Saturday, December 11, 2010


Happy Snowflakes Christmas
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Isaac Newton by Mitch Stokes

This book is part of Thomas Nelson's Christian Encounters series, a group of biographies designed to bring to light the Christian faith of historical figures.

I normally love biographies and have really appreciated the Christian Encounters series. I love getting new insight into the lives of famous people, particularly their faith. However, I was very disappointed in this one. While I would normally read a book like this in a day or two, this one took me months. It is very dry and slow going.

There is very little new insight into the life of Isaac Newton. It is predominantly about his scientific and mathematical discoveries that we all learned in high school. Only a very small portion of the book covers his personal life and there is even less about his faith. The author brings up the topic of Newton's anti-trinitarian views, but does not give it any thorough analysis. It seems like much of the book is just rehashing his correspondence with the Royal Society and other scientists of his day.

Overall, this book was disappointing, though it might be valuable for homeschool purposes.

I must mention that I did receive a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride

Sent to marry a man she does not know by the leadership of Aldersgate Home for Girls, young Emily McCarthy sets out on the stage coach for Montana.

Vigilante Luke Sullivan robs that very stage coach to reclaim the money stolen from his Pa, only to find that Emily is about to marry his archenemy, an evil man named Bart Axel. He opts to kidnap her rather than send her off to be married to Axel. Taking her to the orphanage that grew up in, Emily and Luke both start new lives in Montana. Her help proves to invaluable at the orphanage as a teacher and Luke set out to find what happened to so much of the herd that seems to have disappeared.

This fast paced story is a thrilling tale of vigilantes, cowboys, Indians, land disputes, cattle rustling, and all that made the Wild West wild. It is a page-turner that keeps you hanging onto every word until the very end.

While I did receive a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House, that in no way influenced my opinion of it.

In Every Heartbeat

By Kim Vogel Sawyer

Libby, Bennett, and Pete all grew up in the same orphanage. Now heading off to college, life is taking them in new but different directions. Faced with the challenges that all young college students face, a rift begins to form in their relationships. When Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete’s family, their relationships are really put to the test.

When I first began reading this book it felt more like junior fiction to me. I also found myself annoyed with Libby and her feminist attitude. That being said, in the end I loved the book. It’s a very good picture of the struggles we all have as young adults, and God’s grace comes shining through in Libby’s life in an amazing way.

This is a beautiful story of friendships, love, forgiveness and redemption. I would recommend for both teen and adults.

I must mention that I did receive a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.

Love's First Bloom

By Delia Parr

In this beautiful piece of historical fiction young Ruth Livingstone's life is dramatically changed when her father, a minister to fallen women, is charged with murder. Though a woman of faith, her father uses the network he has in place for rescuing women leaving a life of prostitution to send his daughter away with a small child.

Ruth humbly assumes the role of the Widow Malloy, staying in the home of one of the couples who helps rescue these women, with a rambunctious two year old to care for while waiting for her father to be acquitted.

No one knows her true identity, but a few newspaper men are determined to find her, including a man known to her as Jake Spencer.

This book is a beautiful story of a daughter's love for her father, of forgiveness, and of true faith that is evidenced in good works.


Unlocked is the beautiful story of Holden Harris, a teenage boy locked in the prison of autism and Ella Reynolds teenage drama star and daughter of a major league baseball player.
Ella and Holden had been friends as small children, before Holden began to slip away into his silent world at the age of three. As their parents’ friendship fades under the stress of Holden’s strangeness, Ella and Holden lose contact.
At the beginning of her senior year, Ella witnesses her boyfriend bullying a one of the special needs kids – one whose quirkiness frightens most. Later that same student stops outside her drama class, mesmerized by the music. As their friendship unfolds, God’s mighty power is made known in miraculous ways.
In this book, Kingsbury addresses some very tough teen issues, as well as things many adult women struggle with. From autism to bullying and suicide, these issues are dealt with thoroughly and biblically.
This book offers a rare glimpse into the world of autism.  Kingsbury offer a look inside the mind of an autistic teen with what it just might be like to be trapped inside your own mind. Though we really don’t know what it is like to be autistic, or what causes the strange behavior, reading this book will give you a much deeper understanding of people with autism.

This book is very powerfully written and I highly recommend it.
I must mention that a complimentary review copy was provided to me by Zondervan, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.

You can read a sample here.