Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: The Paleo Manifesto

In The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health, John Durant argues for an evolutionary – and revolutionary – approach to health. All animals, human or otherwise, thrive when they mimic key elements of life in their natural habitat. From diet to movement to sleep, this evolutionary perspective sheds light on some of our most pressing health concerns. What is causing the rise of chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and depression? Is eating red meat going to kill you? Is avoiding the sun actually the best way to avoid skin cancer?

Durant takes readers on a thrilling ride to the Paleolithic and beyond, unlocking the health secrets of our ancient ancestors. What do obese gorillas teach us about weight loss? How can Paleolithic skulls contain beautiful sets of teeth? Why is the Bible so obsessed with hygiene? What do NASA astronauts teach us about getting a good night’s sleep? And how are Silicon Valley techies hacking the human body?

Blending science and culture, anthropology and philosophy, John Durant distills the lessons from his adventures and shows how to apply them to day-to-day life, teaching people how to construct their own personal “habitat” that will enable them to thrive. The book doesn’t just address what we eat, but why we eat it; not just how to exercise, but the purpose of functional movement; not just being healthy, but leading a purposeful life.

Combining the best of ancient wisdom with cutting edge science, Durant crafts a vision of health that is both fresh and futuristic.

My Review:
I've been hearing a lot about eating a Paleo diet.  I know most of the foods you can and can't eat and I get the basics of the principle behind it.  I did not know anything more than that.  I wanted to learn more because it is an idea that intrigues me.  I was very excited to get this book.  It is not a traditional diet book.  It is a book hoping to give you knowledge about why you should or should not eat a Paleo diet.  The three parts of the book include Origins, Here and Now, and Visions.  
If you are at all intrigued by eating a Paleo diet or are just interested in some historical knowledge, I definitely recommend this book.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Once a Day Bible (Chronological Edition)

Book Description

The NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition organizes the New International Version Bible---the world’s most popular modern-English Bible---into 365 daily readings placed in chronological order. This softcover edition includes a daily Scripture reading followed by a short devotional thought written by the staff at the trusted ministry Walk Thru the Bible.

My Review:
I've never had a chronological Bible before so reading this one was a little bit different.  Sometimes, for me at least, the timeline of events in the Bible get confusing and overwhelming.  I'm hoping that while going through this Bible I will be able to better remember the order of more events.  I really appreciate the once a day aspect of this Bible as well.  It makes for nice, short readings that I can really delve into and I know that they divided it correctly to be finished in a year.  I think that this Bible is a great addition to any Bible collection, although I would not have it as my only Bible because of the order of books.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review: Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari

Book Description

Train your feet: Ignite your soul.

Pre-teen shoe model Riley Mae laces up her flaming orange Sole Fire running shoes for another ad campaign in the third book of the Faithgirlz! Good News Shoes series. Kenya, Africa is the perfect place for runners to train, with its high elevation and encouragement from members of the famous Kalenjin tribe. It’s also a great hiding place for Riley and her Swiftriver friends  from enemies back in the United States, but for how long? Adjusting to African culture is difficult, but by doing work she’s not accustomed to and by spending time with the kids and the Christian women in the village, Riley finds herself growing stronger physically, and praying expectantly for ways that God can use her to spread the Good News. Her prayers are answered in exciting and startling ways when Riley meets an orphaned girl seeking answers at a children’s home in Nairobi, but also when an error in judgment causes her to stumble into a surprise meeting with the enemy.

My Review:
I was so excited that this 3rd book in the Riley Mae series finally came.  My ten year old daughter loved the first two in the series and she is hard to win over.  She really fights with me to read, but she has stayed up late into the night reading the Riley Mae books.  I am so thankful for that and hope that there are more to come. 
I couldn't be happier about the content quality in the books.  They are current and up to date, but leave out the snotty, bratty attitudes that most teen (and preteen) books and shows have.  Not only does Riley Mae have a great attitude but she also shows initiative, a hard work ethic, generosity and compassion.  I highly recommend this series!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Dancing on the Head of a Pen

In this masterful blend of the practical and the spiritual, Robert Benson invites you into the work and rewards of a writer’s life. More than a primer on effective writing, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a winsome guide to the place in the heart where the life of the spirit meets the life of art.
Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a pure delight to read. Encouraging, honest, practical, and important. I needed this book.”
—Melody Carlson, author of more 200 books including Finding Alice

