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1. Update For Late 2012

I will not be posting new reviews on this blog.
I do not plan to close this blog as it holds six years of book reviews. At this point I'll leave it open for storage.
I've had many new opportunities for reviewing books in 2012 with publicity groups, or publishers, or authors, that have contacted me. These reviews have been posted on my other 2 blogs. I've also had opportunities to take part in creative writing projects.
I will still continue, when I'm offered a chance, to review children or young adult books, the reviews will not be on this blog. These reviews will be placed on my other 2 blogs.
I have 2 blogs I actively review on: A Well-Watered Garden (Christian fiction and non-fiction of all genres and ages), Impressions In Ink (All other type books).
This blog is where it all began for me in early 2007. I've come along ways from the new kid on the blog block. I'm thankful for everyone who has encouraged me, given me opportunities for growth, commented, quietly read my posts, and those blogger friends I've met.

Thank you,
Annette K.
aka Miss Daisy Anne

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2. Book Review: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg, illustrations by Matthew Cordell

I love the title of this book. The mental image of a pickle juice soaked cookie turns my stomach and puckers my lips. Yuck!

Eleanor is eight years old and her beloved babysitter Bibi is moving away to Florida. Bibi is having a horrible day! She can't believe Bibi is moving away. What will she do? Everything reminds her of Bibi. Her parents try and console Eleanor, but the fact is Bibi is gone.

This is a coming of age story. Eleanor is only eight years old, but this is a pivotal moment in her life. The person she's counted on the most has moved away and Eleanor must learn and new way, a new life without Bibi.

I loved this story.
I want to be Eleanor's friend, and bake cookies with her.....without pickle juice.

It is an endearing story.
It is a story a child can relate to (because we all have to say goodbye to someone.)
She is a normal kid, not over the top in any way, just a normal kid (like most of us.)

Published by Abrams Books 2011
128 pages
For ages 8-10
A Texas Bluebonnet Book 2012/2013

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Hardcover $11.15

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3. Book Review: Togo by Robert J. Blake

As a Siberian Husky pup Togo was not thought to be a good sled dog by Leonard Seppala. Leonard thought him to be "too small, too independent and too wild for his team." Togo would become apart of an important team of dogs that were needed for more than just a race. A Diphtheria antitoxin was needed for an epidemic in Nome. Seppala and his team would need to work harder than they've ever worked, time was their enemy.

I loved this story!
This is the true story of a courageous and resilient dog named Togo.
I enjoy reading stories of areas of our world where I'm not as familiar with. In this way I view the world outside of my "little box" and understand other cultures, peoples, geography, and beliefs.
Togo is an inspiring read. An animal story of a dog that is intelligent, wise, and has the perseverance that some humans do not have.
I feel that children would love this story, it really spoke to my heart. 

Published by Philomel Books in 2002, A Division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
48 pages
For ages 6-9

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Hardcover $13.42

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4. Book Review: The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy, Illustrated by Henri Sorensen

When Nazi Germany during World War II invaded Denmark. King Christian X defied the order to fly the Nazi flag. This was resistance against a frightening and powerful Germany. King Christian X was the rallying point for his country. He was a wise and brave king.

I'd never heard this story before. I'd heard little about the country of Denmark during World War II.
It made me wonder if more of the European nations had stood up to Hitler and Nazi Germany, what difference it could have made? 
This is a book where more teaching would be needed to the child, explaining about World War II, Holocaust.
It is a large hardcover book.
Every page has watercolor drawings of Danish people on the street, business people, shop owners, children, and animals. There are also war images---this would definitely spark discussion.
At the end of the book is further explanation about Denmark and its stand they took for the Jew's. 

