Jack vs. the Tornado by Amanda Cleary Eastep Review

Synopsis:

Adventures, friendships, and faith-testers . . . all under the watchful eye of a great big God.

The Tree Street Kids live on Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Pine, but their 1990s suburban neighborhood is more than just quiet, tree-lined streets. Jack, Ellison, Roger, and Ruthie face challenges and find adventures in every creek and cul-de-sac—as well as God’s great love in one small neighborhood.

In the first book of the Tree Street Kids series, 10-year-old Jack is shocked to discover his parents are moving from their rural homestead to the boring suburbs of Chicago. Full of energy and determination, Jack devises a plan to get himself back to his beloved farmhouse forever. Only three things stand in his way: a neighbor in need, a shocking discovery, and tornado season. Will Jack find a solution? Or is God up to something bigger than Jack can possibly imagine?

My Thoughts:

When I saw that this book is set in the 90s, I knew that I had to read it. I was a 90s kid and it was such a fun time to be a kid. The author does an excellent job at conveying the time period and the book is filled with fun references that brought lots of nostalgia. This is great for fellow “90s kid” parents who are reading with their children…it has features that both the child and parent can enjoy.

The story was fun and I really liked Jack’s character. The illustrations were a nice touch and the story was a good length for reluctant or beginning readers. Overall, this was a great story with a clean, wholesome storyline.

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

I Am by Diane Stortz Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  I AM

Author: Diane Stortz

Genre:  Juvenile nonfiction, Bible stories

Release Date: 2016

Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend. God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, including Jehovah Jireh, The Lord My Shepherd, Immanuel, Rabbi, and I AM.Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I AM more and more.“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” –Psalm 9:10

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

This book is a wonderful addition to any believer’s library. It is marketed towards children but I found it to be very enjoyable as well.

I Am journeys through both the Old and the New Testaments, featuring stories from the Bible where God’s many names have been used…names like “my rock”, “my light”, “cornerstone”, and “friend”…the book shares in a very accessible way the many attributes of God and why we can trust Him.

Each story is titled with the name of God that the story focuses on. They are illustrated with adorable illustrations and begin with the verse references from the Bible…they then go into the story, which is then followed by a section titled, “what does it mean?”, which is the application part of the story. Finally, there is a “learn more” and “what happened next?” section that provide even more information on the story.

The book is beautiful and would make a very nice gift. It is a hardcover with a glitter sheen on the cover (the waves of the Red Sea are sparkling). It also includes a ribbon bookmark that would be very convenient if this is being used as a bedtime or daily devotional.

I highly recommend this book, it is a winner!

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.

More from Diane

You can often guess someone’s age by considering their name. Diane, for example, was popular in the 1950s, so . . . that tells you something about me.

But God’s personal name? Well, it’s ageless. Just like Him.

When Moses met God at the burning bush and received the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. He peppered God with questions, including, “When I tell the people that I met you here and you gave me this assignment, they’re going to want to know your name. What should I tell them?”

The Israelites had just about forgotten who the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was.

But God hadn’t forgotten them. Not at all. God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

I AM WHO I AM. I always have been. I will always be. I will never change.

Choosing a book title is rarely easy, and choosing a title for this book about the names of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit took a long time. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Tommy Nelson publishing team who developed and settled on the title I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

My prayer for every child who reads this book and every family that goes through the book together, and for myself: May we all grow mightily in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him! As Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you.”

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

Texas Book-aholic, June 27

deb’s Book Review, June 27

Inklings and notions, June 28

Older & Smarter?, June 29

Splashes of Joy, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

Artistic Nobody, July 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cine)

Lighthouse Academy, July 1

For Him and My Family, July 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 3

A Reader’s Brain, July 4

amandainpa, July 5

Simple Harvest Reads, July 5 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 6

Spoken from the Heart, July 7

Lots of Helpers, July 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away  the grand prize package of signed copies of all three I AM books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fcd6/i-am-celebration-tour-giveaway

Epic Devotions Review

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Description

Epic Devotions: 52 Weeks in the Story that Changed the World is a graphic-novel inspired weekly devotional based on Epic: The Story that Changed the World. Each insightful devotion circles back to the one big story of Jesus and makes biblical events more relevant for today’s youth. The book features familiar yet reimagined art from the One Big Story brand that is perfect for engaging older kids and preteen readers.

My Thoughts

This epic devotion geared towards older children and pre-teens spans the entire length of the Bible, starting with the Creation story and ending in Revelation. There are 52 stories that can be read at once or over the period of a week (each story is 4 pages). The stories are told chronologically and have wonderful illustrations that really bring the stories to life.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it begins by sharing the story but then teaches a lesson about it and provides questions to think about and a verse to memorize for the week. Many children’s Bible story books that I’ve seen tend to lack the application and explanation part, which is very important. Another thing that I noted and really love is that there are places where the Old and New testament are woven together (with Abraham and Isaac, showing a foreshadowing to Christ).

This story is well done and very appealing to the younger crowd. I highly recommend it!

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

My Rating

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Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh Review

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Description

You can’t change the world, but you can prepare her for it.

