Thursday, April 26, 2012

Critical Thinking Company: Crypto Mind Benders

Well, this was a fun little item to review! I appreciate the Critical Thinking Company products, and they recently sent the TOS Crew a variety of items to review. We received "Crypto Mind Benders".

This slender volume is filled with 30 puzzles(And their solutions) to exercise the logic muscle of your children. :) When Eldest picked up the book as it lay on the table, she commented "Oh! This looks like fun!". Middlest was less excited (That word "mathematical" on the cover did it for him... ;p), until he learned how the puzzles worked~ now HE thinks they are fun as well!

This is a wonderful thing, as lately we have been working on getting Middlest to think more logically, and including math in the equation is a bonus from my perspective.

Here is a sample activity~ use the equations on the left side to fill in the chart, and logically deduce which numeral = which letter.

After each puzzle on the page is worked, the letters are placed into the appropriate blanks in the cryptogram to discover a famous quotation.
 (You can find and print this sample activity from the product page's "click to look inside" link)

The symbols used in the clues are identified in the front of the book, and the first 2 pages are a "Sample activity" that walks the student through the process. Very simple to pull out and use, but the problems definitely get more challenging.

Crypto Mind Benders are one activity that I can just lay out, and my kids jump to do them~ I don't even have to ask. :) (And, yes~ I am a puzzling mom that enjoys this sort of thing as well).

Nitty Gritty~ 
Critical Thinking Company
Crypto Mind Benders ($10.99) 30 activities and solutions
Ages ~ Grades 3-12+
Limited reproduction permission granted for home or classroom use

Other TOS Crew members received Balance Math Teaches Algebra , Mathmatical Reasoning Level F, and Inference Jones: Beginning  for review. Please visit the Crew Blog to check them all out.

Blessings~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell


 
My debut read by Siri Mitchell, She Walks in Beauty, was most interesting. Siri delves into New York's high society peopled by the Astors and the Vanderbilts, in addition to the main characters. Clara Carter is the daughter of a prominent physician, and her father has determined that she is to "catch" the De Vries heir. While painting a fascinating picture of New York's Gilded age, Siri also addresses some of the high costs of high fashions of the time, and gives us a glimpse into the early creation of "Celebrity" by the media. Politics and Tammany Hall are also addressed.
 
I enjoyed reading this novel, and am now heading towards little bit of a Siri Mitchell "kick." I was entertained by her sense of humor and lithe descriptions of personalities and historic environs. I also appreciate the irony in the juxtaposition of Siri's description of her fashionable debutante.  Clara is made to feel worthless, in spite of her brains and beauty, by the people who appear to value her the most~  the concept that no matter what she does it will never be enough, unless she succeeds in her quest for the heir. She learns the certainty that God loves us "Just as I am" ~ and that holds for the wealthy as well as the poor~ we all need Him equally, whether residing in a mansion or a tenement.

If you are looking for an interesting, romantic read with some history thrown in for good measure, this might be a good choice. She Walks In Beauty is published by Bethany House.

Blessings~

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the Bethany House Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, April 23, 2012

God's Great Covenant, NT 1(Bible)

Once again we were the recipients of a package from Classical Academic Press. We were sent us a bundled set of their new Bible Curriculum, God's Great Covenant, New Testament 1: The Gospels. The set includes physical copies of the Student Manual and Teacher's Edition, and a downloadable Audio book.

I'm going to start a little backwards here, and mention the audio first. The audio is a narration of most of the text in the student manual, typically not including the various charts. I can see this being very useful in a number of situations:
  • the auditory learner (Obviously)
  • a situation where Mom doesn't have time or inclination to read aloud
  • to encourage independence in the younger learner
  • OR for kinesthetic families where everyone (including Mom) likes to sit around and listen to audio while their hands are otherwise occupied (note, most chapters run around 5 minutes). 
Now, I have to admit that we didn't choose to use the audios, even though they are very pleasantly and professionally narrated by Christopher Perrin, only because my children prefer to hear things read by my voice. ;) I will take that as a compliment. ;)

Next, the Teacher's Edition~
The Teacher's Edition includes everything in the student manual, in addition  to some expansive notes, places to write your own notes, and answers to the review worksheets.
When I read, I varied between reading the text straight through, and then going back to cover the points included in the teacher text, and others reading them as they flowed with the text. You can see an example of a teacher edition page with one of the maps, and the extra note below, etc.... (Please click on the pictures to see them in larger detail)

Now to give a few more details on our use~

Although this could be used as a student-directed, independent course, we chose to use it as our Bible time, and as you may have gathered, I read aloud to my Middlest(6th grade) and Eldest (9th grade). Sometimes we looked up some of the scriptures referenced, at other times we just... referenced them (depending on whether they were included in the text, or if my kids already had a working knowledge of those verses).

One thing that we all really enjoyed was how this study, at this particular time, just really fit in with other things in our lives. We were reading the Bronze Bow, which was set in the Gospel time-frame, so the first couple of weeks spent covering the various introductions (Historical and Political, Chronological, Geographical, Religious, and Daily Life where we met the fictional narrator Simon) added to our appreciation of our literature readings.

It also tied in well with the sermons my kids have been hearing over the past few months, which have been more intensive looks at the Gospels. I just loved hearing them exclaim "Oh yes! We heard that a few weeks ago during church!" or "That was what the pastor was talking about before Christmas." Kudos to God's Great Covenant for reinforcing and adding to what they were learning, and kudos to our pastor for covering material in a scholarly fashion that they could understand, and kudos to the kids for retaining the information, and commenting on it! :)

Here are a couple more pages, this time from the student text~ a map putting into perspective just how far Mary and Joseph had to travel and a sample review worksheet.

While the course is written for children in grades 2-6, it worked very nicely for our family Bible-time purposes, as we did cover all of the background information included in the teacher's edition, which seemed fairly scholarly to me. 

