Review

True to You by Becky Wade

cover105949-mediumTrue to You by Becky Wade is a Christian romance that has several parts that are funny, and emotional. This is a wonderful book. The characters are well developed and relatable. The dynamics of the sister’s is well-thoughtout.

There are two main characters. The first; is Nora, is a cautious and studious young woman. The second; John, is a modern-day Navy SEAL who comes into Nora’s life and turns it upside down.

Nora had a really bad relationship in the past that caused her to build a wall to protect herself from being hurt that she did in her last relationship. The obstacles she puts in her way consist of unfashionable clothing, old hairstyles, and work. Eventually John and Nora meet and the wall that she has built slowly begins to break down.

John has an ego but deep down he was hurting and there was an uncertainty of his future that bothered him.  Recently, John was diagnosed with a genetic condition that will affect him for the rest of his life. John was not attracted to Nora at first but the most time he spent with her the more he saw a wonderful young lady. Through his friendship with Nora, John learns some important lessons in trusting God with his past as well as his future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Becky Wade, Bethany House Publishers, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, family, fiction, Literary Fiction, navy seal, NetGalley, Review, romance, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Desert Moon by Susan Page Davis

cover104637-mediumDesert Moon by Susan Page Davis is a wonderful historical fiction. The story takes place in Arizona. There is a sweet romance throughout the story with a little bit of danger and mystery added. The story begins fast with a stage coach robbery and then blames of the crime are made and with evidence.

The main character, Julia Newman, is a young lady that makes the difficult decisions. Julia receives double bad news in a short amount of time. First she learns of her mother’s death, then she learns that her brother is accused of robbing a stagecoach and the person who informed her is the man that Julie has always love, Deputy Adam Scott.

Julie left home to go to school to become a teacher because she could not stand to be near the man she loved, Deputy Adam Scott.  On her way home, Julie learns that the stagecoach she is riding in has been robbed. Deputy accused Julie’s brother of the crime, which frustrates her. Julie tries to convince Deputy Adam Scott of her brother’s innocence but then finds out that her brother has gone mission.  During this exchange, Julie discovers that her feelings for Deputy Adam Scott has not gone away as she hoped would happen when she went away to school.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio

cover87601-mediumFight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio brings interest and excitement to going to school. While most people have heard of Malala, they may not have heard of all of the great people in Scandiffio’s book: people helping to change education for poverty-stricken Indians and Roma, Pakistanis denied an education because of their gender, children ripped away from schools becoming soldiers, and separate, but not equal, schools on First Nation land.

Liked that the book was divided into different challenges children face rather than by geography. It even included an example in the U.S. I also liked that the book highlighted the people, many of whom are children, who are finding solutions to this issue.

A fantastic resource for older students.

I received an ARC copy from Annick Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: Annick Press, book review, books, Children's Nonfiction, Middle grade, multi-cultural, Multicultural Interest, NetGalley, nonfiction, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter

cover112930-mediumThe Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the second book in the series The Amish cooking class. In the first book Heidi and Lyle open their home up at the Troyer Amish Farm for cooking classes that Heidi teaches. In this second book Heidi teaches were second cooking class. I read the Brunstetter’s first book in The Amish cooking class series and this book did not disappoint.

Just like the first book, Heidi’s students in The Blessing are facing a variety of needs. Aa young teenage who is struggling with life after her mother, an alcoholic, abandon her family. A mailman who wants to learn to cook. A wife who’s husband is a policeman and gives her this gift to learn to cook. A caterer who wants to learn new recipes for her business and a hunter who wants to learn to cook for his buddies. The story bring in some of the characters from the first book in the series, which is an added bonus to see how the first set of doing are doing.

Heidi seems to be a compassionate and thoughtful young woman, with a good sense of humor who genuinely loves sharing her love of cooking and of God with her students. It is heartwarming to see how Heidi is able to reach her students hearts when they are suffering, particularly teenage Nicole, who is struggling with forgiving her mother for leaving the family.

