The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Middle School by Erica & Jonathan Catherman Review

gg

Description

The transition from elementary school to middle school skirts the borders of traumatic for many girls. Their bodies are changing, their moods are shifting, their friendships are tested, and boys can become a big distraction. Girls may begin to struggle with grades, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. How do they know what to do and what not to do in this new environment with new expectations?

Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer girls ages ten to twelve the practical help they need to make the move to middle school as painless as possible. The “do this, not that” format covers a hundred relevant topics and situations middle school girls will face, including the first day, bullies, test taking, cell phone use, homework, gossip, leadership, respect, sports, PDA, and many more.

My Thoughts

This book gets rave reviews from my 12 year old daughter in 7th grade. It has a really fun format…broken down into many categories (gossip, body odor, swearing, mean girls, detention, etc), each page explains the category in a fun, easy to read way with very cute illustrations to demonstrate “do this” and “not that”. The illustrations remind me a bit of the Goofus and Gallant features in Highlights magazines…they were always my favorite part of the magazine and the illustrations in this book really add to the fun as well as provide a visual aide.

I wish this book would have been around during my middle school years. Navigating those years is not easy and it’s nice to have a book that discusses things that young girls might not feel comfortable asking about. It also addresses things they may not have even thought about.

Overall, this book is a definite winner and I highly recommend it for all pre-teens and early teen girls.

My Rating

1280px-5_stars.svg

I received this book to review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

 

crack

Description

Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from award-winning author/illustrator Sandy Silverthorne’s Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. Perfect for kids ages 6-12, this zany collection of one-liners (Did you hear about the missing barber? Police are combing the city.), knock-knock jokes (Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Pizza. Pizza who? Pizza nice guy, don’t you think?), riddles (What’s red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.), puns, and funny lists represents some of the world’s best clean humor. Add in the author’s hilarious illustrations and cartoons, and kids will get hours of fun with the kind of laughs that make milk come out your nose–that is, if you’re drinking milk while you read!

My Thoughts

This is a very fun joke book for kids. All jokes are clean and appropriate for all ages. Some are a bit cheesy (for adults) but they’re definitely the type that kids would love. There are different types of jokes…riddles, knock-knock jokes, story type jokes, and puns. I had a joke book similar to this when I was just learning to read and it was such fun to entertain my family and friends with my silly jokes.

Making people laugh makes people feel good about themselves. This book would also help early or reluctant readers to practice their reading out loud skills. I highly recommend this fun, clean joke book!

My Rating

1280px-5_stars.svg

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design Review

create

Description:

Ready, set, create! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a just-starting-out doodler, Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design is the perfect book to inspire your creative side. From coloring pages to quick-and-easy crafts—like photo frames and duct-tape bags—and everything in between, this full-color book from the trusted Faithgirlz brand provides step-by-step guides to more than 50 fun and easy projects. Learn how to make your own DIY projects, create one-of-a-kind jewelry, and draw like a pro. Perfect for individual use or for sleepovers, birthday parties, and more, Create! is sure to bring out your inner artist.

Content includes:

DIY décor, photo frames, duct-tape purses, and more

Pages of quotes and designs to color

Easy-to-follow doodling and drawing guides

Jewelry making for friendship bracelets, earrings, and more

My Thoughts:

I have an 11 year old daughter who is a crafting princess…she is creating something just about every day and never ceases to surprise me with her creativity. So when I saw this book up for review, I knew that I had to request it for my crafty girl….she loves it!

This book is filled with over 50 crafts and activities. The amount of materials required for each activity is fairly minimal but some of the materials are things that one may not just have lying around the house. The crafts are also definitely not geared towards younger girls…some of the crafts seem a bit complicated (using embroidery floss on paper, cutting out the pages of a book with a utility knife).

There are some great ideas in the doodling section, such as drawing a butterfly, creating your own coloring page, and examples for Bible journaling.

The last section is for design and includes ideas for tie-dye, a duct tape bag and Bible cover, and several ideas for jewelry making. Some of the ideas in this section seem as though they would work for younger girls (adding puffy paint to the bottom of socks to make them non slip and cute).

Overall, this is a great crafty book for pre-teens and teen girls. Each craft includes colored pictures and detailed directions. The ideas are trendy and fun and are things that girls would enjoy making and using.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Andi Lassos Trouble and Andi to the Rescue by Susan K. Marlow Review

Andi Lassos Trouble Synopsis: When the Circle C ranch decides to host a rodeo competition with two other ranches, dozens of cowboys are eager to prove they’re the best riders and ropers in the valley. But they’re not the only ones who want to show off their skills–Andi aims to lasso her way to the prizes, even if big brother Chad says the contest isn’t for kids.

