Mick's Picks

Other Christian children's literature is hard to find. I created this section of the website to showcase all the other author's who are trying to serve the Lord through writing for children. I have taken the time to read each book before posting it on this page. If you are an author who would like me to review your Christian childrens book, please contact me. I also review other Christian authors books for adults as well.

Along with reviews on this site, check out the Christian Book Review Podcast on iTunes. It's an excellent place to hear reviews and my thoughts on some of the books you are reading below.

Incognito Toolkit
by Rob Robideau

Incognito Toolkit


A BOOK THAT HELPS MAINTAIN PRIVACY


After reading this book about how to protect your identity online I felt vulnerable indeed. In our normal workaday world we tend to forget that our online presence is being tracked and recorded at all times! It may not be something nefarious as government spying, it could be stores hoping to supply us with products that we might be interested in. But if you don't want to traced or tracked, this is the book for you.

Rob goes through all types of techniques, software, and online tools that will help make you go "off the grid". Privacy is still a big issue in my book and I don't like anyone being able to violate it anytime they want. I have to admit, I didn't understand everything in this book, but I was fascinated by the many ways you truly can keep your online matters private. It almost made me feel like James Bond or Jason Bourne after reading this book, I had a lot of "oohhh yeah" moments, moments where I wondered how they would do this type of thing to keep from being located.

All in all this book is an interesting read that I think you'll enjoy.

Available at Amazon.com

Review date: 12/26/13


I Miss Daddy
by Acacia Slaton Beumer
Illustrations by Dimas S.S.

I Miss Daddy


A Child's Perspective


This heartwarming book about how much a daughter misses her father while he's off in the military helped me understand what military children go through. The story itself is but from a daughters quotes and observations. In today's society it is almost forgotten how important the dad is, especially to little girls.

Acacia has really capture the moments here and it is not only fun for kids, but heartfelt for adults. I think the illustrations were modeled after photos because they really seem to capture a moment in time. I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too. I think it will be an extra blessing to those children whose daddy's and mommy's are off to war. It will help them know that they are not alone.

Available at Amazon.com and at www.launchoutbook.com

Review date: 11/21/13

 

The Lost Treasure of Persia (A Skye Bell Adventure)
by H.A. Jones

Lost Treasure of Persia


ADVENTURE, MYSTERIES, AND TRUTH!


There are many thing I enjoyed about this book, the adventure, the characters, and the historical perspective. I think any kid into adventure books will really love this too. The Biblical messages ring through loud and clear and the lessons learned are up front and well written. The only thing that bothered me was children jet-setting all over the world without their parents, that seemed kind of weird. Plus, hire an illustrator or lower the price. All in all though, I would definitely not have a problem adding this to my child's reading list, I think he'll really enjoy it.

This book is only available as an ebook at Amazon.com.

Review date: 11/14/13

Toby the Trilby
by Angela Castillo

Toby the Trilby


TOBY HEARD THE CALL, WILL YOU?


When I first started reading this book I thought for sure it was for a younger age. The cute concept of the main character charmed me and I was along for the ride. Angela has a lot of fun writing and it shows. I read this 81 page book straight through.

Sure, Toby the Trilby is fun, but it is also compelling. Toby is the protagonist in this story, but his fear is his antagonist. This is a cool way to show Toby's change of character as he goes through the story in search of his own soul. Nice.

The story is much more gritty than it let's on and I found this fascinating, I would definitely liked to have seen even more added to this creative and original concept. I would also like to see some illustrations for this book.

I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too. It is aimed at 10 year olds and up. Some dangerous moments might be too scary for younger readers. Psst, Angela, how a sequel? It'll be our secret….

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: 10/24/13

Rebirth of Shavron: The Judges Chronicles
by Ivan Sugarwood
Published by Xulon Press

Return to Shavron: The Judges Chronicles


A POWERFUL STORY OF ADVENTURE AND TRUST

There is so much to like about this book I almost don't know where to begin. It has fun animal characters (how can I not love this, I write Wordishure stories!!!), original ideas, and unpredictable character development. The book does have some bumps, but nothing that I deem a deal breaker.

The three main characters, Gideon the rabbit, Deborah the Cheetah, and Samson the Wolf are set as Judges over the God blessed land of Shavron. Over time the animals of the city slowly turn their backs on God, and even the wisdom of these three judges. The population becomes complacent over time and eventually turn their trust to some evil foxes. This story is a nice picture of what happens to us when we let our guard down about loving our Creator.

The age range for the book is about 8 to 16 years, but I enjoyed it as a 44 year old man. Impressive! I'd say my favorite element of the book is it's unpredictability. I seriously did not know what would happen next in this almost 200 page book. I'm a pretty creative writer with lot's of ideas myself, so this made me happy.

I also like the character growth. Good and bad guys become more than what they started out as, they learn consequences for their actions. This is good because I didn't know how some things would get resolved, and it was this growth that helped solve future problems.

I love the strong Christian message of the book. Nowhere in the book does it give credit to the creature, only the Creator. I think this is an important thing to think about for young readers, to God be the glory!

The only flaws, in my opinion of this book, is a couple of story jumps and a miracle factor. For example, they are in a boat and approaching the shore, then all of a sudden, they are on shore. Plus, there is the convenience of God in one part, after going through a tough situation, God steps in and resolves the problem. I'd rather that God gave the character the ability through His Word or their spiritual growth that a problem gets resolved. Even though this only happened once in the book, I found it took away from the tension of some battles. I kept thinking "okay, they are in a tough spot, is God going to step in?"

Those minor flaws won't stop me from giving this a 5 out of 5 stars though. I had way too much fun and I have to recommend this to all my readers. Kids will love reading about Tiber, Barrachus, and Leopold the blind mole. Who am I kidding? The whole family will get a kick out of this!

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: 10/23/13

NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions
by Robin Schmitt
Published by Zonderkidz

NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions


A STUDY WORTHY OF APPROVAL


If you are looking for a good Bible devotion book for your kids, I highly recommend this one for you. The most impressive thing to me in this book is it structure. I like the way the author formatted it for daily use. For example, each page is dedicated to a day of the year, then it gives the daily verse. After that is a short parable using kids and situations that they might encounters. After that is a brief explanation of how the verse applies to the story. Then, at the bottom of the page are fun "factoids", that bring a nice close to the page. There is a "Did you know?", "Things to ponder," and "Words to treasure".

This is a fun devotional to read and I think you'll enjoy it too. If you prefer to use other Bible versions other than the NIV, just keep one with you and quote from that. The book is well worth the $12.99 cover price and I think you'll have many good devotions as you and your children read through it.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: 10/14/13

Loresmen: The Peleg Chronicles Book III
by Matthew Christian Harding

Loresmen: The Peleg Chronicles Book III


AN ADVENTURE SERIES WITH HEART AND SOUL.


There was a lot of twists and turns for the many colorful characters in The Peleg Chronicles Book III, and it was well worth the journey. I have to really commend Mr. Harding for putting out such a edge-of-your-seat book series that is not only fun, but is spiritually uplifting as well. If you don't tear up at least once in this final book, then it's time to hit your prayer closet.

There is a character in this story who has a Stephen-esqe moment and I was really touched by it. Matt's writing really shines in the final book here and his grasp on character growth is second to none. I strongly recommend this entire book series to any Christian family who want to read an adventure with not only heart, but soul.

During this series you'll not only see the villains reap what they sow, but there are villains who actually have changes of heart! Not only that, but there are good guys who make poor choices and face repercussions as well, I love this writing! It makes you not only feel more for the character, but it makes the reader take a moment of self inspection as well.

Matt uses the terms "No Magic, No Evolution, No Humanism" in describing his stories, and that pretty much sums it up. Great adventure that uplifts the spirit and gives the glory to God. Wonderful!

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: August 28, 2013

Leonard's Socks
by Brian D. Johnson

Leonard's Socks by Brian D. Johnson


IT'S TIME FOR FUN!

What do you get when you cross two Sharpneck, Indiana boys, ancient pottery, time traveling medallions, a greedy archeologist, and a pair of socks? A grand adventure, that's what! Brian D. Johnson has combined all these elements in a mid to high-grade school level book that will have you laughing out and turning each page faster and faster.

The silliness of the story and it's characters never go into the completely absurd, that's what helps this book's story. The characters are relatable and at times, Brian captures the thought process of being a little boy. Moments when Doyle and Reese react a certain way when interacting with one another take me back to my childhood when everything was quite an adventure.

I really enjoyed the tone of Leonard's Socks. Silly and fun. There are no real nail-biting moments or feelings of tension. Brian propel's the story forward by making it unpredictable, and I like that. I highly recommend this book for boys and girls or for even grown ups who still have a longing of adventure in their hearts.

This fun book is only available at www.sirbrainiac.com

Review date: August 23, 2013

The God Element
by Daniel Apperson

The God Element


A THINKER'S DELIGHT!

I like the critical approach taken by the author of this book. Sometimes we need to sit back and take a good look at ourselves and examine not only our relationship with God, but how we think about understanding Him as well. Why do we believe what we do? What is our attitude about salvation? Was it shaped by mankind influences or by God's Word? Why do we believe so strongly in the things that we do?

Daniel really takes the time to ask a lot of these probing questions and that's what makes this book so good. Do I agree with all of Daniel's viewpoint's? Not necessarily, but I do enjoy that The God Element made me think and question why I do believe like I do. Not many books out there stir the pot like this and that's what I think is the best part about this.

This is a book to be read in your quiet time where you can spend time in prayer and really study things out.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: August 7, 2013

The Promise of Jonadab
by E. Ray Moore & Gail Pinckney Moore

The Promise of Jonadab


A BOOK THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR HEART

If you are looking for inspiration for fatherhood then this is the book for you. The life and decisions of Jonadab from the Bible not only affected himself and his immediate family, but it helped preserve his children's for generations. This book takes a look at this great character and helps us figure out how men today can be like Jonadab.

