Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christy by Catherine Marshall


New edition of Catherine Marshall’s inspirational classic!

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

My Thoughts:

I fell in love with this book quite a few years ago. I would guess it's now been 15 years or so. My grandmother let me borrow her copy, which was the old one with the red cover. After loving the story and giving back her copy, I was thrilled to discover a copy in a used book store. It looked exactly the same. I put that lovely red covered copy on my shelf.

As much as I love old books, sometimes it nice to hold a newer version in your hands. Plus, I'm just thrilled that it's being published again in a lovely hardcover version, making it easier to get into hands. This version does have a different cover, the print is just the tiniest bit bigger, and the book is a bit bigger, in general. The pages are whiter than my old yellowed copy, and it's easier on my eyes to read, overall. The content is the same as my old red covered one, though, which was published back in 1967, except with an added foreword from the Marshall and LeSourd families. It has the same map, prologue, acknowledgements, and of course, the same story. They mainly just spruced up the package. If you take off the dust jacket, they even kept the cover a reddish color(though it leans more towards an orange-ish red). On the back of the dust jacket, there's a large picture of Catherine Marshall.

All that is just for those that are already fans of Christy, and might want to know if it's worth adding to your collection.

For those of you that haven't read Christy, you really must! It's a lovely story that is definitely worth your reading time. It takes place in the Great Smokey Mountains, during 1912. It tells the story of Christy, fictionally based on Marshall's mother. At only 19, she takes on the task of teaching children living in great poverty. Marshall has a beautiful way of writing, and this story completely has my reading heart. Since it's been so long ago since the first time I'd read it, I knew there would be lots that I wouldn't remember within the story, but I've been blown away by just how much I'd forgot. I never forgot the ending, though. It stuck with me through all these years.

All of that to say, definitely grab a copy of this book! I can't imagine you'd regret it.

*I was given a free copy of this book.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy, with Illustrations by Trish Mahoney


The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible is a gospel-centered, Bible storybook for toddlers and preschoolers with fifty-two Bible stories retold in a simple and compelling way. Author Jared Kennedy traces through the stories of the Old and New Testament how God keeps his promises in surprising ways better than anyone could have ever thought or imagined! Each story highlights for young children God s story of redemption through Jesus and the unexpected ways that God s grace and mercy are revealed throughout the Bible. Children will hear the good news of God s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts. Each story ends with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the story. Brightly colored illustrations highlight each story and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep the youngest child's attention.

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful choice for a Bible book for young listeners. My youngest is 4, but his attention span isn't the best when it comes to listening to stories(unless it has his current favorite animal in it...which changes every few months). Each "story"(history summary) is short, with simple sentences, and it tells where in the Bible it was taken from. There's a little discussion(with a question) at the end of each summary that points out something to take away. These are usually 2 to 3 sentences long.

The illustrations are bright and eye catching. They're large and simple, yet lovely and pleasing to look at. I think for the average child, they're great.

My little Bumblebee has loved this book. He especially loves the summary of the plagues in Egypt, since he gets to hear about his current favorite of God's creations, the frog. I asked him how he'd feel if frogs suddenly showed up everywhere...in the tub, in his food, all over the floor. With a look of awe, he said, "I'd love it!" (I'm sure real life experience would change his mind, but he sure does love his frogs.)

I'd especially recommend this book for 4 and under, for the average child. (For many 4 year olds, this book will even be way too simple, I imagine. Big brothers, 6 and 9, have listened in without complaints, though.) We've enjoyed it.

*I was given a free copy of this book.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Forest, A Flood, and An Unlikely Star by J.A. Myhre, with Illustrations by Acacia Masso


Just thirteen-years-old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where? With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship? Readers of all ages won t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships. A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star is the third book in the Rwendigo Tale Series and follows Book One, A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, and Book Two, A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue.
My Thoughts:

I've enjoyed the other two books in this series, but I think this one has been my favorite. I've completely fell in love with these books. They're just beautiful stories, full of courage, and worthy of a spot on our shelves. This one had a bit of a different style than the other two, in that the animals never talk. One of them comes off intelligent, but never reveals things through words like they do in the other books. While I did connect with this book even more than the other two, I'm curious about the change.

Each book in this series was written as Christmas presents for the author's children for four years. (There's one more book to come.) From the time I read the first book, I've found this especially appealing to the books. It just makes them sweeter and more special.