At the classes Heidi teaches her student to cook good Amish food and always sends them home with a Bible verse on the back of the recipe card. The story shows how each person needs something in there lives and Heidi is able to help them.

The story has feelings of hope, love, friendship, forgiveness and trust in God. Heidi shares a scripture with each of her recipe cards. This touching story left me wanting for more. I hope there will be more additions to her Cooking Class series. The stories are uplifting and enjoyable to read.

I received an ARC from Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Amish, Amish Cooking Class, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, cooking, Inspirational, NetGalley, Review, romance, series, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter, women, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

cover103804-mediumYou’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher is a beautiful story of survival and God’s love for each of us. The characters in this book are the example of grace and acceptance, and demonstrate how far love and kindness can go in this world. This is a lovely story of faith and forgiveness. It is lovely to see the spiritual growth of the hero and heroine cheered on by the sweet innocence of a child and of a grandmother.

Brooklyn Myers is a single mother, not by choice. Life hasn’t been fair to her at all. Everyone who should have loved and supported her have left her or let her down. Now, she is going back home again not by choice; but, putting her daughter first she is returning to Thunder Creek to the home left to her by her deceased ex-husband.

Derek Johnson, local Sheriff’s Deputy of Thunder Creek has received a letter from his best friend’s estate. His friend has died and failed to leave him the land he had promised to sell him; instead, he has left it to his ex-wife and daughter. In addition, he has requested, Derek act as a surrogate father to the child. Derek, doesn’t have good memories of Brooklyn and blames her for his best friend’s life choices as well as resents that his dreams of expanding his farm, which happents to be next door to her new home, are in the dust.

While the characters, particularly Brooklyn, have faced difficulty in their pasts, these issues are only briefly touched upon in the story. The story remains a light tale of romance, family, and community. As a result this is a very peaceful book to read, but I really would have liked to delve a little deeper on some of the big issues that were present. I also expected more conflict between Brooklyn and Derek, but aside from a few calm disagreements, they get along well. They are a well-matched pair and I liked their open communication and peaceful relationship, despite the conflict they might have had in the past. There is also no discussion between Brooklyn and Derek about her family life or her history with her first husband. Once Brooklyn and Alycia move to Thunder Creek, everything falls into place for them. There is a bit of suspense towards the end of the book as characters face dangerous situations, bringing a bit of action to this story of romance and family.

Written in third person, the chapters alternate perspective between Brooklyn, Derek, and Derek’s grandmother Ruth. I enjoyed the small, country-town setting and the collection of supportive and caring characters. Hopefully, Thunder Creek will be a setting we readers can return to in future books by Robin Lee Hatcher.

I received an ARC from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, Children's Fiction, christian fiction, Christian Romance, fiction, marriage, NetGalley, Review, romance, Thomas Nelson | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

cover104765-mediumTreasured Grace by Tracie Peterson is a historical novel set during the 1800’s. The author has done her research well and really showed the hearts of the native Americans who were feeling anger and frustration of being forced off of their land by white people who gave no thought to ask first about how they could live together and instead just swooped in and took. This all comes to a head of course in a most horrifying account of an attack on the mission in which our main character resides with her two sisters Hope and Mercy.

Treasured Grace is well-written and has good characters. My attention was captured and held throughout the book. I found it to have a good pace which made it easy to read. There is extreme violence in the book which is historically accurate, but I found it upsetting. Prayer and faith are prevalent themes throughout the book. It emphasizes how important it is to have faith that God is there for you in the bad times and the good. I give Treasured Grace 4 out of 5 stars. It is a lovely yet heartbreaking story. It does have a sweet ending once you get past the serious parts (which are sad, heartbreaking and slightly depressing). There is the requisite romance, but I did enjoy the character of Alex. Tracie Peterson did a great job with her research. Her writing brought history to life. I have read the majority of Ms. Peterson’s novels (I still have a couple in my TBR pile), and I will continue to read her stories in the future.

I received an ARC copy of this book by Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spork by Kyo Maclear

8301964Spork by Kyo Maclear is a picture book dealing with multi-race or multi-ethnic families. In this book they use cutlery to present this notion. Spork has part of his mom, a spoon, and his dad, a fork. He is never picked when someone sets the table, he never gets the bubble bath after a meal and he is shunned by both the spoons and the forks.

