbath  *****
by Rich Robinson

Overview: This book traces the Jewish practice of honoring the Sabbath from the Old Testament through the New Testament. It covers how and why they celebrated each week and how things changed with Jesus. The book ends with a discussion on whether or not Christians should still keep a day set apart for rest and spiritual reflection. The book has some really interesting appendixes about Jewish Sabbath celebrations and rules, Sabbath songs, and a list of books for more in depth study on the Sabbath.

Positive elements: The book is well-organized and easy to read. The language is very simple. Each chapter is broken down into smaller sections and pull-out notes. It's easy to read ahead if you just want to read about a particular subject.

Negative elements: none

Conclusion: I've been thinking of how to incorporate routines of rest into our lives. I don't want to turn into a too busy family. The idea behind the Sabbath day of rest is to take time each week to rest and refocus spiritually. I enjoyed reading this book and thinking more deeply about the message of the Sabbath from a Jewish believer's perspective.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Legend  *****
by Eric Blehm 

Overview: Green Beret Sargeant Roy Benavidez flies into Vietnam to rescue a special forces team.
Positive elements: an amazing true story

Negative elements: The book is really slow in the middle. The first third of the book is fast-paced, but then it takes some slogging through.

Conclusion: As great of a story this is, the middle got so slow that my husband said he just couldn't get back into the story. This may be a book for the more serious reader who is willing to push through all the military details to get to the end.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch  *****
By Jean Lee Latham

Overview: Carry on, Mr. Bowditch is about Mr. Bowditch and his life. It is based on a real man who lived. He was a captain.

Positive elements: It has a good ending. 

Negative elements: A lot of people die. 

Conclusion: I think ages 8 and up will like this book.

by Sabrina Staples      

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting  *****
By Natalie Babbitt

Overview: Tuck Everlasting is a book about
a family who always stays the same age, and they never die. It's because the Tucks have drunk the water from the stream. This one man who has been following the Tuck family starts to figure out that he could sell this water and make a lot of money. The Tucks find out and realize they have to stop him because it would be bad if bad people lived a long time. So find what the Tucks do and more of the story!

Positive Elements: This story explains why people shouldn't live forever.

Negative Elements: None

Conclusion: I loved this story; I think you should read it!

By: Summer Staples, 10


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Temple and the Tabernacle

The Temple and the Tabernacle  *****
by J. Daniel Hays

Overview: This is the story of God's dwelling with mankind first in the garden, then through the tabernacle and later the temple. The author is making the case that the whole story of the Old and New Testaments is centered around God being with us. He was with us in perfect fellowship in the garden at creation. Then after sin, mankind was seperated from God's presence. When Moses built the Tabernacle (the tent where God met with the people), he again could meet with God but not directly. There was always a barrier of some sort such as smoke, and the Israeties couldn't go into the most Holy Place inside the Tabernacle. When Solomon built the temple (a more permanent dwelling place for God), people again were seperated from being in God's direct presence like in the Tabernacle. However, after Jesus dies for our sins and raises again, we become the new Tabernacle. We house the presence of God...the Holy Spirit. No longer does sin cause any seperation between us and God.

Positive elements: Beautiful, full-color pictures, glossy pages, great diagrams, well-organized

Negative elements: The book is a bit repetitive. Parts of it also had more details than I cared to know.

Conclusion: This is a great resource book to introduce people to the two temples and the Tabernacle of the Bible and how important they were to the Christian faith.

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

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Peter Pan

Peter Pan  *****
by J. M. Barrie

A boy who can fly, named Peter Pan, takes Wendy, Micheal and John to Neverland where they fight pirates and help Indians. Peter Pan is a funny story. Some of the funny things in Peter Pan are when Captain Hook and Peter talk to each other. It's a whole adventure. And to find out the adventure, you'll have to read it yourself. Have fun!

P.S. Mr. Darling, the father of Wendy, Micheal, and John, is so funny.

by Sabrina Staples, 8