Tag Archives: children’s fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child

8 Sep

While I have always been a voracious reader, my tastes have always run towards mysteries. Nancy Drew was my first book heroine, and I soon moved on to all things Agatha Christie. I visited the library frequently, both public and school, and was gifted books for every occasion. Yet somehow I missed reading all the standard children’s classics. So today’s Top 10 Tuesday post is all about missed opportunities ūüėČ . My daughter didn’t like to read as a child, so I missed some vicarious reading. Her brothers made up for it, but Poulson and Dahl were their favorites. I have another chance though — my first grandchild ( a girl) will have all the books!

What books do you wish you had read as a child?

Find out more bloggers’ lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.



Top Books I Wish I Had Read As A Child


Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Eleven-year-old Anne Shirley has never known a real home. Since her parents’ deaths, she’s bounced around to foster homes and orphanages. When she is sent by mistake to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she wants to stay forever. But Anne is not the sturdy boy Matthew and Marilla were expecting.
She’s a mischievous, talkative redheaded girl with a fierce temper, who tumbles into one scrape after another. Anne is not like anybody else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special, a girl with an enormous imagination. All she’s ever wanted is to belong somewhere. And the longer she stays at Green Gables, the harder it is for anyone to imagine life without her.

The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis

Four adventurous siblings ‚ÄĒ Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie ‚ÄĒ step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.

Little House on The Prairie series (this book is actually #3 in the series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and genorosity are all the riches she truly needs?


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ten year old Mary Lennox, a spoiled and pompous child from a wealthy family, is suddenly turned on end when her parents die. She is sent to live with her wealthy Uncle in his isolated house in Yorkshire, England. Her spoiled nature and aggression again take form in her new home, but soon a servant informs her of a private, walled-in garden with the entrance’s key missing. The mysterious and cordoned garden intrigues young Mary as much as the mysterious cries that echo the hallways during the night.


Book Review: Daisy’s Search for Freedom

24 Dec

It’s the 1850s and Daisy, a slave girl from Alabama, is thrilled when her Mama is brought to her plantation to be the new cook. Six Oaks Plantation has been Daisy’s home for years, and the future looks bright now that she and her Mama have been reunited. The happiness doesn’t last, though, when a dangerous encounter with a notorious slave hunter endangers Daisy’s life. She has no choice but to run. Leaving behind everything she has ever known, Daisy strikes out alone on the Underground Railroad.

Daisy’s search for freedom leads her deep into the woods. Along the way she is joined by Simon, a four-year-old boy and his pet kitten. Pursued by dogs, uncertainty, and a slave tracker determined to capture them by any means necessary, Daisy starts to wonder if she will ever be safe again. Does Jesus care about runaway slaves lost in the woods?

Daisy’s Search for Freedom contains thought-provoking discussion questions for young readers.

Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.

My Impressions:

Thoughtfully-written, Daisy’s Search for Freedom by Bertha Schwartz is a wonderful book for children in grades 3-6. Set in the American South of the 1850s it features a young slave girl and her journey towards freedom. Daisy is a great character who will capture your child’s imagination. Smart, resourceful, and grounded in her faith, the young teen is determined to make her way North. I loved that Daisy is concerned for her fellow slaves and relies on God in times of fear and danger. There is plenty of suspense to keep readers engaged as Daisy eludes slave hunters. Surprises and twists are plentiful as well; some right up until the end. Along with great historical detail and a challenging vocabulary, a very thorough discussion guide for each chapter makes this book an excellent choice for a homeschool curriculum.

Daisy’s Search for Freedom is the first book in Schwartz’s Searchers series which focuses on a variety of topics in American history. And while I am well beyond the target audience ūüėČ , I would love to read more from this author.


Audience: children grades 3-6.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to JustRead for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Spirit of America series

22 Nov


The Spirit of America series is the brainchild of MaryTherese Grabowksi. She and illustrator, Michelle Graham-Fricks, have created a series for elementary-aged children that focuses on the history of America and the democratic process. Here are a few words from main character, America Johnson:

Hello Patriots!

