Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: Submarines, Secrets, & a Daring Rescue by Robert J. Skead

For Submarines, Secrets, and a Daring Rescue by Robert J. Skead, the title says it all.  This book is the wildly impossible but wildly fun adventures of twins Ambrose and John Clark during the Revolutionary War.  They pilot the world's first submarine, The Turtle, to sink a British warship; carry secret messages to George Washington; and help execute a daring rescue.  The action packed into this little book is amazingly wonderful!

Despite its unbelievability, I enjoyed reading this book.  I think it's just about perfect for boys (and girls) who love a great adventure story.  Children don't care if everything in a book is realistic, and honestly, neither do (most) adults.  I got this book specifically for my seven year old, but he isn't quite ready for this chapter book; however, my nine year old devoured it and asked for the first one in the series which I plan to get for her.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the history it contains.  The people in it were real heroes of the Revolutionary War, and the Turtle was a real submarine.  Along with the story, children will learn some history, too.  Win/win!  And best of all, the twins and their family are Christians and look to God for protection when they are in dangerous places.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: the Prince Who was Just Himself by Silke Schnee

When the queen decides that she wants another child, the king isn't so sure.  But as he spends time with his two sons, he decides that children are a blessing and that he agrees with his wife.  When the third son is born, everyone notices that he is not like the other two.  He moves at a slower pace, as if he intends to enjoy life instead of racing through it.  But when the evil Scarface shows up, Prince Noah is the one who rescues the kingdom through his kindness.

This sweet story about a child with Down's syndrome pulled at my heart strings.  Everyone I know with a child with Down's Syndrome says what a blessing their child is, a blessing they would never wish away.  I think this book does a great job showing how special these children are, even though they are a little different.

I want to thank Plough Publishing for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Reviews: Two Children's Books

With Princess Charity Sticker and Activity Book,  the title explains exactly what this book contains.  There are different puzzles and games on each page along with two full pages of stickers.  There is, also, a short, sweet story about Charity and her pony.

As soon as I handed this book to my younger two daughters (three and five), they loved this book.  The younger one enjoyed the coloring and stickers.  The older one was able to do most of the games, although she wasn't ready for the word search since she's not reading yet.  (My oldest daughter, who is nine, loves word searches, so she did it.)  I especially appreciated that this activity book is Christian-based, teaching girls character qualities.

The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks tells the story of Hope, a chicken who lives in the woods and doesn't have a nest.  When she lays an egg, she has to carry it around with her which gets very tiring. One day, she find a henhouse and discovers a pair of chickens who have been trying to lay an egg in their nest but haven't been able to.  Hope decides to give her egg away to the Rainbows because she knows they can give her egg (and future chick) a better home than she can.

This story seems like a neat way to talk to children about adoption, explaining it in terms that they can understand.  It explains why a woman might give up her child and why another family would adopt him.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copies of these books, but my opinions are my own.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sarah Beth's "Catch of the Day"

John took Sarah Beth out Saturday in their kayaks, and she caught this huge, beautiful red fish.  They would have had a good time without catching anything, but this beauty was the icing on the cake, so to speak.  When they got home, John cleaned the fish, then he fried it for supper.  Yum!  We hope they continue to go out and have fun -- and bring home supper!  Just look at that face; doesn't she look proud of herself!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Reading

I read more than usual this month.  Being tired and not feeling well, it's been nice to "lose" myself in the pages of a book.  Most of the books I read this month were good ones with one notable exception.  I just couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what happened.  Here are the books I read in July:
  • Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.  This book is a collection of short stories which I read as a child.  I enjoyed them more, I think, reading them as an adult.  This book counted as my book from Asia for our library's summer reading.
  • Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson.  Two people with violent pasts come together, overcoming what was done to them.  You can read my full review here.
  • Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson.  A great book about using your time wisely for the Lord, you can read my full review here.
  • Using John Saxon's Math Books by Art Reed.  Since we use Saxon Math books, I figured I should read this, especially when one of my good friends offered to lend it to me.  It was a quick read and very enlightening about how to use these books for the most benefit to my children.
  • Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson.  This strange book was my read from South America.  A Spanish Venezuelan runs away into the jungle in the early 1900's and falls in love with a native who is unlike any others.  Apparently, her tribe was destroyed earlier.  Things end tragically for the two.
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.  A man is sent to a distant planet as a missionary to the natives there, leaving his wife behind.  I read this book based on its being World Magazine's fiction book of the year, but this book was awful.  The premise was a good one, but the author ruined it.  I only finished it to find out what happened to this man's marriage -- and it ended inconclusively.  
  • Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy.  A woman in the late 1800's is chosen to investigate the murder of a leading citizen, having to deal with opposition from people not wanting a woman to do this.  You can read my full review here.
  • The Core by Leigh Bortins.  This book was written by the founder of Classical Conversations, and I read it so that I could get an even better understanding of this homeschool program.  It was full of wonderful information about classical schooling and how to implement it at home as simply as possible.  
What have you been reading lately?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy

In Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy, Mary Handley wants to work for the police.  Unfortunately, in the late 1800's, this option isn't a viable one for women.  Out of the blue, however, Mary gets her chance to investigate the murder of one of New York's leading citizens, although the "powers-that-be" plan to use her as a scapegoat, if things don't work out.  But of course, she solves the crime and catches the murderer, showing that women can be policemen, too.

I did enjoy this book, even though it has some feminist propaganda in it, because it's a fun story.  Levy brings in all kinds of famous people who lived in New York at the time:  J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse.  Even Mary Handley was a real person!  I've read a biography of Tesla, and Levy seems to have portrayed him accurately, so I can only assume that he did the same with the other figures.

Mary has to work hard to overcome her limitations as a woman to fit in with the all-men's police department, but she does it without too much bitterness.  The story is fast-paced and exciting, although at times the language is a little much, almost like the author is going for a shock value -- which maybe he is.

Like I said, I enjoyed this book, but I may or may not read any more works by this author.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Review: Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson

In Your Sacred Yes:  Trading Life-Draining Obligations for Freedom, Passion, and Joy, Susie Larson shows how to take advantage of God's gift of rest while evaluating the obligations we choose to see if they are God's best for us.  Sometimes we think being busy, busy, and getting as much done as we possibly can is the best thing to do.  But Larson shows that that is not how God wants us to live.  He wants us to choose the best things that He has to offer and to take time to rest so that we can be more productive at what He has called us to do.

I enjoyed this book as it does encourage us to slow down and rest, to choose the best things instead of things that are just "good."  While I don't have the problem right now with over-scheduling myself, I do see this as a problem and this book could help many women to slow down and actually get more done while getting the rest their Heavenly Father knows they need.

I want to thank Bethany House for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.