Friday, April 21, 2017

Welcome to College by Jonathan Morrow (Book Review!)

Welcome to College: A Christ-followers Guide for the Journey

by Jonathan Morrow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Welcome to College

Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life / Social Issues

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 416

Age Group- Young Adult (those ready for college)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $21.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4488-3

Welcome to College is filled with helpful information for those who are headed to college.  College is full of freedom, new friends, and other experiences which can affect a young adults future.  This book covers everything from A to Z dealing with life at college:

  • eating right
  • dating
  • being more like Jesus
  • how to read the Bible
  • true tolerance
  • and more

In this second edition each chapter has been updated and there is a new chapter of Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible.  There are also discussion questions, a section called “The Big Ideas” at the end of each chapter, and each chapter has a list of resources for more information.

About the Author-

Jonathan Morrow (DMin, MDiv) is the directoror cultural engagement at Impact 360 Institute.  He is also an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University.  He has written several other books and is married with three children.  His website is www.jonathanmorrow.org.

My thoughts-

I was very impressed when I opened the package and began skimming through this book.  What I first noticed was the short chapters and each chapter had a “The Big Ideas” section and “For Further Discovery” (long list of resources).  At the end of the book was a section that held the discussion questions from each chapter.  The one thing that was missing, and I thought it needed to be there, was an index.  It would be very helpful to have an index to look up topics, rather than relying on the table of contents.

As I read this book I thought of what I would think of the book as a student going to college and as a parent of one who would be going to college soon.  I thought the information was current and very helpful.  It gave me a lot to think about as a Christian and how I want to raise my children.

Welcome to College is:

  • worth the price.
  • great for small study groups at home, school, or church.
  • very full of information, so it needs to be read slowly and carefully.
  • needed in the hands of high school students, so pass it along.

I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Welcome to Collge, by Jonathan Morrow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner (Book Review)

A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression

by Susie Finkbeiner

(received in exchange for an honest review)

A Trail of Crumbs

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 312

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4446-3

It’s now 1935.  Pearl and her family have continued living in Oklahoma through the Dust Bowl.  There is a family tragedy that sends the family to Michigan where the depression has set in.  Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus are there to welcome them to Bliss.  Pearl is glad to be where there is no dust and life is better for them.  Her father will have a steady job and there will be a wonderful house for them to live in.

What sent the family to Michigan?  Why is Ray living with them?  Will their family ever be able to recover or will there be too many tragedies?

About the Author-

Susie Finkbeiner is currently from Michigan.  She is a blogger, stay-at-home mom, author, and speaker.  Her other books include My Mother’s Chronicle and A Cup of Dust.  Her website is www.susiefinkbeiner.com.

My thoughts-

I liked how this cover had a rainbow like A Cup of Dust.  It helps ties them together.  It shows the reader that the books belong together and are part of a series.  I also liked the discussion questions at the end of the book.  Discussion questions always help tie the book together and help the reader remember the book for a longer period of time.

When I started reading A Trail of Crumbs, I really thought life was going to be better for them after the tragedies of the first book and Beanie’s (Pearl’s sister) death.  I thought that the move to Michigan would bring the family peace.  It didn’t.  Pearl’s mother was unable to have peace.  She wasn’t able to make peace with the move, Beanie’s death, and the fact that Ray was still living with them.  She left.  I’m wondering now if there is a trail of crumbs that will be able to bring her back. 

I don’t think that Pearl and Ray would have been able to adjust so well to the move if Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus hadn’t been there for them.  They helped make the move to Bliss fun for them.  I liked that God wasn’t forgotten about by Pearl and everyone else.  He was always important to Pearl and Meemaw (her grandmother).  We can know that He is always there for us.

I recommend A Trail of Crumbs to all adult readers.  It would be a good idea to read A Cup of Dust first, so you’ll learn more about Pearl and her family.  If you’re unable to, you’ll still enjoy this one. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Trail of Crumbs, by Susie Finkbeiner, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow (2 Book Reviews!)