I’m America Johnson and I am so glad you came to visit- let’s take a patriotic adventure together! Along the way my big brother Sam, my BFF Elisa, my BDF (best dude friend) Ben and of course my sassy dog Liberty will be part of the fun.

We all know READING ROCKS!! We want you to read along and learn things at an earlier age to  prepare for that high school civics class. For example: Do YOU know the official address of The White House? What do you know about our first president? Why should anyone vote? These questions and many more are answered in this series of 25 books to date. 

 How about we have fun too? Learning should never be boring and trust me, you will laugh and learn on our patriotic adventures!

You can learn more about this series at spiritofamericabooks.com.


MaryTherese Grabowski is an award winning former TV journalist. Her years of covering the military, government and politics helped keep civics top of mind for this admitted Air Force brat. Her love of patriotism and talent as an emcee afforded her the opportunity to entertain our troops overseas for 15 years in the Operation Seasons Greetings morale tours. “MT” was the 2009 Spirit of Bob Hope Award nominee for the United States Air Force Reserve.

Patriotism is deep rooted in her soul. The notion to write the “Spirit of America” patriotic children’s book series came about when she asked her young niece, “Can you tell me who makes up The President’s Cabinet?” The response was “Why do I care who makes his furniture?” So, although humorous Grabowski realized we are missing kids at an earlier age teaching them the basics of civics which they are usually taught in tenth grade and that is two years before these students are eligible to vote.

Grabowski and her illustrator Michelle Graham-Fricks are making this a “movement” to educate students earlier on the basics. “If you can take historical events and information and present them through creative story telling you just might hook these kids.”

Grabowski’s main character America Johnson takes young readers on patriotic adventures that are fun and educational. Each book has a quiz at the end helping young patriots to not only be more prepared for that civics class down the road, it gives new birth to patriotic pride that seems to have been lost lately.

Grabowski is available for books signings, readings, speaking engagements and as an emcee.

MaryTherese lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband Bob.

Contact “MT” at:¬†soabookseries@gmail.com

Check out her Author’s Page on Amazon!

Michelle Graham-Fricks is an eccentric, passionate, magical thinker, and artist that has a diverse background. Another unique quality she possesses is that she remembers distinctly what it is like to be a kid. She was a military kid, but not a typical one. She was taught patriotism and serving others early in life by her father, who is a Vietnam Veteran and further served through the Air National Guard and her mother who was, and still is, a talented homemaker.

She is the oldest of three sisters, so there was always a lot going on in their house. This did not stop Michelle from finding time to sit in her favorite persimmon tree so she could imagine and draw. Then in Kindergarten she heard many, many stories and listened to fairy tales on small records with the turn-along books. She admired the lovely art in those books so much, and loved when the teacher would turn the book to show the illustrations to the class. Then, the teacher had the students write and illustrate their own books, and the drawings would no longer be called drawings but no illustrations!

Years later, in high school, she would do art for¬†many competitions, in every medium, her favorite being bombastic color drawings, however.¬†Then it¬†happened!¬† Her art mentor told her something very prophetic.¬†He said, “One day, you will be illustrating¬†for children, because your heart is so young.¬†If you don‚Äôt, it would be a shame.”¬†What a wise sage.

Michelle lives in Bayside, Texas with her husband Trey and their seven children.

Michelle is available for speaking engagements, artistic presentations, and career day visits.

You can reach her at: soabookseries2@gmail.com


Liberty on The Loose in The White House

Have YOU ever lost YOUR dog before? What is the strangest place you had to look for your dog? If there were ever an adventure to go down in history it should be the day America Johnson lost her dog in The White House! Liberty on the loose in The White House is a fun filled story of Liberty, a sassy Scottie, who just had to break her leash and dash into The White House to check things out. America and her family were excited to be touring The White House on their vacation but now they have to find their dog before they get into trouble. Searching for Liberty was an education for America and her family about the most famous home in The United States and who lives there. Who knew a little pooch could cause so much commotion and laughter at the same time!

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

In the first book of the series, the Johnson family travels from Middle Georgia to Washington, D. C. to visit historic sites, including the White House. Along for the ride is Liberty, an adventure-loving explorer, who doesn’t hesitate to get up close and personal with off-limits areas. This fun story introduces kids to the home of America’s Presidents. At the end is a quiz to reinforce the facts your child will learn from the story.

