Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Blog Tour: Home At Last by Deborah Raney

Home At Last focuses on Link Whiteman, Grant and Audrey's son. It is the fifth book in the Chicory Inn series. Link is the last sibling of his family that is unmarried. He has not been in a hurry to find the woman of his dreams but he does have it on his mind. He is drawn to a mixed racial woman named Shayla. She helps her dad operate a bakery. But there is also a little girl in the picture. Although Shayla doesn't have a wedding ring on her finger, he wonders what the connection is between her and the little girl. He runs into some hard times with Shayla, both before and after he gets to know her better. Those hard times could potentially destroy anything good or maybe even help make the relationship become stronger.

I like how this book shows that couples of mixed races are more accepted in our world today than they have been in the past. Even though Shayla is of mixed race her skin is brown, which I think makes her look more like a full African American. I like how Link found a list he wrote in his younger days of the qualities that he wanted in his future bride. I love how even though that it seemed like Shayla didn't have a friend in the world that Link didn't let that bother him and brought a lot more love into her world from himself and his family.

One part of the story I didn't like as well as the rest is when Link's dad was expressing how he felt about Shayla and a part of him was glad she wasn't divorced. I didn't like that because a lot of people in this world can't help they are divorced, either it was forced on them or the circumstances in the marriage were so hard (maybe life threatening) they might of felt the only way for them was to get a divorce.


I really liked how Link and Shayla's relationship showed the true colors of the Whitman family. In my opinion, this story did a really great job of bringing out Link's story while bringing the rest of the Whitman family into the story that were highlighted in previous books of this book series.

Not only did I fall in love with the Chicory Inn series but my mother did too! She read all five books in the series! It reaches out to many different generations!

My review- 4.75 out of 5 stars

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Book Blog Tour Landing page:
 

More about the book:


Why did their differences matter so much? Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?
 

About the author:

Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.
 

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.
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Deborah Raney's 'Home at Last' Facebook Party and Blog Tour


Conclude Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup-and then the girl's aunt Shayla enters Link's life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?




Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there-bring a friend or two who loves to read!






 
 
 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Book Review: Yossi and the Monkeys: A Shavuot Story by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, Illustrated by Shirley Waisman

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

Yossi doesn't have enough money for ingredients to make blintzes and braided challahs or to buy his wife flowers for Shavuot. After his wife suggests that they try to sell something to earn money he comes up with an idea to make kippahs. His wife goes to work making the kippahs and Yossi tries his best to sell them, which he is unsuccessful with doing until a monkey comes along. The monkey takes them from Yossi. He makes people laugh as they come across him and Yossi. Since he was wearing a kippah people wonder how much they are and start purchasing them. One day the monkey who Yossi has named Zelig (which means blessing) disappears and Yossi finds him a place that he is respected by his fellow monkey friends.

I liked how both Yossi and his wife worked together with his idea of selling Kippahs so they could have enough money for the Shavuot holiday. It was interesting to learn that Yossi fed Zelig the monkey apples versus bananas.

Zelig the monkey and Zelig's friends will probably make many children laugh at what they do. Children will learn from this book not only what Shavuot is but when King David's birthday is as well.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received a paperback copy of this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Specialty Bible Review: The Plans I Have For You Holy Bible: NIV

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

The Plans I Have For You Holy Bible is a children's Bible that contains the NIV translation. At various places in Scripture there are "Promise Prayers" (prewritten prayers that can be prayed and are based on Scriptures) and "God's Big Plan" pages (a commentary based on Scriptures) written by Amy Parker. There are also highlighted Scriptures based on a wide variety of topics that are there to uplift and encourage.

Beginning pages include two title pages, the Table of Contents, an introduction to whoever will be reading it (spoken in a way that children can understand), and the Preface. From there the beginning pages of Scriptures start. Ending pages include a Table of Weights and Measures, a Scripture Index (that lists the Scriptures that are highlighted throughout the Bible), an index to the "God's Big Plans" notes, and an index to the "Promise Prayers".

I read through the Bible books of Zephaniah and Philippians while reviewing this Bible. I was glad that there were prayers included because I think they will help children to learn to pray or help them to pray different kinds of prayers then they might be used to based on Scripture passages. I also liked that the "God's Big Plan" notes were written in a way that will help children to understand the Scriptures better. The highlighted passages I came across got my attention and I think they will be something that children will start remembering as being important and encouraging as they come across those passages again and again.

