Rock Harbor Search and Rescue / by Coleen Coble and Robin Caroll. 6/18/2013

Rock Harbor Search and Rescue / by Coleen Coble and Robin Caroll

INT (MS) Grades 3-6 Rating: 5

Award-winning author Colleen Coble collaborates with Robin Caroll to present Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a children’s mystery series set in the familiar Rock Harbor, Michigan, featuring some characters from Coble’s Rock Harbor adult series.

In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, thirteen year old Emily’s stepmom, Naomi and her dog Charley are part of the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team. Emily wants to be a part of the team and is saving the money to buy a puppy of her own to train.

But when an expensive necklace disappears while in her care, she must prove her innocence to everyone who considers her guilty, including her dad. Only her friend Olivia believes she is innocent. Her dad wants to believe her but the evidence (she has motive and means) makes it difficult, so she turns over her savings to the owner of the necklace.

While she works to clear her name and find the real culprit, she must deal with middle school girl-drama. She grapples with her faith (“Why God would allow her to be accused of wrongdoing?”), as well as the Native American beliefs about evil spirits (“Is the Windingo real?”).

Coble and Carrol do an excellent job of taking that familiar series and creating a good clean mystery/suspense appropriate for upper elementary readers. Coble fans will appreciate the plot twists and a visit with the familiar Rock Harbor characters. This new series will earn new and younger fans.

Rock Harbor Search and Rescue is told from Emily’s point of view and readers will appreciate the realistic narrative. The series includes mystery, action, suspense, and loose ends, leaving room for story development in the next book.

Highly recommended for school libraries and youth collections in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer

www.worthy2read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Sweet Mercy / by Ann Tatlock. 6/17/2013

Sweet Mercy / by Ann Tatlock

Adult  (HS) Rating: 4

Christy Award winner Ann Tatlock presents the story of a seventeen year old during the Prohibition (1930s) who discovers life isn’t black-and-white, and mercy is something we all need.

Sweet Mercy opens with Eve, a grandmother, returning to the Marryat Lodge in 1978 with her grandson to locate a box left in the attic years ago. She tells him how she moved to Mercy, Ohio in 1931 when she was seventeen and her father lost his job with the Ford Motor Company.

Her family moves back home to work and live in the Marryat Lodge run by her Uncle Cyrus. She makes new friends, including a summer romance. Eve is glad to leave behind the evils she has seen on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota (including a murder).

Eve thinks she is leaving behind the lawbreakers and criminals of St.Paul. But not everything is what is seems to be on the surface. There are secrets in the small town of Mercy. Once they surface, they threaten to destroy the peace Eve thinks she has found.

Talock’s novel reads like a glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day, best enjoyed by sitting back and taking one’s time to savor it. The book moves slowly at first.  But eventually one is caught up in the light romance, intrigue, family relationships, and spiritual crises.

The characters are flawed, endearing and realistic. Mercy is central to the overall theme of the book. Eve struggles with this until she faces the secret her uncle hides. Will she turn him in when he has been so generous to her family?

Sweet Mercy is recommended as a clean read, one that older teens and adults can enjoy.

Carol R. Gehringer

www.worthy2read.wordpress.com

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Right Where I Belong / by Krista McGee. 6/16/2013

Right Where I Belong / by Krista McGee.

HS, grades 9 -12, rating: 4. Paperback.

Seventeen-year-old Natalia Lopez is not surprised when her father tells her he is divorcing her stepmother Maureen, wife number three. Natalia cannot imagine life without Maureen, the woman who led her to Christ and who has been a true mother to Natalia, so she decides to leave her home in Spain and move to Florida with Maureen. Natalia is thrilled to learn she will be attending a Christian school, but life is far from perfect. Maureen is depressed and bitter over her failed marriage and career, refusing to seek help. Natalia’s parents are pressuring her to follow in their successful footprints, while she is still searching to find God’s calling for her life. She is also struggling to keep her vow to never date, thanks to Brian, the pastor’s son. Will Natalia find the answers her heart seeks and the place where she truly belongs?