Your Vote Counts!

When you are a kid, voting for macaroni and cheese for dinner is just as big a deal as an adult voting for President of The United States! In both cases you want your voice to be heard. Why is it important to vote? In Your Vote Counts America, Johnson learns the hard way that some kids don’t understand why they should speak up. Her dream of running for student council at school turns into an explanation to students about using their voice, making a choice and voting. Believe it or not, sometimes adults don’t understand it either. Ironically, there is a presidential election at the same time as America’s school elections. This helps her Dad explain the similarities in voting and responsibilities. This patriotic adventure will take you through the importance of voting. Even as a kid you get to make decisions. As adults you will be making hundreds of decisions big and small every day. It’s never too early to learn about the importance of voting . . . otherwise you might get something besides macaroni and cheese!

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

In the second book in the Spirit of America series, Your Vote Counts, America Johnson is running for Student Council. When she finds her fellow students think their vote won’t count, she enlists a teacher to help show that every vote or decision makes a difference. In this book the concepts of voting, democracy, and a republic are simply explained, along with easily understood examples of the importance of voting. Again, at the end of the book, are questions to remind kids of what they have learned.

America by George!

Oh the dreaded history report. How many times have YOU struggled to give a report on someone from U.S. history because your teacher said to make it interesting and memorable? The first President of the United States has never been portrayed as he is in America By George! When America Johnson had a homework assignment to give a memorable report on our first president she thought “I know just what to do to get my class to always remember George Washington!” Some false teeth, a wig and a rap set the stage for this fun filled history lesson. (Yes, you read it correctly – ¬†there is a rap in this story!).¬†America By George! will not only help you remember important facts about our first Prez, it may just have you fine tuning your musical skills for other homework assignments.

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

America by George! is the third book in the Spirit of America series. America Johnson is eager to share with her history class about the first president of the United States. With a bit of creativity, America tells George Washington’s story in a way that will make it easy for your child to remember facts from his life. Questions at the end of the book reinforce what the story shared.

All the Spirit of America books are fun ways to engage you kids in the history of America and our democratic processes. Currently, there are 5 books in the series, including a patriotic take on Clement Moore’s famous poem entitled The Night Before Christmas in America.


Audience: elementary aged children.

(Thanks to the author for complimentary copies of these books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Book Review: A Forest, A Flood, And An Unlikely Star

23 Oct

Follow along with thirteen-year-old Kusiima in the third book of J.A. Myhre’s The Rwendigo Tales.

Just thirteen years old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima’s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where?

With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship?

Readers of all ages won’t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships.

J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.

Find out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.

My Impressions:

I first became acquainted with J. A. Myhre’s writing when I read the first book in the Rwendigo Tales, A Chameleon, A Boy, And A Quest. I loved, loved, loved that book and gave it a highly recommended rating. So of course I jumped on the chance to review the third book in the series, A Forest, A Flood, And An Unlikely Star. This book takes place in the same fictional area of Africa and involves another child in an adventure. But this book has a decidedly darker atmosphere. It is billed as a novel for children in grades 3-7, and I would agree that is the reading level. But due to some of the harder topics explored, I would suggest parents preview the book for younger children. It is an intriguing and riveting read, and I rate it highly recommended.

Kamiisa is a thirteen year old boy whose world has undergone upheaval in the past year. His mother has died, his baby sister is seriously ill, and he lives a day-to-day existence working for pennies to support his family. His grandmother loves him, but she struggles with providing the basics of shelter and food. It is a bleak existence for a boy who loves to read and learn. Because of his circumstances, Kamiisa has learned to nurture hatred in his heart — especially hatred for his absent father. God seems far off and uninterested or uncaring of what befalls him. But a couple of unlikely characters, a baby gorilla and a donkey, bring a spark of hope to his life.

