Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Brotherband Chronicles ~ John Flanagan


I will say up front that this series is not Christian, but still an inspiring tale for boys maturing into manhood. Even for me as a young woman reading it, I found the Brotherband chronicles refreshing with it's strong theme of morals and chivalry the boys are expected to reflect. It is not often that you find books with young men of integrity as shown in these chronicles. 

With his mixed heritage of part Skandian/Araluen, fifteen year old Hal has never quite fit in among the Skandian warrior people of Hallasholm. When the times comes for brotherband training in fighting and survival skills, Hal is worried he might not be accepted. Barely making it through the training, Hal finds himself the leader of one of the brotherbands...a motley group of outcasts and misfits like himself. They must learn to work together with their array of odd skills in order to make it one day as a functioning and fighting team. 

The brotherband is forced to learn and use their skills sooner than later as a pirate ship closes in on their town with their eye on the Skandian's most prized treasure. 

Indecency: None
Violence: Minimal
Language: The vikings use expressions of their gods names
Age Interest: 14-up



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Cay ~ Theodore Taylor




Young Phillips who lives on the small island of Curacao where his father is stationed, is thrilled when Germans invade their small island. The terrors of war unknown to him, he just imagines it as a game that he gets to witness. While traveling with his mother, the beginnings of war strike the very ship they are traveling on and a torpedo rips the ship apart, leaving Phillip struggling in the ocean, then knocked unconscious. Waking up, Phillip finds that he is still in the ocean, but on a raft, with a black crew member, and worse yet, his sight is completely gone. 

Phillip is a blind castaway, with a man he doesn't know, and no promise of home. 

"The Cay was one of the few books I've read to my children where they always begged me to read another chapter. The story was gripping. And not only that, but it provided lots of opportunities for discussion--a book I felt taught us something each day." Kelly Crawford
Indecency: None
Violence: None war related, but a slight troubling description of injuries.
Language: None
Age Interest: 4-up 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Maiden's Warfare~ Carol Deladurantey

Press on to heights of glory now,
And keep thou steady eye.

One must not falter in this fight,
Though some may flee or fly.

Take hold the charge thou hast been given,
To battle we must go.

But not with our own maiden hands
Do we take up shield or bow.

We wage this war in words and actions,
With our every deed.

We follow Chirst our Captain,
Thro' HIM we will suceed.

Tell me now have we forgot
The charge from God above?

To keep our hearts in purity, grace
Modesty, truth, and love.

These are our weapons, our shields, our swords;
In this battle we now fight.

We strive not for an earthly king,
But for our God of truth and might!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Christian Book Review: Till We Have Faces~ C.S. Lewis



“I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”



I found this book, oddly intriguing. So much that I read it twice. And enjoyed it a second go. Lewis is an author I respect, and admire especially for his understanding of human nature and the depravity of man. Which is why I think I enjoyed Till We Have Faces. It's not your happily ever after story where all the characters live wonderful lives. It shows some of the most despicable, inner sins of the human soul.


"It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all the beauty came from.” Orual~

I will say, I do not agree with Lewis in everything, and some people avoid him entirely because of the seemingly pagan things he brings into his writing. He confessed how much the stories of pagan gods intrigued him, but I believe inherently, Lewis's goal was to teach through a diverse way (by using magic and gods) the deep nature of man and God. And by using stories to mask his allegorical meanings, people were unknowingly being shown a Christian worldview.


"Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer." Amazon summary

A good introduction to Lewis's character is to read the book 'Not a Tame Lion'.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Christian Book Review: Holocaust: Number the Stars ~ Lois Lowry

My family is studying the holocaust right now and while mom wanted a good story that closely followed what it was like for Jews, she didn't want anything too graphic. Well we found this little book that does exactly that. And children are more spellbound by learning if it is written in story form. After reading chapters, if mom stops, the kids beg for more.

Number the Stars follows the life of 10 year old Anna Marie who is Polish, and whose best friend, Ellen, is Jewish. Anna Marie and  Ellen can't understand why the war is going on, and why Jews are being persecuted and ripped away from their homes and families. When Ellen's parents are forced into hiding, Anna Marie and her family take in Ellen and vow to protect her and her family's whereabouts

. But soon, the fate of Ellen and her family rest in the hands of terrified Anna Marie one dark night. Their whole future might change...for good or bad, no one is sure.

This book even keeps the adult riveted. My mother and I were as excited to pick the story up as the children. A great benefit to a Holocaust study!



Age Interest: 5 and up
Violence: Mild, soldiers slap people, an accident briefly described




Monday, January 27, 2014

Audio Theater: Under Drake's Flag ~ Based on G.A.Henty


" Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein 




I am one who has enjoyed reading books by the inspiring historian Henty, yet I wasn't fully able to share his stories with younger children because of the advanced writing of his works.

Our family just got the thrill of listening to one of G.A. Henty's most inspiring stories, through live audio!  Henty's works have been literally brought to life.
Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia."

Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia
Bill Heid, founder of Henty Alive, introduces the first audio dramatization of Under Drake's Flag: The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty.
Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia."
Our children are living in a world that is increasingly bombarding them with visual imagery. And the effect of all this visual imagery (television, video games, online videos, et cetera) and all other kinds of image-based "education" and entertainment is that it creates a world that's highly artificial.

And this highly artificial world, quite literally... shuts down their imagination! Give the children in your life timeless stories of character, courage and commitment that will ignite a lifetime of passion for living boldly in God's world. Bill and his creative audio were recently featured on Glenn Beck's TV Show (please watch:http://bit.ly/1j5WydZ) and described by Glenn as "Old style storytelling- done really wel


Applauded and recommended by Glenn Beck:
" Under Drakes Flag is a..."rip roaring" adventure story that teaches foundational moral values and brings "true" Christian to life. There's simply nothing like it."

Hop over to the main website to learn more! Under Drake's Flag

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reading to Your Children May Be More Important than You Think

Guest post by Kelly Crawford:
“If we would only consider the subtle strengthening of ties which comes from two people reading the same book together, breathing at once its breath and each giving the other unconsciously his interpretation of it, it would be seen how, in this simple habit of reading aloud, lies a power too fine to analyze, yet stronger than iron in welding souls together. To our thinking, there is no academy on earth equal to that found in so many homes, of a mother reading to her child.” Elisha Schudder, The Riverside Magazine for Young People
Reading is good,M everyone knows that. It enriches your thought life, aids your reasoning, enhances your communication, and in general, educates the mind.
But what if that is only the beginning?
A Family Program for Reading Aloud provokes me to think that maybe reading aloud to my children is more beneficial to our relationship than even their education...

Read more  HERE