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January 4 2012 4 04 /01 /January /2012 02:34

The Mandie Collection Volume 11 by Lois Gladys Leppard is a republished form of four beloved Mandie novels: Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm (Mandie Mystery #39), Mandie and the Graduation Mystery (Mandie Mystery #40), Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise, and Mandie and Mollie and the Angel's VisitMandie and the Missing Schoolmarm is set when Mandie is returning from her Christmas vacation to her Grandmother Taft's house before returning to Miss Heathwood's School for Girls.  Mandie had received a telegram from her grandmother saying that Miss Hope, one of Mandie's teachers, has gone missing! Miss Hope was not the type to just run off without telling where she is going, so her sister Miss Prudence is very worried.  Miss Hope has left her clothes and other belongings at the school, and when Mandie and her friends ask around town if anyone has seen Miss Hope, everyone is strangely quiet, acting like they are hiding something.  Mandie and her friends are very confused and worried.

 

For Mandie and the Graduation Mystery, Mandie's housekeeper Aunt Lou has made Mandie a beautiful white graduation dress with little flowers sewn into it.  Mandie loves it and brings it to her grandmother's house for safekeeping until it's near time to wear it to graduate.  About a week away from her graduation, she and Celia bring their dresses from Mandie's grandmother's house to the school and hide them in the back of their closets so that no one will mess with them.  A few days before the graduation, Mandie and Celia notice things being moved around on their dresser, and later, they notice that someone has messed with their dresses.  They ask Miss Prudence for a key to lock their closet, and she grants the request.  Still, someone is messing with their clothes! The girls are baffled as their closet was locked.  How did the person get in?

 

For Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise and Mandie and Mollie and the Angel's Visit, these were short stories about Mandie when she was thirteen.  After three chapters of the book, there is an original play by Lois Gladys Leppard on the same text of the book, except for in play form.  All the dialogue and characters were the same in the short story and the play.

 

Thank you very much to Bethany House publishers for providing me with a review copy of this book! I really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing to work with you.  Thanks again!

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December 26 2011 2 26 /12 /December /2011 03:44

I received this book, Daily Gifts of Grace, from Book sneeze.  This book has a page-long devotion for each day of the New Year, 2012.  The devotions are written by all different respected Christian authors, such as Kay Arthur, Lisa Whelchel, and many others.  The topics of the devotions range from all different topics.  Some are humorous stories, others tales of mistakes that you can avoid, yet all encouraging to our daily walk with God.  This book is a Women of Faith devotional, a book to go along with or separately to their conferences.  Many well-known speakers, musicians, and comedians participate in the conferences, and some of the speakers write devotions in this book.  Some include Natalie Grant, Joni Eareckson Tada, Lisa Harper, and Jenna Lucado.  This book is sure to encourage and inspire you.  It makes a wonderful Christmas gift, New year's present, birthday, or any day gift.  It has a beautiful cover design including a magnetic close, unless, of course, you buy this book as an e-book.  This is a practical book that women of all ages should enjoy.  The devotionals are very encouraging.  One, for example, is a devotional Natalie Grant wrote talking about a time that she fell off of the stage while singing! She said that she wanted to go and hide, and never be spoken to again, but instead she got back on the stage and continued to sing.  Mrs. Grant related that to how God sees us make mistakes, fall down, be ashamed of ourselves, and He will always pick us back up and give us the strength to go on.

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December 1 2011 5 01 /12 /December /2011 20:10

Heaven is for Real for Kids is a book that I received for free from Book sneeze in return for my honest review, so here it is.  This is a small, picture-book type of book that is very kid-friendly.  The pictures are simply beautiful, and really make you excited about going to heaven.  The words explain heaven in a very kid-friendly way, and at the end, presents the gift of salvation in an easy-to-understand format.  I really enjoyed this book, and think that it would be great for a church library, or as a gift for anyone ages three to ten.  This book made me want to read the adult version of it.  This book is told as Colton Burpo told his parents about his trip to heaven.  From what I have gathered, Colton was a four-year-old boy would was in the hospital room when he died and went to heaven.  He says there are animals, lots of people including Colton's sister and King David from the Bible.  Colton says, in the book, that Jesus and Colton's older sister showed him around-to all the rooms and meadows.  The lovely pictures in this book really help me get an understanding of what Colton saw, and makes me excited about the place God has prepared for all those who believe in Him!