In this particular book, we meet Kusiima. He lives with his grandmother and little sister, Ngonzi. Ngonzi is very sick, but Kusiima and his grandmother aren't sure how to help her, with such a limited income. Aside from working at his job, and worrying about his sister, he soon becomes mixed up with illegal activities. In the end, he has many choices to make.

While this book can be read perfectly fine alone, I do think it would be better to read it after the other two, just to understand the "Creator and Messengers" portion of the story. This part is briefly explained in the epilogue.

There are some parts, one in particular, that are disturbing. I'd probably wait a bit on reading this(or handing it over) to highly sensitive children. It doesn't hide the harsh realities of those living in Africa, like death, marriage to stay out of extreme poverty, AIDS, poaching, hunger, and so much more. (The author does say in her note that this book was written for older children and teens.)

Overall, this is a lovely series and I highly recommend them, especially if you want your children to "travel" to Africa for a little while.

*I was given a free copy of this book.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Action Storybook Bible by Catherine DeVries, with Illustrations by Sergio Cariello

About the Book:

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God's redemptive story together.
From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus's gift of eternal life for you and your family-God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God's Word reflected in your life?
This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story, packed with dozens of scenes-combining stories from God's Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family's place in God's redemptive story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:
-Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
-Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God's redemptive story!
-The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
-Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts:

We have The Action Bible and LOVE it. This Action Storybook Bible is done with the same style of gorgeous artwork(with many new ones). It does stay pretty close to the Bible, but liberties are taken a bit here and there with thoughts and words that aren't within the Bible. It's wasn't really anything major, but I was bothered by the wording at times. I still like it enough to use with my boys(with a bit of discussion here and there). Knowing what's in God's Word and discussing things that venture into "guessing territory" is always key to reading Bible history books, written by us imperfect humans.

The "stories"(which I'll refer to as chapters) of Bible history within this book really just cover the main people that we think of within the Bible, like Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph, Moses, etc. Many of them combine historical events/people. For example, Joshua and Samson are combined into one. At the end of each chapter, there's a mini devotional, of sorts, called "Life, Faith, Action!" It has a "God in Action" part that shows us God within the story, and then a "Faith in Action" part that gives us a challenge of some sort, like telling your thoughts about the word "king" and the role of one or walking through nature. There's also a sample prayer on that page.

The artwork within this book is truly phenomenal! Even if only for the artwork, I highly recommend The Action Bible and this Action Storybook Bible.

*I was provided an e-copy to check out.

The Action Storybook Bible Kindle Fire Giveaway

Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God's redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.

Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God's beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook


Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!


David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ChristianBook.com to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST. Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.


Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:

  • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.
  • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.
  • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.
  • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.
Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel


Soar across the skies of beautiful Israel and visit contemporary and historic sites beckoning visitors to stay and explore.

The beauty of Israel from above is captured by top aerial photographer Ron Gafni. As you sweep over ancient ruins, fly high in hot air balloons, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles, Holy scripture will also come alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers reflective narrative with scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.

My Thoughts:

The older I get, the more I want to travel. While we're working, slowly, on getting more travel into our lives, a trip to Israel probably isn't happening anytime soon. (A recent 2 day trip to Memphis, TN was a pretty exciting adventure for us, so....) Looking at all the beautiful pictures within this book helped with my urge to travel, though. (Well, it helped me be more motivated than ever to save more for traveling, anyway.) Plus, it's always great to get better visuals flowing through my mind with Bible reading.

Though it is on the smaller side, as far as "coffee table" type books go, it has a tremendous amount of photos packed within the pages. The unique part about this book is the fact that almost all of the pictures are from above, giving us a "bird's eye view" of various parts of Israel.

On a more personal level, this book made me think of a precious lady I miss. Every time I hear about travels to Israel, I think of one of the sweetest, most worthy of being a role model women that ever lived. She's already with Jesus, but just looking through this book made me think of her and her trip to the Bible lands, and it's always a good thing to think about her.

Alongside the photos, there's also Bible verses and narratives. I don't agree with every thing that was said(thoughts on baptism, for example), but that's nothing new, huh? ;) I still feel the need to mention it most the time, though.

I've greatly enjoyed looking through this book, and seeing all the lovely photos. It's a beautiful little book!

If you'd like to take a peek inside the book, here ya go.....

**I was given a copy of this book.