The book is a small hardcover, which is easy to carry and is a great bible study for any men's group. I spent some time in prayer and self analysis after reading this. I have two young sons right now and I want them to understand what it is that God wants from us as men. I want to be role model for them that God wants me to be. Thank you Mr. Moore for being a blessing and writing this book.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: August 1, 2013

Finding The Reality of God
by Paris Reidhead

Finding the reality of God

A Great Book For Christians of Any Age!

This is hands down the best book on salvation I have read in a long time. Sometimes I've wondered why it is that some Christians don't act like believers at all, have an unrepentant heart, and then run around telling people that they are saved. This book really helps me understand why these people act they way they do. It reveals a certain process, a poison if you will, that has crept into our churches and caused a lot of people to not seek out the holiness of God.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I hope that as many of you that are reading this get the book and examine your own foundations, saved or not. Mr. Reidhead died many years ago, but his word's live on and are appreciated. I consider this book required reading for my family and I think you will too.

This book does not have an ISBN so it is not available in stores, it can only be purchased through www.parisreidheadbibleteachingministries.org.

It is worth the investment!

Review Date: July 23, 2013

A Visit To the Dentist
by Elena Amato

A Visit To The Dentist

A GUARANTEED SMILE!

What a great idea for a kid's book! Young Sammy learns that he has a Well Visit to the dentist and gets a little nervous, but, thanks to his mother, he learns that the dentist is not a scary place. This book will be a benefit to those parent's who want to comfort their kid's who are feeling a bit nervous themselves.

It also teaches them about proper tooth care and that everyone else out there has to go through this as well. I like the approach that Elena has taken to show real care about children's feelings. This book is perfect for the little ones who enjoy good colors and large pictures.

I do recommend this book, it is informative, colorful, and fun.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review Date: July 22, 2013

Paladins (The Peleg Chronicles: Book II)
by Matt Christian Harding

Paladins Peleg Chronicles Book II

EDGE OF YOUR SEAT NAIL BITER! I EVEN BIT SOME OF MY WIFE'S NAILS!

So what would happen if you had an adventure series set shortly after the Flood? Adventure, that's what! All the beloved characters from Book I are back for book two, and where the story goes next really surprises you! Matt doesn't skip on the story either, the character development continues to build these characters into real beings with thoughts, hopes, dreams, and even relationships with God.

I really like the growth of Igi Forkbeard in this book. The giant's heart is slowing changing as God reveals Himself to Igi, and because of Igi's rescue in Book I, this has softened the ex-slavers heart. Another one if Count Rosencross, he is beginning to feel doubt about himself, why is Suzy's song of God so peaceful and desirable? Why did help the former Sneak that he wouldn't have normally cared about?

This sequel continues the adventure, while at the same time revealing new things about the characters. I love the way Matt takes the time with each one to help us understand the characters motivations, why they love God or why they don't.

In my first review I mentioned how I had been reading out loud this series to my wife. Well, she couldn't resist reading ahead to the next book so now I have to catch up! The second book is definitely as good as the first, the characters and storyline has truly captured my family's heart.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com. You can also purchase this at www.matthewchristianharding.com.

Review Date: July 5, 2013


Timothy: A Little Fish With A Big Purpose
by Brad Riley
Illustrated by Krystahl Goodale

Timothy: A Little Fish With A Big Purpose


A thoroughly enjoyable story highlighting a wonderful moment when Jesus Christ walked with the disciples. I always wondered why the fish had the coin in it's mouth! What a fun way to explain the story of "Render unto Caesar". I like stories that show "the other side of the coin", sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.

I think kids will really enjoy this alternative viewpoint telling of the tale, and they will enjoy reading about how God can use anything to fulfill His purpose. Timothy may be a little fish, but in the story he makes a big splash!

The illustrations are wonderfully done and I am pleased with the color pallet. I may just have to paint some of these scenes in my kid's bedroom. What a swimmingly good idea!!!

Review Date: July 2, 2013

The Lamp Maker
by Cindy Starr Stewart
Illustrations by Dan Drewes

The Lamp Maker


MADE TO SHINE!

This well written and illustrated book shows God as a Lamp Maker and His Son as the light that shines through us as we are made by Him to shine bright. This is a wonderful way to teach children about God's love, how He takes all things into consideration. The thing that is most striking is the the mention that how much we shine is up to us. We have an unlimited power source, we just have to keep ourselves plugged in.

Dan Drewes illustrations are spot on and have a warm style to them that my child really liked. The color choices are good and keep a distinctive tone throughout the book. He captures the mood perfectly.

This must-read book would be a wonderful addition to your children's library.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: June 19, 2013

The Potter
by Cindy Starr Stewart
Illustrations by Dan Drewes

The Potter


SHAPED TO PERFECTION!

As I sat down to read this to my 4 year old, I immediately noticed how he was drawn into the artwork. The soft but descriptive illustrations are not just well done, but well thought out in the storyboarding and placement. When I started to read it was a pleasant surprise. The flow of the text had a good cadence and the words were not too simple or too hard, my child followed along with the words nicely.

The bible verses at the end of each page are a nice touch. Though I do believe using the King James Version would how been a nicer touch, it's much more poetic. The verses she uses are to the point and help the reader understand the direction she's taking on each page and are a wonderful touch. The point of the story, which show God as the potter and us as the clay comes across beautifully.

This book is the perfect combination of poetry and art, more please!

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: June 19, 2013

A Cry From Egypt
by Hope Auer

A Cry From Egypt


HOPE...THIS WORKS!!!

I had read a lot of positive reviews of this book and I can now see why it received them! It's also one of those books that when you read it you say "Why didn't I think of this?". The characters are compelling, and the heart that motivates them is biblical and refreshing. The characters have compassion on their tormentors, and the author takes the time to help you understand this.

The pacing is just right too, it was very hard to put this book down. Hope Auer is a promising author that I can't wait to read more of. I think she spent a lot of time doing research and many more hours in prayer over this book. For many years I spent thinking of the Egyptians as the bad guys from the stories, which is still true, but, there was a lot of Egyptian people who probably did not like what the Pharaoh was doing and had compassion on the Jews. Hope shows this through character development and heartfelt situations.

This book has earned 5 stars and deserves it. It will now be required reading for my home schooled boys.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: June 10, 2013

Li'l Lingo
by Jori Sams

Li'l Lingo



Lingo is a little girl who has a heart for adventure, poetry, and rhyme! This story of Li'l Lingo is cute and full of promise. One of the nice things about it is the way it uses Spanish and English. It's kind of a nice treat for those learning or teaching Spanish or English to their little ones.

The book does need more imagery for the age range that Jori is striving for though. I think kids would enjoy seeing the world just as Li'l Lingo does. I also think that as an e-book the price is set too high for what you get.

For the price I think this book series would work better as a collection.

This e-book should be available to order at Amazon.com.

Review date: June 7, 2013

 

Foundlings (The Peleg Chronicles: Book I)
by Matt Christian Harding

foundlings

A PLAYFUL AND FANTASTIC APPROACH TO BIBLICAL HISTORY

Let's just say that I'm glad I got the current set of all three books in this wonderful series. The characters are well written, and the author let's you spend time with each one. The action and adventure in the Foundlings is sure to please almost any fan of fantasy fiction. The best part is that Matt uses a biblical history viewpoint and weaves this throughout the story. None of his stories have magic, evolution, or humanism. I like this approach.

About halfway through the book, I decided to share some of the book with my wife. I read her a few pages and she didn't let me stop until I finished the book! Now we've started book two "Paladins" and we both can't wait to find out what happened with Thiery, Fergus, McDougal, Oded, and even the complex Rosencross!

I do enjoy that the characters are not one dimensional and that there is depth and growth in each one. It's fun to see Gimcrack the dwarf overcome his fear when the chips are down, and Fergus Leatherhead as he grows in spiritual understanding of God.

Matt Harding's writing style and fun wordplay will have you turning page after page and enjoying every minute of it!

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com. You can also purchase this at www.matthewchristianharding.com.

The Truth Chronicles
by Tim Chaffey & Joe Westbrook

The_Truth_Chronicles


It's about time!

Finally! A book series that is sci-fi fun for pre-teens and teens that supports a creationist viewpoint! Not only that, but the book has anime' illustrations that are bound to please many comic book fans. The story is about four friends who are working on their science fair projects, but only one of them is a Christian. In Book I - The Time Machine we get to travel back in time with Jax, JT, Isaiah, and Mickey as they find out their experiments worked better than they thought!

Jax and his friends become befuddled when they encounter dinosaurs in the year 4500 BC. JT knows the truth and must find a way to explain it to her friends that the earth is not as old as they think it is. This to me is the highlight of the adventure, the explanation of creation through an exciting adventure. Elements inside the storyline are heavily influenced by "Back to the Future", which makes sense because the teens are influenced by the things they have seen, just like we all are when surrounded by earthly things.

I think the readers will enjoy this story very much and I cannot wait to read more myself. I met Tim Chaffey at a homeschooling convention and was impressed with his enthusiasm about reaching out to teens for Jesus Christ. I hope to read much more from him in the future.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: April 24, 2013

Three Little Sisters Learn To Get Along
by Joanne Kaminski
Illustrated by Renee Love

Three Sisters Learn To Get Along

Cute, Fun, and Educational!

This cute book is a fun way to teach a lesson to siblings who might have trouble getting along. The reading is short, so it's obviously meant for littler ones, and the illustrations help bring it to life. I really enjoyed the watercolor illustrations of this book. Renee does a wonderful job of capturing the moment of the expressions that Joanne is explaining in the story.

One of the things I enjoyed about this is the wisdom that the three girls find in their mother. I like that mom a solution, but it won't work without an effort from the three girls. This book is a fun read that will benefit those parents who are looking for help in the sibling rivalry department. This is a great starter books for those who may have just learned to read.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore or at Amazon.com.

