A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

M: Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

MarkOfTheThiefMark of the Thief was recommended to me by the same person who recommended Last in a Long Line of Rebels. Of course I was going to read this book then.

There is only one worse thing that could happen to Nicolas Calva. Sal marry his sister. But other than that, nothing. He was a slave in a mine in Rome. His father died because he was struck by lightening (Really, Father? Did you have to go out in that storm?) and his mother was sold away. What more could go wrong? Continue reading “M: Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

L: Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre

LastInALongLineOfRebelsI was recommended this book by my sister’s friend’s mom. I know what you’re thinking right now…what??? So, my sister’s friend’s mom is also a friend of my aunt. When ever we all get together, my sister’s friend’s family is often invited as well. One day, it was getting late and I found myself sitting beside my sister’s friend’s mom. Turns out, she’s as big a bookworm as me. We swapped favorite books and authors for a bit, and now we email each other with great book finds.

So like I said: I was recommended this book by my sister’s friend’s mom. Boy am I glad she recommended it. 😀

Lou is the junkman’s daughter and in desperate need of something exciting. After Sally made fun of how boring Lou’s summer would be, Lou explained how wrong she was, much to her best friend’s shock. And so starts one of the most interesting summers of her life.

It starts when Lou and Benzer find an old Bible and pray with it for excitement that summer. Then, they’re forced to run real quick into a secret hiding spot since they are not suppose to touch that Bible. As they listen, they find out that the city is trying to take away Lou’s house. The only way to save it is to make it a historical landmark…or to find the gold that is rumored to be hid around here.

And so starts their summer.

Their search for the gold takes them back through every exciting event the small town ever had–the courthouse fire and the murder–and even the norm for the town: slavery, Civil War, and abolitionists.

I loved this story. Lisa wrote a great story of adventure, challenge, and of what happens when your once perfect world gets flipped upside down.Lou had quite an adventure and I sure am glad I was able to peek in on it. 😀

This book was definitely written for tweens, but if you’re like me and like reading tween books too, well, you’ll love this book. It doesn’t have a deep complicated plot, but everything does keep moving along. You don’t feel stuck in one place for too long.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely. I think that everyone should have a great, feel good book like this sitting somewhere on their shelf. And it won’t be dusty. 😉

Happy Reading, everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying the A to Z so far! 😀


A to Z, A to Z 2016, Bethany House Publishers, Book Reviews, Reviews

K: King’s Folly by Jill Williamson


Note to parents: the content in this book might be inappropriate for your children. You might want to look over it before letting your children read it.

The gods are angry.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers–everything pints to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son Prince Wilek thinks his father’s superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful First Arm of Armania.

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to have his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?

Continue reading “K: King’s Folly by Jill Williamson”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

J: Just Another Hero by Sharon M. Draper

JustAnotherHeroThe description of Just Another Hero is what drew me in. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t it draw in?

This group of friends has been through so much after a deadly hazing ritual left friendships broken, hearts aching, and November pregnant with Josh’s baby. But senior year is going well, and when the fire alarm goes off, everyone assumes that crazy Jack is trying to get out of a quiz or a test. Then he shows up at the science lab wielding an AK-47, sputtering about the need to finally be taken seriously. There’s only a matter of seconds to stop a tragedy, and all eyes are searching for someone–anyone–to step up to be the hero.

Continue reading “J: Just Another Hero by Sharon M. Draper”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

I: Independence Hall by Roland Smith

IndependenceHallRemember me telling you that you were going to hear about the books I bought for Christmas? Yup, well here we go. Insignia was the first book on my list, but Independence Hall was definitely second. 😀 Why I decided to review Independence Hall instead of Insignia for A to Z? Mostly because I was reading Independence Hall and the read of the I, Q (try searching for that in a library catalog: not an easy task!) way before I even knew Insignia existed, and because I don’t think the I, Q series has as much publicity as Insignia. Anyways, enough about that. You came here to learn about the book, not my rantings.

What do you do when your dead mother isn’t dead and is actually a infamous terrorist, when your coach breaks down in the middle of the desert because of a device designed to stop you there, when the roadie who’s driving your family’s coach turns out to be a retired spy keeping an eye on you, and when that waiter over there is actually part of the Israeli Mossad and seems to have a death wish on you? Oh. Yeah, and that police officer over there really isn’t a police officer. And there’s a reason that paparazzi reporter is following you around–a different one than your parent’s fame. Continue reading “I: Independence Hall by Roland Smith”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

H: Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes

HeroOnABicycleHero on a Bicycle is a story that you’re not gonna want to miss. Why, you ask? Well, stay tuned to find out. 😀

Italy 1944

He [Paolo] stopped and flung his bicycle against a nearby wall to get his breath back and consider the situation. At that moment, someone came up silently behind him and clapped a strong hand over his mouth.

