Monday, June 20, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I have never read the classic Maud Hart Lovelace books including her Betsy-Tacy books and Emily of Deep Valley. I have been collecting the Betsy-Tacy books so I can read them with my daughters so when I had the opportunity to get this new re-release of Emily of Deep Valley I had to try it. I am pleased to say that I am looking forward to the Betsy-Tacy books based on this one (though this one actually comes after the others chronologically). It really took me back to the simple times of my childhood when some of my best friends came in the form of characters in classic books (Laura Ingalls Wilder, Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, The Boxcar Children, The Happy Hollisters, etc...) girls who lived in worlds where so many of today's issues didn't exist. With places and people that were quirky and fun and all around books that I don't have to censor for my children. I am thrilled to have finally discovered Maud Hart Lovelace and the beautiful new packaging that this classic book comes wrapped in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.
I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.
By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.
My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.
After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.
Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).
ABOUT THE BOOK
Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...
In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.
If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but this second book is even better! Years in the future and after a global epidemic that practically wiped out all mankind, society has reverted to an almost midevil state. Christianity has been eradicated - or has it? This book takes us on a journey to Roma in search of a copy of the New Testament (in Book 1 Teo and Ana found a copy of the Old Testament). Along the way Ana and Teo are separated and both of them make the ultimate sacrifice for each other. I can not wait until the next book comes out - alas, I think it will be awhile, but worth the wait!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.
ABOUT THE BOOK
After the finding of an Old Testament in book one of the trilogy, The Gift picks up the story of Teo and Ana. Exiled from their homeland and trying to survive in unknown and dangerous lands, they search for any record of the missing Testament.
Their journeys lead them into the region we know as Italy. An elite society welcomes Ana, who finds she must choose between her new life and her dream of returning to Chiveis. Will Teo and Ana’s relationship withstand the circumstances and new enemies pulling them apart? And can Teo keep ahead of a powerful and mysterious force opposing his search for the New Testament?
If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Gift, go HERE.
Watch the book trailer:
The Gift Trailer from Crossway on Vimeo<>
Okay, you know I like Speculative fiction, I enjoy a good "what if" storyline... but some can be a little over the top. Not "The Sword". "The Sword" is a brilliant blend of the futuristic past with characters and settings that grab the mind but don't boggle it into confusion. The prologue is so good and interesting that I read it out loud to my husband. This book is set in the future after a virus breaks out and spreads across the planet wiping out the human race but not before sending it into nuclear war. The little remnants of human existence that try to survive are forced to revert to life of long ago since there is no electricity, no technology and really no obvious signs of life as we know it now.
In this world we meet a "knight" and a common lady who unknowingly set out to change the world when they discover a Bible that was hidden 400 years ago and introduce it to this society where Christianity is unheard of and 3 false gods "rule" everything.
I loved this book and can't believe I have to wait an entire year to get the 2nd one!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.
In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.
On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.
This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.
Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).
ABOUT THE BOOK
Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.
With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.
Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE
Monday, June 13, 2011
This book is filled with the importance of community, neighbors, and standing on your own. Little Britches makes sacrifices in order to accept his role as the man in the family. Grace, the eldest daughter, also shoulders a lot of responsibility. Together they try to take as much of the load off their mother as possible. The author has a way of writing scenes so vividly that you are transported into the middle and feel every emotion.
This book can be read on its own. But for those who have read Little Britches, you will love seeing so many characters return. These books make me think of Little House on the Prairie, only for boys. But everyone can enjoy them.
Synopsis: Fortified with Yankee ingenuity and western can-do energy, the Moody family, transplanted from New England, builds a new life on a Colorado ranch early in the twentieth century. Father has died and Little Britches shoulders the responsibilities of a man at age eleven.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Here's the synopsis: Ralph Moody was eight years old in 1906 when his family moved from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth century. Auctions and roundups, family picnics, irrigation wars, tornadoes and wind storms give authentic color to Little Britches. So do adventures, wonderfully told, that equip Ralph to take his father's place when it becomes necessary.
Cara Again: one little note. One of the ranchers uses a bit of colorful language. The kind I had to edit as I read. I didn't remember that, which probably means my mom did the same thing. That is the only caveat on this book. And I would encourage you to get the book. My ten year old daughter enjoyed the stories and the family immensely. But the life lessons on how to grow up to be a man of character are incredible. The father is full of wisdom that is passed to us through the books pages. All of your kids will enjoy these stories of growing up on a ranch in Colorado at the turn of the century, but your boys will especially love it.
Just a note: the ending is sad...but the book leads you there with compassion. And it was real life back then.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Then in early May Tricia sent a copy to my daughter. I was THRILLED. I'm even more excited to have a copy to giveaway to one commenter/follower on this blog and one on my blog!
Let's face it young adults are concerned about finding that perfect spouse. But in the pursuit of the right person, we often forget we need to become that right person. What I love about this book is that Gunn and Goyer focus not only on how to pray for your future spouse -- before you even know who that is -- but also on how you need to prepare yourself to be the right person, too. Can you imagine what would happen if we poured half the energy we devote to dreaming and fretting into praying? That could be amazing!
Goyer and Gunn also have very different experiences that lead to marriage. These experiences bring a richness to the book because it's not all rosy nor all warning. Instead, it casts vision for what is possible. They guide the reader through 12 areas they can pray for their future spouse. Areas like his heart, that he would be a God lover, for patience, understanding, intimacy and commitment. This book would be a great gift for a girl who is starting to focus on young men -- especially if it's coupled with a commitment to read it and discuss the principles with her.
From when we were small girls, most of us dream of “The One,” our future husband. We think about what it would be like to be a bride. We wonder who that special guy is and when we'll find him. The great news is that what you do now can make a difference in your life and the life of your future husband!
Authors and good friends Robin Jones Gunn (Christy Miller series) and Tricia Goyer (author and former teen mom) believe God answers women's prayers for husbands—even husbands they may not meet for years. They invite young women to pray boldly for their future mate … while also asking God to prepare their own hearts.
In Praying for Your Future Husband, Robin and Tricia share their two vastly different experiences, including the things they did right and the mistakes they made on the path to meeting and marrying their husbands. Each chapter includes helpful Bible verses, prayers, and practical application, along with true stories of women who prayed for a husband and how God answered in remarkable ways.
God has a beautiful romance prepared for you. Prayer is the key to unlocking the love story … with your future husband and with God, the lover of your soul.