I will mention here that each chapter is organized in the same fashion:
  • Memory Work Page~ covers the Theme, the Scriptures, Memory Passage, and Key Facts, which are usually in chart form, and Prophecy Fullfilled when appropriate
  • Story Page~ This is the material which is included in the audio download, including scripture and other historical information written in narrative form
  • Worksheet Page~  These were great to give to the kids as "Homework" just to test their comprehension. They include a nice mix of matching, true and false, fill in the blank, define the words, crosswords, word searches and so on. My children and I all appreciate the variation. :) 
The book is split into 4 Units. Each unit ends with
  • Memory Worksheet pages ~ quizzing the student's retention and comprehension of the memory passages, 
  • Devotional pages~ encouraging the student to dig a little deeper, and 
  • Simon's World~ giving a look into what a child in Gospel times may have experienced.
While the course is written for children in grades 2-6, it worked very nicely for our family Bible-time purposes, as we chose to cover all of the background information included in the teacher's edition, which seemed fairly scholarly to me. You can download samples from the Student text as well as from the Teacher Edition to take a closer look.

Nitty Gritty~ 
Classical Academic Press
God's Great Covenant,  (A Bible Course for children)
Recommended ages 2nd-6th grade
While we reviewed the 1st book in the New Testament course (I am assuming that there is a book 2 in production... :) ), it is worth noting that there are also 2 books in an Old Testament course for your Bible teaching and learning application.

For other insights and opinions, please consider stopping by the TOS Crew Blog to see what others had to say, and I welcome your comments and questions here on my blog.
As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where to most wisely spend your homeschool budget.

Blessings~
Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Forgiven Duke

;) Having been left on a cliffhanger when I finished "The Guardian Duke," I was very pleased to be asked to review a pre-release copy of the second book in the series, "The Forgiven Duke" by Jamie Curie.  I am also pleased that I am able to offer a giveaway for a pre-release copy to one of my readers.

While the first book was something of a sweet, slightly innocent adventure, the second installment brings more danger and duty to the story. Here is a quick snippet from the publisher about the book:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bright Ideas Press (Chemistry)

Three years ago I reviewed Christian Kids Explore Physics (published by Bright Ideas Press) using it with my then 6th and 4th graders. This year I was sent Christian Kids Explore  Chemistry to use with my now 6th grade Middlest.

What I liked:
I really like the set-up with the vocabulary words defined in the margins of the pages. It is much better to have those definitions handy, in my opinion, than to interrupt the flow of reading to turn to a glossary in the back of the book (I also suspect that many students wouldn't take the time to look the definitions up as they read, so this feature ensures that the student is exposed to the definitions as they read).

What I liked:  
I totally appreciate this phrase from the introduction to the book: "The important thing to keep in mind is that God is at the center of everything — including the study of chemistry." I so appreciate the availability of foundational science texts that incorporate that most basic truth in their teaching.

What I didn't like:
The Chemistry course is intended for a 4th to 8th grade level, but I would suggest, as I found with the Physics course, that the questions and quizzes are most appropriate for the younger age, which means a little modification and more work may be necessary for the teacher if your student is older. The answers to many of the "Think About It" sections following the hands-on experiment seemed to be "leading" the student to the correct answer, which can be helpful for a student who struggles, however, I found them to be not quite challenging enough for my Middlest. The other feature that I feel is set up more for the younger age is the "Unit Wrap-up" because the questions at the end are multiple choice, and fairly easy, from my son's point of view. I ended up creating my own sheet with the questions as simple "Fill-in-the-blanks." I think it would be a nice option for Bright Ideas Press to offer an "Advanced option" like that ,on the resource disc, for the older students. *See my note in "The Nitty Gritty" for a little more on the age topic.

What I liked:
Speaking of the resource disc, this is a handy little resource put together in true BIP fashion. There are Lesson Plans (for 2 days/week), Reproducibles~ including the "Review It" questions, the Hands On  charts and Think About it Questions, Unit Wrap-up Quizzes, and Unit coloring pages. This is extremely helpful to the busy homeschool mom/dad. There are also supply lists and a literature study pulled from Illuminations. A Piece of the Mountain (Biography about Blaise Pascal's Spiritual Life) is the featured literature study in Christian Kids Explore Chemistry. While we didn't do that study, as I plan to use it at a more appropriate point in this chemistry course, I expect it to be of the same quality I have come to expect from BIP and Illuminations.




What I liked:
I greatly appreciate the Resource Lists included in the Appendix. There are many books suggested for each unit, by lesson, so that you can plan your library selections in advance. This is a great way to beef up the lessons for your older student and/or add some extra interest for all.

What I expect I will like: 
Because we have only had this for 6 weeks, we only completed Unit 1, which was really an introduction to Chemistry. The further units appear to provide a solid foundation for many Chemistry concepts. This falls into line with a classical train of thought, visiting the subject more than once, with a deeper train of thought each time.

Nitty Gritty:
Visit the Crew Blog to read more reviews on this and the other Bright Ideas Press Science books.
As always, I hope that my review is helpful to you as you choose where to allocate portions of your homeschool budget.

*Note: For the purposes of review, many on the TOS Crew were sent pdf versions of the Text that are not available for sale at this time, in addition to the "Resource CD" download, which is not only available, but on sale this month for those who own the 1st edition. The Resource CD is included with the new 2nd edition.

Blessings~
Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The Dublin Destiny by Jill Twigg

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Tate Publishing (January 10, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jill Twigg for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



With the encouragement of family and friends, Jill Twigg pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a Christian author into reality. She is the mother of four daughters and nina to five grandchildren. She resides in Houma, Louisiana with her husband.

Visit the author's website.




SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:





An ugly duckling story beginning with Rylee running for her life from Ireland to America. She marries a family friend Patrick, to stay hidden and while she is waiting for a chance to return to her homeland, she becomes a beautiful swan. A charming romance filled with intrigue, humor and fun weaved with a message of faith, trust and divine love that is sure to leave you yearning for more.