The roundup is meant to be a time for food, fun, and friendship. But before Andi can prove she’s got what it takes to be a real cowgirl, the day turns dangerous. Will a friendly rodeo turn into a range war between ranchers and sheepherders? Can Andi and her family keep their neighbors–and themselves–safe?

My Thoughts: This was a fun story about 9 year old Andi, who lives on a ranch in 1877. In order to separate cattle for different ranches, the Circle C ranch decides to hold a rodeo. Andi excitedly practices roping, hopeful to participate in the children’s events.

Andi is a delightful character, a bit precocious and somewhat of a tomboy, she was a lot of fun to read about. I enjoyed the rodeo scene and found the history lesson at the end of the book very informative.

The book also has some great illustrations throughout that really add to the story.

This would be a very enjoyable story for any young girl between the ages of 7 and 10 to read.

My Rating: 4 stars

Andi to the Rescue Synopsis: This is so embarrassing. Andi’s teacher, Miss Hall, is sick–and Mother is the substitute teacher. What will Andi’s friends think?

But it turns out embarrassment is the last thing Andi needs to worry about when two outlaws kidnap Andi and her mother after school in a case of mistaken identity! They can’t even tell the kidnappers a mistake has been made without putting themselves in even more danger.

Now they’re being held in a remote cabin until Mother can teach the man in charge how to read–and he’s willing to go to any length to make it happen. Andi must escape and find help. But can she lead a rescue party back to Mother before the outlaws take their new teacher–and disappear forever?

My Thoughts: In this story, Andi’s mother becomes a temporary substitute teacher for her school. Andi and her mother are leaving school and get kidnapped by outlaws and taken to a cabin.

I enjoyed this story a bit more than Andi Lassos Trouble simply because I wasn’t as interested in all the “horse talk” in the first book.

The story is adventurous and suspenseful but also very clean with good faith content. I really like Andi’s mother and how she reacted to many different situations.

The author is very good at describing the scenes and the pacing was very good.

I also really enjoyed the history lesson about Black Bart at the end of the book. The extra true lessons are a great addition to the stories.

I definitely recommend this series to young girls.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received these books from Kregel Publishers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Secret Keeper Girl: Mom Daughter Devos by Dannah Gresh Review

mdd

Description: Want help talking to your tween about modesty? 

Tweens aren’t meant to grapple with modesty and body image issues alone. But many moms don’t know quite how to talk about these issues.

Secret Keeper Girl Mom-Daughter Devos fills that gap. A companion to Secret Keeper Girl, it cements the truths of that book and provides an opportunity for moms to talk through these important issues with their daughters. It’s not just a book, but a connecting experience for mothers and daughters. Together they’ll go on a journey to meet with their Creator and learn to see themselves through His eyes.

Secret Keeper Girl Mom-Daughter Devos has a simple format of 30 daily devotions. It features:

Weekly interactive conversation starters
A leader’s guide appendix at the end
Downloadable resources at the author’s website.
This Secret Keeper Girls series exists to bring moms and daughters together for age-appropriate, biblical conversations about true beauty, modesty, and purity.

My Thoughts:  Where was this book when I was 12? This is such a great devotional for tweens and young teen girls. First of all, the book is very inviting in its appearance…the artwork is adorable and there are many places for the reader to color. With coloring being so popular now, this was a great addition. The author invites both the daughter who is reading the book and her mother to come together at the end of each week and color while discussing what the daughter had read throughout the week.

The devotionals focus on modesty and other issues young girls face today. There’s a great application area on each devotional page where the reader can write about what she’d learned (with prompts that relate to the day’s devo).

Modesty is such an important topic that rarely gets discussed anymore so I really appreciate the author’s mission to teach young girls about it. She does it in a fun, non-confrontational way that helps the reader to see why modesty is so important.

I highly recommend this devo to any young girl (and her mom).

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Moody Publishers to review. All opinions are my own.

Brave Girls Confidential Review

bgc

Synopsis: Join Brave Girls Faith, Hope, Glory, Gracie, and Honor as they discover how much they are loved and they learn what it means to live godly lives in their homes, schools, and communities.

