Monday, July 28, 2014

All The Way Home, by Bruce Snavely




Title: All The Way Home

Author: Bruce Snavely

Publisher: Globalmax Publications

Paperback: 194 pages

Date: February 18, 2014








About the author:
Bruce Snavely is the founder and president of Global Baptist Training Foundation. After spending 20 years in ministry and 12 years in Christian higher education, Bruce's passion involves training national church leaders globally. He holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Trinity College at the University of Bristol, UK. Dr. Snavely and his wife Grace have four children and seven grandchildren. 

About the book:
Home may appear to be infinitely far away-perhaps impossible to find. This is a story about a little boy who once thought that. From an idyllic beginning as a wealthy doctor's son, he became a ward of the state, tossed from one home to another in the foster care system. Disenfranchised from his father's will and separated from his brother and sister, he found that the harder he fought to reclaim his family, the further away his hope drifted. One day it was gone.

Much about what we read about broken homes and lives suggests hopeless futures and early graves. Here is one story with an ending reminding us that there is hope for those who think that God has abandoned them. One the contrary, God can indeed lead us...All the way Home.

My take:
Life can be very hard at times for everyone, but when you are a child and you are going through changes, it can be worse. All the Way Home, is about the life of a man who not only loses his father at young age but is tossed from foster home to foster home and is put through every test one could possibly imagine, yet later pulls himself out of the "mire" and becomes a dedicated Christian man who starts to "live" the life he feels like he desires.

All the Way Home is a well written book. To read what he went through was very heartbreaking. When you are young you cling to family, and when that family isn't 100% there for you, you can feel all alone, as did the author, who expressed his feelings in good and bad ways. I did feel at times that it was a little hard for me to "stay" in the book. I felt like some of the information he gave wasn't as important and it took away from his story. This book does not contain a lot of pages, so it can literally be read within a day. Also, there is a quote at the beginning of the book, that I must say is the best quote I have read to go along with a book.

If you are looking for a good story, then All the Way Home is for you. It is a very inspiring story that will let you know that life can change and turn around for you.

This a complimentary copy of this book was given to my by Bostick Communications for my honest opinion.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in... France: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the Wrold, by Carole P. Roman


Title: If You Were Me and Lived in...France

Series: If You Were Me and Lived in...

Author: Carole P. Roman

Publisher: CreateSpace

Date: May 2, 2013

Pages: 26

Ages: 3 - 7




About the author:
Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. She just finished the first of six books in a groundbreaking new nonfiction series about culture around the world. "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us.

About the book:
"If You Were Me and Lived in... France: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World" is the second book in Carole P. Roman's remarkable series about countries all over the globe. Roman opens up a world of wonder while highlighting the fact that underneath it all we are far more alike than we might have imagined. Focusing on what life would e like from a child's viewpoint, she examines the diversity of the people who make up our planet.

My take:
My daughter is more of a sensory rather than a pencil and paper learner. So, when it came to me wanting her to learn about different countries around the world, the perfect book series is of course, If You Were Me And Lived In...A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World, by Carole P. Roman. 

This time we read the one on France. And like all the other books in this series that we have read, she learned from this one too. She woke up on the 14th of July and said, "Mom, today is a holiday for the people in France. Just like we celebrate the 4th of July, they celebrate on the 14th." I love how she does this.

A big picture of France and its capitol are at the beginning of the book, which is also shown on the next page on an actual globe. I really like how this is done because children are shown where to look on a globe and find it. Just like the other books in this series, this one has the brightly colour pictures with happy cartoon characters all throughout. There are hand drawn pictures of what France looks like and the places there. For example, a flower shop, a bakery, and of course the infamous Eiffel Tower.

The writing is very easy for children to read themselves, which I like very much. The fact that she can read it will give her a better understanding of it versus me reading it to her. The words on the pages go no longer than a small paragraph, so it doesn't make them feel like the book is super long. They learn something new on each page, so they are kept interested in what they are reading. At the end of the book there is a pronunciation guide. I must say, I was looking forward to seeing more french words that my daughter could have learned. All in all, this is a really great book and think you should add it to your collection.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Get To Know Jesus, by Nancy I. Sanders




 Title: Get to Know Jesus: A Biography For Kids

Series: Get To Know

Author: Nancy I. Sanders

Publisher: Zondervan

Date: July 8, 2014

Age: 6 - 10 years



 
About the book: Jesus - part of the Get To Know series - is a unique biography about Jesus, the Son of God. Focusing on the life and character of this Biblical Hero, using color photographs, maps, and other visual resources to tell the whole story, young biography fans will come to learn more about this man of God and the role he plays in history. Featuring a bibliography and scriptural references throughout, this is sure to become a favorite for young readers and for first book reports.