Andi Saddles Up

(Circle C Stepping Stones #1)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Andi Saddles Up

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Juvenile

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4430-2

It’s Andi’s birthday!  She is now nine and can finally ride Taffy.  She’s been waiting for three years(Taffy is three).  She wants to learn how to do some trick riding, but her brother doesn’t let her.  She makes a new friend, Sadie, and that makes it a little better.  Andi soon finds out that their families are in a boundary dispute. 

Will Andi and Sadie be able to stay friends?  What will Chad (her brother) do?  Will Andi ever be able to trick ride?

 

Andi Under the Big Top

(Circle C Stepping Stones #2)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Andi Under the Big Top

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4431-9

Andi is so excited.  The circus is coming to town!  She can’t wait to see the parade, elephants, and champion bareback rider, but not the clowns.  She meets Henry Jackson, a boy who works for the circus.  Andi thinks working for the circus would be so much fun.  She doesn’t know though that Henry ran away from home and it’s not that fun.  When she finds out, she wants to help him get back home.

Will she be able to help Henry?  Will she lose something special to her?

About the Author-

Susan K. Marlow currently lives in Washington.  She writes books, teaches writing workshops, and shares information about being a homeschooling parent.  Her website is CircleCMilestones.com.

My thoughts-

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books.  I know that these books are for younger girls, but I really get a kick out of reading about Andi.  She reminds me a little bit of Mandie, from the book series by Lois Gladys Leppard.  They both have spirit and are girls that every girl should strive to be.

I really liked the definitions at the beginning of the book.  I was glad that they were at the beginning of the book, so that the readers will know the words before they read them.  They were also words that some children may not know.  I also like the table of contents.  It’s so helpful when books have them, because if you want to go back to check something it’s easy to do.

God’s presence was always felt when reading this book, by that I mean that Andi and her family lived a Godly life.  They didn’t have to preach to others about God they simply showed it.

These books are excellent for young girls.  I’m sure that they will become classics for this generation and those to come. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top, by Susan K. Marlow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller (Book Review!)

The Elusive Miss Elison (Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace, Book 1)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Elusive Miss Ellison

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Romance

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 304

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4450-0

Miss Lavinia Ellison isn’t happy that the new Earl of Hawkesbury has arrived.  He reminds her of his brother who helped cause the death of her mother.  The villagers, primarily the mothers and daughters, are excited that he’s there.  He isn’t attached to anyone, so he is free to choose any of them.

The Earl of Hawkesbury, Nicholas, isn’t happy to be there.  He feels crushed by guilt, ancestral obligations, and the war he fought in.  He discovers that Lavinia is quite different, but they may never be able to be friends, due to their pasts.

Will they become friends?  Will he find love in the country?  Can Lavinia put the past to rest?

About the Author-

Carolyn Miller currently lives in Australia with her husband and children.  She is part of the Australasian Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Some of her other novels have won RWA and ACFW contests.  Her website is www.carolynmiller.org.

My thoughts-

The Elusive Miss Elison was well written.  I never should have started reading it at night.  I couldn’t put it down.  It was a late night for me!

I don’t always like reading books about Regency England, but I loved reading this one.  Lavinia, Nicholas, Sophia, and all of the other characters were so well developed that I felt like I was there experiencing their lives.  I especially enjoyed the dialogue and bantering between Lavinia and Nicholas.  I thought it was nice that the class difference, Lavinia is the daughter of a minister, didn’t make a difference to either of them.  It did matter to many of the other people in the village.

There were many surprises in this book, but you’ll have to read it to find out more.  You won’t be able to put it down.

There is another book in the series, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, coming in the future.  I can’t wait.  I’m sure I’ll be writing a review, so stay tuned. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Elusive Miss Ellison, by Carolyn Miller, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Under an Open Heaven by John E. Johnson (Book Review!)

Under an Open Heaven: A New Way of Live Revealed in John’s Gospel

by John E. Johnson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Under an Open Heaven

Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 264

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4408-1

Do you feel frustrated and needing more?  John E. Johnson has written this book to show us how the gospel of John relates to us today. 

Each chapter of the book is based different conversations in John and has thought provoking questions.  The end of the book has a conclusion, notes, bibliography, and section about John E. Johnson.

About the Author-

John E. Johnson is married, has two children, and currently lives in Washington and Oregon.  He has been a pastor and professor around the world.  He has a blog at www.drjohnejohnson.com.

