Review of Barbour Publishing’s “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich

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As I have stated before, our family loves books.  So anytime we get the opportunity to review a new book, we take it. We’ve lots of historical fiction over the years but recently we just finished reading a Biblical fiction for kids book called Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing.  This book details the experiences of a young boy named Corey who travels back in time to the days of Noah and the Ark.

This is the first book in a Christian Kids Series by Matt Koceich.  Mr. Koceich is a school teacher who created this series with children ages 8 to 12-years-old in mind.  However, I can say after reading the book myself, I believe almost anyone of any age would enjoy this book.

`This book begins with Corey Max and his mom taking his dog Molly to a park in Texas to avoid the chaos at their house where a moving truck was being loaded with all their belongings.  The family was preparing for a move to Florida.  In the typical fashion of a child, Corey does not want to move and leave everything familiar – even though they are moving for his father’s job. Corey’s mom tries to help Corey understand and recognize God will be with them and will care for them wherever they go.

While at the park, a storm comes up quickly with lightning, thunder, and rain.  Molly had rushed into the woods, so Corey has to go after her.  While running after his dog, he trips over the log and finds his surroundings changing to new ones he did not recognize.  Unexpectedly he encounters a lion.  He begs for God to show him mercy.  The story then chronicles Corey’s encounter with Noah and the Ark, Noah’s sons and getting the animals onto the Ark while dealing with individuals who try to interfere with their plans.  The Great Flood is chronicled in a way which made me feel as though I was actually there.

I read this book and then had our 14-year-old daughter read it as well.  When I asked her for her opinion of this book, she had definite opinions.  She felt the beginning of the book was excellent.  However, she felt like the ending was rushed.  She thought it was a good book to read.  She stated she would have liked to see more details about the motivation of the antagonist.  Overall though she thought it would be a good book just to read for fun.

I felt the author did a great job with pulling the reader into the story.  I felt like I was actually in the story.  I could feel Corey’s pain and frustration over the move to Florida, which he had no control over.  I also felt the love and compassion of his mother.  I felt Corey’s amazement when he realized he had traveled back in time.  I enjoyed reading the details about Noah’s sons gathering the animals and preparing them to get them on the ark.  At the same time, I felt Corey’s fear as he encountered the unknown enemies and faced danger.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but I will say that Corey returns safely to his own time and finds the move to Florida better than he expected.

This is the first book in the Imagine series, and I personally can not wait to read more.  If you want to read more reviews on “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Books by Carole P. Roman

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Our fourteen-year-old daughter absolutely loves trivia and facts and sharing what she learns.   So when I saw the opportunity to review books by Carole P. Roman, I knew we had to take this opportunity.  For this review, we were given the opportunity to pick two titles of our own choosing and then the author sent us two other books.  We selected “If You Were Me and Lived In… Elizabethan ENGLAND” and “If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient China: Han Dynasty“.  The two books the author selected for our family were “If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient Greece” and A Captain No Beard story entitled “A CAPTAIN NO BEARD STORY BEING A CAPTAIN IS HARD WORK “.

The first thing that caught my eye with all four books is the amazing illustrations in the books.  These capture the essence of the author’s words on the page with great accuracy.  The words and pictures help pull the readers into the book.  All four books are written in a story format.  These books would be excellent books to read aloud.  Even if there were younger children in the household, I expect the story and pictures would keep their interest.  Another thing I liked is that these books are available for the Kindle and are part of the Kindle Unlimited program – so we can read any of these titles for free.  I love being able to take books with us for those unexpected times we need something to occupy our time. Also the three history books do an amazing job of being cultural books that capture the essence of what a good children’s history book should be like.

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For this review, our daughter read “If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient China: Han Dynasty” by herself first.  This book is designed for children ages 8-15.  I feel this book would make a wonderful starting point for a unit study on Ancient China or a comparison of life in ancient China versus modern-day China.  My daughter found the book to be interesting and worth reading.  The book goes through facts about what life would have been like in ancient China including illustrations of modern day China as well as ancient China.  Facts are also given about how China was ruled during this period, possible names children may have been given, life in the capital city, and more.  It made it more realistic when the author stated what type of family the person would have been born into as well as what his/her daily life would have been like.  My daughter really enjoyed reading this book.  I plan on having her re-read the book and then complete various notebooking assignments using facts in the books that captured her interest.  I also plan on having her doing some kind of visual display and report showing what she learned.  For this, I will probably have read additional books to discover more information as well as do research using the Internet.