Review date: April 10, 2013

 

Tactical Bible Stories: Personal Security Tips from the Bible
by Rob Robideau

Tactical Bible Stories

Some misinformed people out there claim that the Bible is against the second amendment. But Christians know that God wants us to defend ourselves against evil and shows us that in the scriptures. Not only that, but there are many great places in the Bible where God shows us good examples of how we should do it, and with the right perspective as well.

I downloaded the ebook of this for $1.99 to my iPad Kindle app. It was an easy read, and very helpful. This book is essential for anyone looking to grow in their self-defense knowledge. It also is a great tool for reaching others who think that Christians shouldn't defend themselves. Rob has a refreshing writing style that is easy to read. This book should be considered a great starter for those looking into studying the basics of the second amendment.

God loves us and wants us to be safe. Sadly, the Christian-as-victim mentally of some want us to be safe by praying to God that our attacker leaves us alone before doing any major damage.

A man gets murdered during a mugging and goes to Heaven.

"Lord, why didn't you rescue me? I prayed and even called out in your name!"

Jesus: "I told you to get a sword in Luke 22:36…."

Man: "D'oh!"

This book should be available to order at any bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review date: April 10, 2013

Julia's Joy
by Barb Hagler

Julia's Joy by Barb Hagler

PURRFECT!

This is the third book of the Hope Farm series and in my opinion, the best. Barb's way of reaching children through the stories about her farm animals is fun and absorbing. Henrietta, Lucas, and now Julia, all teach valuable lessons in the fun situations that kid's can relate to.

Julia, the barn cat, learns that there is now a new house cat and begins to wonder about her place in the world. Julia goes through all types of emotions about what effect this new addition will have on her life. Children often face these kind of fears when a new sibling comes along, or the family dynamic changes at their household.

Barb does a wonderful job at showing that changes do not make you any less special to God and that we are all who God created us to be. What a great lesson!

The author's writing also seems to flow much better in her third book, she is definitely developing her style and it shows. This series is a must have for any Christian library.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review date: January 7, 2013

Valley of the Shadows-Kingdom of Hillael
by Amre Cortadino

Valley of the Shadows

Although I only got to read an excerpt from Amre's downloadable e-book, I can already tell that I will enjoy the rest. The main characters are introduced right away and they are fun and interesting. The story is set in two time periods, the modern, then the past. Is the story from the past real? Or is it something that two women's Aunt Mim made up to help them understand Psalm 23?

As the two women, Barloe and Claire get together to remember their beloved Aunt, the story within a story begins to unfold. I really enjoy the humor, and the storyline so far. And best of all, it is Christian safe. I always enjoy compelling tales that Christian's of any age can read.

Please check out Amre's excerpt yourself, and I believe you will enjoy it as well. It is a great bargain for only $3.99. Or you can get it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble for $4.99 downloads for your nook or Kindle. A paperback version for $14.99 is available as well.

You can learn more at www.valleyoftheshadows.net

This book should be available to order at any bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review date: October 16, 2012

No Longer a Slumdog
by K.P. Yohannan

No Longer A Slumdog

This missionary book immediately grabs your heart. The true tales of the plight of the children of India will have you taking a look at yourself and appreciate how God has blessed us in our country. The caste system of India will shock the reader, and help them understand that God is needed more than ever in their country.

I am grateful for the wonderful missionaries who make the great sacrifices to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to these people. The book is mostly written to help them find resources for their missions and that is okay. Through donations, the children of this country can be taught how to read, how to bath themselves, and most of all, learn that they are people too, and that there is a loving God who counts every hair on their head.

If you cannot afford to send anything, please get a copy of this book and pray for the children and adults of India.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review date: October 16, 2012

Hedge Fence
by Isabella Alden

Hedge Fence

My Pastor recommended this story to me and I can see why. The story is written in the form of letters from a boy named Frank Hudson to a person named Renie. Over the course of the letters, Frank tells Renie of a series of drawings and verses that he receives every week from an older gentleman who admires Frank's love of the Lord. The verses are the "hedge" that keeps Frank "fenced" in and away from worldly trouble.

According to Frank, every time he tries to climb over the fence, a thorn (Bible verse) sticks him and makes him to decide if he still wants to climb over and pursue the things of the world. Frank doesn't always understand, and sometimes gets frustrated at the hedge and it's thorns. But in the end he realizes, that the fence was built out of love and as the story unfolds, he grows to appreciate it's protection! This story is as good as Tip Lewis & His Lamp, and I highly recommend that everyone sit and read this heart-changing story.

Hedge Fence is available only through www.keepersofthefaith.com.

Review date: September 24, 2012

Her Mother's Bible
by Isabella Alden

Her Mother's Bible

Previously I had reviewed books by Isalla Alden "Helen Lester" and "Tip Lewis & His Lamp". And I have to admit that I wanted to read more from this wonderful children's author from the 1800's. It's hard to say that I've found anything quite like her stories. They have a strong Biblical base that really helps children understand who God is and how they can strive to serve Him.

In Her Mother's Bible, poor Ralph and his families lives change for the better when his parent's inherit his grandmother's Bible. By following her notes and underlines that go by the text, the boy learns many lessons about why God's Word is true and how it applies to his everyday life.

I have to admit I stuggled to follow the story line in the first 10 pages because of the older style of writing, but I picked it up quick after that. The thought processes of Ralph as he encounters trials is something that a child can identify with, even as a 43 year old man I found myself reflecting over the decisions that I have been making. This story will be a must-read for both of my sons as they get older.

Her Mother's Bible is available only through www.keepersofthefaith.com.

Review date: September 24, 2012

How To Soar Like An Eagle In A World Full Of Turkeys
by Robert Stevenson

How to soar like an eagle

SOME FEATHERS NEEDED TO BE RUFFLED

First off I have to say that I met Robert at one of my companies seminars and I found him to be a very uplifting speaker. I had the chance to talk with him shortly and was impressed with how he seemed genuinely interested in my thoughts on business, attitude, and writing. If you are reading this Robert, I hope you are enjoying my book, Tales of Wordishure, as well.

Soaring like an eagle is a business motivational book that reminds us that our attitude and behavior at certain times can be changed. The decision to be a good worker/boss/husband or wife is up to us. Robert is excellent at pointing the little things that may trip us up, and he also provides answers to how we can overcome these shortfalls.

The book is not preachy or self-righteous at all. Robert provides many examples of things that he has either seen, or heard about. We've all encountered "turkeys" in our personal and business lives, so we can think of a few ourselves. We may not be able to change these people, but we do have a choice on how we respond to them.

We also have a choice in our customer service. Just because they are our customer now does not mean that they will remain that way. Remember, there are others out there who would love to have your customer and may be willing to lure them away. Robert reminds us that customers are not numbers, but people. Don't just make a sale, make a friend.

How to soar like an eagle is an easy and fun book to read. It is also filled with heartfelt ideas that we can reflect upon to help us do a little better in our lives. I highly recommend this book to businesses of any size.

This book should be available to order at any bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 9/3/12

God Gave Us Love
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

God Gave Us Love

God wants to love each one of us!

What a fun way to teach your child about how God loves each one of His special creations. This fun polar bear story shows how we are love our family, although sometimes it may be difficult, but also to love others even though they may be very different from us.

My 3-year old son loved the illustrations, especially when they are doing something, like catching fish. The God Gave Us series has never disappointed us yet. The artwork is wholesome and fun, the colors are soothing, and the story goes well with the imagery.

If you haven't bought any of the books from this series I would highly recommend this one.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 8/15/12

Decision Points
by George W. Bush

George W. Bush Decision Points

I have to admit that I really got into the first quarter of this book. I learned so much about the history of G.W. Bush that I really feel for him and some of the obstacles he overcame. By the time he started to get into the political aspect of what happened during his presidency I have to admit I became less interested.

I knew up front that the book was about the decisions that he made as president, I mean, that's the title of the book. But, I was so impressed by his personal thoughts at the beginning, I was hoping to hear more about those throughout the rest. I honestly become bored and started to skim during the Condi Rice and Dick Cheney stuff.

If you are a die-hard Bushite I'm sure this will be a good purchase. It is a good breakdown of what happened during his year's as president. But as a writer and artist, I was hoping to get a little more about his life in general. There's good parts in here like that, but it's not the focus.

This book is available at Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 8/3/12

 

BRASS MONKEYS
by Terry Caszatt

Brass Monkeys

Silfunjoy!

If you are confused by this word it means silly, fun, and joyfulness all rolled into one! It's the only way to describe how I felt after finishing this book! The author, Terry Caszatt, really must have had a blast writing this story, and it really shows. Throughout the whole book I was pleasantly surprised because I could not predict what would happen next, I like that.

The hero, Eugene Wise, a.k.a. Billy Bumpus, is a young man without too many hopes other than to survive junior high…but his life changes quickly when he and his mother move to Grindsville, Michigan. Clumsy and lacking in confidence, Eugene isn't in town more than an hour before his adventure begins to take shape. A mysterious figure riding a bicycle in a snowstorm is about to deliver Eugene something very special. The boy doesn't realize that he may be the chosen one to save the students at the Grindsville school from a very bleak future.

I really enjoyed the meaning behind McGinty's book and why it was so important for Ming, the evil teacher, to get her hands on it. It symbolize's the freedom of thought and creativity she is trying to destroy in all the children. The purpose behind Eugene carrying this book around close to his heart was quite beautiful. There are plenty of deep thoughts in Brass Monkeys, don't let the candy-coated shell fool you, there is more here than meets the eye!

The best way I could describe the feel of this book is if you can picture Diary of a Wimpy Kid directed by Tim Burton. There are definitely dark moments that can creep you out, but, there are also wonderful imaginative scenes that make you wish you could visit the world of Billy Bumpus.

The characters in the book are well developed, even the villain has a reasonable motivation that helps you understand her emotions and spiral toward evil. The dialog is quite original, and there are many laugh-out loud moments throughout the book. Duwang! The highlight of the book though, has to be the wonderful play on words that Terry uses. It really makes this story special.

