Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Jesus Storybook Bible

This is a new find for us and we are just LOVING it!!!  Sally Lloyd-Jones' The Jesus Storybook Bible is perfect for sharing with your kids - and the illustrations are wonderful as well.  How often do you read a Bible story and end up thinking something like, "Wow, that David - he was quite  a hero."  When it's really God's story behind there?!?!  I love the subtitle to this book - Every Story Whispers His Name - and that's SO true!  We have  been working on showing our kids where God is working, and that's why we LOVE this Bible Storybook.  It is very God-centered - which is right where we want to be!  I highly recommend this one!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's on Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

Well what a fun idea - so I am playing along!! If you want to participate just go HERE.

Not so exciting maybe but here's what's on my nightstand:

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath - but it will be off tomorrow as I have a Wimba Room discussion on this one and then I am done!! Good, informative read though.

The Reformation Study Bible - I LOVE my English Standard Version and this was the only study Bible I could find in that version!

How to be a Great Wife...even though you Homeschool by Todd Wilson - what can I say - this guy makes me laugh and encourages me in my homeschool venture!!!

Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton - I haven't started this one yet - but I NEED IT!!!!

Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God by Mary E. DeMuth - a great one to read a chapter a day before bed - or as soon as you get up - GREAT reminders.

Mothers of Famous Men by Deborah Hamby - excellent encouragement for moms!

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn - have read it twice - VERY good!

Going on my nightstand tonight - Madapple by Christina Meldrum - I've read a lot about this one on blogs and now it's my turn!!

Oh yes, and my Shea it isn't So Foot Cream!!!! Every girl needs her foot cream before bed!

My Enemy's Cradle

All I can say is WOW!!!  My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Youngenemy is Amazing!!!  From the first page I was hooked and, I am not kidding, I had about 50 pages left and I just wanted to stop so that I wouldn't finish as quickly.  I love to read books that take place during World War Two, but this one was something I had never heard about - the Nazi Lebensborn Program - where girls that have gotten pregnant by German military soldiers - can go and be taken care of while they are pregnant and then have their babies adopted out to be raised to be "good Nazis" - so sad and yet so informative.  Cyrla's story is told so wonderfully that I just turned page after page totally wrapped up in this young girl's life.  Absolutely wonderful!!!  You may recognize this as Sara Pennypacker - the wonderful author of those adorable Clementine books!!  What a talented author!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway

I am participating TWICE in the Bloggy Giveaways this quarter - I have a copy of The Kite Runner that I'd love to share with one lucky winner. I truly loved this book - not sure how I feel about seeing the movie - but the book was great. (U.S. entrants only please) Just leave a comment and you will be entered - I will use the Random Generator to choose a winner when the giveaway is over!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Pakistani Bride

The Pakistani Bride by Bapsi Sidhwa is quite an eye-opener. You know women are often not treated the best over in these nations - to the say the least - but wow, this book opened up a whole new idea of poor treatment of women - it is really quite frustrating. I thought the book was difficult to get into - most of the book is about the life of a girl that is adopted when her parents are killed, but as I neared the end - I realized that you need that background of her and her adopted father to understand why he does what he does. All-in-all a good book - graphic sometimes, but an eye-opening read on the sad plight of women - and what makes it even worse is that there seems to be absolutely nothing they can do about it - it is all because they are born female.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Patron Saint of Butterflies

Cecilia Galante has crafted an excellent YA novel - one that really stands out!!  I just LOVED this book!  The Patron Saint of Butterflies, is the story of two girls growing up in a religious commune.  Agnes takes it all very seriously and even wants to become a saint one day, but Honey is not so sure that it is all "legit" and wants nothing more than to leave the commune behind.  When Nana Pete comes in and, fearing for the girls' safety, pulls them out - the journey to freedom begins.  Of course, both girls view it differently - and that is the crux of the novel - how will each of them deal with their new "freedom"?  Great novel - deals heavily with the power of friendship, faith, and the true meaning of love for each other.

Wow - An Award!!