About the author: Nancy I. Sanders is the best selling children's author of over 80 books including Frederick Douglas for kids. She lives with her husband, Jeff, and their two cats in sunny Southern California and has two grown sons. Visit Nancy's website at www.nancyisanders.com.

My take: This is a very good book. I really love this series and so does my daughter. Everyone knows about Jesus, but not everyone knows his journey. This book will help you learn about his life and the journey he took.

Get To Know Jesus, has icons all throughout the book to help them learn extra information. For instance, an oil lantern means Scripture, a foot means Bible Hero, and a hieroglyphics eye means Eyewitness Account. There are pictures of maps, buildings, and artifacts. There is even a family tree and timeline for Jesus. At the very back of the book is a glossary to help you know what some of the words mean.

This full-color biography has a lot of pictures for the kids to look at along with all the information they are learning. The book takes you from when he was young all the way up to his death/resurrection. Along with that are stories of his miracles and some parables.

I feel as though this is a great series for every family to own. Especially if you have younger children. Not that an adult wouldn't enjoy the series also.

I received this complementary book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Under the Overpass, by Mike Yankoski




Title: Under The Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America

Author: Mike Yankoski

Publisher: Multnomah Books

Pages: 256








About the author: Michael Yankoski is a writer, aspiring theologian, and urban homesteader who dreams of becoming a competent woodworker, musician, and sailor. He graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA; received his MA in theological studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia; is a (novitiate) Oblate of St. Benedict, and has authored four books. Michael grew up in Colorado, feels at home on the Pacific Coast, and currently resides in Indiana, where he and his wife are pursuing PhDs at the University of Notre Dame.

About the book: Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities.

For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection-all by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they'd always known...to discover what if feels like to be homeless in America.

My take: This was a really good book and an eye opener for anyone who is very complacent in life. At one time in my life, I spent about a year feeding the homeless breakfast every Sunday morning and every Sunday evening handing out food baskets. It was a great experience. But I was never on their side of the table. I never got to truly understand how they felt and what they went through. That is what Mike and Sam did on their five month journey. They got to experience not having money. Trying to find places to sleep and food to eat. Also, how to survive on the streets, which can be a learning experience in itself.

When I first received this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it or not. But once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It helped me gain perspective on the lives of those that I might have touched when I worked with the homeless. To be able to hear one's experience and "go" on the journey with them was very interesting. I don't know that I could last out there for five months trying to survive, but if you are in that situation, it is probably a different story.

I think everyone should read this book. Whether you are a Christian or not, you could benefit from it.

I received this complimentary book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.









Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lost & Found, by Sarah Jakes




Title: Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life

Author: Sarah Jakes

Publisher: Bethany House

Date:April 1, 2014

Pages: 234








About the author:
Sarah Jakes oversees the women's ministry at The Potter's House of Dallas, the church led by her parents, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Mrs. Serita Jakes. She regularly blogs at sarahjakes.com and occasionally serves as a TV host on The Potter's Touch. Sarah is mom to two and lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Learn more about her and her ministry at sarahjakes.com.

About the book:
Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her drams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher's kid, her road was lonely. A few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future, instead she found herself surrounded by a God she'd given up on, crushing headlong with Him into a destiny she'd never dreamed.


My take:
Okay, I have to say that I thought this was going to be a really good book. She is a preacher's daughter and was somewhat like the "black sheep" of the family. What better story could there be, right? Wrong. I hate to say it, but I didn't enjoy reading this book at all. It felt like a ton of words that were sprawled out on page after page after page. The whole idea of her story seemed nice, but the way that it was executed in this book just didn't do it justice. It felt as though she took us from one incident to another without truly going into how each situation made her feel.

The book starts out with a forward from her father and then she goes into an introduction about her life. She goes to explain how life is like growing up as a Jake and what lead her to writing this book (I'm guessing). She also has quotes throughout the book.