Product Details:
List Price: $17.99

Perfect Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613465610
ISBN-13: 978-1613465615



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Prologue
The panting sounds she heard were getting stronger. Rylee looked behind her to see who was coming. There was no one. She quickly continued her quest to get home. Only a hundred more yards, she could make it. Still hearing panting sounds, she stopped and leaned against the building to confirm no one was coming. She didn’t understand. The sounds were so loud and persistent. She held her breath a second longer to take notice then sighed, realizing the sounds were coming from her own mouth. Rylee breathed a little easier knowing that possibly she wasn’t being followed just yet. In hurrying to get home to see her mother, Rylee knew one thing for sure: the need for calling bluffs had to stop. One day it wasn’t going to work. And she was thinking that it was the day. She was utterly unsure of her future now.
The flight plans were set, and she was to leave to catch the bus in a little less than an hour. That bus would take her to the airport in Dublin, which was at least an hour from her house. Rylee would then catch a plane and a connecting flight to her destination in America—Georgia, to be exact. Where that was? Rylee had no clue. She wasn’t sure of anything anymore. How can someone threaten the life of someone else and get away with it? Never mind that, how can one take the life of another and get away with it? Why was this happening to her? She hadn’t hurt anyone to deserve this warning.
Rylee certainly had her reasons for threatening to cause problems. So now she had to leave her home and her country. Where was the justice in that? With the deadline for her departure almost expired, she wasn’t wasting any time. Prolonging the inevitable only made the impending
matter worse. She knew she had to go. There was more at stake than just her life, and she wasn’t going to put her mother at risk because of her momentary inclination to stir up trouble.
Her mother was waiting with the luggage just inside the front door. A large tote bag consisting of a few changes of clothes, a toothbrush, and a license were all Rylee had to take on her journey. She was not sure why she bothered. That wasn’t much to start a new life, but she knew she’d get by with what she had. She received from her mother a quick kiss and one hundred dollars. They tried to stay strong, neither one wanting to show too much emotion, for fear they would not follow through with their plan. However, when the time drew near, their watering eyes displayed the melancholy they were both trying to avoid. They each had no indication as to when they would see each other again. Sometimes life was just so unfair. Hurrying back out the door, Rylee headed around the building to the bus stop and her uncertain
future. There was no bluffing her way out of this one.
Chapter One
Rylee Shannon was embarking on a new and scary adventure. A journey, if you wanted to call it that. Or vice versa. And as far as she knew, it could have been a journey right to hell. But anywhere was better than where she’d been. Scary or not, she had to trust that her mother was doing the right thing. Those demons would eventually need conquering, even if it took her last dying breath to do so. But for now, she would suffer in silence until she figured how the next part of her life was going to play out in the scheme of things. The midnight flight from Dublin, Ireland, was scary enough considering the fact she had never been on a plane. Except for her therapy training and the occasional visits to the Wicklow Mountains, Rylee didn’t venture too far from her town of Glendalough.
The flight attendant was not looking very cordial this evening as she monitored the seatbelts down the aisles. Her making sure everyone buckled his or her seatbelts before takeoff brought no comfort to Rylee at this point. She assumed the flight attendant had picked the short end of the stick and received the late night flight as punishment. Rylee also noticed the deep set of dark circles under the attendant’s eyes. She had probably had a long and hard day. Haven’t we all? Rylee added to her thought process.
With eyes wandering about, Rylee noticed there were thirty-five rows of two seats on each side of a middle aisle, A and C on one side and D and F on the other.
What happened to B and E? she wondered. She needed to stop thinking so much. She was getting very anxious for the flight to be over, and the plane hadn’t even gotten into the air yet. The Fasten Your Seatbelt sign came on, and the flight attendant made her announcements. She proceeded to show the routine demonstrations of putting on the seatbelt as the airplane taxied to the runway.
The safety demonstration is a joke, Rylee thought.
Flotation device—were they serious? Did they really expect her to believe that if this big bus in the sky was to have a water landing, she would actually be able to utilize the flotation device? Would she even be able to get over the panic to grab her seat cushion? Nonetheless, when she stood, she would almost certainly knock herself out because the ceiling was so low. And flipping the seat over to attach the straps around her shoulders? Just give me a gun! She laughed at herself.
The realization that a tranquilizer would have been appropriate for this trip approached her thought process as well. All that thinking was going to make her insane. She just needed to relax. Right!
Rylee could hear her mother beyond her doom-and-gloom thoughts.
Always the pessimist, Rylee girl. Someday, you are going to have to learn to trust the Lord. Negative thoughts will bring you negative actions! You mind my words. Nothing good will come of it, ever.
Rylee’s mother, Bonnie, was always the optimist. Rylee couldn’t fathom anything positive coming from this journey to the unknown. Her life at home was bleak at best, according to her, but at least she knew it. How was it to become any better, running for her life, basically to an unknown country?
The plan was for her to stay with a childhood pen pal of her mother’s. A pen pal, for Pete’s sake! Not even a friend her mother had actually met.
How could her mother do this to her? She could be sending her to a place worse than which she came from. How could Bonnie be that trusting? However, Rylee had no place else to go. She was as desperate as desperate could get. Again, always the pessimist, she thought.
She needed sleep. If the ride was as traumatic as the takeoff, she didn’t know how she was going to get through it. Not only that, but she was scheduled to change planes in New York, so she would get to do it all over again. It was a good thing she brought her inhaler, because even though the passenger in the next seat explained the bumps from the plane were just “air pockets in the clouds,” she wanted off, and she wanted off now. The stress that manifested her wheezing finally subsided after several minutes, and she was able to breathe normally. However, it wasn’t long until the next bout of bumpy clouds came again. It was amazing to her how a bunch of fluff could make an enormous airplane dip like a roller coaster. The feeling of her heart leaving her chest and moving into her throat was not making a good first impression for this airline. She was quite sure she never wanted to go through the experience of an airplane ride ever again. Next time she would think about traveling by boat. But, then again, she couldn’t swim. She was in a pickle. Either way, she was in a predicament in which she needed to trust, and that was difficult for her.
The last couple of days had been hectic, to say the least—scrambling for a plan of escape, then putting it into action. She was literally running a race of her life. Her mother, bless her heart, had really stepped up to the plate for her. Rylee always told her mother that God had a special place waiting for her, and that was never truer than now. Bonnie managed to pawn some family relics to add to her measly savings to purchase Rylee a bus ticket. It also funded part of the plane ticket from Dublin to Georgia. Her mother’s pen pal fronted the rest with no questions asked, knowing she would not be able to pay it back anytime in the near future. She had to give the McLellans credit for coming to the aid, an expensive aid at that, especially for someone whom they had never met.
She wondered what she would have to do to compensate.
The roller coaster ride through the clouds was not helping Rylee’s nerves or the queasiness of her stomach. It was either due to the stress of the trip or the constant altitude changes; she didn’t know which. Probably both. At this point, she really needed the plane to stop. Rylee figured the pilot drew the short end of the stick as well. Between him and the stewardess, or the flight attendant or whatever they are calling them these days, Rylee didn’t have a chance on this flight.
“Oh my!” She exclaimed aloud, her thought process interrupted by another cloud dip. Luckily, she hadn’t eaten anything in a while, because that last dip would have caused her to lose it all. And it would not have been pretty. If Rylee wasn’t so shy, she’d go ask the pilot if he needed help driving the plane. She assumed he was a novice. She could at least alert him when the clouds were coming.
The woman seated next to her could see her distress and patted her clenched hand on the armrest.
“It’s okay. The plane is built to manage these clouds.”
“I’m not handling this very well, am I?” Rylee stated back to her.
“Don’t you know about the reconnaissance planes that fly into hurricanes to see how strong they are?” she asked. “This is nothing.”
She couldn’t fathom why anyone would want that job. She nodded, appreciating the woman’s attempt to comfort.
The pilot came on the loudspeaker to announce that the turbulence should be over and the rest of the flight would be smooth sailing. He even tried to downplay it and make light of the situation by asking the children to refrain from bouncing in their seats, while the passengers laughed. However, Rylee’s nerves did not dissipate. The woman patted Rylee’s hand again. Rylee smiled at her and then closed her eyes, silently praying that the pilot was true to his word. Her thoughts meandered to a picture of Rylee kissing the ground if she ever got to it.