I was so surprised when Carrie told me that she had given my blog an award - brillanteweblogawardbyvcn1how fun is that!?!?  Thank you  - Carrie what a fun surprise!

Here are the guidelines:

Once an award is received, the rules are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Here are my nominees in the book blog world:

* Amanda at A Patchwork of Books ~ she reviews such great titles and her reviews are insightful and have lead me to many new good reads.  (Oh yes - you need to go see her sweet baby too!)

* What Adrienne Thinks About That ~ a fellow children's librarian that I actually MET at PLA this past spring.  She was doing a session on Homeschoolers and the library which is also another of my passions!  She runs a great blog!

*The Hidden Side of a Leaf ~ another great book blog out there - ALWAYS great book reviews.

*Tasha is another librarian that keeps a GREAT blog!!  Kids Lit is great for all things kids!

*Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect not only has a wonderful title for her blog - but an excellent blog for educators.  Her classroom tie-ins and unit ideas are SUPERB!!!

*Reading to Know ~ another blog with fabulous reviews - and you know she's good - she reviews at 5 Minutes for Mom too!!

*Elaine at Wild Rose Reader ~ a teacher, librarian and a mom - what a combo - and a great blog FULL of super ideas for using children's lit. in the classroom and at home!

Go check them all out - I'd list a million more if I had time!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Made In China

I do wonder about the day when Chloe starts asking about why she looks different, where she came from, etc.  We are very open with her and tell her we got her in China, but she still, I don't think, comprehends what that all means.  But this book, Made in China by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Kristin Blackwood,  is now on my shelf - just ready for those questions - it is WONDERFUL!!!  And it will be useful when, and if, someone makes fun of her because she  is just like everything else that is "made in China."  It is handled beautifully and the love and "special-ness" of being chosen through adoption shines through.  The illustrations are an added bonus to this one - they are gorgeous and capture the asian flair.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:  "Please, my dear one, don't ever be sad.  You were 'Made in China' so I'd be your dad.  And if ever you feel you are not loved here, you just come to me, and I'll make it clear - We love you now, we loved you before.  In all the wide world we couldn't love you more."  BEAUTIFUL!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


51nvTiyfg0L__SL500_AA240_ Susan Cooper has written a wonderful book - it is currently on our Children's Choice Award List here in Iowa - books all chosen by kids - and I can see why!  Victory is a story about a farm boy, Sam, who is taken to serve on the HMS Victory - a ship on which Lord Nelson will die a hero's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.  The book pops to the present every other chapter to tell Molly's story.  Molly is a 21st century English girl that becomes wrapped up in the story of the HMS Victory and is literally drawn into Sam's world.  What a great story - one that will please BOYS and GIRLS alike!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 Minutes for Books

Looks like a fun new site! I know I'll be adding it to my Bloglines!

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Mary E. Pearson's, The Adoration of Jenna Fox is one that even when you finish you linger LONG after trying to think it all through. It was a great read - but the ramifications that the novel presents are long-lingering. (Which I am sure is what the author was hoping for!!) 17 year old Jenna Fox is in a car accident and basically has not much body left - no organs are functioning, etc. in fact, she only has 10% of her REAL self left - but her father is a scientist that has helped develop a bio-gel that can be injected and the body can basically rebuild - ok, I don't understand how it all worked - but it was believable!! I can see this being such an issue in the future - how much of a person can physically be left - medicine can re-create them - and they are still who they were........make sense?? Scary, but WOW, so much to think about. So the whole book is her re-discovering who she really is - her past, etc. And then trying to come to grips with the fact that she is only 10% of who she was and so who does that make her???? Great read - thought-provoking, and, I believe, one that would be great for a discussion.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Well I did it!!! I am now caught up with the Twilight Series. But this last one - Eclipse - really made me mad!!! I mean really, now how do I know who to root for!?!?!? SO - HOW LONG UNTIL THE NEXT ONE!?!?! I can't stand it!!! Ok, enough of my ranting and raving - you how I love these - so I'll just pick up another book until Breaking Dawn is out!

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