Tag Archives: juvenile fiction

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: Imagine . . . The Great Flood

7 Aug

The ocean swirled around the boy and pulled him down with unrelenting power. Heavy water churned and tugged at his flailing body like unseen hands yanking him into the watery depths. The fight was finally over. Even though he’d tried to stand up to the enemy, the waves were about to swallow him whole.

The last thing ten-year-old Corey remembers (before the world as he knew it disappeared) was the searing pain in his head after falling while chasing his dog Molly into the woods. What happens next can’t be explained as Corey wakes up and finds himself face-to-face with not one but two lions! 
Join Corey and experience the excitement . . . the wound . . . the adventure . . . as the epic story of Noah’s ark comes to life.
Imagine. . .The Great Flood is the first release in an exciting, brand-new epic adventure series for kids ages 8 to 12 written by schoolteacher and missionary, Matt Koceich. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today’s kids as they ponder what it would be like to live through a monumental biblical event.

Matt Koceich (born August 20, 1968) is the author of The Sending and a public school teacher. He is currently working on The Breaking, Book 2 in the Soul Kingdom trilogy.

Matt lives in Mansfield, TX with his wife and their four children.

My Impressions:

Fast-paced action and adventure is what you get with Matt Koceich’s book for kids, Imagine . . . The Great Flood. The first book in the Imagine series, this novel takes main character Corey from his suburban neighborhood to the site of Noah’s Ark and the ensuing flood. This imaginative book gets your child thinking about the familiar Bible story by putting them right in the middle of the action.

Ten year-old Corey is disappointed that his family will soon be moving from Texas to Florida. Faced with leaving all he finds familiar, he is feeling a bit sorry for himself. Then an accident plunges him into another world. Waking up in the time of Noah, Corey sees for himself the events leading up to the flood.

I found Imagine . . . The Great Flood an interesting read for kids. Koceich takes the basic facts of the Flood account and adds his own twist. Corey not only interacts with Noah and his sons, but some of the lesser known people alive at this time — the Nephilim. His fictional account of the well-known Bible story made me go back to the Bible to check out what God’s word had to say about it all. That’s a good thing. It gets the reader to investigate on their own. This book isn’t really time travel, but more of a dream. But in it, Corey discovers truths about God — the fact that He never changes, is in complete control, and has a plan and a purpose for our lives. The end of the book finds Corey and his family settled into their new home and community. The things he learned in his dream are reinforced in his new life.

I think 8-12 year-old readers, especially boys, will like this chapter book. It is a great step towards getting them to think about God and dig deeper into His word.


Audience: children ages 8-12.

To purchase, click HERE.

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



Book Review: Caleb’s Awesome Adventure

28 Jul

61v86raRK-L._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_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.



1618478_10203107033295178_971712447_nBonnie Mae is the pen name of Debbie Telfer, an author from Queensland, Australia. Caleb’s Awesome Adventure is her debut juvenile novel. In 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’t go and hide from a challenge. The challenge thrown at me was “Could I write a children’s book teaching them what I had learnt”. 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’s Awesome Adventure was born. Had you told me 4 years ago I would write a book I would not have believed you.

My Impressions:

Caleb’s Awesome Adventure follows Caleb and his sister Zali on a trip to their great-grandparents’ farm in Australia. Suitable for children ages 8-12, this debut novel by Bonnie Mae reinforces the importance of family, especially multi-generational relationships. Simple illustrations reinforce the narrative as Caleb and Zali learn about life in the country.

There is much to like about Caleb’s Awesome Adventure — interesting characters, a look at life in the country as well as a look back into the history of Caleb’s family and Australia. The two children learn about farming, preserving, homemaking and chores as they develop strong relationships with their great-grandparents and grandfather. The adults in the book are careful to teach the children about values, choices, and consequences. Because of the emphasis on parenting, this book would be good for family story times.

I have one caveat to share about Caleb’s Awesome Adventure. At the end of the book Caleb’s grandfather talks with him about Caleb’s gift of visions. While this is biblical, I think parents should be aware of its inclusion and be ready for questions from their kids.

All in all Caleb’s Awesome Adventure is an interesting look at life in another country as well as a portrayal of positive family life.


Audience: children ages 8-12.