Myhre is a doctor and missionary in East Africa. She first told her stories to her 4 children. I am glad that she wrote her stories down and developed them to share with other children — children who know nothing about the hardships of poverty, disease, political strife, and the struggle to survive one day at a time. Although A Forest, A Flood, And An Unlikely Star takes place is a fictional African nation, the book reflects the realities of living in Africa. Kamiisa is an endearing character. As the story progresses, his emotional and spiritual growth progresses. What was a life of despair becomes a life of hope and promise. The spiritual thread that is developed is subtle but strong, and is a great starting point for discussions about God’s care and provision. Tough issues are explored in a matter-of-fact way — showing that for the people of Africa they are a way of life.

I would not hesitate to recommend this book to families with elementary and middle school-aged children, but as stated above, I would suggest that parents check it out first. Parents know what their kids are ready for.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: children ages 9+ and adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and New Growth Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Say Goodbye to The Grand Duchess of Greed

18 Oct

Join Bibleman and His Team as They Take on the Grand Duchess of Greed! 

“It’s MY money, and you can’t tell me what to do with it!” Uh-oh, sounds like somebody is having second thoughts about paying their pledge to the Youth Group Fundraiser ‚ÄĒ and Lila is a member of the group! That sparkling Greed-dust must have something to do with it. Bible story: Elijah & the Widow. Key verses: Matthew 6:1-4

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

Teaching your child about the value of generosity can be a daunting task in a world that is filled with the temptations of pretty stuff. B&H Kids have made it a bit easier with a Bibleman Adventure, Say Goodbye to The Grand Duchess of Greed. In this book suitable for elementary school-aged kids, Bibleman and the Bibleteam uncover a plot to turn generous kids into greedy kids. The Grand Duchess of Greed is disguised as a friendly little old lady, but her real desire is to tempt and deceive. Main character Lila learns her lesson with help from Bibleman, and so will your child! This easy to understand story can be used during family reading time or to develop your child’s reading skills. At the end, Bible verses are shared to explore what God says about being generous. Questions focus on developing the concepts shared in the story and scripture.

Both fun and instructive, Say Goodbye to The Grand Duchess of Greed is a recommended read!


Audience: school-aged children.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Book Giveaway! — Caleb’s Awesome Adventure

5 Dec

Thanks to author Bonnie Mae (Debbie Telfer), I have 2 copies of the children’s chapter book, Caleb’s Awesome Adventure, to give away! Just leave a comment to enter. The giveaway runs through December 11, just in time for Christmas. (Please note: this giveaway is open to US residents only.)

61v86rark-l-_sx351_bo1204203200_Caleb can’t wait to spend a few days with his sister Zali at his great grandparents farm. There’s always plenty to explore and so much fun to be had. What will he get up to with his cherished Pa? Caleb’s Awesome Adventure takes you on a journey to the wonders of farm life which children who live in towns and cities may never experience. This book will resonate with a generation that sees family values and togetherness as an essential ingredient in the nurturing of young children. Caleb through this childhood adventure learns to appreciate his own needs as well as family values.

My Review


Bonnie Mae is the pen name of Debbie Telfer, an author from Queensland, Australia. Caleb’s Awesome Adventure is her debut juvenile novel.

1618478_10203107033295178_971712447_nIn her own words: I have never looked at myself as anything really other than a Mum, a wife and a business partner with my husband. After losing a little grandaughter at birth 4 years ago, I went on a life changing journey where God met me and relieved me of the pain in my heart that I was carrying. I learnt to see through that pain and draw close to him and to pour out my heart to him. In doing so I was able to find another person that had been hidden. The new me has done things that I never dreamt of and doesn‚Äôt go and hide from a challenge. The challenge thrown at me was ‚ÄúCould I write a children‚Äôs book teaching them what I had learnt‚ÄĚ. I laughed at that person. As I sat down one day at my computer, words formed in my head, so I typed them. They kept coming, and Caleb‚Äôs Awesome Adventure was born. Had you told me 4 years ago I would write a book I would not have believed you.

