Hinds’ Feet on High Places. An Engaging Visual Journey by Hannah Hurnard Review

hf

Synopsis: Journey with Much-Afraid to new heights of love, joy, and victory!
For the first time, this beloved Christian allegory is a mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, meditative hand-lettered Scripture, journaling and doodling space, and designs to color. As you read and connect with the story of Much-Afraid and her trials, the pages of this book become a canvas on which to chronicle your own story, struggles, and personal triumphs.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places, with more than 2,000,000 copies sold, is a story of endurance, persistence, and reliance on God. This book has inspired millions of people to become sure-footed in their faith even when facing the rockiest of life’s terrain. The story of Much-Afraid is based on Psalm 18:33: “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.”

The complete Hinds’ Feet story is accented by 80 full-color paintings, photography, and hand-lettered Scripture.

My Thoughts: I adored this book. The story of Much-Afraid is one that is well known to many but the artwork that is accompanies the story in this book makes the story even more beautiful. This book is gorgeous and would make an amazing book for any Christian.

The story is one that I read years ago but revisiting it with the added illustrations and photographs made it a very fun and touching reading experience.

Hannah Hurnard illustrates God’s love and tenderness towards us in a beautiful way, showing that He’s always there and trustworthy. This story stretched me and challenged me. I was so thankful to get this copy as I see myself revisiting the story often.

I highly recommend this book, it is a beautiful story.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review.

Advertisements

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.

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander Review

cc

Synopsis: A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son’s.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas.

My Thoughts: I believe this is the first Civil-War era Historical Fiction book that I’ve read and I found it very enjoyable. This book follows Aletta, who is a recent widow, following her husband Warren’s death as a Confederate soldier. She is facing dire straights, as are many women in the community, and receives an opportunity to work at the Carnton plantation.  It also follows Jake, a wounded soldier, who is visiting Carnton and coming to terms with his injuries.

I have visited the Gettysburg battlefield many times as it’s not far from my home and have often thought about what the soldiers experienced but this book caused me to consider what their wives went through. There were some heartbreaking and emotional moments throughout the book. It was such a dark and uncertain time in history, and I really enjoyed how Aletta stayed strong and used her experiences to help others.

I adored the characters and the setting at Carnton. I had heard many of my bookish friends raving about Tamera Alexander’s books and I have to agree that she is a great storyteller…she made the people and places come to life.

I am definitely looking forward to the release of the next book and would highly recommend this one.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review.

Jesus Loves You! by Christine Topjian Review

jlySynopsis: God’s only son, Jesus, wants you to know that He loves you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

He watches over you to make sure you are okay and knew you even before He created you. That’s how special you are to Him.

Won’t you spend some time with Jesus today?

My Thoughts: I enjoyed the main idea of this story, which is that Jesus loves you and has been with you in each moment of your life. It also reminds the reader that He knows how you’re feeling and understands. It’s a great reminder for Christians and brought up memories in my life and times that I’ve felt His presence.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the artwork, it looked juvenile and a bit distorted. I also am confused as to who the audience would be for this book. It seems like it would be aimed towards children, but the story goes from birth to adulthood and addresses some issues that children might not understand yet.

I also found the story lacking in Biblical content…I wished that there was an explanation for how to invite Jesus into your life as well as possibly an explanation about who Jesus is and what He’s done for us.

My Rating: 2 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review.

A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre Review

unnamed

Synopsis: Follow along with thirteen-year-old Kusiima in the third book of J.A. Myhre’s The Rwendigo Tales.

Just thirteen years old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima’s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where?
With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship?
Readers of all ages won’t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships.

J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.

Find out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.
My Thoughts: I have never read a book like this before and it was delightful. The story follows Kusiima, a 13 year old boy who lives in Africa with his grandmother and younger sister, who is severely underweight and unhealthy. I loved the author’s descriptive writing…I was able to picture the scenes in the book very easily and felt like I was transported to Africa while reading. This book was what I think of as an “escape book”…it’s written in a way in that the reader truly escapes their current environment and enters the world of the book.
The plot was full of adventure, suspense, and drama. I found myself on the edge of my seat several times while reading. The illustrations were also delightful and provided a better glimpse into the world.
I adored Kusiima, he was a very strong, courageous young man of amazing character. I think this would be an excellent story for boys to read. It causes the reader to see that there are people in the world that don’t live as comfortably as those in the western world. In spite of Kusiima’s poor circumstances, he still persevered.
There was a bit of violence and some scenes that might be scary for younger readers.
I highly recommend this book and plan to pick up the other 2 in the series (this is book 3).
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.

She Reads Truth Christian Standard Bible Review

srt

Description: The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of “Women in the Word of God every day.” The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.

Features include: almost 200 devotionals, 66 artist-designed key verses, 35 full-color timelines, 20 full-color maps, 11 full-color charts, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, carefully curated topical index, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking.

The She Reads Truth Bible features the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) text. Translated by more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations, the Christian Standard Bible features an optimal blend of accuracy and readability that’s faithful for serious study, and written with heart-stirring clarity that inspires readers to live and share it.

My Thoughts: I was overjoyed when I had the opportunity to review this Bible. I hadn’t heard of the She Reads Truth Bible until very recently and I am very impressed by it.

My first impressions were great…I received the Gray Linen version but it comes in various beautiful colors. It comes in a sturdy slipcase…the Bible has a very hard cover that seems durable. The Bible itself is rather heavy, but that is because it is full of goodness. There is beautiful artwork throughout the book, which just makes me happy, I always feel like color adds joy and fun to anything, so the artwork is one of my favorite features. There are also maps in the Bible, but what I love is that they are in relevant places…they are placed in chapters that pertain to the maps instead of all in the back of the book (which is what I’ve usually found in other Bibles). The same concept goes for timelines and charts, there are several timelines and charts placed in relevant places throughout.

Another of my favorite features is that there are 189 devotionals placed throughout the Bible. I haven’t had a devotional Bible since I was a teenager and I’ve forgotten how nice it is to have the devotional included in the Bible…it makes studying your Bible much easier. There are also reading plans for each book as well as a yearly reading plan with check boxes in the back of the Bible. There are not one, but two ribbon bookmarks in this Bible, which I think is a great idea as there are many times when you need to mark more than one place in your book.

Each book of the Bible has an introduction, which helps the reader understand the context and characters of the book. The artwork is also at the beginning of each book, which highlights a key verse, which overall sums up the book.

There are wide margins, which are great for note-taking or Bible journaling, which I’ve recently dipped my toes into. It also has a great topical index in the back, which can be very handy.

The translation is Christian Standard Version, which I wasn’t familiar with. I’m finding that I enjoy it quite a bit. It’s very reader friendly and has good footnotes. I also like the font that is used for the text of the Bible.

Overall, this Bible has everything I would wish for. It is a Bible that I could see myself using for years to come and I’m delighted to own it.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from BH Publishing Group to review.