To purchase this book, click HERE

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


Book Review: Patriots, Redcoats And Spies

3 Apr

748410When Revolutionary War Patriot Lamberton Clark is shot by British soldiers while on a mission for the Continental Army, he has only two hopes of getting the secret message he’s carrying to General George Washington: his 14-year-old twin boys John and Ambrose. Upon discovering that their father is a spy in the Culper Spy Ring, the boys accept their mission without a clue about what they may be up against. They set off from Connecticut to New Jersey to find General Washington, but the road to the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army is full of obstacles; including the man who shot their father who is hot on their trail.



robfullphotoAbout Author Robert J. Skead (from his website):

Fascinated by the creative process and all things inspirational, I love to craft stories and help others achieve their dreams. Nothing great happens alone—it takes a team and lots of encouragement (and hard work) for awesome things to happen.

In addition to writing, I run a basketball league for 320 kids in my area, coach my kids’ sports teams, and enjoy learning new things. In fact, each book I’ve written is the result of something in life that captured my attention and I decided to learn more about it or that I knew about—like Christmas elves and football-playing turkeys.


My Impressions:

If you are looking to encourage boys ages 10-14 to read, then you need to check out Patriots, Redcoats and Spies by Robert J. Skead. Filled with adventure, suspense and historical detail, this book follows twin brothers, Ambrose and John, on a mission critical to the success of the American patriots during the Revolutionary War. I think this book would be especially helpful to homeschool families.

Ambrose and John Clark are identical in looks, but nothing alike in temperament. John is quiet and cautious and Ambrose is boisterous and impetuous. But both boys want to help their father get a secret letter to General Washington. As they dodge Redcoats and borrow horses to achieve their goal, they draw closer and mature.

Skead uses information about the real Culper spy ring to create a story sure to appeal to boys (and girls for that matter). He also includes information on the history behind the novel, as well as historical figures and a glossary of sites and terms introduced in the book. Discussion questions also allow your child to go a little deeper in their own thoughts on being a patriot. When they finish the book, they will certainly want more, and they are in luck! There is a second book featuring the Clark twins — Submarines, Secrets And A Daring Rescue. So check this one out!


Audience: children ages 10-14.

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

To purchase this book, click HERE.

Book Review: Andi Under Pressure

30 Dec

737025Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology. From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal. Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good.

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

My Impressions:

I love a mystery. My first experience with mystery novels was, of course, Nancy Drew. I loved becoming part of a team uncovering clues to solve a case. For a new generation, Amanda Flower has created Andi Boggs and her case-solving adventures. In book 2 in the series, Andi Under Pressure, the young sleuth and her partner, Colin Carter, look into the mishaps at a summer science camp. The slightly nerdy duo are tenacious in their quest for answers.

Andi Under Pressure is perfect for girls. The heroine is a math and science whiz finding her way in a new town and family. Andi’s parents were killed in a plane crash, and she and her sister must now make a home with her aunt. Readers will have a lot to think about besides the mystery — what makes a family and what is important in our closest relationships. The pitfalls of being the new kid are explored as well.

So if you are looking for a book to please the mystery-loving child in your life, be sure to check out Andi Under Pressure.


Audience: kids ages 8-12.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: Escape through The Wilderness

29 Oct

9781632682017medSixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “Last Chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.


Gary RodriguezGary Rodriguez is president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development and conflict resolution. He is the author of the new adventure novel Escape through the Wilderness scheduled for release in June 2014.

His first book Purpose-Centered Public Speaking was an instant hit and recently republished by Tate Publishing.

His extensive resume includes eighteen years as an executive in the radio business where he spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting. He was twice nominated as medium market manager of the year by the Bobby Poe report, a national media publication.

For over thirty-five years, Gary has spoken in public both nationally and internationally. Gary’s resume includes a season in the U.S. Army where he was highly decorated as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. He was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in Viet Nam.


My Impressions:

Escape through The Wilderness is an adventure novel suitable for middle school readers. Its main characters, 4 teenagers at an Adventure camp, are challenged by extreme conditions, injuries and dangerous situations. Survival is the main goal, but the teens learn teamwork along the way. There is also a character that lives her faith and makes a big impression on the other three.

I found the book a bit slow at first as the author attempted to establish the characters’ personalities and motivations. The legend of the monster Vexel is introduced during a night time camp fire — a foreshadowing of what is to come. But as soon as the 4 teens are thrown into peril, the action ramps up. Their encounters with wild animals and a lone hunter seem a bit hard to believe, but I think kids ages 12-14, will enjoy the survival skills employed by the characters, their independent actions and their determination to survive. There is also a lot to think about in the way the characters grow emotionally.