“With deceptive simplicity and an almost seductive easiness in his voice, Benson lays open before us the filigreed mystique of the writing life in all its beauty, its unmitigated angst, and its inescapable vocation.”
—Phyllis Tickle, author of numerous books including The Divine Hours

“Robert Benson’s Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a gem. It is wise, witty, and inspiring—a trifecta seldom achieved by a book on the writing life.”
—James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure

After some forty years and nearly twenty books, I have learned I do not know about a lot of things, but I do know how to write a book. Some of these things are habits stolen from other writers, writers far better than I am. Some are disciplines I stumbled upon to feed both the caliber of the writing and the work of being a writer. Some of them are practices I discovered on my own after years of dancing on the head of a pen.
Robert Benson

The Life of the Spirit Meets the Life of Art

A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression.

Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals.
Extending beyond the craft of writing, this gentle book moves into a rich discussion on the relationship between spirituality and art. Including wisdom from revered writers past and present, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a beautiful mosaic of inspiration, practical help, and a glimpse into the disciplines that shape one writer’s life.

My Review:
This is a beautiful book.  Unfortunately, it really didn't introduce me to any really new ideas.  I felt like it was too simple like maybe it should have been written for someone doing a report on writers and their process.  The ideas were very basic and not so helpful for me and I really wouldn't consider myself a writer.  I love to write and feel like it is one of my passions, but I just don't get to write like I would love. It's just the season of life that I am in.  If you are a writer, who is stuck, this book may help. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Book Review: Celebrate Recovery Bible

This softcover Bible is an ideal, real-life spiritual guide for anyone looking for hope in the face of difficult circumstances and the negative habits they are trying to control. Based on eight recovery principles found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and on the underlying Christ-centered twelve steps of the proven Celebrate Recovery program, this Bible lifts readers up and shows them how to walk, step by attainable step, on a path of healing and liberty.
Featuring a foreword by Rick Warren, the NIV Celebrate Recovery Bible offers hope and encouragement to all who feel powerless and stuck. Through developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, readers will be empowered to rise above their hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

  • Full text of the world’s most popular modern English Bible—the New International Version (NIV)
  • Articles explain eight recovery principles and accompanying Christ-centered twelve steps
  • Over 110 lessons unpack eight recovery principles in practical terms
  • Recovery stories offer encouragement and hope
  • 30 days of devotional readings
  • Over 50 full-page biblical character studies are tied to stories from real-life people who have found peace and help with their own hurts, hang-ups, and habits
  • Book introductions
  • Side-column reference system keyed to the eight recovery principles
  • Topical index

My Review:
I am not in recovery for anything so it might seem strange that I ordered this Bible to review.  I thought that there would definitely be someone who I could give it to and so I thought it would be a great resource to have.  I was right.  The Bible is amazing on its own, but this one is full of little extras that make it that much more enriching and easy to understand.  I love all of the features this Bible has.  I highly recommend this Bible for anyone, but the reflection aspects are more geared toward those in some kind of recovery.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review: Samantha Sanderson On the Scene

The second book in an exciting series about a girl with dreams to become an investigative journalist, each book promises to touch on a crime straight from the headlines, while also tackling tough issues faced by middle-schoolers everywhere.

A new addition to the Faithgirlz! trusted brand of books introduces readers to Sam Sanderson, an independent, resourceful, tech-savvy cheerleader and aspiring journalist, and Sam's best friend Makayla. They're ordinary 7th graders who enjoy shopping, texting, and going to the mall-along with sniffing out the next big mysteries to report in the school paper.

As Samantha and the rest of the middle schoolers prepare for the upcoming Spring Fest, "mean girl" Nikki faces the reality that her parents are getting divorced. It's hard for Samantha to sympathize because of Nikki's unkind reputation. But when Nikki becomes victim of a string of attacks, Samantha takes it upon herself and her super sleuth abilities to get down to the bottom of the bullying.

My Review:
My oldest daughter is ten.  I gave her this book to read.  She absolutely loved the Riley Mae series from Faithgirlz. She really loved this one as well.  My daughter does not usually enjoy reading, but these books have helped her start to enjoy reading.  She now says that she is starting to like reading as long as she likes the book.  I will definitely be purchasing the first book in this series and am sure that she will enjoy it also!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Adventures in Odyssey Cut and Fold Activity!


