Wednesday, May 23, 2012

120 Bible Stories

"This collection of Bible stories presents the history of God's grace-full interaction with His people. Told through the words of Holy Scripture, children ages 8 to 12 will review God's many Old Testament promises to send a Savior and see how these promises have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Each story includes discussion questions, a memory verse, and a full-color illustration. Extra features include maps, a time line, and a glossary with explanatory notes on key words and phrases." - From Amazon

I have a 6YO who loves to read, and he loves to read the Bible. So, I'm always looking for great Bibles/Devotions to read with him. This Bible is amazing. Not only are there many stories taken straight out of the Bible, but there are discussion/reflection questions at the end of each story, making it easy to discuss each story. The questions aren't just yes/no questions either, they are great discussion questions and help open up doors to discuss even more with your child.

I cannot recommend this Bible enough. The illustrations are colorful, and there are even maps to help little ones (and their parents) know exactly where the stories are happening.

If you're looking for a Bible for your 7-12 year old, check this one out! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

The Story Book Bible

The Story Bible tells the key story of Scripture: that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It will help you nurture that special child in your life by presenting the unchanging trusts of God's Word. Share the faith with these easy-to-read stories. Watch your child grow confident in reading and understanding.

I'm always on the lookout for wonderful Bibles to share with my children. I look for true to life Bible translations, but in easier terms for my young ones to understand. This Story Bible does a fantastic job of doing just that. It brings real Bible stories to life, shortens them a bit, but still keeps in the Word. 

My 6YO loves reading from this Bible. He can read it by himself and then we can discuss it, or we read it together and discuss. Each story has wonderful questions to ask yourself when done reading. There is also a "Do" section and a simple prayer that you can use (great for devotions!). 

If you're looking for a Bible for your young reader, or even another devotional, this book is a great addition to any family library.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Okay, if you read my review of the first book of this series, then you know I could not WAIT for this book to come out. I adored the first book, and this book was no exception. All the main characters are back. Finley Jane, Griffin, Emily, Sam, and even Jasper. As the group travels to America to save Jasper, Finley realizes that she might not quite be over the darkness inside her. 

I enjoy reading about this group of characters so much, and I did not want the story to end (which it doesn't, there will be another book). Finley is such a strong female character and a great role model for girls. She is head strong, tough (literally she can beat up anybody!), loyal to her friends, and even when she thinks the darkness might be taking over, she is more good than she realizes. Emily is still witty, loyal and as always, incredibly smart. My favorite has to be Griffin though. I love what a gentleman he is, but he drives me crazy because he won't tell Finley how he feels (still!). Kady Cross does an excellent job of bringing her world and characters to life. I said it with the first book, and I'll say it again; Steampunk finally makes sense to me!

I liked the new setting. Bringing the group from England over to New York really worked in this book. I loved how New York was set up ala 'Gangs of New York' with fights, the Irish, and swanky get-to-gethers to boot! The romance is still there, and dare I say even some new romance. 

If you loved the first book (or even if you just love Steampunk), go get this book/series today! I cannot recommend it enough. And I will patiently wait for the 3rd book to come out. That's a lie, I will not wait patiently. Thank you Kady Cross, for such an amazing series!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Saving June Review

When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life.

The moment I started this book, I could not put it down. Harper is a sixteen year old girl, who has just lost her older sister, June, to suicide. The raw emotions and vulnerability that come from that are not only real, but relatable as well. I have never personally lost someone to suicide, but I could feel the hurt, anger, guilt, and every other emotion through Harper. Hannah Harrington does an impeccable job of writing this story. 

The characters were real. Not a single one of them was perfect (in a nothing is wrong with them way). Harper feels guilty for not seeing that her "perfect" sister was about to commit suicide. She was the one who found her sister, and is now angry at June for not even leaving a note to explain why. Harper's best friend, Laney, is always there for Harper, no matter what. And after Harper's mother and her judgmental aunt aren't there for her like she needs them to be, she turns to Laney to help her figure out how to get June's ashes to California (June wanted to move there). At the wake, Harper meets Jake, a boy she's never seen before, and she wonders why he is there. When Jake insists that he drive Laney and Harper across the country to California, she agrees.

The road trip was written perfectly. I enjoyed how the road trip wasn't rushed, they three of them took their time, seeing sights, eating local foods, even participating in a protest in Chicago. I certainly enjoyed the stop in St. Louis very much since that is where I'm from! :) As they cross the country, Jake and Harper start to form something more and Harper must decide if she knows him well enough to trust him with her heart. 

I thought the story had a wonderful pace and when it ended, I didn't want it to. Harper's story is a heart felt, gut wrenching coming of age story. By far the best contemporary book I've read! You need to read this book!

Little Visits with Jesus (25th Anniversary Edition)

Just right for children ages four to seven, this best-seller offers relevant, biblical, and engaging devotions to help a new generation develop a strong faith foundation. Each "little visit" includes: a Bible verse, a story, a life-related devotion, ways to involve children in the story, and a prayer starter or suggestion.  (Taken from back cover)

A few weeks ago I had the honor of receiving a few books to read/review from Concordia Publishing House.  I cannot even begin to describe how excited I was, since this is the Lutheran Publishing company and I'm, well, a Lutheran!  I have heard about this book for the past few years and have been wanting to pick it up for devotionals with the boys, but just never got around to it.  When I opened my box and saw this new edition waiting for me, I squealed.  Yep, I squealed.  This book has been wonderful! Having two young children in the house (and 1 on the way), this book is perfect for our family.  The devotions are 1 page each, easy to read/follow, and open the door to great discussion.  Each devotion easily keeps my 4YO and 6YO's attentions (which isn't always easy).  

I cannot recommend this book enough to those of you with small children.  If you've been looking for a devotional for your young family, look no further!  Go out and grab this devotional today, you won't regret it!