In Right Where I Belong, Krista McGee brings to life a sweet coming of age story, full of heartache, confusion, friendship, and love. This book is character-driven with inner conflict, changing emotions, and developing relationships that keep the pages turning. The spiritual and emotional growth of the main characters is very evident from beginning to end. The author sensitively deals with issues concerning divorce and unfaithfulness, as well as the importance of being equally yoked in marriage. Natalia is a great role model for teens, with her desire to honor her parents and her strong commitment to serve the Lord. Brian is an excellent example of a godly young man, with his passion for Christ and his gentlemanly behavior towards Natalia. Natalia and Brian’s relationship is a great model for Christian dating or courtship. Redemption, unending love, and unlimited grace are all themes woven throughout the lives of the characters portrayed. McGee’s writing style is reminiscent of Lori Wick’s, with its wholesome quality, characters, and gentle romance. Overall, this teen novel is refreshing, with its high standards of morality and godly focus– both traits that are hard to find in most books written for teens.

Justina McBride

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Wedded to War / by Jocelyn Green. 6/15/2013

Wedded to War / by Jocelyn Green.

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green is the first book in the series Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War. Charlotte Waverly leads a privileged life but she’d rather help nurse the soldiers in the Union’s army. Neither her family nor her beau approves, but her childhood friend, Dr. Caleb Lansing, understands Charlotte’s interests. Charlotte presents herself to the Women’s Central Association for Relief (WCAR) as a nursing candidate. Charlotte travels with the Army everywhere she is needed. She witnesses unimaginable horrors, but she is not ready to give up her dream of becoming a nurse. She experiences some obstacles along the way such as doctors who do not feel women should be nurses. Her boyfriend, Phineas Hastings, has other ideas. He’s so intent on marrying Charlotte because he finds himself in desperate need of her family’s wealth. Despite these obstacles, Charlotte doesn’t give up.

Even though this is a work of fiction, it is inspired by a Civil War nurse, Georgeanna Woolsey. Her letters and journals reflect the type of lives these nurses led. This story shows women’s contributions during the Civil War and the impact it had on them. Soldiers were promised money for their service, but many didn’t receive compensation. Many wives couldn’t support themselves while their husbands were at war, so they turned to prostitution to survive. It was almost the only way some of the women could afford to live. The female nurses also faced trials of their own. The lack of supplies and the unsanitary conditions made it difficult to treat the soldiers. The nurses didn’t let this deter them from helping tend to the soldiers. Even if it was just writing a letter to home or holding a soldier’s hand, the nurses’ caregiving was appreciated by the soldiers.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Wings of Morning / Murray Pura. 6/14/2013

The Wings of Morning / Murray Pura.

Adult (HS), rating: 4. Paperback.

Jude Whetstone is a young Amish man who loves to fly; however, not all members in his community appreciate his love for this new invention. Mr. Kurtz is one of those members, and as a result, he has forbidden Jude to court his daughter, Lyyndaya. Both Jude and Lyyndaya are heartbroken, but Lyyndaya obediently submits to her father’s wishes. Meanwhile, the United States has joined the Great War and is in need of soldiers and pilots. Amish men are exempt from this law based on religious grounds. Despite this, Jude and his friends are taken to a military detention base where they are mistreated and degraded for refusing to bear arms. After much abuse and starvation, Jude is faced with a proposition that can save his friends, at the expense of being shunned by his community. Will Jude survive this war without betraying his faith or losing his girl?

Amidst the backdrop of World War I, Murray Pura weaves an Amish tale of faith, love, and grace. The author does an excellent job creating an authentic setting using historical events, such as the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, to support time and place, while interspersing Pennsylvania Dutch throughout the text to create an authentic tone. The author’s emphases on character and plot development are equally balanced, each working to enhance the other and progress the story. The two main characters are full of depth and emotion, portraying weaknesses that keep them human and relatable. Jude’s inner war between his convictions and his sense of honor and revenge mirror the war around him. Lyyndaya’s desire to honor her parents and her Amish faith battle her love for Jude. Through Jude and Lyyndaya’s lives and actions, surrender and sacrifice are exemplified. Concerning war, the author sensitively addresses the convictions of both the Amish and those of the English world, condemning neither. Themes of persecution, vengeance, sacrificial love, forgiveness, and grace soar together through the pages, invoking a variety of emotions.