Audience: kids 12-14.

(Thanks to Pump Up Your Book for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.



Book Spotlight: How to Survive Middle School And Monster Bots

14 Oct

68430ebSometimes, being smart just isn’t enough.

It’s been a rough semester for Howard Boward, science genius. Not only is he having to dodge winter’s most feared weapon (snowballs), his close friend, Winnie McKinney, is barely speaking to him. If that weren’t enough, he’s the favorite target of some bullies who seem determined to make life at Dolley Madison Middle School as miserable as possible. But then Howard learns about an upcoming robot-building contest—finally a chance to show off his science skills and beat archrival Gerald “G-Force” Forster! Unfortunately, the only way to win is by using his secret “monster goo,” a formula that has terrifying side effects. Can Howard resist the temptation? Or will he unleash a robot rampage that could destroy the town—and ruin the school dance?


ronbates1Ron Bates began his career as a newspaper reporter in Texas, and later became an editor and columnist. His humorous features led him to a job as the resident humor columnist for three of Legacy Publishing’s regional magazines. As a freelance writer, Bates’ works include the children’s story, “Arnold Bought a Bug,” and “St. Mary’s and the Art of War,” the true story of how Italian POWs transformed a tiny Texas church. Bates also wrote the Cranium Comics series “Brawn,” the inspirational play, “Flight 1615,” and “Underground Ink,” a collection of funny poems. An award-winning copywriter, Bates lives in Frisco, Texas.


I have not read How to Survive Middle School And Monster Bots, but thought this looked like a good book to share with you. I am giving this book to a young friend, so I will give you the scoop on it when he is done.

Audience: Ages 8-12.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a free copy of this book.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: A Sandy Grave

18 Apr

A Sandy Grave coverThe anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?



The lifeguards had their arms extended and attempted to move the crowd back. The tallest lifeguard said, “People, please stay back. The authorities will arrive to examine the whale to determine the cause of death within the hour. The whale must have died at sea and washed ashore.”





Donna McDine HeadshotDonna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books ~ The Golden Pathway. Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna’s 2013 releases of Powder Monkey and Hockey Agony and the 2014 release of A Sandy Grave will be joined by an additional book to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Dee and Deb, Off They Go. She writes, moms and is a personal assistant from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Children’s Literature Network, and Family Reading Partnership.  Visit Donna online at http://www.donnamcdine.com or her blog at http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com.


My Impressions:

Looking for a way to keep your tweenager (ages 8 – 12) reading this summer? Then try A Sandy Grave by author Donna McDine and illustrated by Julie Hammond. Filled with interesting facts and a little bit of a mystery, this book has a beach setting that is perfect for vacation reading.

Leah is on vacation with her family at the beach. She and her friends are eager to enjoy the sun and sand, but are surprised to find a crowd surrounding a large whale that has been beached. The attentive Leah also notices suspicious goings-on and follows her grandmother’s advice to trust her instincts. A mystery is solved and Leah and her friends are heroes.

I can easily see this book leading to further reading and discussion, with the new words and concepts presented — a plus while trying to keep readers engaged over the summer months. Kids interested in wildlife or the ocean will enjoy the setting and the facts surrounding whales and the threat of poachers. And while Leah takes things into her own hands to solve the mystery, the book can foster a discussion of the best time to talk to parents and authorities to avoid dangerous situations.

All in all, a quick read that is well-researched and written for middle readers.


(Thanks to the author and Pump Up Your Book for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.



Book Review: The Way of Things

15 Apr

way-of-thingsThe giants’ presence gives the townspeople a special confidence about life. But they have become much more dependent on the giants than they realize. One morning the people discover the giants have mysteriously disappeared. Fear and panic grip the town. Someone must find them and bring them back! Thomas, a young farmer, volunteers and sets out alone on a great journey of danger and discovery. Thomas learns the true nature of giants and what it means for him and his people. Join Thomas in his timeless rite of passage and learn what it means to become something more than you have been, why it is necessary in life, and how to do it.


Clark-Burbidge-PhotoClark Burbidge‘s path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies.

He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker’s Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in March 2011. His second book A Piece of Silver was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life’s wonderful adventures.