Link @ publisher:
Published 2000 by Peachtree Publishers
32 pages
For ages 8-12

Link for book at Amazon:
Hardcover $12.37

1 Comments on Book Review: The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy, Illustrated by Henri Sorensen, last added: 8/3/2012
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5. Book Review: i'm not a baby! words and pictures by Jill McElmurry

Leo Leotardi is the youngest child in the Leotardi family. Everyone calls him baby. The Nanny calls him baby. His parents call him baby. Siblings Lulu and Lila call him baby. Leo constantly reminds them that he is, "not a baby!" It does not seem to do any good, they don't listen. Will they ever listen?

This is a fun book to read. At each retort from Leo that "he is not a baby!" My grandchildren just thought it was so funny and they laughed and laughed. After I finished reading it, my grandchildren said, "Nana read it again!"
The story is comical, endearing, relatable (I'm the youngest of my siblings.)
Good memories of reading to my grandchildren. 

Published by Random House Children's Books 2006
32 pages
Ages 4-8

Link for book @ Barnes and Nobles:
Hardcover $13.49

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6. Book Review: Grandma's Wedding Album by Harriet Ziefert, Paintings by Karla Gudeon

While playing in their grandparent's attic a brother and sister discover wedding clothes. They dress in the new found treasures and show their grandmother how they look. This gives the grandmother an opportunity to tell the story of her and their grandfather's courtship, and then wedding day.

Special moments when young children are able to be still and attentive, gives any grandmother an opportunity to build a new memory.

I've learned that those memories from my childhood of sitting near my grandparents, parents, and or other family members; and listening to their stories of childhood, or early courtship, or working years, or other life stories are so precious to me. I wish I remembered more. I wished I'd written some of them down.
Taking time for our children or grandchildren, talking to them, telling them stories from our own life, is more important than a new toy, or in taking them somewhere. Children will remember how we made them feel when we focused on them, and listened to them, and shared from our hearts. It is a heritage that will be passed down to the next generation.

This is a great book.
It may be more attractive to a girl, but don't let the book pass by an opportunity for a child of either gender to enjoy sitting nearby and being read to.

Published by Blue Apple Books 2011
40 pages
For ages 5-8

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Hardcover $14.32

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7. Book Review: Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom! by Kelly DiPucchio and Illustrated by Guy Francis

Mrs. McBloom is a bit messy. Her classroom through fifty years of teaching has progressively become a clutter of collections. With her "bee-hive" silver hair and thick glasses, she's had on her to-do list to clean-up her classroom. She's had the strong encouragement of other people, she just never got around to it. How can her students help Mrs. McBloom clean-up her classroom before she retires?

Cute book!
My granddaughter picked out this book recently at the library. She read it aloud to me and giggled often through out the story.
I loved the busy and detailed illustrations.
I loved the positive message of community.

Published by Hyperion Books For Children 2005
Hardcover Library Edition
For ages 5-8
32 pages

Website for book and author:

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8. Book Review: Colonial America, An Interactive History Adventure by Allison Lassieur

This is the 3rd You Choose book I've read and I have been impressed with all of them. They give both freedom and entertainment to a child by being able to make different choices. I will add not all choices end-well.
Three people, one for each chapter, are hoping to leave England in hope of a better life in America. I was glad a woman was included in a chapter.
Indentured servant was a common way for people to be able to afford to come to America. The person whether male or female would sign a contract promising they would work for a period of time in exchange for a free passage. Indentured servant was before slavery. A slave would not be able to earn their freedom, an indentured servant eventually would work till their passage was paid for and then be released. 
The time period of history in this book was from early 1600's until American Revolution. The Colonial period was from 1607 until "the colonists won the Revolution in 1783."
Included is geographical information on each of the three colonies. For example on the rocky coast and forested areas of New England: timber, fish and fur was the industry for people.
The French and Indian War, American Revolution, French and British held lands, taxation, are all taught in brief.
This book should be considered an introduction for a young child in Colonial American history.

Published in 2011 by Capstone Press
Link @ publisher:
Reading Level 3-4
This is a You Choose Book, An Interactive Ability to choose different outcomes.

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Paperback $6.25

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9. July 4, Independence Day 2012

I'll be taking the next several days off for holiday. We have family coming to visit. Hoping your holiday will be safe and happy!