The Hartfield-Jackson International airport in Atlanta was starting to come alive with the hustle and bustle of family, friends, and patrons waiting to board their flight. The vendors were opening up their gates for business as the early scheduled flights brought patrons yearning for nourishment or reading material before they headed to their destinations.
One of these patrons, Lucy McLellan, was there on a mission. In all her fifty-three years, she had never turned down someone needing help, and she wasn’t going to start now. About a week ago, she had received a disturbing phone call from her childhood pen pal in Ireland asking—more like begging—for her to accept her daughter for a visit. She added that Rylee was in need of protection. Lucy, never one to leave someone in a bind, agreed, knowing that her trusted friend would not have come to her in desperation without probable cause.
“Okay, here’s gate C33,” Lucy said, as she looked back and waved for her son to come over to where she was. Her pen pal’s daughter, Rylee, had gotten herself into some trouble. She was able to get a temporary visa to visit. How she got it in a week’s time was only by the grace of God, for she needed to be out of Ireland—and fast. Bonnie assured her there were no drugs involved; for that reason, she did not have to worry about the headache of not being able to trust someone in her own home. She didn’t want to go through the trouble of having to hide anything that could be pawned for drugs or what not.
Patrick, Lucy’s only child and driver to the airport for this meeting, lagged behind with much trepidation, verifying the gate from the monitor. After much pleading, Patrick agreed to the offering of himself in marriage for Rylee’s protection, at least until he got back from a mission abroad. The offer was made sight unseen and without revealing the motive for the visit. Then when he returned, he could annul the marriage. By that time, things would have settled down at the home front, and Rylee could return to her mother in Ireland.
Patrick agreed with much protest but knew his mother would not have asked without a great deal of praying. She had enough faith for the both of them; however, neither was lacking in that area.
“An arranged marriage? Mom, this is the twenty-first century,” he argued. With her arguing back that the Bible did not stop teaching and providing nourishment just because it was past the death of Christ, he smiled at her, knowing that any argument with his mom was never a winning situation on his part, and she knew he was teasing. And knowing Lucy, there would be more to it than a simple marriage of convenience.
However, Patrick had other concerns. He had to get ready for his trip abroad, which was in ten days. Patrick was a physician working at the county hospital’s emergency room clinic when he was home. On this assignment, he was heading to Guatemala for his church mission field project. He made the trip every two years to help with whatever medical issues were going on at the time. There was usually quite a load. He enjoyed his job immensely, believing the Lord gave him this job for a good reason. He didn’t believe it was for the money, nor the prestige, but for the gratification he got when he could truly help those that couldn’t help themselves—more specifically, the little children who needed medical attention and vaccinations. That brought him more joy than his paycheck from the hospital.
The loudspeaker announced the arrival of Rylee’s flight. Although there were many years of correspondence, Lucy had not received a recent enough photo of Rylee. So consequently, she did not know exactly what she looked like. In that case, they would just have to wait for someone to look lost. Lucy didn’t think to bring a sign to hold up; however, she didn’t want to cause any unwanted attention to her either. Lucy wasn’t quite aware of all the actual circumstances Rylee was really in but enough to elude unnecessary interest.
After witnessing the hugs, screams, and kisses of the patrons coming in contact with their loved ones, out moseyed a pitiful-looking thing with a mess of curly hair, big-rimmed glasses and a “boy, was-she- lost” look. This girl’s weight was by far over the insurance limit for her
height. Patrick watched as she bumped against a chair, thinking she would miss it.
“Ouch.” He winced. “That’s gonna leave a nice bruise,” he said, commenting under his breath.
He continued to watch the opening where the passengers were coming through the Jetway. However, his eyes kept taking him back to the tousled-haired girl.
He wondered who was meeting her. Patrick watched her as she looked through the crowd as if trying to spot someone in particular and caught Patrick’s eye. He smiled a hello, which caused the girl’s eyes immediately to avert to the ground. The compassion he was feeling for this stranger was overwhelming. He continued to watch her as she tugged at the bottom of her too-short top, then crossed her arms in front of her exposed skin. His thoughts took him to a paper Patrick had written for college on the benefits of smiling. He remembered the studies of smiling being contagious and making one feel better even when it seemed impossible, but this girl wasn’t having it. She didn’t look as if she had smiled in a while. Patrick wondered what made her so downtrodden and what her story might be. She might just be feeling alone and didn’t need some stranger smiling at her. He chuckled to himself. The scruffiness of her attire foretold her class, unless it was a disguise, which he sincerely doubted, for that would have only brought more attention to her situation. In addition, Patrick could not figure out if she looked that bad on purpose to make a statement or if she truly did not know how to present herself in public. Either way, he would pray for her. They needed to get on with the task at hand, which was to find Rylee and get going. He and Lucy continued to watch people exiting the plane until there was no one left but the crew coming from the Jetway. The only patron left in the wait area was the lost looking girl who had decided to sit and wait for her party.