I would highly recommend this book to any adult and teenager, but be warned of the use of one "d" word though, for you parents who are trying to be careful about this. As far as I'm concerned, Hollywood should be looking here for their next franchise. Originality like this does not come around very often. More please!

This book is available at Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 7/15/12

 

JESUS LOVES EVERYBODY: ESPECIALLY ME
by Nicole Benoit-Roy
Illustrations by Joshua Allen

Jesus Loves Everybody

A great teaching tool!

This book was perfect for teaching my almost 3 year old son about how Jesus Christ loves him. It's simple approach and friendly artwork make this full-color Christian children's book a joy to read and share. I really like the way Nicole can capture the way a child looks and the world and finds a way to deliver God's message of love as well.

If you have a small child, I recommend this book a lot. I think this would also a great gook for grandparent's who want to share a quick story with their grandkids. The coloring book is a good tool as well, my son loves to color, but he also loves the short simple stories that go in it.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 6/5/12

RANSOMED The Movie DVD
by the Epic Summer Movie Group

ransomed_the_movie

This DVD was created by a group of home schooled trained teens who were looking to get together and do something creative over their summer. The result of their collaboration is RANSOMED. This entertaining low-budget project amused me right from the start. I am a huge fan of student or fan films. Sure, it may have been made on a shoe-string, but was there heart?

I was kind of surprised at how much heart this film actually has. Although it appears to have a simple story, about 3/4 of the way through the film switches gears and takes off in surprising directions. My favorite characters in the movie are the mercenaries. They seemed to really get into their roles. The same with the Parker girls, who play minor roles in the film.

I have to say that the kids in this film did a good job as well. The highwayman's role was fun as well, but I have yet to figure what accent he was trying to do. In a nutshell, I think this DVD is good clean fun, and it shows on screen. I love it when a film looks like all the actors were having a great time. I can't wait to see more from the Epic Summer Movie Group, you can find out more info on them by going to Facebook and searching for Ransomed-The-Movie.

Review: 5/24/12

NATIONAL PARK MYSTERY SERIES: STOLEN TREASURES AT PICTURED ROCKS
by Mary Morgan
Illustrations by: Dawn McVay Baumer

National Park Mysteries

There's Treasure In This Book!

Ben, Bekka, and Eli thought they were going on a normal camping trip to the Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but they soon learn otherwise! Sunken ship looters are trying to steal items from the sunken ships in Lake Superior! Will the 3 children be able to stop the bad guys before they get away? Find out in this adventure which is fun for adults to read as well.

As I read through this book, I learned quite a bit a Michigan history. The author did a great job in not only writing an entertaining tale, but also an informative one. Being a Michigan native myself, I was quickly picturing in my mind the forest and river scenes which I know so well. Mary does a great job setting the scenes for this adventure aimed at 8 to 12 year-olds.

Although this book is not Christian-themed it is still Christian "safe". It has children who obey their parent's and show love and respect toward them. To many stories use tension between parent and child to help propel an interesting story. Mary has made this story fun and re-readable without having to use any of those tactics.

I had a lot of fun reading this book and I'm sure that your children will too. What a great way to learn about State parks!

This book is available from this website: www.nationalparkmysteries.com/books

Review Date: 5/14/12

A WALK WITH JENNIFER
by Mary Richardson

a walk with jennifer

This Book Made Me Hug My Wife

Jennifer Hayse has discovered she has breast cancer and worst of all, she is pregnant! Due to a mis-diagnosis, she has learned that the cancer has spread farther than she thought. This book is written by one of her best friends, who decided to keep the "Jen Possible" dream alive.

Jennifer's strong Christian beliefs and love of her family and friends, compel you to keep reading page after page to hear of how Jennifer and those around her dealt with this heart-rending situation. I have to admit that I had to shed a tear (or two!) over hearing about how Jen, before leaving for the Holy Land said goodbye to her children, not knowing if she would ever return.

Many questions arise when reading this book; how would I handle it if my wife was diagnosed with cancer, how would I explain it to my child? Would I still be grateful for our time together or would I become angry with the world?

Jennifer's true-story is one of faith, courage, and in the end, love. Jennifer learned to trust God to guide her, and use her to reach so many other lives. I'm glad I read this book, it changed me, not many books do,and I'm grateful for Jennifer Hayse and I am glad that Mary Richardson decided to fulfill Jennifer's wish of writing her story.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 5/7/12

FROM HU TO SALTALAMACCHIA
by James D. David

from hu to saltalamacchia

This Book Knocks It Out Of The Park!

If you are a baseball fan, step aside, because this book is for the baseball fanatic! Every little bit of information and detail is compressed into this 356-page tome. How many ball players were criminals? How many players had church sounding names? How many cavities did Chuck Connors have in the third grade…just kidding.

Baseball fans will love pouring over all the details in James's wonderful salute to the sport he loves. This is the book to keep on hand, but behind your back, to impress of your baseball buddies with what you know about America's favorite pastime.

This book is available to order at any local bookstore, or go to Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 5/7/12

Keep Me and Keep All
by Robert W. Smith

keep me and keep all

An inspiring book on prayer based on one mans Christian journey through life.

Normally I read books, enjoy them, and write the review fairly quickly. But I could not do this with this book. It required me to do some soul searching, to make corrections in my prayer life. I admit to being a busy guy and sometimes my special time in prayer to God isn't what it should be. This book has helped me to remember what a joy it is to pray and spend time with God.
God wants to hear our prayers, He is interested in us, He made us all special. Robert's journey through life has brought him to various places where he has sought God's wisdom. His submissive spirit to God's will really shines through his writings and can be very powerful.

Highlights of this book include:
Confessions in prayer - Robert's son Kurtis makes and excellent point discussing the lack of shame in today's culture. There is a lack of shame over one's own sin today that is keeping us from having a relationship with our Savior.

Servant's prayer - I love the heart and direction of this prayer. Humble and honest.

Time - This chapter hit home with me and reminded me that God may remember all the things I need to pray about, but I may need to write them down. The world can get distracting so I need to be more diligent of keeping track my concerns.

Troubles - How we handle them. Robert talks about how God can use them to perfect certain areas of our lives, and how these troubles can be transformed into pearls of wisdom.

Significance - Our value is not based on our success, but on what God says about us. What we view as success may not be as important to God as it is to us. Therefore, I would rather be significant to someone and let God guide the success. Wonderful!

Overall, this is a book that will have you deep in thought, and prayer. Robert has done a wonderful job in communicating the things he has learned. It is always nice to find a book that helps remind you that God wants to hear your thoughts and prayers. And most of all, help you grow in a prayer life that will make a significant change through your own journey through life.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 4/2/12

Snuggles' Japanese Alps Adventures
by Tim Ostermeyer

Snuggles the monkey japanese alps

This beautifully photographed children's book is about Snuggles, the baby monkey, who is on an adventure in the Japanese Alps. He is trying his best to obey God and be prepared for when wintertime hits the mountains.

Along his journey, your children will get to read about facts. Like how high the mountains are and how God was behind their creation, not evolution. This is all seen through Snuggles eyes and is relatable for small children. The monkeys are very cute, and the photography is so crisp that you almost feel like you could touch their fur.

I had a lot of fun reading this and I think it will be a big hit in your child's library. I really like that Tim gives all the credit to God, and encourages children to appreciate what God hard done in nature.

This book is available at www.ostermeyer-photography.com.

Review Date: 1/20/12

Donald Discovers True Love
by Tim Ostermeyer

Donald Discovers True Love

This hardcover photo book is a wonderful way to get Christian children interested in geography. The book centers around Donald, a cute white duck in search of true love. He visits twelve different states in the western U.S. and is photographed in each of these states by the author.
The most captivating thing about this book is the credit the author gives to God's creation. The breathtaking scenery is never referred to as trillions and zillions of years old. This is nice because now home schoolers can use this book with out any worry to teach children about phony science theories.

The other fun thing about this book is the "fun facts" that are listed about each state. This format of learning makes it easy to remember the different qualities of the state. I think "Donald" will appeal to children of all ages. The younger ones will appreciate the colorful photography, while the older ones will be interested in the histories and facts of the state. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is the perfect addition to any Christian Home library.

This book is available at www.ostermeyer-photography.com.

Review Date: 1/18/12

The Father's Love
by Dave Moore

The Father's Love

An uplifting true story!

What I enjoyed most about this book was how Dave took the time to relive every detail, every thought, and every emotion he felt during this ordeal. I appreciated how this book was not only about his path to find his "prodigal" son, but his path to find his "Heavenly Father".

At some points I had to put the book down just to catch my breath, I found myself reading faster and faster, wanting to find out more and more. Would he find his son? How would he and his wife deal with it if his son never came back? And if he did return, how would his father receive him.

I hope to never have to go through any of this, but you can see how God comes through with Dave Moore, and transforms him. Our sin-filled world is full of heartaches, moments of hopelessness, and times of pain where you don't know what will happen next. Dave went through it all in a short period of time. I'm glad to read that he turned to God in prayer in prayer, but best of all I'm glad God answered his prayer.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 12/30/11

Fallen Prayer
by Paul Headworth

Fallen Prayer

It's A Good Thing I Had To Hold The Book Or I Would Have Chewed My Nails Off!

I had talked with Paul Headworth at the Christian Art show that I run in Saginaw, Michigan. He explained that his book was a Christian murder/mystery book with a supernatural twist. I personally love this kind of stuff and was thrilled to get a chance to meet this author, and to read Fallen Prayer.

I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I couldn't put the book down. I have never read anything like it before and was surprised at the smooth flow of the story telling, the motivated character development, and the edge-of-your-seat mystery that reveals itself page by page.

The thing that really got me was the supernatural and divine elements that Paul uses throughout the book to drive the story. The Bible references do not seem heavy-handed, but seem to explain why the characters think the way they do. Nor does the Christian element seem watered down. Mr. Headworth is not afraid to call evil what it is and to show how it can be defeated.

