Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Kids NIV Visual Study Bible

Kids NIV Visual Study Bible is such a great easy to read Bible to study for kids but may I suggest that you buy it in the plainer leather like cover for yourself.  The writing is in the popular New International Version but there are so many study helps and pictures that the Bible is fun to read and study.  The pictures are not the simple drawings that one expects to find in a study Bible for children but rather actual pictures of for instance a model of Herod's temple or an actual sycamore fig tree in the Holy Land or Jews praying at the Wailing Wall.  There are little references in the outer column telling more information right beside where the story is in the Bible such as in Isaiah in the story of the prophecy against Arabia it talks of  the caravans of Dedanites and to the side in the column it tells that they were an Arabian merchant tribe who were attacked by the Assyrians and later by the Babylonians.  You don't have to look and see if it is footnoted and then look somewhere else, the explanation is right there beside the story.  Cool, huh?
This Bible is the complete Bible not just stories that would interest kids which is another reason why I plan to use this Bible for my own personal use.  Beginning each different book in the Bible is the title of course but in addition there is the author, why it was written, for whom it was written, a little bit about its importance, or the stories, or how it pertains to kids.  On page 239 the Bible wants to further reiterate that God showers his people with grace time after time so there is a large faint picture background of clouds with rain and over that is printed various times of grace that God gave His people in drops of water along with the reference where it can be found in the Bible.  This type of illustration is use time after time using different themes and subjects.

This Bible would make a good first complete Bible gift for any child capable of reading the text.  This Bible could take the child not only through childhood but also into adulthood.  This Bible has all the parts that one has grown to expect in a Bible including maps in the back along with table of weights and measures, and an infographics index. I would recommend this Bible for any reader wishing to study the Bible.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin

An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin contains four novellas for your reading pleasure.  In the first Sharon and Sherilyn are sisters who are returning to Shipshewana for a little vacations with a couple of girlfriends.  Sherry has been writing Graham Holland since the last time the two of them met at a wedding.  Sherry is the plainer of the two sisters and since her sister is such a looker she doesn't get much notice.  Graham is also a quiet man but he thinks that he is writing to the beautiful sister.  When the two meet again he realizes his mistake but doesn't know how to tell them.  He doesn't even remember meeting Sherry but decides to get to know both girls better in order to decide who he likes better.  He talks this over with his friend, Toby who is also on the trip with Graham.  Toby would like to get to know Sharon but he is disgusted that Graham wants to keep both of them until he makes up his mind.  Toby says that if Graham won't tell them then he will so Graham tells the girls.  Of course they are just furious with him and don't want to speak to him.  How will this summer vacation end?

In the 2nd novella Amy Clipston tells the story of the summer before Arianna is to marry Jesse.  They have been friends all their life but as they grew up this friendship grew into a love that both wanted to last a lifetime.  Arianna's brother Tobias is Jesse's best friend but Tobias has been brooding lately and seems kind of depressed.  Tobias has been fighting with his father lately about taking over the family farm.  Tobias is the only son and is expected to inherit the farm but he doesn't want to farm and has been drinking to avoid the constant fighting with his dad.  The day that Tobias got drunk and wrecked the buggy because he was driving the horse so recklessly was the final straw with his father.  The two had a horrible fight and Tobias ran off that night to live with a relative in another state.   Marvin Arianna's dad also said that Arianna and Jesse had to stop seeing each other and it was Jesse's fault that Tobias started drinking and wrecked the buggy.  What to do? Arianna is so sad but she knows that she can't go against her father.  How will they all survive the summer?

In the 3rd novella Kathleen Fuller writes of Esther and Sarah Coblentz.  Sarah is beautiful and Esther is not.  Sarah is very social and everybody wants to date her and Esther is not.  Esther has loved her father's hired hand Judah for as long as she can remember but Judah only has eyes for Sarah.  Judah only thinks of Esther as Sarah's sister and treats her kind of like a sister.  The only person that seems to have noticed that Esther has eyes for Judah is her brother, Rueben. Rueben teases her about it and tells her not to be so obvious about it but also gives her hope that maybe someday Judah will love her in return.  That summer Esther's parents have allowed a college intern to stay at their home to learn about the Amish religion.  Sarah notices the good looking intern, Rhett, and wants to interest him in her but Rhett seems only interested in learning about the farm and how it works.  Rhett in fact only notices Esther which makes Sarah very jealous.  Esther is very interested in Rhett but only as a friend and quickly finds out that Rhett is engaged to his sweetheart back at home.  The interest that Rhett shows to Esther makes Judah notice Esther and for the first time as a woman that he could be interested in as a lifetime partner.  Will Judah and Esther ever get together?