“Mom, are you sure she was even on this flight?” Patrick asked, feeling apprehensive, since Lucy was not very forthcoming in giving him information about the situation. Not that he minded being out of the loop, but he was cautious for his mother’s sake. His mother looked at him smiling and then headed toward the seated girl. Patrick stared after her in disbelief, thinking he may be able to help that girl after all. Lord, I don’t suppose Rylee missed her plane, and this girl was sent to us for help instead?
Patrick was wishing he had done a little investigational work himself before Lucy took on this charitable feat. He was beginning to feel a little leery of leaving his mother alone while on his mission, not knowing what the circumstances might promote. The information given about Rylee was not sufficient enough to satisfy his curiosity. Patrick wasn’t sure if it was for his own sake or for Lucy’s. Either way, he wasn’t going to leave his mother in a situation she may not be able to get out of until he saw Rylee and felt it was safe enough to leave. That would be seven months of alone time with each other. A lot could happen in seven months, and sometimes his mother’s charitableness scared him. However, Lucy always prayed before jumping into things; therefore, she would have said no if she thought it wasn’t in the Lord’s plan. He would just have to trust that fact.
“Rylee?” Lucy asked.
The young girl looked up from the floor into Lucy’s eyes. Nodding her head, she stood.
Lucy grabbed Rylee’s arms and then threw her own around her.
“God love ya, girl! Welcome to America!” Lucy exclaimed.
Rylee was startled at the sight of the woman coming at her. Lucy could come on a bit strong at first, and Patrick wanted to warn her, but he was too late.
“How was the flight?” Patrick asked.
Rylee just nodded. He held out his hand for her to shake.
“Hi, I’m Patrick.”
Nodding again, she took his hand without making eye contact. With her free hand, Rylee pushed her glasses toward the bridge of her nose, for fear they would fall. Her glasses had seen better days, but they were her only pair. And until she had other resources, they would make do. Rylee felt that as long as she was able to see the two people before her, she did not need to worry about a new pair just yet.
“We’ve kind of followed you throughout the years but never actually met. It’s nice to finally meet you,” he continued. Patrick, getting a little lost himself, not really knowing how to handle the shyness, just shrugged. He wasn’t used to that. He didn’t feel it was snobbery by her actions, but time would tell, and then they would deal with it.
Oh, Lord, what did we get ourselves into?
Patrick shrugged his shoulders at his mother.
Lucy rubbed Rylee’s arms.
“That’s okay, baby. You’re gonna feel right at home in no time. Let’s get your bags and we’ll scoot on,” Lucy said sweetly.
Rylee shook her head, and then stated, “No bags.”
Patrick pointed to her tote bag hanging off her shoulder.
“Is this it?” he asked, reaching to take it from her so that he could carry it for her. Rylee looked up at him, but she held tight to the bag so that he was unable to take it. He shrugged.
“Okay, let’s go.”
This is going to be a challenge, he thought. Either there’s something in the bag she doesn’t want anyone to see, or maybe she just needs something to hold on to for comfort. For all he knew, her whole life could be in that bag. Patrick started toward the exit with Lucy trying to keep up and Rylee treading several yards.
“Patrick!” Lucy shouted, before he reached the escalator that led to the parking garage. She was a little out of breath. “I know you’re in a hurry, baby. But I’m getting an aerobic workout here trying to keep up with you, and we’re going to lose Rylee in the crowd.”
He looked back to see Rylee lollygagging along without a care in the world. She had her hands in her hoodie pocket and her head down, as if she were counting the cracks in the floor.
Her tennis shoes, which he suspected were once white, bled gray and nearly tripped Rylee as she sauntered toward him without picking up her feet. Her appearance belied her age, given that he knew she had graduated from college but appeared to be only about seventeen, maybe. I can’t believe I let my mother talk me into this debacle, he thought, as he watched Rylee before taking action.
“I’m sorry,” Patrick said. He walked back several yards and waited for Rylee to catch up to them. When she finally looked his way, he pointed to the escalator and then gestured for her to lead. She quickly left her daydream state, pushed her glasses back toward her nose again, and picked up speed to accommodate Patrick’s direction to her. The hour-long ride home was going to be interesting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh dear~ I really, really wanted to like this book. The premise was different enough that it should have been an interesting read. So why didn't I enjoy reading The Dublin Destiny?