This story highlights that there is a place in the world for everyone. You just have to find it. Luckily for Spork, when neither the forks or spoons could handle the baby, he got the chance to show what he could do. Of course, there is a place for everyone, as evidence by the ending of this book. The illustrations are detailed but with little color. The expressions on some of the cutlery is scary at times, but Spork is quite adorable.

I think it is important to help children explore how we are all different. This story could be used in various discussions such as all families are different, bullying by omission, finding your purpose and strengths, be true to yourself.

I received this ARC from Kids Can Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, bullying, children, Children's Fiction, Children's literature, culture, Kids Can Press, NetGalley, race, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frère by Marie Letourneau

856872Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frère by Marie Letourneau is a book with wonderful illustrations. The book is set in a petit bistro in France, it is the story of a restaurant run by a family of mice. Each of the mice is unique in its own character and the illustrations depicted are both elegant and witty.

Frenzy arises when Chef Marcel, of Le Bistrot de Sept Freres, has only one hour to prepare his award winning cheese soup to be judged by the Committee for the Best cheese soup in All of France. But Chef Marcel is out of his secret ingredient! Chef Marcel quickly leaves to get his secret ingredient but doesn’t return in time for the judge, leaving his 7 brothers to create their own secret ingredient to add.

The story has aa wonderful message that teaches children that just because things do not go as planned, team work can make everything turn out better than expected.

The artwork is cute. I love the fact that the story teaches French words and has a page dedicated to pronunciation. The book teaches French words to the reader in a fun and enjoyable way. The characters are so much fun, but I especially like the hero of the story.

I received the ARC from Tanglewood via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: animals, book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, NetGalley, Review, Tanglewood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sea Otter Heroes The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman

cover107826-mediumSea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman is a nonfiction children’s book, which has an interesting story to tell. The ecosystem of California’s Elkhorn Slough showed some abnormalities. The seagrass was unusually healthy, considering the pollution that drained into the slough. As marine biologist Brent Hughes investigated, he found complex relationships among various plant and animal species in the region, including sea otters. Sea Otter Heroes emphasizes the scientific methodology involved in Hughes’s work, and thoroughly explains the connections between the biota under study. The sea otters are important players in the story, but they are not the primary focus suggested by the title.

Featuring an extremely cute sea otter on the cover, this upper elementary read documents the biologists process, describes the problem and lets the reader see for themselves the results. There’s even a “do it yourself ecosystem mini experiment” at the back of the book for budding environmentalists (involving spiders and crickets and grasshoppers). A superb example of the scientific process in action. Pages are full of captioned photographs, sidebars, charts, and graphs. Also includes tips to protect the environment, source notes, index, a glossary and bibliography, plus a list of books and website sources to find out more.

The book is not for young children as there is a lot of text and detail, but certainly middlegrade students studying ecosystems would get a lot out of this book. The photographs add so much to the book and make it easier to understand.

I received this ARC from Lerner Publishing Group and Hillbrook Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: animals, book review, books, California, children, Children's Fiction, Children's Nonfiction, ecosystem, Hillbrook Press, Lerner Publishing Group, nature, NetGalley, otters, Outdoors & Nature, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unseen: The Prince Warriors 365 Devotional by Priscilla Shirer

cover97446-mediumUnseen: The Prince Warriors 365 Devotional by Priscilla Shirer is a kid-friendly devotional that was written with the young warrior in mind. I loved the language that Shirer used to communicate her message. Unseen was encouraging, informative, and inspiring.

I work at a Christian school where we have morning worship. I read a few of the devotions to my students and they seemed to really enjoy them. It deals with a lot of the issues that teens struggle with on a daily basis the whole time encouraging them to place on the full armor of God.

I received this ARC from B&H Publishing Group (B&H Books, Holman Bibles, B&H Español, and B&H Kids) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, Christian, devotional, NetGalley, Review | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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