Summer is officially here! Don't let your kids' boredom run rampant. Adventures in Odyssey is here to save the day. Below are some must-try ideas for summer fun! Want even more summer fun? For the month of June, you can join the Odyssey Adventure Club for only $5! More details can be found here.

Summer Activities

As a parent you are probably a big proponent of reading. Encourage your kids to dig into a book or two this summer with Adventures in Odyssey's On Your Marks Summer Reading Challenge. Bonus points if YOU create a reading challenge for yourself as you read along with your kids!

Looking for something hands-on? Create Matthew in 3-D! Invite a few of your kids' friends over for a play date, print off the activity sheet, and let them have at it for the afternoon (with the promise of cookies and lemonade once they've finished constructing Matthew).

Maybe your kids aren't into reading, but they love math. If that's the case, have them solve Eugene's Sudoku!

The laundry needs to be done; the dishes need to be put away. But your kids are begging you to take them out to the zoo. Let them take a whack at Matthew's Decoder in the morning, then make an agreement that if they figure out how to use the decoder, you'll take them on an afternoon adventure. That'll give you the morning to finish up your to-do list!

My oldest daughter is 10.  Like many other 10 year olds she is super into Minecraft and Legos.  This activity was very much like both.  She really enjoyed putting it together.  It was challenging, fun and educational all at the same time!  She is very excited to try the other activities!

I am receiving membership to the Odyssey Adventure Club for free in exchange for several honest opinions on certain aspects of the program.   

Friday, June 27, 2014

Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for $5

Are your kids in need of a safe and fun environment where they can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth? Enter the Odyssey Adventure Club (AOC)!
For a limited time, you can join HERE for only $5 (regular monthly membership costs $15 for up to six users)!

Families will be able to stream the Adventures in Odyssey library, plus listen to exclusive new monthly episodes.  Busy families will find 24/7 access to the content through the Odyssey Adventure Club mobile iPhone app.

Children can also read daily devotions, interact with hands-on activities and view video documentaries featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the production of the Adventures in Odyssey stories. Parents can feel confident their children are safe on the Odyssey Adventure Club website — Focus on the Family staff will be monitoring all comments before they’re publicly posted. (Created for children ages 8-12.)

A portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership will benefit Focus on the Family partner relief organizations, including Christian Veterinary Mission, Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International. This provides parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of giving and serving others.

Coming in July, Odyssey Adventure Club members get to listen to the brand new album, "The Ties That Bind," FIRST before it's available ANYWHERE ELSE!

Click here to join for only $5!

Want more summer activities for your kids inspired by the Odyssey Adventure Club? Check out this post.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: Living Life Undaunted: 365 Readings and Reflections

Book Description

From bestselling author Christine Caine, Living Life Undaunted provides a daily format for people who desire to reflect deeply on key stories, thoughts, and principles from her bestselling book Undaunted and other inspirational writings.
Here are 365 thought-provoking devotions culled from the spiritually challenging words of acclaimed speaker and advocate Christine Caine. Including an introduction by the author, these short selections offer daily wisdom, inspiration, and companionship. The daily readings that encourage readers to do what God calls them to do are compiled from Undaunted and other inspirational writings from Christine Caine.
Perfect as a meaningful gift for a friend or for those who desire a devotional book with a targeted inspirational thought, Living Life Undaunted is the ideal combination of deep yet digestible wisdom.

My Review:
If you love Christine Caine, you will love this book.  If you've never read a book of hers, you will still love this book.  I really enjoy devotionals and this is one of my favorites now.  The readings are short and filled with so much wisdom and insight.  I love that you are able to pick the book up and read a whole devotion in just a few minutes.  There are reflections at the end of some of them for you to further delve into.  Caine reveals some very personal struggles throughout the book and she is very relatable.  She is such a strong woman because of her relationship with Christ.  I am so happy that I got this book. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Mom Seeks God

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller offers a highly relatable story and useful advice to help new moms grow in their faith as they address life changes with grace, patience, and prayer. As readers discover ten essential faith practices, they’ll learn that motherhood itself is a spiritual discipline and can be God’s most effective technique for forming a more Christ-like life.