Unique, new, and fun. Paul Headworth is a great upcoming talent.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 11/26/11

Luca Loves
by Barb Hagler
Illustrations by Jason Hutton

Luca Loves

Luca loves, and so will you.

The newest addition to the Hope Farm series focuses on Luca the Bull. Luca is very stubborn, some might even say "bull-headed", but there is more to him than meets the eye. This book does a great job teaching children that sometimes others may not be exactly as they seem to be. And it also shows that even people who may appear difficult to deal with can find redemption with a changed attitude or behavior.

I love books that teach children that the choices they make can change the direction of their lives and that it's important to look to God for instruction. Luca's heart changes when learn's how he can be an important part in helping Farmer Dan. When Luca finally does show love, it changes his attitude and spirit. Luca finally "loves" his place on Hope Farm.

Parent's will enjoy reading Luca to their little ones, while older kids will enjoy it not only for it's fun story, but for Jason Hutton's illustrations.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 10/27/11

Night Night Blessings
by Amy Parker
Illustrations by Marijan Ramljak

night night blessings

A Great Way To Count Blessings!
This nicely published book about children's night time prayers is a wonderful book to share with your child at night before bedtime. It's easy to read and rhyming verses will help your child to remember to count their blessings.

Sometimes as adults we forget the little things that make everyday so special. That's what I enjoyed so much about the book, that it highlight's the precious moments that children care about and that as adults we tend to forget.

The artwork is lovely, especially the artists choice in colors. Children will appreciate the easy to look at style and will be swept away by the artists world that he brings to life. An excellent choice for any Christian library.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 10/27/11

My Parents Open Carry
by Brian Jeffs and Nathan Nephew
Illustrations by Lorna Bergman

My Parents Open Carry

EDUCATIONAL AND FUN!

To put it simply, this book should be in every home with kids. Not only do the authors explain the necessary needs of firearms on your person for protection, they explain away all the myths and fears that usually are discussed in the non-gun culture.
Even if your family has never owned a gun it is important that children learn gun safety. My Parents Open Carry gives definition of terms as well as all the basic rules o gun safety. All these principles are taught in an interesting story format.
Everything is told through the eyes of Brenna, a 13 year old girl whose parents happen to open carry. Her parents tell her it is a special day then take her out for a day of shopping. She meets lot's of people who are curious about her mom and dad. As her parents answer questions from people about open carry, Brenna gains a feeling of security, knowing that her parents love her enough to protect her.
The story ends at the gun range where Brenna learns how to handle a gun responsibly, just like any other tool that must be used wisely. In the end she gets a wonderful gift from her parents, but the real gift is that her parents care enough to not only protect her family, they protect her freedom as well.

This book should be available to order at Amazon.com, whitefeatherpress.com, or the website myparentsopencarry.com.

Review Date: 6/3/11

Curiosities of the Civil War
by Webb Garrison

Curiosities of the Civil War

A REAL EYE OPENER!

Most history books define the North as the good guys and the South as the bad, but, as this book shows, it was a lot more complex than that. There were good men on both sides as well as bad, and sometimes it is the motivations of people that get lost in history. That is what makes this book so strong, it gives you a real perspective as to why Lincoln, Sherman, Forrest, Grant, Lee, Davis, and even some longer forgotten names felt the need to do what they had to do.

To me, this is real history, not just names and dates. While we are all happy that slavery ended, it is fascinating to find out that there was more to the war than that. Neat heroic moments are captured here, along with "The Money Trail". This is usually the best place to find out what was really going on. I was fascinated that the economic situation that they were going through was so similar to what we are going through today. They had worthless unbacked greenback currency that was destroying their economy as well. Thank God they went back to the gold and silver after the war or this country would never have recovered. It is still possible to do the same today if we can get real heroes back in office.

Over all, I think this will be a fun read for adults, a real eye opener. And it would make a great home-school history book.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 5/9/11

Sir Quinlan and The Knights of Valor
by Chuck Black

Sir Quinlan and The Swords of Valor

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER!

This is the second book that I've read from the Knights of Arretherae series by author Chuck Black. I must say that I am growing more and more fond of his writings with each book I read. This book is quite exceptional.

The character of Quinlan is likable and the author really spends time with him to make sure that you get to identify with him as he goes out on his journey. The characters he meets along the way challenge and change him. Not only spiritually, but physically as well. Quinlan's confidence grows as his trust in God grows. I know that this book is written for teens and early adults, but I'm 41 and I found this book interesting enough that I couldn't put it down.

The only complain that I have is that I wished to see more adventures with the animal sidekick Kalil. By the way, when Chuck delves into more fantastical situations, the more I like it. These situations help his books to stand out.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 5/2/11

 

The Charlatan's Boy
by Jonathan Rogers

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

LADIES AND GENTERMEN!!! COME AND READ A GREAT TALE!

Before I read this book I had heard a lot of high praise about it. Other reviews were calling it a new "classic", and how original it was. I have to say that I couldn't agree more. The Charlatan's Boy grabbed me in the first few pages, and I hard a hard time putting it down.

The story of Grady and his travels with "Perfessor Floyd" will amuse you, sadden you, and fire up your imagination as you see the world through this young boy's eyes. The character development in the book is really well done. As Grady travels around the imaginary world of Corenwald, Floyd leads him along teaching him various ways to 'fleece the shills'.

The only thing that confused me about the book is that it is published by Waterbrook Multnomah, which has a lot of Christian titles. I had naturally assumed this was Christian literature. While the book is "Christian safe", I wouldn't label it as a "Christian" book either. God or Christ is never mentioned in the book. This is the only negative mark I can honestly give the book. If lessons are learned and Christ is not glorified, nothing is really learned at all, in my opinion.

Will I read the sequel to this? I sure will. While discussing the plot line with my wife she started thumbing through the book. Let's just say she finished the book 2 days before I did!

This is an amazing story, and I highly recommend it. Good plot, writing, and characters, enough said.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 3/17/11

Casey Brand New
by Janis Lord
Illustrated by Mary DeSeno

Casey Brand New

GOD MAKES THINGS NEW!

This colorful children's book tell's the story of a little boy who befriends a caterpillar. As the story moves along, the boy learns about life and the wonderful works of God.

Watching Casey the caterpillar going through his transformation, the boy begins to understand the God has plans for his transformation as well. God wants all of his children to become something beautiful and this book does a fantastic job at showing this.

The soft watercolors by Illustrator Mary DeSeno fit the mood of the story. She really captures the emotions and thoughtful expressions of the boy as he learns about his little friend Casey.

This is aimed at children ages 3-5. It is easy to read and every page has a full color illustration detailing the text. I highly recommend Casey Brand New to any Christian household. Janis Lord did a wonderful job describing to children the wonderful way in which a belief in Jesus Christ can truly change us.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 3/8/11

God Gave Us The World
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

God Gave Us The World

THERE BEARS A RESEMBLENCE!

What I like about this book is the approach it takes to explain the variety of different types of the same animal. As we get older, we understand that variety happens in animal families, not evolution. This fun book for small kids helps to explain that God only needed a couple of bears on the ark and that all varieties of bears came from that family.

I also like the way it references mankind by showing that even though we may not look or act the same, we are loved just the same in God's eyes. And that we also came from the same couple of parents.

The artwork is done is a warm and friendly style that children will enjoy.

A lot of adults today could learn a few things by reading this cute little book. I recommend this highly for your children's library.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 2/9/11

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest
by Chuck Black

Sir Rowan

A KNIGHT'S TALE WORTH READING

I am really impressed by this book. I have to admit I felt a little skeptical of it though when I heard it was being sent to me. Knights? Quest? Been there, done that. But this story has a lot of heart, likable characters, and a plot that does a good job at keeping you guessing.

Christian principles are strongly shown in this book which gives it another plus. The author even explains his intentions in the back of the book, that way the reader is helped to understand why certain characters behaved like they do.

This 182 page book is written for ages 10-adult. The cover art is very nice, and the paperback I received was on a nice non-gloss cover that just feels good to hold. I like e-books as much as the next guy, but nothing feels as good as holding a nicely printed book.

This book is actually number 6 in the series. I am very interested in picking up the rest of the books in the series and I suggest that you do too. Chuck Black spends a lot of time making his characters come alive, you grow with them on their journey.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com.

Review Date: 1/5/11

Tootie The Green Kitten
By Nanette
Illustrated by Pat Thompson

Tootie The Green Kitten

Granny's Farm Is Lot's Of Fun!

This book is part of the "Special Animal" series by Nanette. Each animal has something different about them which makes them different, like Tootie who has nightmares or Blue the frog who only has one leg.

The stories all take place on Granny's Farm where the animals all strive to help one another under the loving care of Granny. Little ones will find comfort in the reading of these tales because it emphasizes the specialness of each one of us. And, how we can overcome adversity.

Nanette goes out of her way to bring all of the animals into the story, this is great because it shows how each of us can come together to take part in the helping of someone in need.

I really found this book to be a treasure and I think you will too. Appropriate for ages 2 and up.

The best place to buy the books is at www.lifeongrannysfarm.com. Not only does Nanette have the books, but there are activity books, tote bags, and she has recently made puppets for the characters!

Her books are also available at Amazon.com

Review Date: 10/13/10

The Umbrella Story
By Lisa Raub
Illustrated by Yuriy Yeremenko

The Umbrella Story

This is a story of a little girl who has an umbrella that she carries around for constant protection. There are other children with umbrella's too, but sooner or later, they tend to give them up and try to live in the world's conditions without any protection from harmful elements.

But one day, the girl notices a hole that has appeared in her precious umbrella. Worried about the effects of the hole, she decides to take the umbrella back to the Maker, the one who created the umbrella for her.