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10. Book Review: The Little Gentleman by Philippa Pearce and drawings by Tom Pohrt

Mr. Franklin has fallen off his ladder and has a cast. His neighbor Mrs. Allum and her granddaughter Bet come to help him with domestic duties. Mr. Franklin asks Bet to go and sit on a log near the river and read aloud from a book about Earthworms by Charles Darwin. This unusual request by Mr. Franklin and even more unusual and miraculous events come to pass. Young Bet becomes friends with a mole!
The mole tells his lengthy adventurous story to Bet. She tries to understand his mammal life, and he tries to understand her humanity.
The mole asks pleadingly for Bet to help him, in the process she will learn the full meaning of the word friend.

A talking mole is quite original. Most animal stories seem to be mice, rats, bears, dogs, cats; but a  mole? I liked it.
Bet is an unpretentious young girl. She is neither referred to as a beauty nor anything else, the focus is on her character of personality. I was so happy to read a book where character meant more than outward appearance.

There are a few drawings in the book, I consider them snippets that add to the story. There is great attention to fine details.

I really liked this book and enjoyed reading it!

Published by Greenwillow Books, a division of Harper Collins in 2004
For Ages 8 and Up
200 Pages

Link @ B&N:

Link @ Amazon:

Both books must be bought through other sellers.

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11. Memorial Day 2012

1 Comments on Memorial Day 2012, last added: 5/26/2012
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12. Book Review: Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Sam Hopkins is the 16 year old son of a preacher. He and his family live in small town Sawnee, New York. Sam is actually a pretty good kid. He definitely has a positive outlook and sense of humor. Living in a small town every one knows every bodies business, especially if your the son of a preacher. There are expectations to be met, and a reputation to maintain. While out running he has an encounter with 3 boys of dubious reputation. Sam is strongly coerced by them to engage in criminal behavior. Sam's conscience bothers him, yet he is fearful. Meanwhile, Sam has a classmate named Jennifer. Jennifer is eccentric. Odd. Seemingly demented. She sees monsters------creepy crawly things that bug out everywhere, literally. She hears demonic voices telling her grievous fearful plans of what they are going to do. Sam wonders if Jennifer's statement of these demonic plans are her imagination albeit hallucination, or if maybe they are prophetic.

I loved this story! What a wild ride it took me on!
Sam is such a likable kid, I was drawn in to his predicament because I cared what happened to him. He also has a knack for being able to get out of tight jams.
Jennifer was unlike any book character I've encountered. At first meeting, I felt she was a poor distorted young girl. Yet, as the book progressed I was given these enticing tid-bits of her quirky personality that were so mesmerizing.
Not much information is given about Sam's family other than his dad. His dad seems to be this placid fellow, yet he too had a engaging transformation. I wish he'd had more scenes in the story.
The book is a definite page turner. I read the book in a little more than a day.
I would like to read more about Sam Hopkins escapades, maybe there will be a book 2?

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review!

Published by Thomas Nelson May 1, 2012
336 pages
Young Adult Fiction/Mystery/Suspense/Mental Illness/Prophecies

Andrew Klavan was hailed by Stephen King as "the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich." He is the recipient of two Edgar Awards and the author of such bestsellers as True Crime and Don't Say a Word.

His books and screenplays have been turned into films directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Michael Douglas, Ed Burns, Michael Caine among others.

Hometown: Santa Barbara, California Books Sold to Date: over 1.5 million. For more about Andrew and his books for young adults, visit him at the Adventure Page on Facebook.