In the final novella Ms. Irvin tells of the sweet love story of Martha Byler and Jacob King.  Martha is very concerned that Jacob only seems interested in having fun and none in growing up.  Martha is also concerned that even though her father has remarried and everyone loves their new mother Martha feels responsible for caring for her younger brothers and sisters as she has done since she was a preteen.  Jacob feels that he IS grown up but he just wants to have a little fun.  This is the summer that Martha learns to trust Jacob's judgment and Jacob figures out that maybe he does need to change some of his behaviors if he wants to be Martha's husband.  The sweet story has a few twists and turns as Martha and Jacob learn to rely on each other and truly love each other.

These novellas are a great read for summer time pleasure.  You will not be sorry that you purchased this thick book to enjoy these stories.
I received this book from BookLook for this review.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is one of my all time favorite books now.  Though this is the 20 Anniversary Edition of this book I had never read it.  When it came out again I snatched it up to see what everyone was talking about and now I know.  This is the story of a man who had lost touch with his favorite teacher and when he found out that his teacher was dying of ALS he made it a point to reconnect with him.  While in college he had met with his teacher on Tuesdays to work on a senior project and as luck would have it he again met with him on a Tuesday.  This is the story of the last Tuesdays of Morrie's life and how they spent them.  Every week Mitch Albom had a different topic to discuss from family to death.  9 topics to discuss in the time they had left.  Every week Mitch got on a plane to Morrie's house bringing Morrie's favorite foods, the topic to discuss and a tape recorder.  Every week he brought these things though soon Morrie could no longer eat the food, though it was difficult for Morrie to talk, every week Mitch brought it all and spent the Tuesday listening to Morrie's thoughts, philosophy on the topic and learning what it was like to live and to die.  Mitch and Morrie grew even closer together these last weeks working on this project.  Mitch learned some of the cares that Morrie needed including the "ass wiping" which Morrie dreaded as he knew that it would come a day that he would be too weak to do this for himself.  Morrie learned to die as Mitch looked on and learned along with him.

Reading this book you will laugh, you will cry, but most of all you will ponder on the meaning and purpose of your own life.  Don't think that you can casually read this book.  It will draw you in and grab hold of you as you not only marvel on the strength of Morrie as his gets closer to his death but will be grateful that Mitch took the time out of his business of living to finish this last project with his favorite teacher,"Coach".  This book can and should be read by everyone.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

Love Letters from God Bible Stories for a Girl's Heart by Glenys Nellist is a delightful picture/story book for girls on the women of the Bible.  This book has wonderful pictures accompanying each story.  The book begins of course at the beginning with the story of Eve.  Each story is contained in 2 pages and includes a letter from God which can be personalized by the giver of the book to contain the girl's name in the letter.  There are many good children's Bible stories on the market today but this is the first that I have seen that tells of the women of the Bible's stories.  This book contains not only the well known women of the Bible such as Eve and Mary the mother of Jesus but also the females who are seldom mentioned such as Naaman's servant girl.  It also brings out how each might have been feeling as they were going through their life following the path that God had lain out for them. 

I loved the Love Letters from God specially made for girls.  As a woman who raised all girls I never knew how to answer the many questions about why no one talks very much about the women in the Bible.  This Book would have been such a delight to provide for my children as they were growing up and I am so glad that this author has provided this book for the females growing up  in our world today.  I would recommend this for any young reader but also for children to be read to.  This would make a wonderful bedtime storybook.  This book would make a delightful gift for any little girl.
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing for this review.

Hello Stars by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts

Hello Stars by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts is the first in the new series, Lena in the Spotlight.  This series stars Lena as the oldest child in her family.  Lena on the advice of her friend Savannah has entered a contest to meet her favorite star Mallory Winston and even though in the video entry she made she had a piece of candy between her teeth she won. The prize not only included meeting Mallory but also living for the summer in Hollywood starring in a role in a movie.  Lena soon finds that making a movie is more work than she anticipated and spending the whole summer in California away from her friends is more lonely than she thought.  Lena learns to make new friends in California and trust God to guide her along the way. Lena becomes friends with Mallory as well as Kay B who helps her get ready for her scenes.   Lena learns to work hard and enjoy the fun as it comes. Most of all Lena learns to relax and trust God to lead her toward the plan He has set for her life. 

