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Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit
Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit
by Carlie Kercheval
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
25 used & new from $6.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but very basic, July 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was excited to order this resource, but having read it now, I feel that it is priced too high.
Consider other options in the $9.99-$14.99 range - "Our 24 Family Ways" (Clarkson) or "Step Into the Bible" (Graham), both over twice as long as this one, and written with far more depth. Consider, then, this book, which is a total of 68 numbered pages (including the endorsements, introduction, and several pages of personal notes) and is currently $9.99 paperback, $7.99 kindle. Compared to the others, which are also both physically larger in dimension as well as page count, this one feels like a pamphlet. :(
This book is not in typical "devotional" format. It is not divided by day, but each chapter is more of a quick-view idea guide for the week. Many of the ideas are very, very basic, with little to no specific guidance for how to expand or implement them (role play, family projects). Some definitions are poorly worded (peace) or aren't actually defined (goodness).
All that said, if viewed as an idea resource rather than a devotional, I did feel that the book has helpful ideas upon which a family could expand, if they are willing to invest some time. I think this would be a great resource if priced more in the $4.99-$6.99 range, or if the variety of ideas were expanded and alternate suggestions included.


The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (A Medieval Fairy Tale)
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (A Medieval Fairy Tale)
by Melanie Dickerson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.13
64 used & new from $7.82

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good, June 8, 2015
Not as good as the first few books in the series. It started slow, and I found myself skimming. About half way through, it got a little better, but I still didn't feel like it drew me in very well. I found it difficult to relate to Odette. Perhaps I missed the reason when I skimmed, but I kept wondering why she didn't just go to the new margrave (or send her uncle) to appeal to him on behalf of the orphans...?
I liked Jorgen (yor-gen? jor-gen?), but felt that the attraction waxed and waned a bit - sometimes it felt like they were being drawn toward each other, and sometimes it felt very lukewarm.
Others may not have problem with this, but I am always a little turned off when a hero or heroine is discovered kissing a random character who isn't their intended counterpart. I know it is sometimes a necessary plot device, but it just always comes across as...icky.
I didn't have some of the issues with the ending that others did. I thought it was a sweet, succinct way to wrap things up. However, there was one conversation toward the end that bugged me a bit. Odette is chatting with a friend, feeling remorseful for previous actions, and the friend consoles her by assuring her that God knows her heart. My internal response was "...But her "heart" was telling her to *break the law* instead of attempting to talk to someone about the plight of her orphans...how is that ok?" I would have preferred to have it pointed out that everyone makes mistakes - even gigantic ones that almost get others killed - but that forgiveness is always available.
I'm still not sure how she could have met with her orphans so frequently and not known that they weren't getting their meat. Did she not ever talk to them?
It was ok, but I'm feeling like these last couple of books are just not on par with the earlier stories.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2015 7:02 PM PDT


Short-Straw Bride
Short-Straw Bride
by Karen Witemeyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.59
96 used & new from $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read!, June 8, 2015
This review is from: Short-Straw Bride (Paperback)
I loved reading about the Archer family, in this and the other stories about them. In some series, the continual repetition of a single family can get very old very quickly, but I enjoyed the multiple opportunities to follow the Archers.
Even when I wanted to smack Travis upside the head for being such a grump, it was because I was so drawn in to the characters and story. I found his attitude to be fairly realistic, given the historic difficulties in keeping one's land and family well and intact. Meredith was an enjoyable character. There were times I wished that *she* would smack Travis...but maybe that would be too much smacking. (I'm a Christian woman, after all...) I found that her sweetness was a nice balance to Travis' misguided fears. The secondary characters were enjoyable without being distracting, and the plot moved along evenly. A very fun read!


To Win Her Heart
To Win Her Heart
by Karen Witemeyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.50
68 used & new from $4.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 8, 2015
This review is from: To Win Her Heart (Paperback)
I have come back to this book several times after my initial reading of it. I find Ms. Witemeyer's books to be intriguing and original, and this one is a favorite. I'm not sure how she does it when so many others can't, but Karen has a way of making her characters flawed without inciting the reader's judgment or pity. I found her handling of delicate matters, like a speech impediment and tragic life choices, to be written in a way that is encouraging and respectful, and there always seems to be a beautiful element of sacrificial love in each of her books. As a Christian, I love her consistently balanced inclusion of passion tempered by wisdom. (In other words, sweet kissing scenes without going too far.)