Link @ Litfuse Publicity Group for Book Tour:

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13. Book Review: Westward Expansion, An Interactive History Adventure by Allison Lassieur

This is a wonderful visually appealing book.
The beginning pages define the term "manifest destiny." Americans wanted to inhabit "all" of the land of America. They felt it was their "given right" to do so. It did not matter that Native Americans had lived in this land for thousands of years. From the mid 1800's onward---first in a trickle of people moving westward, later in masses, eventually inhabiting all of the west. The Native American's were removed forcibly from their "sacred" hunting grounds and put on land that no one else wanted.
This book tells 4 themes, but with the ability for the reader to choose the "trail" so to speak with a different outcome for each choice. Not all choices end well and a sensitive child might be startled.
I loved this book! I thought it was a different way of telling history, giving the reader a choice in how to view the era of westward expansion.
The book is a mix of illustrations and photographs.
The type-face is bold.
Clear instructions are given about the choices and order of pages to view.
I highly recommend this book to parents, teachers and home-schooling mom's!

Published by Capstone Press 2008
112 pages
Historical Fiction/Pioneer/Native American/ Railroad/Cowboy
Young Adult Fiction

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Paperback 6.25

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14. Book Review: If You, Traveled West in a Covered Wagon by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Elroy Freem

Traveled West in a Covered Wagon answers 31 questions that make up 31 chapters in this book.
Examples of questions are: What was the Oregon Territory? What was a wagon train? How far would you travel in a day? What kinds of clothes did people wear?
Each answer is explained fully with illustrations to match the subject.
As an adult reviewer there were many things I did not know about traveling west in a covered wagon. For example how they crossed a river, or how far they traveled in a day.
There is a nostalgia sometimes about the past, especially the time period of pioneer's, cowboy's, and mountain men. Yet, by reading about these people we come to understand that they were hardy, bold, adventurous folk; yet they were not without faults or troubles.
One of my favorite subjects to read about is the Old West and this book satisfied even me!

Published by Scholastic 1992
80 pages
For ages 7 and up
Non-fiction/Old West/19th Century/Pioneer

Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $6.99

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Paperback $6.29

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15. Book Review: God Helps Me Bible by Juliet David and illustrated by Clare Caddy

The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is truly kid friendly, especially for the young child.
1. The book is not quite 7 inches tall and less than 5 inches wide. This size makes it easy to hold and carry.
2. The front and back cover is thick and sturdy.
3. The inner pages are heavy.
4. A hidden spiral holds the pages together. This also helps to make it easy to turn the pages. It also helps to hold the book open to lay flat.
5. In addition, the water-color pictures are on every other page for visual stimulation.
There is a table of contents showing 27 included stories.
Starting in the Old Testament is the story of "Noah and His Great Ark." The Bible concludes with "How Paul Got Out of Jail."
A Bible reference is given for each story.
The water-color pictures are descriptive and vibrant. They include small animals, families together working, facial expressions, and standing alone they represent well the written story.
The printing of the stories is large type-font, as well as bold print.
The Bible stories are brief, yet explain well the message.

In every way I really liked this book, except for 1 major problem.
There is no story of Jesus' crucifixion or resurrection.The stories go from the story of Zacchaeus to a story about Paul and then the book ends.
To me there can be no Bible, no Good news, without the story of Jesus' redeeming work on the cross and His resurrection------Even young children are taught this in Bible class.

Thank you to Lion Hudson, Kregel for my free review copy!

Kregel Blog Tour runs April 30 through May 4, 2012

Published by Candle Books/Lion Hudson, a distributor of Kregel Publications March 2012
104 pages
For young children 3 +

Hardcover $9.99
Book will be available in US mid May 2012

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16. World Book Night 2012

I took part this year in World Book Night. It was held last Monday the 23rd. I was able to pick up my box of 20 books from a local Barnes and Nobles. The manager at Barnes and Nobles was really great about his added duties in this huge task! Inside my box were 20 young adult fiction books by a well-known author. Included were book marks, a lapel pin, sticker, information about the book, and a thank you note from the World Book Night organization. Barnes and Nobles happily printed out an additional information sheet about this book.
For  more information about this organization.
In the beginning I thought I would hand out these books at a nearby elementary school. About one week before World Book Night I met my neighbor that lives right behind my house, Judy is an at-risk school teacher in the Arlington Texas School District. I was so excited! Over-joyed! I had met the right gal! And a better plan was in the works!
She and I both handed out the books to her students. Her age students are middle schoolers and they are a better age for this fiction book.