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November 17 2011 5 17 /11 /November /2011 18:09

This is the second installment in the 'Confessions of April Grace' series.  It is told in first-person by April Grace, and tells the story of her not-so-normal everyday life.  In this book, April is starting junior high, and one of her best friends-Lottie-has started a clique and is leaving April Grace out.  Their clique is called the Lotties, but April and her other friend Melissa call them the 'Snotties'.  April does not understand where Lottie got the idea for a clique-she suspects the idea was from a visit Lottie took earlier in the year to her cousin-and finds them quite annoying.  The Lotties call April and her friend 'hicks', but April says she would much rather be a hick than be in a clique, because April finds hicks much nicer.  There is a whole lot of drama going on besides just cliques and hicks, though.  April's mother has not been acting like herself, and April is getting worried.  What's more, their pastor wants April's mom, Lily Reilly, to direct the Christmas play that year.  By the time comes for Lily to direct the play, her family is against the idea of her leading it in her condition.  Then April has the brilliant idea of having Isabel St. James direct it, because Isabel used to be an actress.  There is some conflict, though, because Isabel does not go to church, and she is very rude.  Also, at the beginning of the book, Isabel was in a car crash.  By the time the play rolls around, she has just gotten out of her cast.  To top it all off, Grandma now has two boyfriends! Yes, that's right, I said Grandma.  It really gets interesting when both of the boyfriends show up at the house at the same time.  Myra Sue, April Grace's older sister, is just as annoying as ever, and it really bugs April when Myra Sue seems to take more care of Isabel than Mama.  This is a very interesting story that I would give four and a half out of five stars.  I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.

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November 17 2011 5 17 /11 /November /2011 18:04

This was a very cute book that I finished in a couple days. It is about April Grace Reilly (told in first person) and her view of life. What was going on during this point in her life was this: Grandma has a boyfriend who is big, loud, rude, and smells of Old Spice aftershave. Two new, rude, stuck-up, neighbors move in next door, in an old house that needs fixing up. Last of all, April's older sister Myra Sue in obsessed with being pretty-which is weird for April because they live on a farm. All in all, I loved this book. It was very cute, and I would recommend it to 12-16 year olds.  This is the first book in the Confessions of April Grace series.

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November 9 2011 4 09 /11 /November /2011 22:36

The Lucado Inspirational Reader is a book that I received from Booksneeze.  It really fits its title: Inspirational.  This book was a collection of writing that Max Lucado has previously written, published, and sold.  This is just a volume of his best-and I must say, it is wonderful.  The selections chosen to be in the book are very encouraging, and it made me want to tell everybody.  It classifies the selections in chapters for different topics, such as faith, church, the Bible itself, encouragement, and many others.  I have really enjoyed reading this as it is very powerfully written.  There were several times I ran to show someone else in my family a certain selection, and several different people came to mind as I read it.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone, and I would say that it makes a wonderful gift, whether it be for a birthday, holiday, or just an out-of-the-blue-God-loves-you gift.  It covers topics that include everybody, including everything from salvation to parenting.  This book was so encouraging; I cannot say enough good things about it.  Max Lucado is a christian author who has written many powerful, encouraging, best-selling books, and this is a collection of his best so you know it has to be good.

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October 15 2011 7 15 /10 /October /2011 17:01
Mara, Daughter of the Nile
by: Eloise Jarvis McGraw
 
    
      This is a wonderful book.  It is set in ancient Egypt.  Mara, a seventeen year old slave girl, is the main person.  She works for a man named Zasha.  One day, a man sees her at the market and follows her home.  He ends up buying her, and telling her she can either accept his mission to be a spy for the queen and have a chance at freedom if she survives and completes the mission, or he will re-sell her.  Mara really wants to be free, so she accepts the mission.  The queen's younger brother, who some Egyptians think should be ruling, is going to be married to a Canaanite princess, who needs an interpreter.  Mara happens to speak both languages, so she is hired.  On the ship heading there, she meets and cautiously becomes friends with another man named Sheftu.  Sheftu threatens her with her life and tells her that she will become a spy against the queen (for the queen's brother) or die.  Mara agrees.  She is now a double spy for two very dangerous men.  She does not know what to do, so she continues serving both sides.  Against her will, she finds herself falling in love with one of her masters. (whoops) It is then her serving of both sides is found out, and her life is thrown into chaos.  Read the book to find out what happens! You can buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.  Enjoy the book!
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