Continue reading “H: Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

G: (The) Good Thief by Hannah Tinti


Note to parents: the end might be a little disturbing for younger children. You might want to look over it before letting your children read it.

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (click here for the author website) is the ‘G’ book for this month. I originally read it in January and instantly knew that this was going to be a book for this month.

I was a little cautious about reading it at first. My family is not the biggest on promoting rebellion against the leaders that are over us. (Romans 13:1-7), but it was the good thief, so I thought I’d give it a try. Continue reading “G: (The) Good Thief by Hannah Tinti”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

F: (A) Faraway Island by Annika Thor

AFarawayIslandI was going to do this on Firefight by Brandon Sanderson since I have another Historical Fiction review in just a couple days, but since it’s such an awesome book, there are too many people waiting for it and I couldn’t get it in time. It’s the second book in the Reckoners trilogy (Steelheart, short story Mitosis, Firefight, and Calamity). If you see any of those books around, pick them up! They’re awesome. ;D

So instead, I’m doing A Faraway Island. This was actually the book I planned to do for F in the first  place, but then my H is another historical fiction based during World War 2, and I thought we might need a bit of a change. Don’t feel shortchanged though! Annika Thor writes some pretty great stories, and this is one of them.

Stephie and Nellie are far from Austria. Far from Momma and Poppa. Far from home. All because of Hitler and the ever spreading Nazi Germany. Continue reading “F: (A) Faraway Island by Annika Thor”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

E: Elise the Actress by Norma Jean Lutz

EliseTheActressElise the Actress is a book geared toward younger children. The reason I’m featuring it today is because I loved this series (along with the Dear America series as well) when I was younger, and also because many of you have kids aged 8-12 that could benefit from this series.

Time Period: January 1864 – April 1865

With the nation convulsed by civil war, Elise Brannon wants people to look past the depressing news that arrives daily from the battlefields: Through her love of acting, she’ll make them laugh and forget-at least for awhile. But even her optimism is challenged when a family friend dies from battle wounds…she’s captured by a band of deserters…and President Lincoln is assassinated.

Elise the Actress uses actual historical events to tell the poignant fictional story of a ten-year-old girl growing up in very trying times. It’s an excellent tool for teaching both history and the Christian faith!

Elise just wants to make people laugh, but no matter what she does, no one can forget the war. When she tries to put on a funny play, Samuel, instead of a funny poem, recites a reading that stirs up loyalty. Elise is frustrated.

“Oh, Verly, I wanted everyone to laugh and be happy. Laughter is the best medicine. Why can’t people forget the terrible war, even if it’s only for one evening?

Yet as they continue to live their lives, Elise learns about making the right choice, compassion, and forgiveness. It’s very good for showing the way life actually was during the Civil War. It’s a story of Compassion, and love, and hope.

It’s a kids book, so some things are watered down a bit. Not too much though. Elise the Actress shows kids the way it was back then. Never underestimate the ability of a book like this to make kids somewhat understand and abhor war.

Would I recommend it? For people in the correct age range, yes! It truly tells of the feelings and events that happened in a correct manner that also enforces the Christian life. If you have kids 8-12ish, I would suggest getting it! (Especially you homeschoolers. 😛 )

Happy reading, everyone, and I’ll see you tomorrow with a story aimed more for teenagers. 😀

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

D: Death of a Saloon by Pablo Yoder

DeathOfASaloonGuys, listen up. This is a true story. This actually happened. Teodolinda actually lived this life. And God actually changed her life in this amazing way. Check it out:

Teodolinda is a dreamer. She dreams as her family moves to Zapotal for a better life. She dreams with her new husband for a better life. But even the best of dreamers give up sometimes.

Her life is filled to the top with drinkers and sin. Even the priest drinks! Her sons are in fights, her husband is using all the money they’ve earned… Teodolinda just wants something to be different. Something to give her hope. Even just a shred of hope. Is that so much to ask for? Apparently, yes. Continue reading “D: Death of a Saloon by Pablo Yoder”