It might be helpful for some to know that this is not a picture Bible filled with a lot of colors. It contains the entire set of Scriptures. Black ink is used for Scriptures, blue is used with the highlighting of the encouraging Scriptures, and there are some bluish and black colors with the "Promise Prayers" and "God's Big Plan" notes.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Specialty Bible free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review: The Art Lesson: A Shavuot Story by Allison and Wayne Marks, Illustrated by Annie Wilkinson

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

Shoshana loves to go to her grandmother Jacob's art studio every Thursday after school. She has made a lot of art projects there with her help, a lot of which are used during the Jewish holidays. One day her grandmother has her open a drawer with a special surprise in it, although sheets of white blank paper don't seem so special to Shoshana at first. Grandma Jacobs shows her what her bubbe taught her about what to make with that paper and teaches Shoshana to do the same. Although the art she makes by cutting patterns/pieces of this paper out doesn't turn out to be what Shoshana wants to make, Grandma Jacobs helps her find the beauty of her art work by showing her what her art work reminds her of. Shoshana also carries on what her grandmother taught her about art in a big way in her adult years.

I liked that Shoshana was so excited about what was in store every Thursday and that it developed her into being a young and eventually an adult artist. The illustrations of what Grandma Jacob's art studio looked like helped a lot to put pictures with the verbal descriptions.

I also liked how Grandma Jacobs called Shoshana by different artist names in this book. The nicknames were all about real artists that are described in the back of the book. I also liked that examples of their art styles are shown throughout the book; the information about what pages the examples can be found on are located at the same section the artists are described.

I think that children will take away a great idea of putting papercut art in their windows during Shavuot or any Jewish holiday from reading this book. There is also a craft idea in the back of the book that lists directions on how to make a Star of David papercut craft.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman, Illustrations by Mateya Arkova

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire is another addition to Carole P. Roman's ancient children series. It goes back in time to what it might've been like for children to live during the 1300's in the Mali Empire. Popular boys and girls names are shared, as well as popular cities, tourist attractions, people, food that was eaten, the age boys became men, what girls were expected to do in their young age, and what age the girls should starting thinking about marrying. Children will discover what kind of clothing both men and women wore and what houses looked like in Mali during those days. There is a glossary located in the back of the book that defines the Mali words used throughout the story in English.

I liked how this book follows a lot of the topics of the If You Were Me and Lived in culture series but goes into more depth. It can be read in one sitting or spread out between different days. I also liked the comparison to how Mali may have looked in the 1300's versus today.

Some of the information in the book I would want to leave out if I ever read this book to children even though it is probably true, such as men having more than one wife and people worshipping different Gods other than the God of Israel spoke about in the Bible.

I liked to learn that a lot changed when Mansa Musa became the ruler, and that he was fair. He allowed people to worship as they pleased, invited scholars from around the world to exchange knowledge, and made it possible for students to have free education.

The illustrations should add a lot of meaning to the story for children.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.
 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Speciality Bible Review: Precious Prayers Bible (NKJV)


This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

This Precious Prayers specialty Bible contains Precious Moments prayers in between various pages of Scripture. It contains the full New King James Version (NKJV) text with notes at the bottom of the Scripture pages. The first pages included before the Scriptures starts is a place to write in who this Bible might be given to for a special occasion, a prayer, family history page, Bible title page, a background about what a Bible is, how to start reading the Bible, getting to know God, another title page, the books of the Old Testament, the books of the New Testament with the pages each Bible book starts on, and the NKJV introduction. Ending pages after the last page of Scripture include a chart of the Ministry of Jesus, the Miracles of Jesus, and colored maps.

I read through the Bible book of Jeremiah and a lot of information I hadn't noticed before popped out at me, such as Jeremiah's calling in Jeremiah 1:10, a theme about the North, and a description of who the Rechabites are in Jeremiah 35.

I was kind of surprised that in the section about how the read the Bible that it is recommended to start reading in the book of Mark. This is because I mostly remember recommendations on starting in the book of Matthew, which is the start of the gospels in most Bibles. After comparing the start of both of the Bible books of Matthew and Mark I can now see why the introduction in Mark would probably be easier for most children to understand.

I didn't like how in one section (the "How to Start Reading the Bible section) it listed a story as a Christmas story and an another as an Easter story because I think it should have been listed more like the Bible explains, such as Easter explained as Passover (Pesach).

I like that this is a full text Bible. I also like how the prayers are added within the pages versus planting on them different pages of Scripture, which separates the prayers from the actual Scripture verses.

This is a great Bible for children to have as a first Bible. With the help of parents and other adults that work with children in places where Bibles are used, it will help them to learn how to pray through the various prayers while having the Bible read to them, or reading it themselves if they are able to.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Specialty Bible free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars by Carole P. Roman, Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars shows children what it can be like to live on Mars. They will learn what they will need to wear, what to bring with them, what the weather conditions would be like, what the best time to go would be, what kind of jobs their parents might have, and how long to stay before it gets closest to earth again.

This book will take children through a make-believe trip to Mars while educating them on many facts about it in an easy-to understand-way. I got the impression that a lot of work went into this book because it seems like it is filled with many facts.

I would probably skip the parts about different things about Mars being named after Greek gods if I were reading this to any children though because I don't like educating them about Greek gods.

This book helps children to see just what it might be like to live on Mars and help them discern if it is place they would enjoy living on or not. It may also help them to appreciate how much easier it is to live on earth.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.