There were some key elements that were not handled well at the beginning and the end of the book. The "mystery" wasn't well developed, and dragged out too long~ the reader should at least have some inkling of Rylee's motivations, not be kept in the dark. Although the marriage is mentioned in the description of the book, the characters were not well fleshed out enough to make the premise plausible.  The resolution at the end wasn't developed well, and again, not very credible.

Beyond that, the grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary choices regularly caught me wincing, or trying desperately to figure out what the author meant to imply but missed with her choice of words... on almost every page. It was almost like trying to read something written in another language, or by someone not familiar with the English language.  :(

This is a problem that I've become familiar with in reading "Self-published" Kindle books from Amazon, and nothing that a good editor couldn't overcome. However, it was not what I expected in a printed book. I am at a loss to explain why a publishing company would go to the expense of printing (On lovely, very high quality paper, with a delightful touch) a story, and scrimp on the editing.

I'm terribly sorry to say that this book should go back to the drawing board. My heart hurts for the author, and the money spent on a premature publication of her story.

Blessings~

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the FIRST Wild Card Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

**The Quest For Truth (II) (Age of Revolution I)

Three years ago, when I was heading towards the end of my first year on the TOS Crew I received a hard copy of TruthQuest History: American History for Young Students III (grades 1-6), for review. 

I'm going to copy a little bit of that review here, just to give anyone who isn't familiar with TruthQuest History a little bit of an introduction, and you may wish to more fully check out my earlier review for a little more information on the mechanics of the program.
TruthQuest History~ What's that???

A QUEST for TRUTH in the study of history?
How does one find TRUTH in the past?

The typical frame of mind and worldview that public/secular schooling presents is that history is just events, and the dates, places and people related to those events. Michelle Miller would like to take that view of history and turn it on its head! She has put together a history program framework that looks at the BIG PICTURE using "binocular" lenses that focus on two "Big Beliefs" or main questions. Your answers to those two questions will color everything that you think and believe about the past, present and future, and indeed will shape the "history" of YOUR life.

The two Big Beliefs have been around for millenia~
Who is God?
Who is Man?

You will find, succinctly distilled, that a secular worldview and a Judeo-Christian worldview will see history through very different-colored lenses.
  • The secular worldview will see events as being orchestrated solely by man, because in the secular worldview, MAN is the driving force on earth.
  • The Judeo-Christian worldview sees God as the driving, indeed the CREATING force on the Earth, and that the study of history is actually the study of HIS-Story.
This looking at the Big Two Beliefs as they relate to HIStory continues into the high school years, and I was excited to have a look at The Age of Revolution I (America/Europe, 1600-1800) for grades 5-12. *Note~ I received the PDF downloadable version of this guide for review.

My children were very pleased with the way TruthQuest approaches history. It starts with a discussion that introduces the general time-period, and occasional ThinkWrite questions, which give your students things to look for in their reading. Then comes the meat of this program~ Reading, Reading, and more Reading! Michelle Miller has put together huge lists of available resources. She includes:
  • Spines, Insight Books, Snapshot Books
  • Topic Specific books that include a mix of fiction and non fiction. 
One of the big things to remember when using TruthQuest guides is that it is almost impossible to read every resource listed, and as a matter of fact it would be overkill to do so. Having such a wide variety of books and resources listed is one of the strengths of this program, as it doesn't rely on only one or two texts that may or may not be currently in print, but it can be intimidating~ remember to pick and choose! So far I have been able to request from my library or through Inter-Library Loan a more than reasonable number of books for each topic that we have looked at.

So, WHY were my kids so happy with this way to learn?

  • Well, for one thing, we chose one (Typically) historical fiction title to read aloud. This is one of the things that they enjoy the most, but sometimes it is one of the things that gets neglected because it is time consuming. I admit that reading aloud to your student isn't REQUIRED by TruthQuest, but *I* highly recommend it~ even into the high school years. (For more on why reading aloud is so important, check out this excerpt from Jim Trelease's book The Read-Aloud Handbook*). We had some interesting discussions based on the stories that we read, and we built some good memories as well. 
  • My next point was appreciated more by the bookworm (Eldest) than her brother. Depending on how many I could locate, I assigned 1-2 extra books to each of them (At middle and high school levels) for their own silent reading. 
  • How much they are remembering with this 2-pronged approach to reading history. Absolutely fascinating. 
Now, I have to say that I *could* have added worksheets and we *could* have made minute books, or utilized some of the companion resources(by A Journey Through Learning) offered on the TruthQuest website (scroll down to view each manual and the corresponding companion materials), however, we just read and discussed.

From a planning standpoint, I looked at the table of contents, and figured out where we were in our American history, and we picked up from there. I chose to spend 1-2 weeks on each topic that we read about in general, so that I wouldn't have to read more than 3-6 chapters in any given book each day.  I really appreciate how flexible this program is, although I have a suspicion that I might have been intimidated by it as a new homeschooler (That smorgasbord concept can be difficult to deal with. Just like the real thing, it's so to tempting to overload your plate, and then not feel very good afterwards. Be picky~ choose only as much as will work best for your family! Don't *stuff* your kids... even with good *stuff*... or they will get SICK!)

I do have one thing that I noticed in the manual that bothered me just the tiniest bit(not at all a big deal, really, but my kids picked up it too, thus I must mention it). Because the manuals are written in a first person narrative~ TO the student, and because they were clearly written in an orderly manner, we kept running into phrases that referenced topics covered in earlier time periods and manuals (you already know.... , you remember...., etc....). If you are picking up TruthQuest NOT at the beginning of history, you may get this "I missed out" feeling that we were experiencing. Like I said~ not a big deal, but something that might be worded differently in future editions.

Wow! Is that the only negative I have to present? Um.... yeah, I think so~ Although I'm not positive yet that it will work for my purposes as a totally Stand-Alone History Curriculum, I know I appreciate TruthQuest as a resource when studying any historical time-period their guides cover.