Book Review: The Case of The Jewel Covered Cat Statues

29 Jan

Cover-JewelCoveredCatStatues-e1419057311844-252x363Buckley and Bogey, Cat Detectives, find their next big case with the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency to be their most complicated ever! It all starts when someone hides a mysterious package in their Mom‚Äôs antique store ‚Äď in the middle of the night! Of course, the boys find it, and put it in a nice, safe place, until they can open it . . . and, find the rightful owner. But that‚Äôs when a whole bunch of suspicious people show up in St. Gertrude, and every single one of them seems to be after that package! Holy Catnip! Plus, everything happens just when a priceless, jeweled statue collection goes on display at the St. Gertrude Museum. Missing from that collection are two jewel covered cat statues that disappeared almost a hundred and fifty years ago.

But soon Buckley and Bogey wonder how long those statues will stay missing. Because this is one case that really keeps them on their paws! From a trip to the Museum, and to an old church for the Blessing of the Animals; and from dinosaurs to diamonds, they end up dodging shady suspects the whole time. It sure helps to have their friends with them, especially when the bad guys make a beeline for boys. That‚Äôs because it becomes very clear, very quick ‚ÄĒ the priceless cat statues aren‚Äôt the only cats those crooks are after! Holy Mackerel!


CVincent-280Cindy Vincent was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She holds an M.A.Ed, and is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper books, the Daisy Diamond Detective book series, and the Cats are Part of His Kingdom, Too: 33 Daily Devotions to Understanding God’s Love. She lives with her husband and the real, live Buckley and Bogey, who run surveillance on her house each and every night.


My Impressions:

Cats and mysteries just seem to go together. There are lots of adult mystery series featuring amateur detectives and their faithful feline sidekicks. And for the younger set, Cindy Vincent has created a series in which the cats are the sleuths. The Case of The Jewel Covered Cat Statues is the third installment of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper series. In this standalone novel, Buckley and Bogey are on the trail of missing statues. Along the way the cats enlist the help of other furry friends in their quest to solve the case and protect their family.

Cat loving children will get a kick out of this story narrated by young Buckley. A rookie at detecting, Buckley and the older and wiser Bogey use team work and modern technology to direct events. The humans suspect something is going on with these cats, but who really believes that cats can use a computer, let alone investigate mysterious goings on.

I liked the emphasis on friendship and family in Vincent’s novel. The cats are all shelter animals that have found loving forever families. And they are grateful and willing to watch over their humans. A light and warm-hearted read, pick this one up for the child in your life who loves books and cats. He or she will be delighted by Buckley and Bogey.

Audience: children ages 8-12.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: Liesl’s Ocean Rescue

3 Dec

Liesls's Ocean RescueLisel’s Ocean Rescue by noted children’s author Barbara Krasner, recounts the story of Liesl Joseph, a 10-year-old girl aboard the ill-fated MS St. Louis. On May 13, 1939, together with her parents and 900 other Jewish refugees they left Germany on the MS. St Louis attempting to seek temporary asylum in Cuba.

Book Trailer


Barbara KrasnerBarbara Krasner is a historian and professor of creative writing. She publishes the popular blog, The Whole Megillah: The Writer’s Resource for Jewish-Themed Story. She runs workshops and conferences for Jewish writers at the Highlights Foundation and in conjunction with the Association of Jewish Libraries. Barbara has a B.A. in German from Douglass College, an M.B.A. in Marketing from the Rutgers Business School and an M.F.A. in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a candidate for the M.A. in Applied Historical Studies at William Paterson University.


Avi, illustratorIllustrator Avi Katz was born in Philadelphia where he studied in the Schechter and Akiba schools as well as the Fleischer Art Memorial. After three years at U.C. Berkeley he moved to Israel at age 20, where he graduated in Fine Arts from the Bezalel Art Academy. He was the staff artist of the Jerusalem Report Magazine from its first issue in 1990 until 2012, and is active in the international Cartooning for Peace program. He has illustrated over 160 books in Israel and the U.S. including the National Jewish Book Award winning JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible. His books have also won the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Honors four times and Israel’s Ze’ev Prize six times. His art has been exhibited in Israel, America and Europe.


