Friday, September 25, 2015

Submarines, Secrets, and a Daring Rescue by Robert J. Skead with Robert A. Skead

Submarines, Secrets, and a Daring Rescue
by Robert J. Skead with Robert A. Skead

Step back in time to the American Revolutionary war and meet twin brothers Ambrose and John.  these two brothers find themselves thrown into various situations.  In this second book in the series, the brothers meet David Bushnell the inventor of the Turtle, an early submarine used in the Revolutionary war.  They help out with the Turtle and also work to save comrades.  This story is gears towards the preteen aged boy, and it presents bits of history to a young audience.  There is some faith demonstrated in the book, but it is definitely not a primary focus of the book. 

As I had mentioned in a previous review of book one,  the used of the word screwed is not something someone would have used as a slang word in Revolutionary America.  I wish that the authors had taken more care to write it with more historical accuracy and less with modern American language like the word screwed. 

Overall the story is interesting, and I liked the characters.  The author's keep you wondering what is going to happen, which is good.  I do think that they were a little abrupt with the ending, but it did indicate that they are planning another adventure, and I will wait to see where they are going with it.

I think that it is a good book for children to read and hopefully create an interest in American history.  I hope they won't stop with this book, but delve into it a little deeper. 

I also want to note that they have some great notes about people at the end.... a very nice addition.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. I was and am not required to write a positive review.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Princess Joy Sticker and Activity Book

Princess Joy Sticker and Activity Book
Inspired by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson
Pictures by Omar Aranda

Here is a short activity book geared towards young girls.   It's main character is Princess Joy, one of five princesses: Joy, Grace, Faith, Hope and Charity.  Throughout this book there are stickers to place, puzzles to finish and pages to color.  It is well illustrated and will definitely appeal to the young girl... especially those who love princesses.  My daughter really liked it...  she thought it was pretty, and will enjoy working through it.
There is one mention of God, and the names of the princesses are Biblically based.  I would have loved to see scripture verses sprinkled throughout the book, but alas there are none.  There are fun activities, but no real learning regarding scripture from what is being marketed by a Christian publisher.  I think some scriptures would enhance this book greatly.
Overall as a general activity book, I think it is cute, but as something that can reinforce the Word of God, it lacks....

I received this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Patriots, Redcoats and Spies by Robert J. and Robert A. Skead

Patriots, Redcoats and Spies
by Robert J. and Robert A. Skead
Zondervan Kids

Take the American Revolutionary war and throw in a set of twin brothers on a mission to take a message to George Washington, and you have a story for the tween years that is engaging.  When Lamberton Clark is shot, he has to pass on his important mission to his twin 14 year old sons, John and Ambrose.  The two take off on an adventure of a lifetime full of danger, trickery and, of course, George Washington.
I decided to read this to my 12, 10 and 8 year old children during our nightly read aloud, and we followed the journey of these two brothers.  We enjoyed the story, and we wondered what would come next.  Would the brothers actually get started?  What was going to happen regarding the horses?  What about the man who shot their dad?
We thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I had only one or two issues with it.  I can't imagine 14 year old  boys using the phrased "screw this up" during that era.  I also thought the little tidbits about the girl they both liked were unnecessary. 
Overall, I think it a good book for the age group it is directed to, although I think it could have been developed more, and maybe they will find themselves in future adventures. 

This book was provided by the publisher.  All opinions are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Price of Privelege by Jessica Dota

Price of Privilege
by Jessica Dota
Tyndale Publishers

The Price of Privilege is the third and final book in the Price of Privilege trilogy set in 19th Century England. Ms. Dota takes us into the world of Julia Elliston and her intrigued life. Julia, having escaped Mr. Macy, is still trapped by her past choices and faces the consequences of trying to escape the web she has been caught in.

This third installment is engaging and keeps you wondering what will happen next, and surprises you at the end. The characters are interesting, and I have to confess, as with the first two, I read it straight through. I couldn't quite put it down for want of knowledge of what was going to happen next.
I was hoping for a better gospel message in the book series. It didn't have to be direct preaching, but a genuine presentation with the character coming to understand the gospel as a means of change. Her purpose for changing in faith, if there was one, was quite unclear. Julia never understood her sinfulness, or Christ's payment for it. It was more of a feeling based change with no substance to support it. As a Christian book, this lack of gospel was a serious disappointment. As a secular book, I would say it was interesting, clean and a good afternoon's read.

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

NASB Note-Takers Bible Zondervan Bibles

NASB Note-Takers Bible  
Zondervan Bibles

Ahh... so you like to take notes in your Bible, but the margins just aren't enough?  Take a look at this new version of the NASB.  It is geared towards note-takers.  It has wide margins on the outer edges and bottom of the page.  The space provided provides adequate space for note-taking.   I had expected space surrounding the print on each page, so that a person could take notes next to the scripture that you are referring to, but their design makes sense for the flow of reading.  The paper of this Bible would be hold up better with a pencil for notes or a pen that doesn't bleed.  I would avoid a ball point pen with it.

This Bible has the basic information that accompanies all Bibles such as principles of translation, a basic concordance, a page listing promises from the Bible, and more.  There is no cross reference, nor any commentary, just the basics.  This is a red-letter Bible for those who like to read the spoken words of Christ in red, although we should note that since God inspired the whole of the Word, that all words hold equal importance and purpose.
Overall, I think this is a great basic Bible for note-takers.  The NASB is a great word-for-word translation as well.

|I received this Bible from the publisher.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are mine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Legend of the Candy Cane Written by Lori Walburg Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

The Legend of the Candy Cane
Written by Lori Walburg
Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey


Christmas is a wonderful time of year.  There are so many things to enjoy, and one is the candy cane.  This beautifully illustrated picture book, tells the story Jesus through the use of a  candy cane.  It is set in the late 1800's and is about a little girl who helps a local storeowner set up his new candy shop.  As they unpack the candy canes, he explains to his little helper the story behind the "j" shape and red and white colors of the candy cane as a way to share about Jesus.

I read this book with my kids, who are 8, 10 and 12.  They all enjoyed it even though they are above the age that the book is geared towards.  I really liked their simple presentation of the gospel for young children.  As I already stated, the illustrations are beautifully painted and enjoyable for children and adults alike.

I highly recommend this as a wonderful book to give to your children or grandchildren.  Read it with them every Christmas. 

I received this book from the publisher for a review, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Agents of the Apocolypse by Dr. David Jeremiah

Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times
by Dr. David Jeremiah

Dr. Jeremiah has presented a book that focuses on the main players in the book of Revelation.   The key players or events are the apostle John in exile on Patmos, the martyrs, the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, the two witnesses, the dragon, the beast from the earth, the beast from the sea,  the Victor, and the Judge.  Each one is described through a scripturally based narrative and explained afterwards through scripture.
This book is not a comprehensive study of the book of Revelation, but a highlight.  The narratives each bring forth engaging characters and interesting storylines based on the scripture subject.  Each narrative is independent of the other, with the common thread of the books subjects. 
I wasn't sure how I felt about the book at first, because I hadn't thought about the narrative aspect of it when I started to read it.  I still am a little ambivalent towards them, but I do believe that many people will like this aspect of the book.  I was glad to see exposition of the stories with scripture.  We know that that any fiction is just that, but it is nice to see good explanations  of scripture alongside the narratives.  This dual look at Revelation is a new perspective as opposed to only one or the other.
Overall, I would recommend this book, especially to those who have more difficulty understanding the book of Revelation.   If someone wanted to do an in depth study of the whole book of Revelation, this book wouldn't be it, but it has a place in supplementing an in-depth study. 

I received this book from the publisher.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All ideas are my own.