Book Review of #truth by Josh McDowell

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  For many years I have been a subscriber of the YouVersion App and with four children – three of whom are still teenagers, I spend a lot of time looking for resources for them to get them into God’s Word.  Josh McDowell does an excellent job of filling that need.  This would be perfect for a homeschooling family with teenagers.  The teens can complete this on their own or families could complete it together.

This book includes 365 devotions for teenagers that connect life with faith.  The Scripture passages are relatively short and easy to read.  He then includes a short passage with some explanations or insight into the passage being read.  Each day also includes a section which begins with “Truth is….” where Josh McDowell offers additional facts and information. At the end of each day is a section entitled “My Prayer”, which gives the reader a chance to have an already made prayer.  I definitely recommend this book.

 

 

 

Review of “Raising Leaders Not Followers by Kerry Beck

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“Raising Leaders Not Followers” by Kerry Beck is a thought-provoking book about stepping out of the traditional thoughts on education and raising children. She encourages parents to raise leaders rather than followers by focusing on God, developing character and stepping out into an education model that focuses on God, a parent’s goals for his/her child and the gifts and talents a particular child has.

The book was easy to read and captured my interest. I would definitely recommend this book to any homeschooling parents who want some new ideas for homeschooling. I loved her use of Scriptures from the Bible, quotes and other visual methods of displaying information. There is a study guide available along with a remarkable list of resources to refer to if a reader desires. I definitely needed the reminder to focus on God and character rather than checking off boxes to match what public school students are doing.

Kerry Beck brings a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and insights on how to raise students who can think for themselves and be visionaries rather than just regurgitating answers that have been fed to them by classroom teachers.
Once again I definitely recommend this book highly.

You can purchase the book here or click on the picture below.

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If you buy the book today, you will receive $180 in free resources.

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Also, you can register for a free workshop on starting homeschooling right.

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Review of the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

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American history comes to life with the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.  When I saw the opportunity to review these books, I had to have them to add to our family library.  I have been a fan of Rush Limbaugh’s talk show for years.  So I knew our family would love these books.

Rush Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh have written an amazing set of books that pull the reader into events from America’s past.  The stories are intriguing and pull the reader both into the current time period as well as major events from our history.  These books portray the true Christian background of our country.  With the combination of the present and the past, these stories have a definite dramatic flair that lends to being read out loud.  Every time I read a portion of these books to family members, the books enthralled our family.  The books provide laughter, humor, suspense, and all kinds of other emotions.

When the books arrived, they came wrapped in a beautiful ribbon tied in a bow.  So I had to get a picture with the ribbon.  The covers have amazing colors and details.  The paper inside makes the reader feel as though they have gone back in time.  These books contain amazing photographs, charts, maps and depictions of great events from history.  There are five books in the set.  Each one investigates important people, places, and events in American history.

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I planned on reading the books first and then having our children read them or possibly reading the books aloud as a family.  So as soon as the books arrived, I jumped right into reading the first book.  “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims” starts with the story of Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty.  Rush Revere serves as a substitute teacher at Manchester Middle School.  The story opens with Rush and Liberty aboard the Mayflower.  The story chronicles the events of the Pilgrims and Strangers on the Mayflower along with the crew responsible for getting them to their new home.  Myles Standish, William Bradford, William Brewster along with Squanto and Samoset are some of the important people mentioned from history.  This story includes traveling on the Mayflower right up to the First Thanksgiving.  Tommy and Freedom enjoy traveling with Rush Revere throughout time.

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The second book is “Rush Revere and the First Patriots”.  This book includes Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and even Paul Revere.  This story begins with the most unfortunate incident of Liberty bringing Benjamin Franklin to the present.  The idea of actually getting to talk to these fathers of the United States of America brings wonder and amazement.  Unfortunately, we have only gotten about half way through this story.  But we are enjoying it as much as the first book.  One of the key parts of this story is the introduction of a new character named Cam, who becomes a good friend to Tommy and also participates in the group’s time travels.

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The third book in the series is “Rush Revere and the American Revolution”.  This book begins in the year 1775 and examines the time of the American Revolution.  So famous individuals like Dr. Joseph Warren and George Washington play an important part in the story.  In the present, Cam’s father is serving in Afganistan and Cam is relatively angry about the situation.  As the wife of a soldier, I can relate to Cam and his father, especially since we have other family members and friends who have served in the military overseas.  The story also includes the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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The fourth book in the series is “Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner”.    In this book, our group from the future is “Rush Rush Rushing” to the year 1787,  Our time-traveling crew causes a major incident at the National Archives before traveling to the past.  I am really looking forward to reading this story.