I plan to take part next year in this (I can't say enough wonderful things about) project!

Thank you to World Book Night!

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17. Book Review: National Geographic Readers: Titanic

The name alone, National Geographic sells a book or magazine. Their reputation for photographs and educational information exults even a non-reader.

Recently while at a local Barnes and Nobles I was pleased to find several choices in books for young readers about the Titanic. They are located on an end-cap aisle in the children's area. After looking through all the choices available I chose this one. Why? Because it's National Geographic and I know it will be everything I'd expect it to be.

This book has less reading than the previous book on the Titanic I'd just reviewed. The emphasis is on photographs. Many I'd not seen before. The lay-out of the pages are magazine style. It is professionally created with the intent of mesmerizing and educating children (without the child even knowing it.) The photographs are of both the ship before setting sail and after being found in 1985. What I found of most interest is of the artifacts both on the bottom of the ocean floor and those that have been recovered.

This is an outstanding children's book on the Titanic and I highly recommend it to young readers, or those of any age.

Published by National Geographic Children's Books March 27, 2012
For ages 6 and up
48 pages

Paperback $3.79

Paperback $3.99

2 Comments on Book Review: National Geographic Readers: Titanic, last added: 4/18/2012
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18. Book Review: The Titanic Lost...And Found by Judy Donnelly, illustrated by Keith Kohler

This book is a Step-into-Reading, Step 4

Published by Random House 1987
48 pages
For ages 7 and up

Paperback $3.99

Paperback $3.99
Kindle $3.99

My 8 year old granddaughter Celeste and I watched a Discovery documentary on the Titanic. Since then Celeste has been very interested in knowing more about the history of the Titanic. I made a trip to a local Barnes and Nobles and bought her 2 books: The Titanic Lost...And Found by Judy Donnelly and
National Geographic Readers: Titanic.

The Titanic Lost...And Found, is a great starting point for interest in the Titanic ship and disaster. It gives basic information about how the ship looked, added is a great view of the insides of the ship---another words the picture shows a split image opening up the rooms and compartments for full viewing.
The Titanic is compared to be the length of an 11 story building, or 4 city blocks.
The book teaches of the differences in socio-economic status of the people on board the Titanic.
Immigrants traveled in the bottom decks, while the wealthy traveled in the top decks. More survivors were from the upper decks.  
Included is the night of April 14, 1912 when the ship struck an iceberg. A little over 2 hours later the Titanic sank in the early morning of April 15. 
The author states how many people had been on board, and how many people that the lifeboats could hold.
It was the Carpathia ship that picked up the survivors.
After the Titanic disaster, new laws were passed to ensure safety on ocean liners.

I thought this was a very interesting book. Celeste also enjoyed reading it.
The book was educational, held the attention of both Celeste and I, and the illustrations were an added gem.

For more information Online:

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19. Book Review: The Name of The Star, Shades of London Book One by Maureen Johnson

It is difficult to find a book in young adult fiction that is not enhanced by a theme of ghosts, vampires, werewolves, special sensory talents, or sorcery. These themes seem to be the tantalizing bite (no pun intended) that lures readers in to young adult fiction. I'm not as swept up in this, may I call it a faze, as other readers are. When I was a teen, Stephen King, was well, king of the horror books and movies. I read a few of his books, until I was scared silly. Now, I gravitate toward history and biographies, and The Name Of The Star grabbed my attention as it has a Jack the Ripper theme. When I was in London in the fall of 2001 I took part in a Jack the Ripper walking tour, it was quite interesting. I love history, especially British history. I'd waited a while for this book to be available for me to check out from the library, I instead bought a copy.
The story is centered on Aurora or Rory. The time period is our current era. Rory is 17, and has recently moved from Louisiana to London to spend her last year of high school in a boarding school named Wexford. Wexford is located in the east end of London, near the areas where Jack the Ripper during the 1800's brutally and savagely murdered women. Rory is a chatty girl, easy to like, comical, bright, brave, and wise. She is quick to make friends with her room mate. She settles in to a change in the structured environment at boarding school, as well as academic classes she takes, and a dreaded physical education class. The day she arrived in London was the day the first modern day London copy-cat murder took place. A murder uncannily reminiscent of Jack the Ripper murder's.