It's her journey to the Maker that the rest of this delightful book is about. The Maker represents God and Lisa Raub does an excellent job describing how the girl (who becomes a woman during the story) begins her daily trips to the Maker for wisdom and peace. Soon, an impatient little girl is now a full grown woman who seeks God everyday in her walk through life.

She is still under God's protective umbrella, but now she understands that her relationship with the Lord is more that just being protected, it's about seeking Him daily and walking the path to Him.

Some Christian children's books just make slight mention of God, this is not one of those. This is a strong Christian message that stirs the hearts of adults as well. My wife and I both enjoyed this book and appreciate it's message.

The book has a color cover and black and white illustrations on the inside (perfect for coloring!). It is $6.95, and is only available through the author.

To contact the author write to: contact@ew-mm.com and ask for Lisa's book.

Review date: 9/28/10

 

The King's Christmas List
By Eldon Johnson
Illustrated by Bonnie Leick

The King's Christmas List

A Fun Holiday Tale

This beautifully illustrated children's book is a fun way to teach kid's about the real meaning of Christmas. It really helps to explain what giving is about and how it relates to Jesus Christ and what He did for us. This is important because it was His gift to us that led to our ultimate redemption when we trust in Him. And it is that conquering of sin that gives us hope in our everyday lives. I like this authors approach (it is a bit different than the one in my book, The Silent Knight of Wordishure), this tale is told through a journey in the child's imagination.

Published by Tommy Nelson, this book is expertly crafted. The embossed laminate cover gives it a textured feel and helps this book to feel like a real work of art. This book is a good read aloud or for the child who is trying to read their first book.

The only downside on this story for me is the images drawn of Jesus Christ who has long-hair and appears kind of effeminate. He also doesn't bear the scars of the cross on His hands. Some parents may want to talk about these topics with their kids as they read this book to them.
Overall, this is a fun book for your kids and will be a welcome read at Christmas time.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: September 27, 2010

The Prophecy (The Watchers Chronicles)
By Dawn Miller

The Prophecy

Expected so much more.

From the description of this book of humans with prophetic abilities, and the war between good and fallen angels, I thought this story would keep me on my toes. But I can honestly say I had no idea where I was through most of this book.

It centers around five people who grew up together and are realizing that they have certain abilities (which are never really defined, which adds to the confusion). The one ability they do know, is that they can see the fallen angels which are invisible to the rest of the world.

They can also see good angels. These good angels are frustrating because they never show up until the author has worked the characters in such a corner that they can't get out. Then, poof, they appear and save the day, without explanation. Why didn't they just prevent the predicament in the first place?!

Plus, the characters never talk to each other. Hey! I just saw a fallen angel and it's freaking me out! No reason to tell any of my friends who are also going through weird stuff! There's bad angels trying to kill us? Let's split up! Need I say more? All the tropes of this genre are here with nothing but frustration along the way. I was one-third through the book and knew how it was going to end. (sigh)

The book is published by Zondervan, which is why I thought it would have more Christian elements, especially a redemptive look at each character and their personal battles with sin. The main character idolizes Ozzy Osbourne and never steps back to think to himself "hey, maybe this music is one of the ways the fallen angels kept me blind." That would have been nice character development.

I rarely give harsh reviews but I just can't find too much I like in this book. Sorry.

Review date: September 20, 2010

The Boy Who Changed The World
By Andy Andrews
Illustrations by Philip Hurst

The Boy Who Changed The World

Historical, spiritual, or fun?

How about all three! This is a very clever book that shows how God can use even the smallest of us to make a huge difference in the world. I really enjoyed how the author did the research to go back through history to show how God had played a part in changing the lives of three of history's important men, and how it affects us today.

The boys were Moses Carver, George Washington Carver, and Henry Wallace. How did they change the world? You'll have to buy this fun book and find out for yourself. It's amazing that I learned so much from a children's book what I was never taught in the public school system. It's stories like this that make american history fascinating and I think your kids will love these too.

The illustrations are spot on, and capture the feeling of the moment. From a boy playing hide and seek in a cornfield, to the tears of a boy watching a fire burn down a barn, Philip Hurst did a great job bringing this book to life for me.

I recommend this book for children and adults. The spiritual side of history is never shown that much today and it was a breath of fresh air to read this book.

The book is available from Tommy Nelson press.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: September 15, 2010

Under The Eye Of The Magpie
By Alice E. Smith

Under The Eye Of The Magpie

A Fun Mystery!

This a fun and educational book for kids. The story is set in Korea and is centered around school kids that solve a crime spree in their area. Throughout the book the reader is treated to some fun data about Korea and it's culture.

I appreciate the way Alice E. Smith sees the world through the eyes of the children. She really captures their simplicity and the way they are awestruck by the world around them. Being an educator in Korea really helped her to develop a story that educates as well as entertains.

Alice is well-traveled so I hope to read more stories about other kids throughout the world!

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: September 3, 2010

 

Pearls, Diamonds, and Old Bone Buttons
Poetry by Sandra Manning

Pearls diamonds and old bone buttons poetry book

The name of this book of poetry really says it all. From historical reflections to powerful emotions, Sandra really brings you into her world. The inner thoughts of this poet can be captivating, powerful, and even amusing. I appreciate poetry that bypasses the fluff and within moments, transports me into the poets snapshot of time and feeling.

My favorite poem in this book is "Mothers Hands". It is a beautiful way to think about the influence of your mother and how she is still part of you today. I strongly believe that everyone has an influence on the others around them, and I appreciate that in this poem. What you do means something, your influence can effect future generations, whether good or bad. So be good.

There are also fun poems like Game Cat where Sandra uses her skills at wordplay. Then there is "Time of the Singing Birds", which is about renewal and having a thankful spirit to God. Although the book not all about Christian poetry, it is a book by a Christian poet, who is not afraid to be bold for her love of Jesus Christ. I love spiritual testimony in prose. Sometimes the Christian walk is all about the little things in life, and Sandra really captures that.

Protest The Killing is also a powerful poem that exposes the hypocrisy in certain mindsets. Stitch In Time is a great poem that could also have been the title of the book, it really captures the heart of the theme.

This is a great book of poetry that stirs the heart and moves the spirit. Sandra Manning has a down-to-earth way of writing poetry that is not captured by many other poets. Very real, and timeless.

To get a copy of this book write to Sandra Manning at 113 Hill Street, Oscoda, Michigan 48750 or email her at sandilmanning@yahoo.com.

Review date: August 19, 2010

 

Starlighter: Book I
by Bryan Davis

starlighter book I dragons of starlight

A new hero has arrived.

Jason Masters is a young man who dreams of adventure. Heroic dreams are in his blood, and when his family uncovers a secret gateway into another world, it's up to him to go through the gate and rescue fellow humans.

Humans have been taken captive and turned into slaves by a planet full of dragons. Some who are evil, but not all...

A beautiful red-haired slave girl named Koren also has dreams, of freedom. But she also has a special gift that makes her valuable and dangerous to the dragons that try to control her, she is a Starlighter.

This is the best Christian fantasy novel I've read in a while and it was hard to put down. Bryan Davis put a lot of care into character development and still had a driving plot and well executed ending. Even the villains, whether dragon or human, had personalities that kept them from being one-dimensional cookie-cutter monsters. I really enjoyed the way the author kept you guessing on whether someone was a hero, a villain, or sometimes both.

I do wish Bryan had emphasized more of the Christian aspect though, I think the Jason Masters character would have been much stronger than that. Also, I hope that they use better cover art in the next book. The cover was kind of generic and looks rushed. I could have literally made this cover in an hour in Photoshop. The story inside the book deserves more than that.

I can't wait for the next book in this series, the originality here is really good and I can't wait to see what else develops.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: August 16, 2010

 

Toward The Goal: The Kakå Story
by Jeremy V. Jones

toward the goal: the kaka story

This book is the true story of soccer star Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, a.k.a. Kakå. What is unique and interesting about Kakå is his strong Christian faith. Unlike most of today's popular sports figures, he is someone that everyone can look up to. Not that he is perfect, but he tries to live a humble Christian life.

Kakå doesn't pray and ask God to win games, but prays and thanks God for the talent and opportunities that He has given to him. Kakå knows that it still takes hard work on his part to accomplish things, but he truly uplifts the Lord's name whenever he gets the chance.

One highlight is that even though this soccer superstar was rich and famous, he kept his virginity until he married the love of his life. His wife also remained a virgin.

This is a good book for soccer fans. It gives tons of good soccer history info, and even has 'fun facts" at the end of each chapter. This is a good read for any young Christian who is into sports.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: August 16, 2010

 

Premiere On The Runway
by Melody Carlson

premiere on the runway

Which is the real reality?
Paige and Erin Forrester are two young ladies with the chance of a lifetime, to star in their own reality TV series about fashion. Paige, the older sister, is way into fashion and the Hollywood scene, while her younger sister is more down-to-earth.

This book is written from the viewpoint of Erin as she tries to keep things together for her family in a spiritual way. Erin is a new Christian and is struggling to be a good testimony to her widowed mother and her starry-eyed sister.

Premiere is a well written book that is aimed at the teenage girl crowd. It shows young girls that it is still possible to find God, even in the world of today. I don't think that this is the main focus, which to me is a let down. Erin's internal struggles with morality is what made this book strong in certain areas.

Melody Carlson understands good character study. Erin plight's are really heart-felt and easily identified with. This also gave me mixed emotions about the characters and their bad choices in boyfriends. It seems the bad choices made by the "bad boyfriends" were easily forgivable while the good choices made by "good male friends" were dismissed by a brush of the hand. I do think this happens a lot in the real world with many young women, they go after the "bad boys". I just don't like that promoted in books. I enjoy the good overcoming the evil in reality or fantasy.

Other than that this book is hard to put down. The book has a feel like a reality television episode, there really is no conclusion, just the end of an episode. Carlson is a good writer, and I think this may be the first book in a series.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: August 7, 2010

Heartless
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Heartless the book

This fantasy novel is for ages 12 and up. It is the story of Princess Una and her trials of finding the right suitor. The first half of the book is mostly a character study of Una and her brother Felix. They are both fun and interesting characters who are fleshed out really well.