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The final book in the series is “Rush Revere and the American Presidency”.  This book includes on of the time-traveling students deciding to run for school president.  So Rush Revere and Liberty take the students back to the start of the United States of America.  So it deals a lot with George Washington as the first president and the difficult decisions and issues the country faced in those initial days.

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These books do an amazing job of making the reader actually feel he or she is present at the time of the events being described.  At the end of some stories, a list of discussion questions can be found.

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These are books that should be shared and make excellent books to be read aloud. Another option is to buy them as audiobooks to listen to on long distance travels or for students who better hearing stories instead of reading them.  By visiting the website for Rush Revere, a variety of resources including specific ones for homeschoolers can be found.  Another section of the website I really liked is the section entitled Revere Riders, which includes a history of how the series began, book summaries, scholarships and even wallpapers that can be downloaded.

Our family definitely recommends this series.  If you would like to read other reviews from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review for Focus on the Family’s “Captain Absolutely”

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My children have enjoyed reading comic books for a while now, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to Captain Absolutely from Focus on the Family.  For this particular review, I decided to have our 16-year-old son read the book.  He was excited to begin reading it.  This comic book has action and deals with the issue of ethics.

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Here is his summary of the book.  In Metropolitanville, ownership of a Bible is illegal.  Josiah King was working at the library when his friend, Darren Gray (who also works at the library). dropped a sunflower seed, his favorite snack, into the main computer.  This computer ran on nuclear power from the city’s main reactor.  Josiah gets flung into a room full of Bibles, which he reads while radioactive fumes fill the room.  Josiah is transformed into a superhero, Captain Absolutely, with the help of Hana, a teenage girl who owns a fire suit, he must battle evil villans and defend God’s truth.

My son felt the story was good, but the pacing seemed off in places.  He would have liked to have been told more background on some of the characters.  However, the background information that was provided he felt was done very well.  He also liked most of the characters.  The puns/jokes in the story were well-executed in his opinion.  He was impressed that the story was not too cliched.

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His favorite character was Hana because she comes in around one-third of the way through the book.  She serves as Captain Absolutely‘s sidekick.  He felt like she was one of the most realistic characters in the book.  He also felt that Hana’s mom was a very likeable character.  When Hana’s mom went against Captain Absolutely, it was for understandable reasons, so you still liked her.

While he liked Captain Absolutely, my son felt he was almost “too good”.  But from listening to my older sons talk and watching some movies made from other comic books, I think that just goes with being a super hero.  After all, super heros as in comic books do not exist in our real world.  My son also declared there were times when Captain Absolutely felt real.

He felt that most of the villans felt fake with a few exceptions.  Again, I feel like this goes along with the comic book genre and the villans portrayed in them.  Since comic books are imaginary to begin with, a lot of leeway is found in these characters.  The two villans he liked the most were Fear Chemist and to a certain extent Dr. Relative.  He also liked Nurse Grudge, even though she was not a real nurse.  She seemed to really try to help people in trouble until real help could arrive.

One of the features I really liked about Captain Absolutely was found at the back of the book.  A list of many of the characters is provided with information about them.  This allows the reader to find out things about characters if they want to read a short blurb about them.

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When I asked my son who he would recommend this book to, he listed several groups.  He felt this book would be good for either girls or guys.  He felt it suited pre-teens and teenagers.  He also felt it might be a good fit for someone who was strugglign with their faith.  He also felt it would be good for anyone who likes comic books.

All in all, I feel this is a book worth reading.  As fans of Focus on the Family, I am glad to see them introduce a comic book for those that like and connect with that format.

If you would like to read more reviews of Captain Absolutely by Focus on the Family, click here or on the image below.

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You can find Focus on the Family on social media at

 

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Review for Lamplighter Publishing’s The Secret Bridge

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I was so excited to receive my copy of  The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing and begin reading this one myself.  When we first began our homeschooling journey over 10 years ago, Lamplighter Publishing was one of the first companies I developed an extreme fondness for at our first homeschooling convention.  Their books look like they belong on the most beautiful bookcase shelves one can find.  So when I received my copy of The Secret Bridge, I immediately allotted time for me to read the book first.  I must say this book definitely does not disappoint.

The cover is a beautiful shade of blueish-green leather with rich embossing on the cover.  The gold background framing the cover is stunning.  The paper has a rich and luxurious feel.  It is a book definitely meant for display rather than one to be hidden away. Lamplighter Publishing aims to develop “Christlike character one story at a time, and this book definitely fulfills that aim.