Faith, Hope, Glory, Gracie, and Honor are five regular girls with regular lives. They have frustrating siblings and friends who fight sometimes, even though they love each other a lot. They have strong subjects in school, but they have struggles too. They love Jesus, and sometimes they have questions about Him. They’re just like you!

Brave Girls Confidential is a collection of stories meant to encourage and inspire. Through tales of what it means to be brave, strong, and faithful in everyday life, the Brave Girls show young readers how exciting faith can be. With engaging stories, strengthening scriptures, and takeaway discussion points to encourage meaningful conversations, Tommy Nelson’s Brave Girls Confidential has something for every girl who longs to live brave.

The great content and beautiful full-color design make Tommy Nelson’s Brave Girls Confidential wonderful gift for any young girl.

My Thoughts: There are so many things to love about this book. It has a very inviting cover with sweet illustrations. The characters are delightful, each one different with their own unique personality and challenge to face.

Broken down into several stories, it follows the 5 “Brave Girls”, a group of friends who go to church together and meet together for a small group. Each story highlights a challenge the girl is facing (rejection, fear, divorce, fitting in, etc) with a prayer and Bible verse that relates to the story.

Each character is different and the reader should be able to relate to one or more of the girls in the book. I would have adored this book when I was a tween…the girls are fun and real, and face normal struggles of girls today. These girls reminded me a bit of my old fictional friends, the members of The Babysitter’s Club…they each were different and shared a great friendship.

The book is full of beautiful illustrations and the cover is very visually pleasing. There’s even a cute cupcake on the spine that would look adorable on a bookshelf. Little touches like these make me happy. My 10 year old self would have definitely gravitated to this book by looks alone.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any girl ages 8-12…it would make a great gift.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review.

Secret Keeper Girl: The Power of Modesty for Tweens by Dannah Gresh Review

skg

Synopsis: 

Is your tween prepared for what’s ahead?

It used to be that middle school was the time to talk to kids about topics like modesty and body image. Unfortunately, the at-risk demographic for distorted views on the body is now girls ages 8–10. Fortunately, Dannah Gresh has provided a resource for this need.

Secret Keeper Girl is geared to helping tween girls understand their dignity in Christ. It features a creative self-help text format that includes sidebars, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help them absorb the message.

Here’s what author Dannah Gresh has to say about the motivation behind the book: “My past fifteen years of studying at-risk teen and tween behavior has over and over again led me to good news: girls who are exposed to an age-appro­priate, Bible-based understanding of beauty and fashion between the ages of 8-12 tend to be less likely to engage in early sexual activity or have body image issues. They are also more likely to have healthy friendships, excel academically, and become positive social contributors in their com­munities, all while expressing their beauty and value appropriately.

“It’s not rocket science. It is social science paired with a whole lot of prayer and Bible study. We can change what tween girls see when they look in the mirror by changing what’s inside their hearts.”

This is the heart behind Secret Keeper Girl:a desire to teach tween girls how valuable they are and how to honor their God-given dignity. Ultimately, it’s about grounding girls in their identity in Christ so the tumultuous teen years don’t uproot them.

This book pairs with Secret Keeper Girl Mom-Daughter Devos, allowing moms a helpful resource for walking through this formative time with their tween girl.

My Thoughts: As the mother of an 11 year old girl, I was thrilled to get this book. This is a harsh world to grow up in as a young lady and this book guides girls in how to dress but also stresses the importance of seeing ourselves the way God sees us. This book is a great resource for not only girls in the “tween” age but was also a nice read for this 37 year old girl. I still find myself looking at my flaws with sadness or frustration and this book reminded me that true beauty comes from the inside.

Broken down into several “secrets” of true beauty and modesty, the book is easy and very fun to read. Each secret includes a biblical reference and Dannah Gresh really breaks each concept down in an easy to read, fun way that is relateable to young girls.

The book is full of colorful pictures and visual aids that make it very inviting and fun to read.

Gresh illustrates sin in a way that I have never seen before and it was a great way to analyze the “grey areas” of our lives (like the clothing we choose to wear). I also loved how Gresh emphasizes that we should be looking to glorify God and not ourselves, which more and more is the opposite of what the world tells us.

I highly, highly recommend this book to all girls, ages 8 and up. It would be a great book for mothers and daughters to read together. It would also make a great Bible study or Sunday School curriculum. This is such an important topic that doesn’t seem to be addressed enough.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Moody Publishers to review.