The second half of the book focuses more on adventure, which occurs because of the choices that Una has made. Will she learn that her choices basically outline her destiny? The main suitor in the book is Prince Aethelbald who, is kind of a Christ-like character. He knows the dangers of Una's decisions but carefully and patiently waits until she is ready to choose him.

I really wanted to give this 5 stars because I enjoyed reading it so much and because of it's originality. And at 300+ pages it was not a quick read. But I had to take it down to 4 stars because the more I pondered the story the more I realized that there was no motivation shown by Prince, he just was kind of good for good's sake. The same thing for the Dragon, who was bad because, well, he's a dragon.

I liked that the Prince represented Christ and the Dragon represented the Devil, but it still seemed one dimensional to me.

I can't wait to visit this realm again, and I look forward to more books in the Goldstone Wood series.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: July 23, 2010

Katy's Debate
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Katy's Debate

At first I was hesitant about reading this because it is from about a girl who is a Mennonite (for which I know almost nothing about). I didn't think I would be able to identify with the main character. But the character of Katy is very well written and likable. I can see why there is a series of these books about Katy Lambright, she has real emotions and is put is situations that almost all Christians have to deal with at some point.

The highlight of this book is the people in it. The characters are built up, not quickly raced through. Katy's innermost thoughts, sometimes right, and sometimes wrong, help reveal the relationships she has with secondary characters. These secondary characters help give Katy good direction on her behavior when she strays from the Lord. Katy never looks at these people as bad, even though they are opposing her when she's having her trouble in her walk.

It honestly took me about 40 pages before I actually got into the story, but when I did I could not put the book down. I love character studies and sometimes they have a slow start. This development is worth the wait in this book. I was fascinated by Katy's world.

I am by no means a Mennonite, but this has good Christian values that I can support.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 26, 2010

The King Without A Shadow
by R.C. Sproul
Illustrations by Liz Bonham

The King Without A Shadow

The more I read books by R.C. Sproul, the more and more impressed I am. He has a wonderful storytelling style that captures the imagination, and keeps the reader focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. I highly recommend any of his books to Christian families looking for something to read to their small children or for the kids to read for themselves when they reach seven or eight.

This story is about a King who is asked a difficult question from a small boy who is a subject in his kingdom. Where do shadows come from? The King is perplexed and seeks answers. On his journey to find out, the king not only discovers why he has a shadow, but he finds there is a King higher than himself that casts no shadow. How? Because this higher King is made of pure Light.

The illustrations are nice and have the old world paint style that is a good representation of the age the story is set in. Liz Bonham did a superb job with the king's expressions, not silly, but spot on.

In my book "Tales of Wordishure" I tried to write in a way that would capture an adults imagination as well as the childrens. R.C. Sproul obviously shares this same idea because the level of emotion in this story kept me wanting to read more. This is a rare multi-age book and it should be on all our shelves.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 23, 2010

Hermie and Friends: Who Is In Charge Anyway?
by Max Lucado

Hermie and friends

Comprised mostly of older clips from previous DVD's, this is a video about Freddy the Flea and his feelings of importance. He does not understand what role he has in God's Creation. God tells Freddy about made each of the other main characters important and shows him that being a Christian is really about obeying Him.

The lesson about serving God is what made this DVD good. But I must admit, the bad parts of the DVD really stand out also. I know this is for 3 to 5 year olds, but the animation seemed really dated for a new release. Plus, the voice of Flo, played by Vicki Lawrence, was irritating and hard to understand.

The character of Flo also idolized a rock band called the "Water Beatles". I know this was supposed to be a cute reference to the "Beatles", but I thought Christians were supposed to idolize anything but God. Teaching young minds that it's okay to idolize rock musicians was something this video could have been just as funny without.

There were some funny bits, mostly from Hermie, who was voiced with good timing by Tim Conway. But why do Christian movies hire actors who never made a public stand for Christ? Just a thought. Both Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence were on Mama's Family, a show which had some naughty moments.

I was hoping to like this more than I did because I had heard so much about Max Lucado. He is a very popular Christian children's book author. I would like to read some of his books. But Hermie I'm afraid, falls short.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 21, 2010

The Lightlings
by R.C. Sproul
Illustrations by Justin Gerard

The Lightlings

I must admit that I did not know what to expect when I read this book. The images of fairie-like creatures on the cover set me back. I am not a big fan of the use of magic or creatures that do not appear in the Bible. But this book quickly explains itself. The creatures come from a child's own imagination of what he thinks the Lightlings might look like. I like this approach, it really helped me get into the mind of little Charlie, who is afraid of the dark.

Charlie's grandfather arrives and is questioned by his grandson about his fear of the dark. His grandfather explains to Charlie an allegorical tale of the Lightlings, who represent fallen man. The Lightlings need their light in order to see and follow the correct path. They only receive their light from the one and only source of pure light in the universe, Jesus Christ.

I have to say the artwork is some of the best I've ever seen. Thoughtful, emotional, and fun. Justin Gerard is a wonderful artist, and almost every drawing in this book could be framed in an art gallery.

The book does use the ESV as a reference for verses. I would recommend getting a King James Version to refer to.

Great book. It has a lot of heart, and adults will enjoy the meaning as well as the artwork.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 9, 2010

 

The Prince's Poison Cup
by R.C. Sproul
Illustrations by Justin Gerard

The Prince's Poison Cup

Little Ella is sick and must take medicine that tastes horrible. She does not understand how something so horrible can do so much good. It's her kindly old grandfather who helps explain things to her. And the way he does is with a story that helps her understand Christ also.

This approach is what makes this book so wonderful. It is a parable of the first coming of Jesus Christ tied in with struggle with what Ella is going through with her medicine. Will the Prince who was sent by his Father willing to drink from the poison cup that will heal the world?

Yes, I'm glad that He did. And how easy it is to show your child from this how the real story of Christ was so necessary. The Prince's Poison Cup also shows the love that Christ has for His children.

Justin Gerard's artwork is some of the best I've ever seen in a children's book, Christian or secular. The colors, the facial expressions, and balance in the artwork is well thought out and appropriate for the topic.

The book does use the ESV as a reference for verses. I would recommend getting a King James Version to refer to.

I hope R.C. Sproul and Justin Gerard do many more books. This one is truly a blessing.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 9, 2010

 

The Aedyn Chronicles - Chosen Ones
by Alister McGrath
Illustrations by Voytek Nowakowski

The Aedyn Chronicles - The Chosen Ones

The land of Khemia is self-destructing, so it's people decide to leave in search for a better place. That place is the land of Aedyn. But what awaits them there is far worse…betrayal!

It's been 500 years since the people have become slaves to the 3 wicked rulers, the Wolf, the Leopard, and the Jackal. But not all hope is lost. Prophecies speak of the Fair Ones, who will free the people of Aeydon. Not only that, but there is also a prophecy of a holy Redeemer.

Two young teens, Julia and Peter, are the ones chosen to save the day. They find a gateway from our world to Aedyn through a garden that beckons them to this other world.

Although the adventures in this easy to read book exciting, it is written at a more Christian teen level. The characters are well-rounded, there are even good tension build-ups that keep the reader wondering how things will resolve.

The downside to this book for me is the use of magic. I am not comfortable mixing Christianity and magic at any level so I have to mark this book down a couple of notches for that. A way around this could be miracles or gifts from God.

The illustrations are nice. The have an old-world feel that compliments the book. The also have a hazy look to them that I quite enjoy.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 9, 2010

 

Let's Have A Daddy Day
by Karen Kingsbury
Illustrations by Dan Andreasen

Let's Have A Daddy Day

A wonderful hardcover book that shows how important a daddy is to their sons and daughters. This book is a good reminder that a father is not only there for guidance and strong leadership, but he is fun also.

Dan Andreasen's artwork in this book is soft and friendly. He has an originality that I find truly refreshing. He really captured the feelings of what the author was trying to convey.

This is a great read-aloud for the little ones and a good starter read for those who are just learning.

The only fault with this book is it's lack of Biblical verses for support. I normally wouldn't have a problem with this, but it is touted as a Christian book. The only mention of God is in the dedication. I don't think the book is bad because of this, but I do think it could have been stronger by giving verses that upheld it's principles.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 6, 2010

 

In The Big Inning - Bible Riddles From The Back Pew
by Mike Thaler
Illustrations by Jared Lee

In The Big Inning

This is a fun Bible joke book that is not blasphemous. Mike Thaler's sharp wit and wordsmithing help make this book a safe, clean, and humorous read for kids. Some joke in the book make you want to even open your Bible and read the source material again!

Jared Lee's illustrations capture the fun of the jokes and fun for the kids to look at. He has a good Sunday morning comic style that is easily recognizable.

Although this book is meant for kids, I spent a lot of time telling some of these jokes to the adult's at church.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 6, 2010

 

Vacation Bible Snooze
by Mike Thaler
Illustrations by Jared Lee

Vacation Bible Snooze

There are a lot of kids who think that Vacation Bible School will not be fun. I think because the word "school" is in the name. These kids might want to read this fun and creative book.

Vacation Bible Snooze shows the fun of Vacation Bible School in a truly imaginative way. Mike Thaler's view of the world of VBS is fun and over-ther-top. He has really captured how to entertain kids, seeing the world through their eyes.

Jared Lee's illustrations capture the mood and spirit of the book perfectly. Thanks to his elaborate art style, kid's will want to return to this book over and over again to find all the little things that they missed in previous viewings.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: June 6, 2010

Sammy And His Sheperd: Seeing Jesus in Psalm 23
by Susan Hunt
Illustrations by Cory Godbey

Sammy And His Sheperd

This is a well written book about a sheep named Sammy that shares his testimony with a struggling sheep named Precious. The way Susan Hunt uses sheep as pictures of the Christian walk will really help children to understand the sweet peace that comes through trusting in Christ who is our Sheperd.