My thoughts-

I thought this was a book that many people will enjoy and learn from.  Although the writing of this book seems disrespectful at times, it is easy to understand and it helped me delve into the book of John. 

I liked the questions at the end of each chapter.  When books have questions at the end of each chapter, I learn and remember more.  I do wish that the large group of verses mentioned at the beginning of each chapter had been in the book.  It’s easier to refer back to verses when they are in the book.

I liked the subject of each chapter.  They began “Life is About,” then continued with subjects such as:

  • Dismantling barriers
  • Being set free
  • Seeing the light
  • Living by God’s timing and purpose
  • Moving with the Spirit
  • Expanding one’s vision

I would recommend that you read this book, but remember to study your Bible and come to your own conclusions. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Under an Open Heaven: A New Way of Life Revealed in John’s Gospel, by John E. Johnson, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Courageous Love by Susan K. Marlow (Book Review!)

Courageous Love: An Andrea Carter Book (Circle C Milestones 4)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Courageous Love

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 192

Age Group- Young Adult (12+)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $9.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4370-1

Life is going well for Andrea (Andi), but things will soon change.  She is having fun riding Shasta and spending time with wrangler Riley Prescott.  She’s with Riley when they find the fence cut near her brother’s calves.  Later on a brick wrapped in a warning is thrown through the window where they are having a party, cattle begin to die, and the horse barn catches fire.  Evidence points to criminals that Justin, her brother, had prosecuted.  Now they might want revenge.

What are Andrea and her family going to do?  Will Riley be able to save her from danger?

About the Author-

Susan K. Marlow currently lives in Washington.  She writes books, teaches writing workshops, and shares information about being a homeschooling parent.  Her website is CircleCMilestones.com.

My thoughts-

As I think over the four books in the series, I notice there is a theme of trouble for the Carter family, but also peace with God and knowing life will get better.

Courage was the theme of this book.  The verse from the Bible was taken from Joshua 1:9.  It talks about courage and remember that God is always with you.  Andrea certainly needed courage when bad things kept happening to her family.  She especially needed it when she was taken by the criminals.  It was her ability to keep calm and try to figure her way out of the problems that made her a strong character and always has.

I recommend this final Andrea Carter book.  I hope you take the time to share it with young adults.  There are so many books that have been written that don’t have good values, so this one is a breath of fresh air.

P.S.  Even though it is the fourth book in the series, it is not necessary to read the other three first.  You will want to read all of the books about Andrea after reading this one.

My review of Heartbreak Trail.

My review of Thick as Thieves.

My review of The Last Ride.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Courageous Love: An Andrea Carter Book, by Susan K. Marlow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Would you like to know? Collection by Tim Dowley and illustrated by Eira Reeves (Book Review!)

Would you like to know? Collection

By Tim Dowley

Illustrated by Eira Reeves

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Would you like to know  Collection

Genre- Christian / Juvenile /

Published by- Candle Books an imprint of Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 168

Age Group- Young children (3-5)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $12.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-327-1

This is a six book collection of picture books about different aspects of Christian life:

  • the Bible
  • Easter
  • Prayer
  • God
  • Christmas
  • Jesus

for young children.  Each book has an inscription section, fun illustrations, and a note for parents.  All the books can be stored in the sturdy cardboard containers that comes with the collection.

About the Author-

Tim Dowly writes and edits a new set of resources on biblical studies and church history.

About the Illustrator-

Eira Reeves currently lives on the Isle of Wight.  She has illustrated over 85 titles over the past 30 years.

My thoughts-

This was a cute and fun collection of books about Christianity.  I really liked all of the books.  The illustrations were eye catching and the text was perfect for young children. 

The book I thought could be better was about Jesus.  I didn’t think the part about God needed to be in there.  I thought that more could be included about Jesus’s life here on earth and his teachings. 

I liked that each book has some of the same characters.  I liked seeing the cat and the girl with the blue polka dot bow. 

This collection of books will help children become more interested in learning about Christianity.  I recommend it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received the Would you like to Know Collection, by Tim Dowley and illustrated by Eira Reeves, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour. All links were current when posted. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.