My Impressions:

The Way of Things by Clark Rich Burbidge is book one in the Giants in The Land series. Geared toward middle readers, the book is a medieval-feeling quest novel. The main character faces a number of obstacles he must overcome to find the answers he seeks. It is filled with physical and emotional challenges and giants!

Burbidge’s allegorical novel focuses on Thomas, a young farmer in a small village who is the only one who steps forward to try to find the giants who have left the area. The villagers have come to depend on the giants who were instrumental in building and farming and protecting. Distraught over the idea of living without giants, the village tasks Thomas with finding them and bringing them back.

While I liked the perseverance and courage exhibited by Thomas, I did not like the overall message of the book. The giants were gifted by the Worldmaker (God) with immortality. Their love of the earth and its inhabitants keep them serving selfishly. So far so good. But their message of becoming one’s own giant seems to be too much reliance on self without the message of reliance on God. Thomas learns that he can become his own giant to lead others in hope and truth. While it seems consistent with Christian values, I found the book lacking in a true spiritual foundation. While this is okay for a secular book, it is not for a book purported to be Christian.

I also received book two in the series, The Prodigals, but I will not be reading it. Others viewed this book differently. For their thoughts on The Way of Things, please click HERE.

(Thanks to PRByTheBook for my review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: The Blue Door

4 Mar

724193On an ordinary afternoon in late July, fourteen-year-old Prissie Pomeroy stumbles into an adventure on her way to the mailbox. Koji—a strange boy in shining clothes—claims to be an angel, and she’s stunned to learn that there are others, like Milo, their easygoing mailman, and Harken, the elderly gentleman who runs the used bookstore on Main Street. None of them can explain why she’s suddenly able to see the unseen, but with God, nothing is impossible.

The only problem is, Prissie refuses to believe any of it! However, with a little good advice, a lot of patience, and a nudge in the right direction, she learns to accept the truth. Koji and his teammates answer her questions, change her perceptions, and strengthen a faith she’ll soon need… for danger lurks in the darkness.

ckindeAn avid reader who took up writing on a whim, Christa Kinde hails from Scandia, Minnesota, a small town on the fringes of the Twin Cities metro area. She attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she discovered the glories of singing in Latin, took biblical Greek as a second language, and learned to play a mean game of foosball. Nearly a decade later, she put her dual degrees in English and Bible to practical use. Everyday Living: Bible Life and Times [Thomas Nelson] was soon followed by numerous Bible study guides and workbooks, including award winning titles for Max Lucado and Women of Faith.

Christa and her husband Wayne lived for several years in rural West Michigan, then spent a handful more in Nashville, Tennessee. They’ve thoroughly enjoyed their travels throughout the United States and abroad and currently reside with their five children in San Diego, California. The Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] is Christa’s first fiction publication.

My Impressions:

While I primarily read/review adult fiction, I am always on the lookout for books I can recommend for my friends’ children. To that purpose, I accepted the invitation to read Christa Kinde’s first book in the her Threshold series, The Blue Door. I think this book is perfect for middle school girls who are looking for a bit of adventure and for their parents who want to make sure there is a good message in the books they read.

Priscilla Pomeroy is an average fourteen year old looking at an uneventful summer spent working around her family’s farm. Prissie is a bit old-fashioned in her outlook, but suffers from the same things most young teenagers face — the desire to fit in combined with the desire to be a bit special. She gets more than she bargains for when she meets Koji, a boy most people cannot see. Prissie’s world is soon turned upside down.

Prissie receives an incredible gift — to see with spiritual eyes. Her world is opened to the invisible around her. But her sight is confined to angels, despite the fact that there is a spiritual battle surrounding her. Prissie is a character most young girls can identify with — not quite sure of herself, mostly focused inward, and facing changes in her relationships. The spiritual aspect of The Blue Door provides a layer of adventure and a starting point for exploration of what to believe about God and His Kingdom. The angels Prissie meets are not what she expected, but are good examples of how angels and people should be judged on their hearts toward God, not their outward appearances. The Blue Door can open up discussion with your teen  about a number of issues — friendship, honesty, family values and spiritual warfare.

There are still a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of The Blue Door – but the next book, The Hidden Deep takes off where it ends. I am sharing the first 3 books in the series with a friend’s 8th grader and will let you know her take on all three books.


(Thanks to DJC Communications and ZonderKidz for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To buy the first 3 books in the Threshold series, click on the images below.