The story opens with descriptions and observations of the male protagonist in the story.  Godfrey Bullingham who is on a ship observing the female protagonist Bridget Channing, who is traveling alone.  Immediately, I was drawn into the world of these two characters.  The descriptions and details made me feel as though I was actually present in the story.

Bridget Channing finds herself penniless and alone and determined to make it on her own. Godfrey Bullingham feels the need to care for Bridget.  Bridget has a determined and practical nature that will not let her accept the kindness of strangers.  But Godfrey perseveres and convinces Bridget to marry him.  Because Godfrey must go away, he tucks Bridget away with some kind strangers to her, who live near Godfrey’s parents.  He tells her to win the affections of his family and once he returns they will tell them of their marriage.  Secrets help to complicate what otherwise might have been a simple life.


This book contains twists and turns that keep the book interesting.  Some I wished to be the case, and others came as somewhat as a prize.  The one thing this book, like every other Lamplighter Publishing book I have read, include a robust and unmistakable Christian message.  In this case, Bridget learns about God and Jesus Christ and comes to lean on Him.  She eventually develops a genuine and meaningful relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  Because I do not wish to give the plot away further and spoil the book, I will leave the story line there.  I will say the chapters are reasonable in length.  I found nothing objectionable in the story or plot.  It was an easy and enjoyable book to read.

My second son who is 18-years-old also read the book.  It did not take him an unusually long time to read it either.   As he read the book, he frequently commented about how he was enjoying the book.  He found the plot twist and turns enjoyable as well.

In the future, I will have my 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter read this book as well.  It would also make an excellent book for reading aloud.  My one wish is for Lamplighter Publishing to eventually make this book one of their audio dramas.  It would definitely be fantastic to listen to while traveling.  I highly recommend this book.

If you wish to read more reviews on The Secret Bridge by Lamplighter Publishing, either click here or on the graphic below.

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Review for Bessie’s Pillow from Strong Learning

I am a lover of books, of all kinds. We love historical fiction at my house so I was thrilled to receive Bessie’s Pillow published by Strong Learning, Inc. to review.  This book tells the tale of 18-year-old Boshka Markman as she immigrates to the United States from Vilna, Lithuania.

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Being the book lover I am, I decided to read this book myself first.  I have a 14-year-old daughter along with three sons who are 20, 18 and 16 respectively.  Once I finished the book, we began reading it out loud together.  From the moment I picked up the book until I finished it, it captured my interest.  This is a true story of Boshka as told to her granddaughter Linda Bress Silbert from talking with Linda’s mother, Boshka’s daughter Ann Dreizen Bress.  .

The story is one of a family forced to send a daughter across the seas to the United States in hopes of a better life.The story begins with Boshka saying goodbye to her family and a stranger giving her a pillow that ultimately influences the rest of her life.  The pillow brings loves, loss, joy, and tears. Photographs are included at the end of the book and those photographs are captivating.  As someone who knows virtually nothing about when my family came to the United States or the difficulties they endured, this real life immigration story captured my imagination and the photographs drew me in even more.  This is the type of book, I would love to have in audio form for our family to listen to as we travel, especially to a homeschool convention or other destination that requires long periods of travel.

The website has a teacher’s guide along with other resources for readers or their parents/teachers to utilize.  The Teacher’s Guide  includes suggestions on how to use the book in classes.  There are suggestions for Language Arts and Social Studies/History including discussion questions, research topics, themes, a timeline, a glossary of terms, and additional reading suggestions.  At the website for Bessie’s Pillow, there is a wealth of information including:  European Immigration, Famous People, Food and Recipes, Health, Housework, Movies, Music and Dancing, News, U.S. Presidents, Radio and even photographs.  Here is a screenshot of the web page below. The final pages of the book also include additional information for the topics that are included on the website.

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If your family has younger childern, or children who are more sensitive there are parts in this book that you may want to either skip over or discuss.  Because it is a story about a real family, there are stories of heartbreak, violence, death and other topics younger children may have a hard time with or need to have discussed with them either prior to reading those sections or after reading them.  With my children being teenagers or in his twenties, I found this book to be acceptable for all of them.  This book lends itself to either being read alone or read aloud.  My children have a way of putting emotion into everything they do, so hearing them read it aloud was a treat.

Because the book is told from Boshka, some boys may or may not care for it.  However, with all of the male characters in the book, I think there is something everyone could enjoy.  All ages could find something to stimulate learning and interest. I definitely recommend this book.

You can connect with Strong Learning, Inc on social media at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BessiesPillow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BessiesPillow @BessiesPillow

Click here or on the banner below if you would like to read additional reviews of Bessie’s Pillow.

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