I have to commend her for writing this book. Sharing your personal life with the world isn't an easy task. Especially if it didn't go according to how society sees a preacher's daughter's life is suppose to turn out. But I just think that it could have been written better. Maybe the message she was trying to get across would have been received if it was executed better. I am sure there are people out there that did like her book, but it just wasn't for me.

This book was given to me by Bethany House for my honest opinion

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Collision: The Battle For Darracia, by Michael Phillip Cash



Title: Collision: The Battle For Darracia

Series: The Darracia Series

Author: Michael Phillips Cash

Publisher: Red Feather Publishing

Pages: 258

Language: English






About the author:
Born and raised in Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with ghosts, horror and fantasy writing. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

About the book:
The Darracia saga continues with all the key players spread out and searching for answers throughout the solar system. Prince V'sair struggles to hold his fractured kingdom together without help from his family. His stepbrother Zayden is on a vengeful hunt for his evil uncle Staf Nuen, the orchestrator of the original coup, is making unholy alliances with nefarious new allies. Like the comet zipping across the horizon, all the different factions are heading for a collision course that will test both their faith and power. 

My take:
Have you ever thought about how life would be if you lived in a different place or different time? Or maybe even one of the other planets that are placed out there in space. Well, Collision: The Battle For Darracia, by Michael Phillips Cash could give you an idea. I have not read many science fiction books. Actually, this one I am thinking is the second one that I have read. When I first picked up the book, the cover alone drew me in. I thought it looked like a really interesting book. I was right.

This book happens to be the second one out of a series of three. Even though I haven't read the first one, I was still able to follow along and understand what was taking place in the story. I didn't feel as though I was missing a lot of background from not reading the first book. The author did a great job explaining a little about each character's background and where they are headed. His writing style is very simplistic along with the font size, which allowed me to easily follow and finish the book. He is also very descriptive and I was able to picture what I thought each of these characters looked like or even some of the ships they traveled in. It would have been nice to see maybe one or two characters on the front of the book so that one could see if their imagination matched up to what he envisioned.

I feel as though most science fiction lovers would enjoy reading this series. The other two books in the series are Schism: The Battle For Darracia and Risen: The Battle For Darracia.

This book was given to me by Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Bling Fairies of Junkett Falls



Title: The Bling Fairies of Junkett Falls

Author/Illustrator: Maureen Sky

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

Date: April 21, 2014

Pages: 44

Language: English







About the book: This book is a fun book for the reader as it displays a handful of emotions, a bit of quirkiness, perhaps some knowledge, some lessons to be learned and the feelings of pride and contentment. The colourful illustrations provide the perfect visual that definitely makes this story come to life.

About the author:  Maureen Sky, wife, mother, and grandmother, who lives in Bernardston, Massachusetts with her husband, Eddie, and their male tiger cat, Grueby. Maureen, (now retired), has always been very creative throughout her life, sewing and painting, having won ribbons at local county fairs for her crafts and paintings, etc. She worked many years in the public sector as a school secretary for two local high schools. Just recently, she has taken another creative path to become an author. The "Bling" Fairies of Junkett Falls, is her first written book illustrated by her, as well.
 
My take: I was just recently given the cutest book, The Bling Fairies of Junket Falls, by Maureen Sky. Everyone likes fairies, right? Well, if you want to learn more about them (the Bling ones) then this is the book you should get for yourself or your child. The difference is these aren't just any old fairies, they are jewelry fairies.

The Bling Fairies of Junkett Falls is about a teen fairy named Velvy. She is from Junkett Falls with her family, who happen to be well liked. It tells of how they (Bling Fairies) live in your jewelry box and spend their time spinning jewelry at night. They live just like the rest of us, just not "amongst" us. The animal jewelry you have are actual animals in their community. Same with flowers that are in your box. They have to deal with summer and winter, the dust bust (when powder and perfume is used near the jewelry box), and the Nuds (the ugly pieces of jewelry).

This is a really cute book that has hand drawn pictures. As the author tells the story of Junkett Falls, she also describes who different fairies are and the different things that go on in this little town. I think it is a book that a lot of people will like. I just think there might be too much writing in ratio to the amount/size of pictures for children. If you are a fairy fan and want to know what is going on in your jewelry box, this is the book for you.

This complimentary book was given to me by Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review.