Justina McBride

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson. 6/13/2013

The Key on the Quilt / by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

The Key on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson is one of the books in the series The Quilt Chronicles. This book weaves a story of three women brought together in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1876. Jane Prescott is hiding a terrible secret while serving a ten-year prison sentence. Mamie Dawson feels it is God’s plan for her to perform the job as a prison matron. Ellen McKenna doesn’t know how to interact with the women even though she is the warden’s wife. These women develop an unlikely friendship.

With the help of an old friend, Dr. Max Zimmer, the truth about Jane’s case comes out. When everyone learns the real story, Mamie, Ellen, and even the warden, Ian McKenna, fight very hard for Jane’s release. Jane is thankful to have so many people support her and to receive a second chance. Mamie presents  ideas to the warden in hopes of creating activities for the women. These ideas include planting gardens, quilting, and even learning to read. The warden has a tough job of overseeing the prison, but he makes time to listen to all of Mamie’s suggestions and encourages Ellen to participate in the new programs. With the help of Ellen, these women embrace their new opportunities. There are people that present obstacles in Mamie’s plans for her girls. But these three headstrong women continue to pray and maintain their faith in God.

This work of fiction illustrates everyday life in the women’s prison in 1876. The book is very well-written and shows a clear connection between the three women and their choices.  Each of the women finds love, even when they lease expect it.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

The World in Your Lunch Box / by Claire Eamer. 6.11.2013

The World in Your Lunch Box / by Claire Eamer.

INT, grades 4 and up, rating: 5. Paperback.

The World in Your Lunch Box by Claire Eamer details the history and science of some everyday foods. The book starts with a Lunch Box Mission. The mission is to keep a lunch diary for a week. From this diary, the book tells fascinating facts about the foods listed for each day. The lunch diary assignment makes ordinary foods seem not so ordinary. There is also a top 10 list of the favorite, fantastic, and fun food facts. For example, who knows that honey is bee’s vomit or that villagers in India use chili peppers to keep elephants away from their crops and homes? Everyone always seems to be curious, or scared to ask, about the ingredients in hot dogs. Day 3 of the lunch diary discusses this mystery meat.

It is interesting to read where some of the common foods originated from and how they played a part in history. For example, a German prisoner of war convinced King Louis XVI that potatoes were very valuable. Around the year 800, Emperor Charlemagne of France was encouraged to eat the mold from cheese by a bishop. The Emperor was so surprised that he enjoyed it, he ordered the bishop to deliver two cartloads of it to the imperial court every year. These are just a few fun facts that this book has to offer.

This book is very well-written and will capture the attention of children. The illustrations are great and humorous. There are also a few jokes sprinkled throughout the book. It makes learning the history and science of foods fun for kids and great for discussions.

Trina Chase

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Secrets of the Cross / Elizabeth Musser. 6/10/2013

Two Crosses / Elizabeth Musser. (Secrets of the Cross Trilogy; 1)

Adult, rating: *5. Paperback.

Two Testaments / Elizabeth Musser. (Secrets of the Cross Trilogy; 2)

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

Two Destinies / Elizabeth Musser. (Secrets of the Cross Trilogy; 3)

Adult, rating: 5. Paperback.

It is 1961 and the Algerian War for independence from France is raging on, leaving in its wake the destruction of many innocent lives and much unrest. In Two Crosses, 21-year-old Gabriella Madison has come to Castelnau, France to continue her education at St. Joseph’s. Before long, she finds herself pulled into a world of intrigue and suspense, unsure of whom she can trust and fearful for her life. There is the kind old nun who is full of wisdom but harbors her own secrets, and there is David, the handsome, young professor whose attraction to Gabriella may be more than dangerous to her heart. Then there is the Huguenot cross she wears around her neck as a reminder of love and forgiveness, but is it the source of her current plight or does it hold the answers to both the past and present?