The entire book is based on a line by reading of the Lords Prayer and each point is described as the story unfolds. It is really quite emotional. The beautiful illustration by Cory Godbey are a real compliment to what Susan is trying to do. The choice of colors used is amazing in the way that it really captures the mood. Soft yet descriptive.

The book uses the ESV version of the Bible instead of the King James, but you can always go to the King James for the correct meaning.

It is hard not to feel for the sheep named Precious as she, like most new Christians, learns not to trust in her fears. She must now trust her faithful Sheperd who loves her and protects her, even if she doesn't understand what He is trying to do at the time.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages. The lessons from this book are top-notch and I want this book in our children's ministry.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: May 31, 2010

 

The Guardian's Passion - Battles Against The Northern Chronicles
by Amber H. Royce

guardians passion

If you are like I am, and enjoy stories of knights, swordplay, and Christian adventure, I think you'll really enjoy this book. It is the story of a young girl named Hedira, who becomes the Guardian of the Kingdom of Talidon.

Her journey to become the Guardian is not so easy, so she doesn't even realize that she is the rightful heir to the position! Not only that, but the kingdom has now been broken up and needs restoration. The adventure begins when fellow adventurer's, help her find out who she is and what she has to do.

Hedira puts her trust in the Lord to guide her throughout her journey. This is refreshing to read about and it helps to emphasize how important it is to us to trust the Lord in our own lives. The bravery of Hedira, and even her sorrows, touch your heart and help you feel for her situation.

The book is written for teens and above, little ones might find the names difficult. I really enjoyed how the characters were down-to-earth and not Hollywood over-the-top stereotypes. Just when I thought I would predict what would happen, the story changed direction.

It is refreshing to read a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and doesn't have to do it using "shock" tactics or immoral character behavior. It's a beautifully written tale and I can't wait to read more in the series.

This book should be available to order at any local Christian bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnesandnoble.com

Review date: May 26, 2010

God's Promises For Boys
by Jack Countryman & Amy Parker
Illustrations by Richard Watson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

God's Promises For Boys

While most Christian children's books focus on telling stories, whether fact or fiction, this one immediately sets itself apart. God's Promises For Boys is more of a daily reference book for encouraging the spiritual growth of boys.

The book lists all the possible questions that a boy might have, especially for God, in any given situation. The answers are given with scripture references that the child can read and be encouraged by.

The illustrations by Richard Watson are top-notch and fun. The drawings mostly concentrate around a boy and his dog in the situation mentioned in the question part of this handbook. Children may want to draw pictures of the characters themselves.

The Bible references throughout the book are from the International Children's Bible by Thomas Nelson. I wish they had used the Authorized King James Version, to me, this is the only weakness of the book.

I had a lot of fun going through this book and I'd recommend it for those parents who would like to see their child find answers to their questions by themselves. The answers are aimed more at spiritual growth than that of history.

This small hardcover book is the perfect fit for a child's small hands and growing heart.

This book should be available at any local Christian bookstore.

Review date: May 18, 2010

Helen Lester
by Isabella Alden

Helen Lester

Helen is a little girl with whose emotions are carried by the wind. Although she comes from a well-to-do family there is something that is missing. Her attitude and behavior start to change when her grown-up brother, Cleveland, moves back home.

Cleveland changed quite a bit when he was away. Salvation does that to a man. Will his decision to follow Jesus have an effect on the Lester household? All the things that Helen thought were so important are not so anymore.

Set in the mid 1800's, this is a good character story of the different trials and triumph's of the Lester family as Jesus Christ is introduced into their household. What a wonderful transformation occurs and the families children seem to get along much better and learn about wanting to love and follow Christ.

This is an excellent book for 10+year-olds to learn that salvation isn't just accepting Christ, but it is a decision to repent from sin and follow the Savior.I highly recommend this book even for adults.

Helen Lester is available only through www.keepersofthefaith.com.

Review date: May 4, 2010


 

Tip Lewis and His Lamp
by Isabella Alden

Tip Lewis and His Lamp

This is one of the most powerful children's books I've ever read concerning the Christian walk and most of all, salvation. The story is about a young troublemaker named Edward "Tip" Lewis.

Tip spends most of his time pulling pranks with his friends and disregarding authority. That is, until a substitute teacher appears in his classroom one day and tells a very motivating story. From that point, Tip's heart begins to change. During this change, Tip discovers many things concerning Christianity.

If you read this book as a Christian, you'll remember the things you thought about as your heart began to change. It helps bring to mind the inward struggles against sins that Jesus Christ helped you conquer.

As a child who is learning about Christ. This book makes things very clear on why one would want to forsake the world and travel the narrow road. I think children, especially boy's, will really identify with Tip.

Tip Lewis and His Lamp reminds me of a Christian version of Tom Sawyer, if Tom Sawyer's heart changed and he had gotten saved. This book is set in the mid 1800's, but I think kid's between the ages of 11 and 16 will still identify with Tip. This book is 191 pages, and is the perfect story for kid's struggling to understand the Christian walk.

I recommend this book for adults to read as well. There were parts that had me under conviction and motivated me to want to behave more like Tip. This is a must have for every Christian library.

This book is only available at www.keepersofthefaith.com.

Review date: May 3, 2010

 

Mighty Acts Of God - A Family Bible Story Book
by Starr Meade - Illustrations by Tim O' Conner

A Perfect Sunday School Book!

If you are looking for a book to perfectly compliment your kid's Sunday school class, Starr Meade has written it. Mighty Acts of God has 90 of the best known Bible stories and break them down into digestible pieces that the smaller kids can grasp.
It covers the points of the stories and how they apply to the lives of the young Christian as they find their way to the Lord.

The stories are taken from the Bible, but the author has taken time to point out things that will stimulate discussion from the children. This is really the strong point of the book. Many questions will arise, whether in Sunday school, or in your personal study time with your child. This book can also answer some of those questions. It even reminded me of a few things that I had forgotten!

The illustrations in the book by Tim O'Connor are well-done and capture the scene's being described perfectly. Tim has a very Disney-ish style, it reminds me of the artwork for Aladdin. The facial expressions of the characters really communicated with me, and that is sometimes lost in other children's literature.

This book accomplishes what it set out to do. Teach the Bible and reach kids.

Mighty Acts Of God can be purchased through www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com

Review Date: April 4, 2010

 

Johnny Rocket - Surprise Return to South Middle School Review
by Matthew Botsford

Johnny Rocket Series

A Space Hero Returns To Earth...In Time For School!

It seems odd doing a review of Johnny Rocket book II because I never read Johnny Rocket and His Comrades In The Faith. It was not hard to pick up the story though, Matthew Botsford carefully describes the main characters and their motivations so it's easy just to dive right in.

This book is written more for pre-teens, I think smaller kids would struggle with the tech terms and alien names, such as his companion Vasgus and Johnny Rocket's ship, the Regatta.

Johnny and his companions are returning from their last mission, go back to school, and don't even realize that Rebecca Sage is out to sabotage their ship and teach Johnny Rocket a lesson. The adventure unfolds as Rebecca sneaks aboard the Regatta and discovers more than she had bargained for.

Johnny Rocket emphasizes solutions through Christian faith and practice. This is so rare in this genre these days. It's nice to see how someone who trusts in the Lord would try to respond in a science fiction type dilemma.

Johnny Rocket - Surprise Return to South Middle School can be purchased through www.amazon.com

Review Date: March 19, 2010

Full Moon Rising by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty

full moon rising cover

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the moon and how he is full of pride and vanity. He believes he is the greatest source of light...until he meets the sun. The lesson taught is that the child learns to be grateful for their blessings and not try to be prideful. The book concludes by showing a child in prayer, thanking God for all the joy and grace He gives.

Full Moon Rising will captivate your children and make them want you to read it to them again and again. The author and illustrator did a great job working together, even hiding little details in the drawings that you might not catch at first.

This 32-page book is from Crossway Books and is a must have for your Christian children's book library.

Visit the website at: www.fullmoonrising.com or www.crossway.org

Review date: March 12, 2010

Henrietta's Hope by Barbara Hagler

Henrietta's Hope

This fun children's book tells the story of a hen with a crooked beak who wishes she could be like all the other chickens. As the story unfolds, Henrietta learns valuable lessons about herself and why she is a special creation by God.

This is a story that will help children understand that we are all special, and that sometimes it may take a while before we discover our true hidden talents.

Henrietta's Hope has 28 pages and is fully-illustrated with nice artwork done by Jason Hutton. Small children will enjoy the colorful characters and parents will enjoy the valuable Christian message that is taught.

Although this is a great read aloud book for smaller children, I think one's who are just learning to read will enjoy it as well.

Visit the website at www.livinginhopefarm.com

Review date: March 8, 2010

 

Christian Book Notes by Terry Delaney

This is another place to get reviews of Christian Children's Books. Terry takes his time giving every book a well thought out review. It is an excellent resource for us who are constantly searching for literature that is appropriate for our little ones. CBN even has an RSS feed so you can stay updated on when a new review is out.

Visit Terry Delany's website at: http://christianbooknotes.com/category/children/

 

Creation Inspiration by Cheryl Pickett

Creation Inspirations by Cheryl Pickett

If you are looking for a book that helps teach children about animals, this is the book that I think you will find most inspiring. Christians will love the approach that Cheryl has taken to writing about God's wonderful creatures. Each of the animals described teach us a valuable lesson about God and our Christian walk with Him.

The book also has fun activities to do and even shares some easy recipes for the kids help with. It is more than just a book about animals, it is an uplifting approach to teaching children about God. I believe you will come back to read this again and again. Creation Inspirations is a must have for Christian parents, and will make a great science book for kids to read in their home or sunday school class, and even for those coming home from public school. Click here to purchase Creation Inspirations.

Review date: February 7, 2010

 

 

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