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Next, she read “If You Were Me And Lived In….Elizabethan ENGLAND“.  This book chronicled life in Elizabethan England from the perspective of a child born to a baker and his wife.  Again the book gives general facts about the time period, background on the government and life in general during the time period.  Then, detailed descriptions of what life would have been like for the child of a baker would have been like.  I especially found the descriptions of how their clothing would have been made to be interesting.  I was also fascinated when I learned that bakers may have let other families use their ovens to bake things for a price.  Again my daughter enjoyed this book.  I plan on following a similar plan of using this book basically as the foundation of a unit study for the Elizabethan time period with a report, additional research and reading along with a final project to be done.

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Our first book that the author selected for us is “If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece“.  This story follows the same format as the two books my daughter selected.  Due to Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc in our area, I read this book myself.  Again, it discusses life in general in Greece, contrasts between life in Greece in ancient times versus today, and then goes into what life would have been like for a child born to a doctor.  My one caution about this book would be that it goes into various Greek gods and goddesses.  So if your family wants to avoid discussing that, this may not be the right book for you to use.  I found the facts to be presented in a straightforward way.  Again, I see this book being an excellent starting point for a unit study approach for ancient Greece.

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The final book we received was “A CAPTAIN NO BEARD STORY BEING A CAPTAIN IS HARD WORK“.  This story is geared more for 3-8-year-old children.  Since all of our children are much older than that, I read this book myself.  The story chronicles the adventures of Captain No Beard and his crew.  The captain shows great determination about traveling to the Dew Rite Volcano.  Along the way, many decisions are made by the captain that his crew expresses concern while offering alternative ideas.  At the end of the story, the ship and seas turn back into a bedroom.  The child who was pretending to be captain learned many important lessons including the value of listening to other and that being in charge is not always easy.  I found the book enjoyable to read.

So I definitely recommend checking out these and other titles by Carole P. Roman.  You can find other reviews either by clicking here or on the graphic below.

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Book Review – More Than Just Making It

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I was really thrilled to be a part of the launch team for Erin Odom’s book – “More Than Just Making It”. This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting back down.  This is a down-to-earth, heart-warming book that examines realistically finances, public assistance and more.

I love Erin Odom’s conversational style in the book.  I felt like I was sitting with her in one of her homes while having a real conversation.  This book touched my heart as well as provided inspiration and memories of what our lives where like when our children were younger.

And while I planned on writing today about this book.  I felt like I needed to talk more about my own #kissesfromJesus as a result of being part of this launch team.  About a year and a half ago, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas thanks to the United States military.  We have no real family to speak of in the state.  So when Hurricane Harvey decided to come calling, we were in a dilemma about where to evacuate to for the storm.

Initially, we planned on hunkering down in our home.  But when the storm was upgraded to making landfall as a Category 3 “or higher”, I knew we needed to find somewhere to evacuate to for safety.  Somehow the topic of the storm came up on the book launch Facebook page.  A generous lady offered to open her home to our family in the event we needed to evacuate.  I filed the information away for future consideration.  Once we found out we were under a mandatory evacuation order, I sent a message to this amazing lady and asked if she was serious about allowing our family to evacuate to her home.  She quickly replied that we were more than welcome to come.  So that evening, I had our four children and my mother who all live with my husband and I pack in preparations to leave.

Another giant blessing was when we found out her husband was lactose-intolerant like our oldest son.  On Friday morning as Hurricane Harvey was preparing to making landfall in Texas, our family took to the highways to go to Dallas.  We were blessed with reasonable traffic and reasonably good weather for our travels.

Once in Dallas we were welcomed like honored guests.  Truly our family was blessed to meet Dominique and her husband.  She cooked amazing meals and had wonderful touches that made us feel incredibly welcomed.  We received #KissesfromJesus with this act of kindness.

So if you are looking for a new book to read, I recommend this book.  Trust me, if you read it, you will be blessed.

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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