Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller is a fantastic fictional account of an Amish woman's struggle with life, death, and love. Emma is a young Amish woman who is shattered by the death of a family member. While trying to cope with her loss and financial problems, Emma also finds herself dealing with unexpected male attention. Will Emma keep her heart open to God and the man she loves, or will she give up on her own life and simply do what others tell her to? This charming novel is one of several Amish romances that Fuller has written. Her detailed writings and knack for creating beloved characters make this book a must read for women of any age or religion. I certainly enjoyed not only the romantic aspects of the novel, but also the glimpse into Amish life. I received this book free from Book Sneeze publishing company for my review.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Life, in Spite of Me is a tragic, yet inspirational account of one woman's fall into deep depression and suicide and her recovery into a life full of God's grace and happiness. With the help of Tricia Goyer, Kristen Jane Anderson has produced a book that gives the reader a glimpse into both Hell and Heaven. Kristen recounts her tragic drop into attempted suicide and her rehabilitation, both physical and emotional. Kristen shows the reader how a person can come back from a dark and painful place to a place filled with hope, love, and forgiveness; all with God's help.
As a reader and a Christian, I was touched by Kristen's story. I believe Kristen has the power to lift people's spirits and save them from a life full of pain, like her life once was. I was intrigued in Kristen's story, from the details of what brought her to the point of attempting suicide to her amazing recovery. However, towards the end of the book (and Kristen's current life) I found myself almost battered by Kristen's praising of God. I completely understand her praise, but as a reader, I had to take a break from the overwhelming mention of God's Grace. I don't mean to say that God doesn't deserve Kristen's praise, however I got a little tired of reading how EVERYTHING Kristen does now, she does by first consulting with Him. Do you mean to tell me that you don't buy a new shirt unless God tells you it is His Will? That is the kind of feeling I was overcome with during the last few chapters of this book. I will highly recommend this book to all my Christian friends, but I will not recommend it to someone who is not completely devoted to God. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
The Kiwi Kingdom by New Zealander Rosemary Thomas is a children's novel about interactions between various animal species, including humans. Using anthropomorphic traits, native New Zealand animals take the reader on a journey through the untamed and unpredictable environment of the New Zealand landscape. Friendships are explored, adventures are had, and lessons are learned.
This small novel has the perfect storyline and interesting animal species that will intrigue elementary school students, yet much of the vocabulary is a bit challenging for some young readers. Thomas uses language and sentence structure that feels juvenile while adding in some words that even adults may have to look up. As an elementary teacher, I can easily imagine my students interested in the story that this book tells. However, I can also easily imagine having to stop at every page or so to explain some vocabulary that my students will have no way of knowing. Older readers will tire of the unsophisticated writing and simple storyline, yet they are the only readers who can easily read this book. Despite its technical faults, the story this book tells contains great life lessons that children should learn. With a lot of pre-planning, this book can be taught in several lessons to young students. You can obtain a copy of this book at this link. I received a complimentary copy of The Kiwi Kingdom as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.