Just a quick note about the PDF version~ I realize that not everyone has e-reader capability, but more and more folks are utilizing them, so I thought I'd include a little bit of our experiences here. I have an ipad, and both of my older children have an itouch. I finally purchased an app that is extremely useful, and can be used on all of our devices. ~ I open the file in pdf-notes and highlight the books I want to look for at the library. I can add a checkmark in another color if we've actually checked the book out, and I have also added hand-written notes, adding in resources that I have, so that I don't forget to utilize them. Oh, and I can highlight books that we own in our home-library in another color as well. Pretty cool! :)

Alright now for the Nitty-Gritty~
  • Product~ TruthQuest History Guides 
  • Price~ $24.95 to $34.95 for printed copies, $19.95 to $29.95 for pdf versions
  • Ages~ American History Guides for Young Students (grades 1-5) World History, American/European (grades 5-12)
  • Samples for each guide available on the product purchase page
  • How to choose the appropriate level, or how to place multiple children is addressed very competently by TruthQuest on this page as well as 1-8 year plans for covering History.  (I appreciate their treatment of Ancient History, for example... The question, then, may be whether your young child is capable of this analytical look at Greek beliefs, or will he be spiritually confused if he hears mythology only as adventurous stories? Families with both older and younger children can, of course, feel free to cautiously include the youngsters in studying ancient history as God directs, and many, many families have successfully and enjoyably done so. Other families decide to have their younger children wait to study the ancients until they are older, and instead put their (American) children into our special "American History for Young Students" series. ) 
  • FAQs and How to Use TruthQuest are addressed
For more reviews of TruthQuest History Guides, (including reviews from Beginnings to AD 2000) please check out the Crew Blog.

As always, I hope that this review was helpful to you as you choose where to spend your homeschool dollars. If you have questions about this or any other product I've reviewed, please feel free to ask them in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer! :)

Blessings~
Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The NIV Boys Bible


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card is:


Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Getting into a routine of reading the Bible can be challenging for anyone, but trying to keep the attention of pre-teen boys is especially difficult. So now there is a Bible especially developed for them. The NIV Boys Bible is designed with boys ages 9 to 12 in mind. Fun in-text features help boys dig deep into the Word and learn about amazing people, facts and stories of the Bible. The NIV Boys Bible will help boys grow into the young men God wants them to be. It will appeal to boys and cause them to desire to spend time in the Word with its unique features such as:

* Introductions to each book of the Bible

* Hundreds of highlighted verses worth memorizing

* What's the Big Deal?-Need-to-know biblical stories and people

* Check It Out-Interesting and fun facts about Bible times and characters

* Grossology-Gross and gory stuff they never knew was in the Bible

* Makin' It Real-Help for applying Bible stories to their everyday lives



This Bible includes the full text of the New International Version, the most popular Bible translation in the world, and 12 color tip-in pages introducing content that shows boys how they can grow to be like Jesus. Each book of the Bible has activities that make God's Word more relevant than ever. It is jam-packed with customized content and artwork that really makes the Bible stand out.


Product Details:
List Price: $27.99
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 1504 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310723086
ISBN-13: 978-0310723080:


AND NOW...A SAMPLE. PLEASE CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO VIEW THEM LARGER:









This Boys Bible has a suitably boyish theme, with a "metal-looking" cover, and blue and orange highlights throughout. 
 
The Introductions to each book include the basic who, what, when, where, and why questions and answers.  
What's the Big Deal? points out certain people, places and events and how they relate to God, which is a neat feature. It is very helpful for our kids to get that the entire Bible is HIStory
Makin' It Real helps boys to apply what they are reading to their lives today~ this is one of mom's favorite features.
Check It Out includes some interesting little trivia bits (For instance, 1 Chronicles 20:2 tells us: The crown of King Milcom weighed 75 pounds. Try balancing a big textbook on your head, then add the weight of about 70 more pounds (The weight of an average 9 year old?). Think your head could hold that much? 
The "Grossology" entries are probably one of the biggest selling points of this book. While many boys enjoy "Gross" and odd, this is not a universal characteristic, and I have to be truthful and say that this is my son's least favorite aspect of this Bible. As a matter of fact, he would prefer that it wasn't in there.... even if "God didn't avoid the messy parts of life."

All in all, I felt that some of the special feature entries were a bit of a mixed bag~ some were interesting and/or edifying, while others were a little obvious vs interesting, in my opinion. However, if you happen to be in the market for a new Boys Bible, and your Boy is all about gross, and you'd like to help him apply scripture to his life as well as see how God's story is told all through the Bible, this could be a good choice for you! :)

Blessings~

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the FIRST Wild Card Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Amazing Animals~~~ By Design


 
I don't know about you, but I am always happy to see books being published that agree with my worldview and belief in a Creative, Intelligent Designer of the universe, so I was delighted that fellow crewmate Debra Haagen gave the Crew a preview to her first book, Amazing Animals by Design.

The story follows Sarah, John and their parents as they visit a zoo and learn some interesting facts about the animals you see pictured on the front. The amazing thing that they keep hearing from the zoo keepers as well as their parents is that each animal was "Designed" in a specific way for a specific purpose. Whether it is the trunk that allows the elephant to survive (They couldn't eat without it!) or the long neck of the giraffe, it is clear that all creatures were specially designed to do what they do.

Can you imagine a bird like an ostrich (That can't fly), but much smaller? It wouldn't survive! Or, what if every animal ate the same thing (remember the food chain we learned about in grade school?)? They would run out of food! I won't tell you everything we read about, but the caracal has a very special skill that couldn't just happen.

There is also some discussion about God having a special plan and design for each one of us, as we each have unique abilities and purpose in life.
Makes having a rational discussion about some of the flaws of Evolution a natural conclusion, when appropriate.  

I really like the animal illustrations, and the 24 pages of text and illustrations kept my 4 year-old's attention. Best of all, I didn't have to counteract (Or skip over) any "Millions of years ago...." comments.