Today’s girls face a number of challenges we never dealt with at their age. From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?

Equip her with Truth. Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth) brings you Lies Girls Believe. This fun, easy-to-read book engages your daughter in the twenty most important truths she needs. She’ll help solve problems using fun sidebars and it’s packed with wisdom, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help her absorb the message. Prepare your daughter for the difficult challenges she’ll face in the world today with sections addressing:

Lies about God
Lies about Friendship
Lies about the Future
Lies about Myself
Lies about Boys

And more! 

Lies Girls Believe is designed to help your daughter fully understand the Truth so she can live the way God meant for her to live—free!

For the best results, use the accompanying Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe which invites you to critically examine the lies girls believe and discover how to set your daughter free. It also helps facilitate discussion between you and your daughter.

My Thoughts

Being a pre-teen/young teenage girl is tough at any time but in this age of social media it’s probably the hardest time in history to deal with changing hormones, emotions, and bodies.

This book discusses 20 lies that the world tells these young ladies and counteracts them with truths from the one thing that never changes, The Word of God. Lies like, “Pretty girls are worth more” and, “Boys and girls really aren’t that different”. Timely and very “tween/young teen friendly”, this book is definitely a great tool to help young ladies as they navigate through these extremely difficult years.

The book is very visually pleasing…full of colorful illustrations and text, it is very fun to look through. The book does not require a lot of writing but it does have some questions in each chapter where the young lady writes her answers. (This book would make a wonderful group study for young ladies).

My 13 year old daughter perused the book and said that she loved the format and cannot wait to read it. She was especially excited to see that Sadie Robertson had contributed a quote on one of the pages (she loves Sadie).

Overall, this is a great resource for young ladies that tackles many difficult topics that they will encounter. I highly recommend it!

My Rating

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

Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out by Melody Carlson Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book: Zoey:  Meet the Misfits & Zoey: Odd Girl Out

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls

Release Date: April 15/ August 15, 2019

Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out coverZoey’s pretty sure her life is over when her wannaba-rockstar mother uproots her from from their home in Seattle and deposits her in Nowheresville, Oregon to live with her whackadoodle grandparents. Things start to look up, though, when she reconnects with Louisa, the girl from across the street. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa won’t mind that Zoey’s always been a bit of a misfit. Louisa’s ex-BFF, however, doesn’t seem too happy to welcome Zoey to the neighborhood. And when they all end up at church camp together, it’s not just a matter of whether or not Zoey can fit in…it becomes a firsthand lesson in what it really means to “love your enemy.”

When the school year begins, Zoey’s terrified to go without Louisa—who’s out with a nasty flu. The same enemies she made over the summer are there to haunt her, but she and another new girl stick together…and even seem to find a place among the in-crowd. But is this who Zoey wants to be? Are they really her friends? Who’s going to stick beside her when cyber bullying leaves her as the odd girl out?

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My thoughts

These books took me back to my pre-teen years…those moments of insecurity, awkwardness, and longing for acceptance. Both stories focus on a girl named Zoey, who just moved in with her grandparents after her mom decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a rockstar. Zoey encounters bullies and peer pressure and also comes to know Jesus.

I really enjoyed these books as an adult and know that I would also have loved them as a child. Zoey was very relateable…she was reserved and didn’t like to stand out. She also struggled to fit in. The first book, “Meet the Misfits”, focuses on the summer before 6th grade and Zoey’s adjustment to living with her grandparents. She also goes to church camp, which was a lot of fun to read about…I have many memories (good and bad) about church camp…I can attest to the fact that mean girls go to church camp too. The second book, “Odd Girl Out” revolves around Zoey’s 6th grade year…her friend is sick and she makes a new friend that wants to be part of the popular crowd.

These stories contain themes that are great for middle school girls, many lessons can be learned and the faith content is subtle but powerful.

I highly recommend these books to the middle school aged girl in your life, I’m sure she will love them!

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

 

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

More from Melody

Being a tween these days is more complicated than ever. With our culture’s fast pace, social networking, peer pressure . . . growing up is hard to do. So I wanted to create a relatable character with some tough challenges. And Zoey Petrizzo definitely gets more than her fair share. About to start middle-school, Zoey is forced to relocate her life with her less than conventional grandparents. And it’s not easy! My hope is that readers will either relate to Zoey, or develop more empathy for ‘misfit’ kids like her.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, August 29

Blogging With Carol, August 29

Andrea Christenson, August 30

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 30

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 31

Christian Bookaholic , August 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 1

Remembrancy, September 1

Older & Smarter?, September 2

Artistic Nobody, September 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 3

Back Porch Reads , September 3

Through the Fire Blogs, September 4

Just the Write Escape, September 5

amandainpa , September 5

A Reader’s Brain, September 6

Patiently Waiting, September 6

Godly Book Reviews, September 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 7

Texas Book-aholic, September 8

For the Love of Books , September 8

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 9

Vicky Sluiter, September 9

Hallie Reads, September 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 10

janicesbookreviews, September 11

Inklings and notions , September 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize package of Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out, Sketching Pencils, and a Sketchbook!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e809/meet-the-misfits-odd-girl-out-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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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.