Prince Noah and the School Pirates, book review

“Prince Noah and the School Pirates” by Silke Schnee

This is the second in the Prince Noah series and continues his story. Prince Noah is a young prince in a Kingdom where his parents rule. Prince Noah has now grown up enough that it is time to go to school, which is held on a fleet of ships Each ship has a different group of children- girls, boys, and special kids, which is Noah’s ship, as Noah has Down’s Syndrome.

After the ships sail and the teaching begins, all the students are dissatisfied with what they are being taught, and wish they could be on another ship. When a pirate ship attacks, the children all work together to over power the pirates and return safely to port. In the process, they have class together, and all the children learn better and have so much fun.

This book explains that children are all different but all special in their own way. Children work well together and learn from each other. Children with special needs are just kids too.

I enjoyed this story and think that children will too. It is a picture book, but is not for preschoolers, more appropriate for young elementary age students. Would be a great book to explain about inclusion learning models.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Guide Me Home” by Kim Vogel Sawyer book review,0,0,75,75_.jpg”
Guide Me Home, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, book review

Rebekah is just trying to hold her family together, after her brother wonders into Mammoth Cave and dies. To ease her mother’s grief, she gets a job at the cave to earn money for a grave stone. But the only job is a cave guide, so she dressed like a boy and gets the job.

Devlin Bale convinces his college administrator father to allow him to journey to Mammoth Cave to draw cave. Devlin hopes that by doing this, it will give his father a political advantage as he runs for office. In the search for other caves in the area, he discovers that many people have caves an some open into the large main cave. He tries to convince locals that they should sell their land to the government and move to a new place, to better themselves. This is met with a lot of resistance, as Devlin does not understand the strong ties these folks have with the land.

I enjoyed this story and the characters. There was a lot of history and adventure. There is a little romance through in, but to too much, so guys will enjoy this book as there is a lot of detail about the cave and surrounding areas.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher Waterbrook Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Deadly Encounter” by DiAnn Mills, book review

“Deadly Encounter” by DiAnn Mills, book review

Stacy Broussard is a vet in Houston who is trying to make a difference in her neighborhood, which is a bit run down.  Whitt is the 12 year old who lives across the street.  He is smarter than any kid should be, and loves to help Stacy around the clinic.  But really what he wants is a home.  His parents are drug addicts and basically neglect him, unless they feel they can use him to get something- usually money for their habit.

Stacy’s life abruptly changes when out on a routine air port patrol, she discovers a homicide victim, along with an injured dog and a drone.  After contacting the police, she treats to dog.  The FBI becomes involved as the drone was stolen military property.  Special Agent Alex LeBlanc is assigned the case, and after a while, enjoys his time with Stacy and Whitt.

This story takes many twists and turns as the FBI and other parties uncover a detailed plot to do harm to many.  I enjoyed the story and was pleased by the ending.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction.  All opinions expressed are my own.



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“Fraying at the Edge” by Cindy Woodsmall, book review

“Fraying at the Edge” by Cindy Woodsmall, book review- The Amish of Summer Grove book 2.

Ariana is forced to leave the Old Order Amish life and the only family she has known, because her newly discovered biological father is threatening a lawsuit against the midwife who delivered her.  That night, there was a fire and in the escape, two baby girls were mixed up and given to the wrong families.  Now, 20 years later, both families are trying to decide how to get to know a new daughter, and still love the daughter they raised.

Skylar, grew up in a middle class home with all the modern conveniences and opportunities.  But she has fallen into a problem with drugs, so her father takes this opportunity to give her an ultimatum:  go to rehab or go live with the Amish.  Neither option sounds good to her, but she figures she can get drugs and later escape the Amish, so she moves to Summer Grove to meet her biological family.

Both young ladies have a difficult time adjusting to their new surrounding, but both are able to overcome many obstacles and when given the opportunity to return to their former lives, both realize they have changed!

This was an interesting book about the obstacles that the separation that the Old Order Amish require of their members, and the way families are broken apart when a member choses to leave. This is book #2 in the series, but there is enough background given that you can enjoy it without reading number #1.  However, this book ends quite abruptly, so I am ready to read #3 so see how this all ends.

Disclaimer:  I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Eden Hill” by Bill Higgs, book review

“Eden Hill” by Bill Higgs, book review

1960 Eden Hill, KY.  Virgil Osgood runs the Osgood’s Service Station that his father started when he came home from the war.  Virgil follows his father’s example and provides excellent service for all the residents of Eden Hill.

Cornelius Alexander is newly married and expecting his first baby.  Recently graduated from business college he is ready to be a success in business!  Following the Zipco service station manual to the letter, he is on the road to provide Eden Hill residents with a whole new experience in getting gas, tires, and snacks.

Rev. Eugene Caudill has been the pastor to the folks of Eden Hill for years.  While he still misses his wife who died years ago, he strives to be the shepherd to his flock.

