Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride

I always look forward to new books from Bethany House, and this book is another excellent book published by them. The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris is about a young girl named Emily Harris sent from an orphanage as a mail-order bride. While on the way to meet and marry her husband-to-be, Bart Axel, Emily is kidnapped from the stage she was traveling on. With all good intentions Luke Sullivan has kidnapped her and takes her to the orphanage where he himself grew up. Emily soon realizes exactly what kind of man Luke has rescued her from. Luke and Emily's frequent arguments and frustrations soon develop into a love neither one expected. However, the anger and greed of Bart Axel cause fear and problems beyond what even they could imagine.

Harris has written a book full of humor and romance with suspense sprinkled in. It was a fun book to read and wasn't your typical mail-order bride story. I was kept wanting to turn the next page to see what would happen next. Although I hated to come to the end of the story, it is a well-developed story and ended without being overdone. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book I received in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Catching Moondrops

I have found a new author whose books I will look forward to reading. Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent is the third book in a trilogy. Although I did not read the first two books, I did not feel "lost" while reading the third. The story is about a nineteen year old girl named Jessilyn Lassiter in the summer of 1938. We find romance for Jessilyn with a young man named Luke Talley, a friendship as close as sisters with Gemma, and a controversial doctor named Tal Pritchett. Racial prejudice is the underlying theme. Tension mounts throughout the book and hate and anger swirl around Jessilyn, Luke, her black friend, Gemma, and the young black doctor Tal Pritchett. As the Klu Klux Klan becomes active, Jessilyn has to realize that her feelings of anger and hate toward the Klan members are just as wrong as the Klan members whose hate has terrorized her family, friends, and town.

Valent tells a powerful story. She gives just a glimpse of the hate that consummed the members of the Ku Klux Klan during this point in history. As I read I felt like I was transported back in time. It was difficult to keep from being sucked into the same hate and anger that Jessilyn found herself in. However, the message of God's love and forgiveness shown through even during some of the darkest moments recorded in the story. While we can hate what the Klan did to innocent people not just in this story but to real people, Valent helps us see through the character of Jessilyn that our own hate and anger must only be directed toward the sin and not the sinner. Valent also displays the principle of "If thine enemy hunger give him bread, and if he thirst give him drink" through the characters of Gemma and Tal. There are many lessons that can be learned through the reading of this book.

I think Valent did a great job on this book. It was thought-provoking with just the right amount of romance and humor sprinkled in. I had a hard time putting it down. I received a complimentary copy of this book or ARC from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The King's Christmas List

Teaching a child to give to others when it actually costs them is often hard to do. The King's Christmas List, by Eldon Johnson, is an excellent book that teaches children how to give to Jesus in a fun, imaginative, easy to understand way. The story is about a little girl, Emma, and her dog who are invited to the King's birthday party. She selects a gift to take, but on her way to the party Emma ends up giving that gift to someone in need as well as two of her own personal belongings. After arriving at the party she discovers that she did indeed give gifts to the King by giving to others who were in need (Matthew 25:40).

My three children and I enjoyed reading this story before bedtime tonight. As the Christmas season approaches this is a book that we will read over and over. I especially like how the story ended. The last two statements challenge the reader to continue the story in their own lives. When you turn the page you are directed to a website that gives a lot of ideas on how to help people in need. A wonderful story line and beautiful illustrations makes this book a "keeper" in our house. I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World

I have three children, so I am always excited to get new children's books to read. The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews was not only a fun book to read, but taught a wonderful lesson as well. Mr. Andrews based this children's book on another book that he has written for adults titled The Butterfly Effect. In this book, The Boy Who Changed the World, Mr. Andrews tells a story about four different men whose lives are intertwined by the decisions they make. These decisions effected the lives of more than 2 billion people. Mr. Andrews also reminds his audience that God created us to make a difference. Every decision we make whether good or bad will make a difference and can change the world.

I loved this book and the lesson it taught. The illustrations by Philip Hurst are great and cover most of each page. The size and hard cover make it easy to hold without being awkward. The only problem I had was that it was too hard for my three children to follow. My 7 year old really listened and tried to understand, but it was just too hard for him to keep the different men straight. I had to go back and try to help him figure it out. My 5 year old and 2 year old just love to be read to so they enjoyed it even though they weren't able to understand. All 3 children enjoyed the illustrations. This is a book that I will just put away for a couple of years and pull back out when they are a little bit older. I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Booksneeze blogger program. All opinions are my own.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews explains how even one small movement or decision can have a huge effect. He first explains the actual "butterfly effect," and then he describes how people can have that effect as well. He begins with a man named Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Chamberlain's actions on the battlefield on July 2, 1863 changed the course of history. After explaining how this happened, the author reminds us that everything we do matters. Andy then tells about men named Norman Borlaug, Henry Wallace, George Washington Carver, and Moses Carver and how their actions impacted billions of people. Andy helps us understand how our actions can also effect billions of people.

I found this book very interesting and thought provoking. I had never heard of the "butterfly effect" before I read this book. It is definitely an interesting concept that became very easy to understand after reading The Butterfly Effect. This book is a perfect gift-giving size. Each page in the book has illustrations or background colors. It is not a long book, but the message is very clear. I really enjoyed reading it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Booksneeze blogger program for review purposes. All opinions are my own.