This is a well-written book. I can understand why I'd heard good things about it. I enjoyed reading it, it was an absorbing read, hard to put down. The characters are easy to relate to, they are realistic in that we see both good and bad sides of their persona. There is light-hardheartedness in that the seriousness of the story is off-set by Rory's comical trait. Rory is an admirable character. She does not have a defiant behavior; but is rather grounded and serious about her grades and current life choices. Her parents are minimal and way in the back-drop of this story. The focus is on Rory and the gradual revealing of how she too will become involved in the copy-cat murders.

Link @ Amazon:
Hardcover $11.55
Kindle $10.99

I bought my copy at Target, hardcover for $10.98

Link @ publisher:

Published by Putnam Juvenile September 2011
384 pages
For ages 12 and up/Young Adult Fiction

Blissful Reading!

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20. Book Review: Freedom Series Book 1, Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day--January 11, 2012

Abolition: the act or process of abolishing or being abolished.
Abolitionist: one who favors the abolition of a practice or institution, esp. of capital punishment or slavery.
Slave: a person who is the legal property of another or others and is bound to absolute obedience; a human chattel. A drudge; a person working very hard. A helpless victim of some dominating influence.
Slavery, bondage, captivity, servitude, imprisonment, confinement, duress, oppression, repression, subjugation, domination, yoke, restraint, fetters, shackles, chains, bonds, irons.
Definitions from Oxford Pocket American Dictionary of Current English
and The Synonym Finder J. I. Rodale

UNICEF "reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years." Quote from Lisa L. Thompson's testimony, for further reading read link below for Human Trafficking.
See also link for UNICEF further figures:

Links for more information:
There are four available downloads of testimonies. I downloaded, printed, and read Lisa L. Thompson's testimony.
"Fight for the freedom of innocent children who have been subjected to the chains of bondage through prostitution, abuse, and trafficking." From Breaking Chains Website 

Published by New Hope Publishers 2011
320 pages
Christian Fiction

Link @ Christian Book:
Paperback $10.99

Author links:

Kathi Macias has written a brave, sobering, frightening story of child sex trafficking in America.
It is rare for me to read a book and feel so uncomfortable that I had a hard time keeping my seat. I often had to take a break and walk around the room, or house, or even leave my house in order to digest what I'd just read. This is a book that when the reader finishes the last page there can no longer be naivety or apathy; but instead propelled, to be an abolisher, and an abolitionist, and an advocate, for the safety of children!

Mara is a teenage girl living in the San Diego, California area. Mara was born in Mexico, and when she was a young girl her father sold her to be a slave in the sex trade. Mara, her name means bitter. A name that reflects her

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21. Book Review: Special Delivery, Freedom Series Book #2 by Kathi Macias

Author Kathi Macias

Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?

The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follows the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.

This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?

As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.

With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?

I’ve known I wante

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22. Book Review: Simon And The Easter Miracle, A Traditional Tale For Easter by Mary Joslin and Illustrated by Anna Luraschi

The story of Simon And The Easter Miracle is actually the embroidered story of Simon the man who was asked to carry Jesus' cross. See real story Luke 23:26.