So many things are always the same while so many things are changing.  But changing for the better?  Some think so, but others are not so sure.

This is an excellent novel and captures the daily life in the early 1960’s America.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and fretting with them through their problems.  But each learns that God is faithful in all circumstances.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Loyal Heart” by Shelley Shepard Gray, book review

“The Loyal Heart” by Shelley Shepard Grey, book review

A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story #1

The War Between the States if over and the country is trying to put all the pieces back together again.  It is hardest for those wives who lost husbands, like Miranda.  Philip died from an injury while interned in a prisoner of war camp.  She is forced to turn his childhood home into a boarding house to support herself.

The men who survived the war must also try to return to their normal lives, whatever that looks like now.  For Robert Truax and his fellow officers in the CSA who spent the last months of the war in the prison camp, this means taking care of their fallen officers’ families.

Following orders from his captain, Robert travels to Galveston to check on Miranda, when rumors surface that she is being mistreated.  He finds the rumors to be true and sets out to right the wrongs she has endured.  But in the process, he falls in love with her.

This is an easy to read book with lots of character development and a few plot twists.  I am eager to read book #2.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Queen of Katwe” by Tim Crothers

“The Queen of Katwe” One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion, book review

Phiona lives in the slums of Katwe Uganda.  This is the only life she knows, survival.  The conditions are beyond anything we in the West can image, but this is just real life for her and many other children.  Katende is a war refuge who has become a missionary and desperately wants to bring the Gospel and hope to these children of the slum.

He begins with 2 new red soccer balls and the children just flock to him.  Each day he brings the balls and teaches them soccer.  One day he notices a couple of children who just watch.  He invites them to play, but they cannot because they fear injury ( due to malnutrition).  Katende then decides to offer chess classes following soccer.

There is no work in Uganda language for chess, so he just uses English words.  With 2 simple sets, he begins to teach this complicated game to a few children.  The group is probably mostly motivated by the dish of portage provided with the chess lesson, but several of the children prove to be quite talented, including one young girl, Phiona.  As the weeks and months go by, the children become quite good at Chess.  And Katende is pleased with their progress.

This book chronicles the journey of Katende, Phiona and other Ugandans in their slow climb out of the slums despite a very unsettled political and economic times.  The story is well written and includes many shorter stories of famous Ugandans and others who contribute to the mission of bringing hope to the children of the slums.  It is inspiring, yet very honest, in the approach of many modern philanthropies who seek to change the lives of those in need.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from BuzzPlant.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Courtship Basket” book review

The Courtship Basket is the second book in the series. The author is kind enough to give enough back ground information that if you have not read the first book, you can follow along with this story and enjoy it.

Rachael, like every Amish girl, longs for marriage and a family of her own. But her heart is broken when her longtime beau starts courting her best friend. In an attempt to move on, she starts teaching at the Amish school for special needs children. She finds job and fulfillment in her job.

Matt is overwhelmed with the load of carrying for his family when his mother dies. He enrolls his 6 year old brother in the Amish school for special needs children and Rachael is his teacher. When she learns John’s mother has died and his father is ill, she uses an old basket her parents call their Courting Basket to bring meals to John and Matt.

This is an easy to read book, perfect for relaxing by the pool this summer. I look forward to reading #3 and learning the rest of the story of these precious characters.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Book of Esther

“The Book of Esther” by Emily Barton, book review

Esther is a commonly known Biblical character, and her story is an inspiration to many women.  Her story of being used by God to save her entire people group from evil.  The author uses this theme but has the setting during WWII in Europe.  It is a compelling setting, with very interesting parallels to the Biblical account.

I have a very difficult time following the characters because of the names and places being foreign to me and hard to keep straight in my mind.  I easily lost focus and had to re-read pages.  While I have had this trouble before, I can usually get a handle on it within a chapter or 2, but with this book, even after 4 chapters, I was still confused with the characters.

With that being said, this is a well written book with DEEP character development- probably a little too deep for me.  This is a book that takes concentration to follow the story line, rather than a light summer reading type of book.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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NKJV Study Bible, personal size, book review


NKJV Study Bible, personal size paperback, book review

Our pastor uses the NKJV for sermons and I decided I would try this version for a while for personal study as well as use at church.  This study Bible has tons, tons of information!  Each book has a nice intro and there is almost 1/2 page of study notes for every page of text.  There are color photos and lots of historical and cultural notes to assist the reader in understanding the text.  In the back are many additional study helps including 100+page concordance.

This is a really nice Bible to use for personal and class study.  So much information!!

The text size is rather small, so if this is a concern, this might not be the Bible for you.  Also, while the page size is small (about 5″x8″) the thickness of the Bible made it a bit awkward to carry.  It is heavy.  So I think it is better for an at home study rather than carrying around.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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