Purchase directly from Tate Publishing  $8.99 for a hands-on paperback copy and $7.99 for the digital download (I checked, and Amazon and Barnes and Noble also carry this title, now that it has been released for the past 2 days! You can special order from your local B&N, and create some awareness of an "intelligent design" animal book!) 
For more information and to interact with the author, please consider visiting her here:
Amazing by Design blog
Amazing Animals By Design Facebook Page
NotableScraps (a plug for Debra's regular blog, which includes her Crew reviews) :)
 
Just a note~ this book would definitely be best as a "hold-it-in-your-hands" book. I had a hard time figuring out how to have the double-page spread on my ipad. This could just be my technical ineptitude. It didn't bother me much, as it was really intended for reviewing the story itself, so I'm not complaining, just giving you a "heads-up that unless you are tight on space, you might appreciate the physical copy for the extra $1.
I hope this review is helpful to you as you consider "Science" reading material for your K-2nd grader. This is a great choice for those who believe in a Creator, and intelligent design.For further thoughts from the TOS Crew Members, please visit the Crew Blog.

Blessings~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Faithgirlz NIV Bible (My daughter's favorite!)


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card contributor is:


and the book:

Zonderkidz; Rev Spl edition (March 6, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR:


Nancy Rue has worked as a public school teacher, church youth director, theater workshop developer and camp director. She has written more than eighty books for young people, including the beloved Faithgirlz! Sophie series, The Skin You're In and Everybody Tells Me to Be Myself but I Don't Know Who I Am. Nancy lives with her husband and two dogs in Lebanon, TN.


About Faithgirlz!: Faithgirlz! is a collection of books, Bibles and resources designed to provide transformational Christian experiences for tween girls. Faithgirlz! encourages honest tween-girl empowerment by providing engaging, relevant, high-quality offerings, helping tween girls understand their world, learn biblical teachings, become closer to God and grow into godly teenagers. Faithgirlz! offers excellent content and contributions from leading Christian tween writers and spokespeople including Nancy Rue, Melody Carlson, Kristi Holl, Naomi Kinsman and more. Faithgirlz! is also supported with a website (www.Faithgirlz.com), Facebook page and mother and daughter live events across the country.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Every girl wants to know she’s totally unique and special, and contributor Nancy Rue helps them do just that in the revised edition of the NIV Faithgirlz! Bible. As a leading tween expert, Rue teaches girls that the Bible is real and relevant and, best of all, that the story of God and His people is also their story. Girls can now grow closer to God as they discover the journey of a lifetime, in their language, for their world.


The new Faithgirlz! Bible was developed especially for girls ages 9 to 12. Everything in it is written with a tween girl’s experience in mind, and it features the most popular Bible translation in the world, the New International Version. The features explain hard-to-understand things in the Bible and guide girls to put the Scripture to work in their own lives. The Faithgirlz! Bible focuses on sharing faith with friends and gives real ways for girls to do that.

Each book of the Bible has activities that make God’s Word more relevant than ever. And, of course, because it was developed for Faithgirlz! readers, they can expect to find it jam-packed with customized content and artwork that really makes the Bible stand out. Girls will love the cool design, the interactive features and the feeling of knowing that God’s Word is there for them whenever they need it. Some of the features included are:

· Book Introductions—Girls will read the who, when, where and what of each book of the Bible.

· Dream Girl—Girls will use their imaginations to put themselves in the story.

· Is There a Little (Eve, Ruth, Isaiah) in You?—Girls will see for themselves what they have in common with women of the Bible.

· Words to Live By—Girls will discover great Bible verses for memorizing.

· Oh, I Get It!—Girls will find answers to Bible questions they’ve wondered about.


Nancy Rue says, “I hope the Faithgirlz! Bible will help girls grow a friendship with the Bible, their own relationship. It asks questions, asks them to think and challenges them to apply what they’re learning. That’s how they’ll find a deep, personal relationship with God, rather than just by following rules or saying what they’ve been told without really thinking about it. Rules are important, of course, but they only make sense when they really believe the message of the Scriptures. That’s what this Bible is about.” The Faithgirlz! Bible is the perfect Bible to support girls in their journey into the “beauty of believing.”

The main edition of the Faithgirlz! Bible is hardcover, but it is also available in two Italian Duo-Tone designs. For better portability, there is also an NIV Faithgirlz! Backpack Bible. This compact edition does not include the in-text features that the full-size edition has, but it does have twelve full-color pages of Faithgirlz! fun, the words of Christ in red and a ribbon marker. An ebook version is also planned for electronic use.

Product Details:
List Price: $27.99

Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 1504 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz; Rev Spl edition (March 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310722365
ISBN-13: 978-0310722366



AND NOW...A SAMPLE. PLEASE CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO VIEW THEM LARGER:











We have been blessed to have numerous Bibles in our home~ some we have received for review, and others have been purchased specifically. Out of all of them, Eldest has let me know that this is her favorite to date. She really like the introductions to each of the books of the Bible. Her favorite interesting extra "feature" is the "Bring It On" Circles which have a "Get to know yourself" question with A, B, C answers (These are a little randomly scattered, which isn't great, but it's kind of fun to stumble on them when reading). The answers will point you to Bible verses that will encourage you where you are. For instance~

When all my friends agree on something except me, I:
A. Do it their way.
B. Try to get somebody to agree with me.
C. Try to find a way where we all win a little.

on the facing page there is a corresponding circle that says

If you answered
A. Go to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
B. Go to Acts 17:2-4
C. Go to Romans 14:19

The "Is there a little (Daniel, Ezekiel, Jonah, Eve, Ruth) in you?" feature frequently has a humorous hook that makes my Eldest chuckle. Here's an example~
Is there a little Ezekiel in you? "God has probably never dragged you someplace by the hair to see how rotten people were. (Ouch, Ezekiel.) But have you ever:
  • Seen somebody being so selfish you wanted to hurl?
  • Hated it that nobody else thought it was a big deal?
God wants that, even if He doesn't yank you by the hair. (Ezekiel 8-11)

If you're looking for a tween/teen girly Bible for devotional purposes, this could be a good option. The lack of a concordance or center column reference means it isn't a great study Bible, but that is not the intent of this particular version.

Blessings~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the FIRST Wild Card Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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