A Worthy Pursuit
A Worthy Pursuit
by Karen Witemeyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.77
61 used & new from $6.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So great!, June 8, 2015
This review is from: A Worthy Pursuit (Paperback)
I have read all of Karen Witemeyer's books that have been published through Bethany House, and enjoyed each of them, but this one is without a doubt my favorite. I loved the characters, and I have always appreciated Ms Witemeyer's ability to craft stories that feel very original and creative.
I found that both Charlotte and Stone were nuanced and flawed in a genuinely relatable way. I admire Karen's ability to bring such depth to her characters. Charlotte was such an excellent depiction of how a woman's insecurity can be intensified by the people around her, and yet she never comes across as weak, high-maintenance, or shallow. In a genre dominated by bad-boy "heroes" who need to be "reformed", I found it refreshing to encounter a male lead who, from the start, values honor and integrity, and puts the needs of others above his own convenience. (In fact, I have loved this about all of her heroes.)
I enjoy the inclusion of children in stories like these, but find that they sometimes feel a little too much like a heavy-handed plot device. Not so with this story. The inclusion of the children was (again) done in a creative way, with just the right amount of dialog and humor to move the plot without feeling artificial.
Lovely. I'm looking forward to the next one!


A Christmas Carol (Christmas Books series Book 1)
A Christmas Carol (Christmas Books series Book 1)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Always worth your time, May 16, 2015
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I am not a big fan of Dickens, but A Christmas Carol is always worth a read, particularly around the holidays. A classic story of redemption, beautifully told. (There isn't any actual "violence", but it is a "ghost" story, so if you plan to read to with your kids, definitely screen it first.)


Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool
Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool
by Karen DeBeus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.99
26 used & new from $4.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging!, May 16, 2015
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I wish I could give Karen a hug for providing a much-needed reminder of Who is really running things.
Though they have value, I get so tired of seeing the myriad articles, blog posts, and online conversations listing all of the great things that YOU should be doing for your homeschool.
This book is a breath of fresh air that reassures us that the most important thing is simply to follow God's leading.


Why Easter?
Why Easter?
by Barbara Reaoch
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
33 used & new from $6.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for family devotions!, May 16, 2015
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This review is from: Why Easter? (Paperback)
Excellent resource for helping children understand the truths and symbols of the Resurrection. We very much enjoyed the fact that this author encourages families to read from the actual Bible, rather than a paraphrase or story, and the addition of the hymns made it that much more meaningful (and fun!) for my children. Doctrinally sound for most mainstream denominations. I appreciate Ms. Reaoch's ability to present the deep truths of scripture in a way that children understand, but without talking down to them. Wish she had more than just Easter and Christmas!


Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys
Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys
Price: $0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too violent, May 16, 2015
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In the very first story, an angry child (Tom) "beats" his friend to win an argument and then pushes him from the edge of a grain loft onto the "hard sidewalk", and we are left for a moment to wonder if the child has died. The adults promptly point out that Tom "ought to be sent to jail, and if he dies, maybe you'll be hung." I should probably mention that these children are school-aged, and, for all practical purposes, beyond the age of toddler impulsivity.
I don't even know where to begin. Some books written in the past should be treasured as wonderful examples of literature and virtue. Some should not. Some parents might be comfortable with the story above. I am not.
Between the violent nature of the first few pages, and the lack of practicality in the illustration, I closed the book and we have not read any further. Two stars for the possibility that other stories may not be so creepy, but there are far FAR better resources out there for teaching Biblical character and virtue in a healthy way.


Saint George and the Dragon
Saint George and the Dragon
by Margaret Hodges
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.00
101 used & new from $0.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic story that retains its value for children, May 16, 2015
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We love this book. The illustrations are phenomenal. Beautiful detail, but not so gory or frightening as some other options. (Read: It doesn't give my littlest one nightmares. Always a plus.) If you have not read the story of St. George, you should, regardless of your age. It is a touching tale that reminds us of hope and victory.


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