I must first state that this hardcover book has lovely watercolor illustrations from the front cover to the back cover. I enjoyed seeing some of the same familiar animals on more than one page: such as the frisky cat, long nosed puppy, and yellow beaked bird. Each page has much to view, the pictures alone can bring about discussion while reading the book to small children.
This is a book geared for young children. I understand that at a 5 year olds age telling the Easter story is different, than telling an Easter story to a 11 year old, or a 15 year old.
As a child grows older more detail is given.
My 8 year old granddaughter and 6 year old grandson do not understand fully the word peace, at least not as they will at an older age.
Peace to them is something or someone that is friendly and calm, loving and docile.
Real peace as we are taught in the New Testament, is only made possible by Jesus. Because of His shed blood on the cross we are no longer an enemy to God. We are made in a right-standing, we are at peace with Him.
I understand what the author was trying to present in her book. I do believe an additional page should have been added. After the page about the place of crucifixion. I believe a brief and simple explanation, as to why Jesus died on the cross, and why we have "real" and "true" peace. That even when we have a "no good very bad day." We can have peace inside our hearts no matter how old we are.
I believe the use of a dove is a starting point, but not the end all for this book.
Easter is not just the previous day of crucifixion, but the risen Christ Jesus that conquered death.
Another emphasis in the book is on kindness, this too is important. But kindness should always come from the well-spring of a heart focused on Christ Jesus.
The last page is unclear to me, maybe a riddle? Maybe, because Simon was kind he was materially blessed?
Blessings are not always material. The choice of blessing is up to the Lord. And not for us to propose.

Published by Lion Hudson 2012
Hardcover/32 pages
For ages 5 and up

Link for book @ publisher:
http://www.lionhudson.com/detail.php?product_id=3666049Included is a reading sample

Thank you to Lion Hudson and Kregel Publications Book Tour for my free review copy!

Link @ Christian Book:

Blissful Reading!

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23. Book Review: Behind Rebel Lines, The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit

Recently I shopped at Barnes and Nobles. Browsing through the children's area I came across several great historical books. Behind Rebel Lines is the first book I've read and am reviewing from this shopping trip. Soon I'll be reviewing other history books on westward expansion, traveling in a covered wagon, Colonial America, and the Titanic.
It has been nearly 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. I noticed at Barnes and Nobles they have several choices in books for young readers. I may make a trip back to browse more from this subject.

Sarah Emma Edmonds had left Canada at a young age and relocated to Michigan where she worked as a farm hand. She was physically hardy, independent, brave, bold. When the Civil War began she enlisted in the Union Army as a man, her new identity was Franklin Thompson. Thankfully she was able to work as a nurse, which meant she was able to have more privacy in her living quarters, "instead of a crowded company tent.".
Later she interviewed for and got a job as a spy. Several times she crossed Rebel enemy lines disguised as a black slave man or woman. She also disguised herself as an Irish peddler woman. She made 11 spying missions for the Union. She was apparently a talented actor and master disguiser.

I loved reading this book! It is a story I'd not heard before. I learned that there were over 400 women during the Civil War that disguised themselves as men in order to fight in the war.
Emma Edmonds was a gutsy woman. She certainly had no qualms about rebelling against society and culture standards for her day. She made a decisive and brave choice to fight for her country.
Her personality was such that she was not an impulsive dreamy person. She was instead intelligent, perceptive, wise.

For more information about Sarah Emma Edmonds:

Published by Harcourt August 1, 2001
Young Adult Non-Fiction/Civil War/Spy/Biography
144 pages

This book to me would be for ages 9 and up. 

I bought my copy at the Barnes and Nobles store:
Paperback $6.25

Link @ Barnes and Nobles for more Great Episode Books:
Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $6.95

Blissful Reading!

1 Comments on Book Review: Behind Rebel Lines, The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit, last added: 3/27/2012
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24. Book Review: Left For Dead, A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Pete Nelson with a preface by Hunter Scott

Recently I reviewed another book about the story of the USS Indianapolis.
Link for review:
In this review I shared that I have a dear friend whose first husband did not survive the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. His name was Charles Roberts. They'd been married less than a year when he perished. She was a widow at age 18. She does not know if he perished on the ship or in the ocean. She does not want to know. In reading a book where I have a personal connection to it, made it more tangible, and certainly emotionally gripping.