Julia is celebrating the book's release with a fun giveaway and connecting with moms during a live Facebook author chat.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 1st. Winner will be announced at "Moms' May Day" Facebook Party on May 1st. Connect with Julia for an encouraging discussion on spiritual discipline and finding joy in the middle of motherhood. Win prizes, connect with other moms, and be inspired.

So grab your copy of Mom Seeks God and join Julia on the evening of May 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

About the book: The first months and years of motherhood can be the most challenging and disorienting of your life---and faith. When you're surrounded by the happy chaos of children, how do you spend quiet time with God if the only quiet time you get is while you sleep? How can you demonstrate a solid spiritual life to your children if you don't have time to pursue one yourself?

When Julia Roller discovered that her spiritual growth had been stunted by the busyness of life with her toddler, she embarked on a yearlong journey through ten spiritual disciplines: prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration. As she focused on each discipline, she discovered practical ways to observe them---even in the chaos of her every day.

Purchase a copy and find out more about Julia at:

About the Author: Julia Roller is an author and editor. Her books include Mom Seeks God (Abingdon Press), A Year with God (with Richard J. Foster), A Year with Aslan, and 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. Working with Renovar√©, she has also co-authored four spiritual formation guides. She has written study guides for authors such as Desmond Tutu, Richard J. Foster, Henri Nouwen, Jenna Bush, and Rob Bell. Her articles have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Street Spirit, Group, Rev.!, and Children's Ministry. She and her family live in San Diego, California.

My Review:
I think that as Christian moms we all struggle with the exact same problems that Julia Roller faced.  We all desire a strong relationship with the Lord but our time is pulled so many directions.  We all want more than anything for our children to live a life in communion with God, but they need to see it more than hear about it.  It is a circle that causes stress (at least for me).  This book was wonderful and has inspired me very much to do my own serious seeking of God.  I highly recommend this book to all of the busy moms out there who can always seek God a little more.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: A Sensible Arrangement

Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson's 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie's new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.

Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.
  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

About the book: A Lone Star Brides book.

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 

Learn more about Tracie at:

My Review:
This was another book with a beautiful cover.  For some reason I really enjoy learning more about arranged marriages.  This book is fiction, but I loved reading about it in this story.  The situation is interesting and the characters are wonderful.  Some of the situations made me laugh and some made me almost cringe.  This was an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it.  This was Peterson's 100th book!  What an accomplishment! 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek

If you’re gonna run for your life, you gotta wear the right shoes.
Riley Mae Hart loves sports and action - so when the Swiftriver Shoe Company offers her a contract to be the spokesperson for their new outdoor sport collection, she jumps at the chance. Soon she’s appearing in commercials and magazine ads, and every girl in town wants to wear Riley Mae shoes. Well, except for Riley. Because walking in those shoes means missing out on softball season, making her best friend TJ mad, and embarrassing her new friend, Rusty. It also means sneaking around, hiding, and keeping secrets - because suddenly something isn’t quite right at Swiftriver. But a contract’s a contract, so Riley laces up her “Rock Shocker” hiking boots for a climb up Half-Dome in Yosemite. Will they be the right shoes to get her back on solid ground?

My Review:
I requested the second in this series first and although it was a great book I had regretted not reading the first one first.  This series is wonderful and I definitely recommend it to young girls seven and up.  It has great morals and shows girls being hardworking, dedicated and sporty.  My daughter, who is ten, really enjoyed this book and actually read it without complaining.  The characters are fun and the story line is also.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Claiming Mariah

Claiming Mariah
After her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.
With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author: Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of!

Learn more about Pam at:

My Review:
First of all, the cover of this book is so beautiful and draws you in.  Once you start the story you will be drawn in by its beauty.  I love stories that are set in late 1800s like this one.  Life was hard but simple and I love that.  The characters are full of life and the drama is great to read.  I really enjoyed the way that Hillman writes and I definitely will look forward to reading more of her books. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: Know Orphans

KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology
The global orphan crisis is complex. The church’s response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.
KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect, KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church’s role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church’s response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.
KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation

About the Author: Rick Morton is the father of three transnational adopted children and coauthor of the popular book Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care. His dedication to the plight of orphans extends beyond his own family. The Mortons were cofounders of Promise 139, an international orphan-hosting ministry based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker for the gospel to be expressed by the church living out God's heart for the fatherless, Rick presents at adoption and orphan-care conferences and pastor's conferences. Rick and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.

