Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Story, by Eóin William Harrison

Tonight, Jonathan was telling Eóin a story but since Eóin kept interrupting with his own ideas, we let him tell his own story. I grabbed the computer and tried to dictate it as he was telling it. Next time I'll have to tape it because there are lots of actions involved (I added some where I thought it necessary :-) Enjoy.

There was a triceratops. And he was orange, and he had to get some food. He was a baby one. He was flying to get some food. I think there was another bird. It was a daddy bird. And then there was another one - it was a mommy bird. And then there was another dinosaur picking some ovals. It was like this (scratching motion). And then he saw a washing machine. It was building the foundation. There was another machine pulling dirt (like this - moving with swishing sounds). And then there was another one - a mixer pouring concrete. And then they put some walls on it.  And then they paint the house. And then there was people and then the people go inside the house. The End (book closing motion with a pretend book).

So if you couldn't tell, he is really into dinosaurs, food, and building stuff at the moment :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

Katie O'Conner has just graduated high school and has endless possibilities ahead of her. Living in the 1920's opportunities for women are opening up and Katie plans to take advantage of that. After being under her father's unbending rules, Katie has no plans to be under the same kind of husband. That is why Katie is dating the wealthy and good-looking Jack Worthington. He is besotted with her and will let her do as she pleases with enough money to fund it. Both planning to be lawyers with the same dreams and goals, they are the perfect fit. Everything is going as Katie planned.

Until Katie is forced to spend the summer working for Luke McGee, the boy who made her childhood miserable. Except he is not a boy anymore. Can they put aside their differences to work for a greater cause?  And will Katie still follow her dreams to fight for women's independence after a summer of conflict, hope, and maybe even love?

I enjoyed most of this story. I definitely wasn't expecting all the twists and turns in the plot - so that made it really interesting. I enjoyed getting to know the O'Conner family, although there was so many of them it took me a while to keep them all straight in my head. I also liked seeing into that time period. It is the first book I've read which looks into the themes of women coming into independence and being freed from the restraints of the past so it made a good fresh backdrop. My only complaint was that it seemed to focus on sensuality a little too much for my taste. I realize that as society became more freed from the strict restraints it had before, that it was more abundant but it seemed a part of nearly every character and it was a bit overboard, I thought. Besides that, I really did like the plot, characters and themes.

Thanks you to Revell for a free copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Review: Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad

Marguerite Westing feels trapped in courting Roger Gordon. He is the most boring man she has ever met, especially considering that Marguerite is anything but boring. Always looking for a new adventure or way to brake out of the norms of the confining society she lives in, Marguerite cannot stand to be chained to a man who never talks of anything but himself and expects her to listen in rapt attention, just thankful to have caught a wealthy man. But riches are not enough for her, and when her father suggests the family spend the summer camping at Lake Manawa, she is elated at the thought of escaping Roger's company and having a new adventure.

And adventure is what she finds! A new love of sailing - but how is she to accomplish learning to sail when all the rules of polite society forbid a woman out on the water? Of course, nothing is impossible for the spunky girl, but while she is hiding her secret, she finds out her family has other secrets of a much ore dangerous kind. Meanwhile, Marguerite starts to fall for her sailing instructor - the handsome and never boring Trip Andrews. But it seems like marrying Roger is the only way to save her family from ruin. Marguerite learns many lessons about secrets, lies and the danger of hiding the truth as she decides whether to follow her heart, or save her family.

This is another one of those books that you cannot judge by it's cover. I almost didn't read it because it looked a bit goofy, but I'm glad I did! This is Lorna Seilstad's first novel and I think it is a fun, exciting read. I love the spunky character in Marguerite and the funny way she thinks. I also enjoyed reading about the "camping" of the upper class - hilarious :-) A great summer read!

Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell Publishers for a free copy of this book to review!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review: Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

I have to admit that usually when I hear that someone will be preaching or writing about the book of Acts I sort of inwardly groan. And I know why. Chances are, if you are going to be talking about the book of Acts, you will have to talk about sharing your faith. I know I do not do a great job of sharing Christ with others and so, knowing I will feel guilty, I dread hearing the truth again.

This book is different. Lucado goes through the book of Acts and encourages us to follow the example of the early church, while reminding us that they were ordinary people just like me. Not only that but he tells wonderful stories of ordinary people from today who are touching the world with the choices they make every day. I don't come away feeling discouraged about my failure, but excited about what God could really do through me if I follow Christ in faith.  The topics are practical, including using your home to reach out, reaching out over cultural boundaries, unity among Christians, and so much more!

The chapters are short and include Scripture and a prayer at the end. Perfect for reading along side your normal Bible reading. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any Christian!

A HUGE thank you to Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program for a free copy of this book to review. I loved it!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Book Review: The Boy Who Changed The World by Andy Andrews

Every choice you make can make a difference.  That is the main story behind this book for children about the super seeds that fed over 2 million people all because of some young boys who made good choices. The story follows 4 boys as they grow up and all end up having a part in feeding the hungry of the world.  Norman wanted to help hungry people as he looked at all the corn on his family farm, Henry wanted to use his knowledge of plants to help others, George had a kind heart that he used to help his friends, and Moses reached out and saved a little boy in need of help. All of their lives touched each other by the choices that they made, and eventually they changed the world!

I love the idea of this story and the pictures are fabulous. I will only say that it is a little confusing to go backwards each time. I even had a bit of a hard time connecting the people - I had to look back and see where they fit in. I read it to my three year old son and he seemed to enjoy it but by the last story, he was losing interest. I think that as we read it over again though in the future, he will be able to connect the dots. I think it just takes more than one read for younger kids. For older kids, though, it would make sense and they would learn a lot. A great way to talk to your child about the choices he makes every day.

Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson Publishers (through their BookSneeze program) for a free copy of this book to review.