During the summer of 1996, Hunter Scott, age 11, watched the movie Jaws. One of the characters Captain Quint told a story about surviving after his ship the USS Indianapolis was sunk. He'd shared his ordeal of surviving shark attacks. With this in mind Hunter Scott decided to use this subject as his history fair project for school, the story of the USS Indianapolis. His project turned in to a history making project. It changed the course of history for himself, for the men who survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, for the families of all Sailors and Marines who were assigned to the USS Indianapolis, and it changed the course of history for the Indianapolis' Captain. Hunter began by trying to find out as much information as possible at his local library, but little was available. Through an ad in a military newspaper he was able to contact survivors of the Indianapolis. His first contact person was a man living in Alabama, Maurice Glenn Bell. Hunter contacted over 100 men, hearing from some. Some of these men were willing to share their story, photographs, caps, and other memorabilia. Hunter ended up with a large collection of artifacts and saved material memories from the Indianapolis' survivors. What started as a history fair project turned in to a goal of exonerating Captain Charles Butler McVay, a career Navy Officer who was wrongly court marshaled. The Navy had been at fault, yet used and misused McVay as a gross outlet for their mistakes. 

For a recap of the story of the USS Indianapolis:
During the summer of 1945 the USS Indianapolis CA-35 (a heavy cruiser) was chosen to carry "Little Boy" from San Francisco, California, to the island of Tinian, in the Pacific. Afterwards the Indianapolis was to practice or train near the island of Leyte. The Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine early on July 30. Many men survived the ships sinking by jumping in to the deep waters of the Pacific, but it would be the shark infested waters that would take the lives of many more. The surviving men were rescued on August 2 and 3.
"Of the 1,197 crew members aboard the Indianapolis when she sailed for Leyte, 317 men survived."

This book goes in to detail about what happens to a human body while in the salty ocean. It breaks it down how the body reacts to the inability to have drinking water and what happens if we drink salty ocean water. There is a section in the book on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We are also told what being in the sun day after day with the reflection of the water will do to the body, especially the eyes. The book also shares with us survivor stories in their own words.
This is a must have book for any middle school or high school library, for three reasons.
1. It is the story of men who gave their life for our f

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25. Book Review: Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Hattie at age 16 is an orphan living in Iowa with a distant relative. The year is 1917 and America is at war with Germany. Hattie's dear friend Charlie is at war. Throughout Hattie Big Sky she and Charlie write letters to each other. Hattie's letters are full of her current daily life and the hope of his safe return. Shortly after the book begins she receives an unexpected and surprising letter. Her uncle has died and left her a home-stead claim in Montana. If she agrees to take over his claim and continue to make improvements over the course of 1 year, she may keep the land. Hattie gladly accepts the terms of agreement on her deceased uncle's claim. She travels by train to Wolf Point, Montana and is greeted by a family that will be her closest and heartiest neighbor. The book describes her daily duties of a back-breaking hard life, of trying to make a desolate claim a profitable farm. Hattie is a gutsy, independent, brave gal. She has a positive outlook, teachable, humble, and has a sense of humor.
She and her house mate, a mouser cat named Mr. Whiskers make a go of this laborious goal.

I loved this story and really wished it could go on and on, sorta like Little House on the Prairie.
Hattie is a genuine and likable character. A gal that anyone would be proud to call a friend.
Her story is inspiring, engaging, uplifting, and gives the reader a sound sense of what it is like to live with the bare basics in a remote shanty in the middle of no-where. Also, giving the reader the ability to understand the Pioneer spirit; that feisty independent brave and just a bit crazy gusto, to head west and conquer something!

This book was a 2007 Newbery Honor Award

Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books 2006
304 pages/For ages 12 and up

Authors website:
The book has a website:

Link @ Amazon:
Library Binding $13.42
Paperback $6.99
Kindle $6.99

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