I enjoyed this book and think that any tween girl would enjoy reading this book.  This book has a Christian message as this Christian family learns to live in California and follow the path that God has set for them.  The book is about a 12 year old and is written so that 12 year olds could easily read it.  There is no violence nor sexual content.
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing for this review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman is the next novel out by this mystery writer.
Miguel Rodrigus is a Mexican who crossed illegally into Texas and was caught.  He was housed in the juvenile detention and was murdered while there.  Texas is trying to sweep it under the rug but when Miguel's mother, a Mexican immigrant who is raising her other son legally in one of the surrounding towns of Washington DC.  She is poor but working steadily to keep food on the table for herself and Jorge.  Someone had anonymously sent her pictures of Miguel's dead body and she went to a law office, Elliott and Johnson, to get justice.  Miguel's mother, had readily talked to one of the partners, Gerard, but now she refused to give anymore information to anyone.  Gerard assigned the case to a rising young female attorney, Hayden, but Hayden was getting no help from either Gerard nor Miguel's mother.  Then someone breaks into both Hayden's and Gerard's office and killed Gerard.  Hayden had gotten into Gerard's office and took Miguel's file and had a clerk, Angela copy it and send it to her home.  Then Angela is fired and Hayden is offered no help from the remaining partners and is told her job is also on the line.  Why did everyone suddenly clam up? Why did Miguel's mother refuse to help even though she appears to want Hayden's help?  Hayden realizes she can't win this case in Texas and tries to get the case moved but first she must go investigate in Texas where the crime occurred.  Suddenly she has no expense account to fly down there.  Why is the firm trying to keep her from winning this case?  Why hadn't Miguel who was a minor immigrate with his mother?  All these questions swirl around in Hayden's brain as she fights for the young Miguel's justice and 'accidents' suddenly start happening to Hayden and anyone who tries to help her.

Great murder mystery from this author.  You will love reading this page turner and find it hard to put down.  I would recommend this as good reading for anyone high school age and over.  There is some violence as there would be in any murder mystery, no cursing, no explicit sexual content.
I received this book from Booklook for this review.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is the newest book by this author. Ms Lewis' next Amish love story centers on the last summer of Sallie Ruehl before studying for her baptism and joining The People of her Amish community.  Sallie has been planning this last summer for years and has saved up for her trip to Australia.  Then she hears that her beloved nephew needs an important surgery she feels pulled by God to donate the trip money to his fund to pay for the needed surgery.  Just afterwards she finds an opportunity to be the nanny for the summer for a well to do family while they vacation on the beach at Cape May in New Jersey.  She would be spending the summer caring for their daughter Autumn  while the mother cares for her new infant son.  She feels that this might be Providence that this happened right after donating her trip money to the fund.  Her aunt, Essie, feels much the same way but her mother on the other hand is obviously disappointed that Sallie won't be taking her lessons on her baptism this summer as she had hoped.  Sallie knows that she won't be going without her father's blessing but he surprises her by okaying the trip.  In no time at all Monique Logan shows up in her car to whisk her away to the Jersey beach.  Sallie loves the beach as she expected and she loves working for the family as she expected, she is even learning all the workings of the thoroughly modern cabin that the Logans are letting her stay in during the summer---but what she didn't expect is to fall for the Mennonite boy, Kevin, she met on the beach who is a summer intern working on a boat as a tour guide.  Sallie is torn by her growing feelings for Kevin and her guilt about Perry who is waiting for her at home.  What will she do?  Can she put off her baptism again?  She is not baptized so the church won't shun her but can she live happily outside of The People.  Read this book to find out Sallie's solution to this dilemma.

I loved this book about the Jersey shore.  This book brings out the importance of baptism in the Amish church but also the love that the families still have for each other even when choosing life outside the fold of the church.  It brings out some of the decisions that the young Amish must make in order to either stay in the church or the shunning that occurs if the decision to stray from the church is made after the baptism.  Timing is everything in all communities and the Amish are no different.  It also tells of how one may straddle the fence so to speak in order to avoid irritating the family and avoiding the shunning while still staying our of the church membership.
I received this book from BethanyHouse for this review.