Learn more about Rick at:

My Review:
I have a heart for adopting so I was so excited to read this book.  We are all told to care for orphans and quite frankly the modern church has failed miserably at encouraging this.  This book is a wonderful guide and support for anyone who is considering adoption, especially internationally.  It gives ideas for churches to better support what we are commanded to do.  I hope that this book and its ideas will spread like crazy.  The orphan problem is completely capable of being remedied.  The first step though has to be a change of minds.  I hope this book will help do that!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: The Perfect Score Project

The Perfect Score Project is an indispensable guide to acing the SAT – as well as the affecting story of a single mom’s quest to light a fire under her teenage son.

It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT.  Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided – on his behalf -- to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.

Debbie’s quest turned out to be an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she took the SAT seven times in one year and in-between “went to school” on standardized testing.  Here, she reveals why the SAT has become so important, the cottage industries it has spawned, what really works in preparing for the test and what is a waste of time.

Both a toolbox of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy, The Perfect Score Project rivets. In the book Debbie does it all: wrestles with Kaplan and Princeton Review, enrolls in Kumon, navigates, meets regularly with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and even cadges free lessons from the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company.

Along the way she answers the questions that plague every test-prep rookie, including: “When do I start?”...”Do the brand-name test prep services really deliver?”...”Which should I go with: a tutor, an SAT class, or self study?”...”Does test location really matter?” … “How do I find the right tutor?”…How do SAT scores affect merit aid?”... and “What’s the one thing I need to know?”
The Perfect Score Project’s combination of charm, authority, and unexpected poignancy makes it one of the most compulsively readable guides to SAT test prep ever – and a book that will make you think hard about what really matters.

My Review:
Wow.  This book really was intense and honestly it kind of made me anxious.  I went between feeling like this lady was super crazy to do everything she did and feeling like I needed to get a move on in the preparing department (my daughter is 10).  This book is filled with great ideas, tips and resources so you can also go crazy preparing for the SAT.  It is up to you how crazy you get!  I do not think I will ever be that intense on the test, but I still enjoyed the book.  There are great ideas for all kinds of teaching and learning.  It is enjoyable to read also. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Riley Mae and the Ready Eddy Rapids

Book Description

If you’re gonna run for your life, you gotta wear the right shoes.

Life is rapidly changing for pre-teen shoe spokesperson Riley Mae. After the last photo shoot and trek up the Half-Dome in Yosemite, Riley Mae and her Swiftriver friends find themselves in Northwest Montana, the perfect backdrop for a river sandal campaign. The first problem is a plane malfunction. Then the rigorous raft training for the “Ready Eddy” river sandal campaign brings more bumps and bruises. And given that she is in Montana for a shoe campaign instead of back home with her friends, Riley thinks life can’t get much worse. But then she meets Sunday, a 10 year-old boy from Kenya, who wrestles fish, battles bears, and tackles leukemia. And Riley soon learns that life is as unpredictable as the raging waters, which, if she is not careful, will sweep her away and into the hands of the enemy - who is even closer than she thinks.

My Review:
I am always trying to get my 10 year old daughter to read.  It is always a fight.  Always.  Not only do I want my daughter to read, but I want her to read books that are not filled with trash.  I think part of the appeal is that Riley has a pretty awesome sounding life.  She is a pre-teen and a famous shoe spokesperson.  My other daughter's name is Rylee, so I think that also appealed to my oldest.  She is actually reading this book and enjoying it.  I read it and I definitely recommend it, but I think that starting with the first one in the series would be best.  I was a little lost in the beginning since this book seemed to start off where the last one ended, but my daughter didn't seem to complain about that at all.  It was a great story with a great message and we will definitely be looking for more from this series.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: Let There Be Light

'In the very beginning, God's love bubbled over when there was nothing else---no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea---only darkness.' Let There Be Light combines the love and warmth of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the extraordinary talents of bestselling author and illustrator Nancy Tillman. This retelling of the biblical story of creation vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of God's creation on each of the seven days. Using Archbishop Tutu's lyrical text from the Children of God Storybook Bible and Tillman's remarkable illustrations, Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old.

My Review:
Ahh... this book is gorgeous!  The pictures are so beautiful and the story is so simply told.  This is a wonderful book that draws everyone in.  It is definitely going to be a favorite in our house.  The story is very close to the Biblical version and I appreciated that very much.  I highly recommend this book for every family.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.