My Impressions:

Liesl’s Ocean Rescue exposes elementary school children to a subject not often covered in a school’s history lessons — the advent of the Nazi regime’s persecution of the Jewish people and the struggle for them to find sanctuary outside of Germany. The story, based on the real-life experiences of Liesl Joseph and her family, begins on Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. The destruction of that night and the terror of the Jewish people is told from the perspective of a young child who little comprehends the implications of the Nazi laws and the arrest of her father. Krasner does a good job of expressing the confusion and fear that Liesl faced. But hope of rescue and safety are never left out of the story. The phrase “everything will be all right” is continually repeated. The family’s escape on the MS St Louis is an adventure for Liesl, but the gravity of the situation, no country to welcome the passengers, is never far from the reader’s mind.

The message of hope is important in Liesl’s Ocean Rescue as is the¬†warning to never forget. The illustrations reinforce the culture of the era. A good book to share with your child or classroom, it should open further conversation on the evil of the world and our responsibility to confront it.


Audience: children ages 8-12.

(Thanks to Gihon River Press and iRead Book Tours for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Book Review: A Christmas Kindness

3 Dec

A-Christmas-Kindness-cover-front-PROMO-print-quality-193x300Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?



UnknownC.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. She is a member of SCBWI. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married.


My Impressions:

Are you looking for a book to help your children learn the true meaning of Christmas? Then consider C. C. Gevry’s book A Christmas Kindness. The story features young Robert, a child on his way to see Santa. While standing in line, Robert meets another boy his age with very different wants for Christmas. It is through this encounter that Roberts’ views on giving and receiving change.

A Christmas Kindness is a chapter book suitable for children in grades 2-4. It can be used to challenge your children’s reading skills as well as a family read along. Either way, it is sure to initiate discussion on what Christmas is all about.


(Thanks to the author for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)



Book Review: Catie’s Secret

13 Nov

HiResCover.jpgCatie-Small-e1380604414500Catie Caterpillar looks different from any bug Herbie and Bella have ever seen. When Herbie makes fun of Catie, Mayor Benny shows him why he should not judge anyone by how they look. In the end, Catie reveals a secret and the bunnies learn the joy of forgiveness.

Catie’s Secret is the second book in Laura Allen Nonemaker’s children’s series, God’s Secret Garden Adventures. Like the previous book, Benny’s Angel, Catie’s Secret invites young readers to join an exciting adventure while it teaches a valuable lesson.

LNonemaker-189Laura Allen Nonemaker began writing as a child in Bermuda when a favorite teacher had one of her essays published in a local newspaper. She is a contributing writer for Kentucky Monthly Magazine and her first children’s book, Benny’s Angel, was published in 2011. She is on the planning team for Artful Missions, which produces juried art shows and donates most of the proceeds to ministries that help women and children escape human trafficking. When Laura is not dreaming up her next God’s Garden adventure, she enjoys spending time with her large family.

My Impressions:

Looking for a colorfully illustrated and cleverly written book for a new reader? Then consider Catie’s Secret by Laura Allen Nonemaker. Your child or grandchild will learn along with Bennie Bunny the secret that lies within all of God’s creation — beauty, uniqueness and worth based upon the Creator Himself. Included are some fun facts and discussion questions to help dig a little deeper into what God wants for us.


Great For Family Read-Alongs

To buy a copy of Catie’s Secret, click on the image below.

To read other reviews, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a review copy. All opinions are mine alone.)


Catie’s Secret is the second book in Laura Allen Nonemaker’s children’s series, God’s Secret Garden Adventures. Like the previous book, Benny’s Angel, Catie’s Secret invites young readers to join an exciting adventure while it teaches a valuable lesson.

Laura is celebrating¬†Catie‚Äôs Secret¬†with a great giveaway. Enter to win Catie‚Äôs Kindle ‚ÄúKid Pack‚ÄĚ Giveaway.

One winner will a Kindle ‚ÄúKid Pack‚ÄĚ (items shown below):

  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Butterfly Pavilion Hatching Kit
  • A Butterfly Pattern Carryall Bag
  • A Butterfly Suncatcher Kit
  • A¬†Benny‚Äôs Angel¬†T-Shirt (small)
  • Catie‚Äôs Secret¬†and¬†Benny‚Äôs Angel¬†with free E-Live audio downloads by Laura Nonemaker

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 23rd. Winner will be announced November 25th at Laura’s blog.