Sunday, November 29, 2015

Amish Chrsitmas at North Star by Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert

Amish Chrsitmas at North Star by Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert.  These well known authors have worked together to write this delightful book of 4 stories.  The premise of the story is that Rebekah, the midwife of the Amish community 25 years ago on a snowy night delivered 4 babies and these 4 stories are how they are spending this Christmas as adults.  The children are Elle McAllister, Eden Hochstetler, Savilla Beiler, and Andy Danner.  In the first Elle knows that she is adopted but has no idea that her mother was from the Amish community of North Star.  A local reporter, Chase Wellington, decides to write a story about the 4 births and has set out to find out what happened to all those children born on that snowy night.  He becomes intrigued when he finds that one of the Amish women disappeared from the community after being dismissed and was never heard of after that.  Elle the baby of that mother has had a good life being raised by good parents, knows that her biological mother is out there but has no burning desire to find her, assuming that her mother does not want to be found. Chase convinces her that she should go back to North Star from Iowa where she was raised to find out her family history.
  In the 2nd story, Eden has joined with her non-Amish friend, Gina, to solve a murder mystery.  Eden's good elderly friend, Isaac, was found dead in the stable that he owned in town.  On the surface it looked like an accident where a horse stomped the man to death but Gina's father was the veterinarian and told her that the horse had a puncture wound and the lab results from the autopsy showed that the horse had been injected with amphetamines.  This greatly upset Eden since she was very close to the older man and loved spending time at the stables with him.  So begins the solving of the mystery by the two girls.
In the 3rd story Savilla has broken off her engagement to Kore without much explanation.  Savilla though had what she thought was an excellent reason, she was not going to be able to have children because she had to have a hysterectomy and didn't want Kore to marry her just because he felt sorry for her.  So she broke off the engagement without telling him why.  But when Kore's, grandmother Mammi D. falls and is in critical condition at the local hospital and Kore needs to come back home to help out.  Savilla has gone to check out Mammi D's house and make sure all was as it should be.  Savilla had been working with Mammi D the day before she fell and she needed to finish up and also wanted to check and make sure it hadn't left something out and caused the fall.  She heard a noise while she was there and discovered 3 children hiding outside.  She found out the Mammi D had agreed to watch them while their parents were out of the country to adopt their next sibling.  Savilla and Kore have to learn to get along and start working together to care for the children so that their parents don't have to return before the adoption goes through.
In the 4th story Andy Danner has left North Star 6 months ago because he can't face life there after Nellie left him.  Nellie always had been good with numbers and wanted to continue her education at the university.  She thought that though she could go through with joining the church and marriage to Andy until that day she left classes at the church and tearfully told him that she couldn't do it.  Nellie had gone on to the city and tried classes but found that she really needed the church and loved Andy more than she wanted to be educated.  Nellie returned to North Star and repented and was accepted back into the church and community but Andy couldn't trust her and he left  for Mississippi to join an Amish group working construction.  Sam, Andy's 12 year old brother was devastated as was Nellie.  Nellie wrote to Andy and apologized and said she would wait as long as necessary and went to work in an ice cream parlor in town and sewing for people on the side.  Sam thought of a great idea, he would make all the money necessary to buy Andy's train ticket if he would agree to come home.  Andy thinking it was impossible agreed.  Then Sam went to Nellie and talked to her about Andy and found the Nellie had written to him already but agreed to write another letter to him to apologize again.  All was going good until Andy and Sam's dad had the terrible accident and Sam gave up all his money to help pay the hospital bills. 
How is all this going to turn out for these 4 babies born on the same terrible night?

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Holy Bible International Children's Bible

The Holy Bible International Children's Bible is not a Children's Bible in the traditional sense of the phrase.  It is not merely the stories of the Bible that children would be interested.  It is also not a picture book there are no pictures to speak of in this Bible.  It is not even a paraphrase.  It is an actual translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek language.  All of that being said it is an easy to read translation.  Most children of about 5th grade reading level would be able to read it straight through and most reading children of any age could read the familiar stories.  It has plenty of maps to engage the reader into knowing where a particular incident took place.  The outside is decorated for girl readers especially those who love the Frozen movie.  It comes with a blue Bible case so that it can be easily transported (and protected) to church or study events. 

I would recommend this Bible for purchase for anyone buying for young girls either for personal study or as a Sunday School promotion gift.  It should be considered  a good first Bible for girls but would be easy Bible reading for adults also. It is a really good translation and I enjoyed reading it.  I really think that calling it a children's translation is going to cut down on sales because it would be a good translation for any adult to read also.  I know that I enjoyed reading this translation.
I received this Bible from BookLook for this review.

Black Earth by Timothy Snyder

Black Earth by Timothy Snyder is the holocaust as a history and warning.  This book looks at the holocaust strictly from a historical point of view with some additions from the author which could be construed as theory or the author's point of view.   There is no romance in this holocaust book.  There is no special interesting side stories to this book.  This book points out how Hitler and the men working with and for him made their decisions on their political aspirations as well as their plans to conquer the world.  Hitler is not the first nor most likely not the last to want to win public favor as well as ownership of the world.  What this book is investigating is why Hitler's war effort on the Jewish population was so well received in the 1930s and 1940s in Europe and Asia.  This aspect of the book is very hard to read as it condemns the majority of the world but if we do not look at it and as well why the rest of the world did not condemn them but rather watched while it happened is to repeat it.  To say that no one knew it was happening at the time is to tell our self a lie because it would have been impossible to hide the magnitude of this atrocity if we as a world were not willing to just not know. 

I am glad that I read this book though I cannot say that I enjoyed it.  I did not live during this period of time so I guess that I can tell myself that I would have done differently that the people living at that time.  But can I really?  Do I know what I would do if I were starving.  Do I even know extreme hunger?  Do any of us really?  When told something is a fact over and over by the media and public figures how far do I really look into the situation to make sure that I am not being lead astray by writers who are telling me what they want me to believe?  How easily are we as lazy, well-fed readers led down a path of the destruction of others?    How far would we really go with our high flung morals into helping others to the physical detriment to ourselves and our family? 

This book I would recommend reading for anyone of mature age who wants to know more of the history of the world during World War II.  Don't read this book though expecting to enjoy it though.  This is a historical viewing of this period of time and done in such a way that no country can escape knowledge that, "We could have either prevented this or at least done more to help these people".
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.