In Two Testaments, David goes to Algeria to bring the mother of his child to France and out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, Gabriella is fighting to save the orphanage, while anxiously awaiting David’s return, worrying whether his love will remain true. This continuation is full of reunions and painful goodbyes.

Three decades later, a civil war is brewing in Algeria. Two Destinies brings the series to a close with David and Gabriella’s children Eric and Ophelia. Eric fights to save the beautiful Muslim girl he loves from a forced marriage, while Ophelia still searches for a love like her parents’.

Elizabeth Musser’s “Secrets of the Cross Trilogy” is a beautiful, sensitive series full of romance and intrigue. The first novel is outstanding, the plot leaving the reader breathlessly anticipating the turning of each page. Readers will not go untouched by the characters’ plights and emotions. The second and third books are both excellent, falling just a little below the first in suspense and depth of emotion. The characters in the series are multi-dimensional, full of passion and faith. Readers will love Gabriella, with her refreshing honesty, raw emotions, and tender heart. There is such a diversity among Musser’s characters, each bearing their own pain and guilt but all searching for a future of hope and a faith that will heal them. With French words sprinkled throughout the dialogue, the author brings the sounds of France alive, building the sense of place. The prose is poetic and beautiful, full of original metaphors and similes that bring a simple word, emotion, or thought to life with sharp clarity. Themes of redemption and forgiveness are prominent, with the overarching picture that God is capable of bringing beauty from ashes and joy from mourning.

Justina McBride

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

A Rock is Lively / by Dianna Hutts Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long. 6/8/2013

A Rock is Lively / by Dianna Hutts Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long.

Grades K-3 (all ages), rating: 5. Hardcover picture book.

A Rock is Lively presents many features of rocks: their composition, history, function, and variety, as well as their use in both ancient and modern times throughout the world as weapons and tools and by artists and builders. With its catchy title, vivid graphics, and inclusion of both simple and more complex information, A Rock is Lively has appeal for readers of all ages. The layout and clever headings (“A rock is mixed up”, “a rock is inventive”) add excitement and interest to the exploration of rocks both on Earth and in space. Watercolor illustrations by Sylvia Long range from the intricate detail of a single rock’s core to sweeping panoramas and a bold two-page volcanic eruption. Sculptures and monuments such as Stonehenge, the Pyramids, Michelangelo’s David, and Mt. Rushmore are wonderfully drawn and help expand the book’s scope, as does a section on how animals use rocks. There is discussion of ancient peoples (12,000-17,000 years ago) and the oldest rocks on Earth (4.5 billion years old). The opening pages depict 51 spectacularly unique rocks, repeated at the end of the book with labels that allow interested readers to practice identifying these beautiful rocks by name.

Nina Ditmar

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda / by Alicia Potter; illustrated by Melissa Sweet. 6/7/2013

Mrs. Harkness and the Panda / by Alicia Potter; illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

PRI, grades K-2, rating: 5+. Hardcover picture book.

After the death of her explorer husband in 1936, Ruth Harkness departs for China to complete his mission to bring the first live panda to America. People ridicule the notion of a woman embarking on such a dangerous trip, but the determined Mrs. Harkness travels to Shanghai, up the Yangtze River, and into the bamboo forests. With a guide, a cook, and 16 men hired to carry 22 pieces of luggage, Ruth Harkness presses on, unwavering in her commitment to fulfill her husband’s dream.

This fascinating and true story introduces a little-known but remarkable woman who achieves the near-impossible. There are hints of superstition in the narrative. In one scene, Mrs. Harkness takes a child’s wave as “a sign of good luck”. Later, weary and blistered, she “cursed the wet bamboo that soaked her”, but is finally rewarded with the discovery of a baby panda. After scattering her husband’s ashes in China, Mrs. Harkness returns to the United States with the panda she names Su Lin, who is placed in a zoo near Chicago.

The compelling details of Mrs. Harkness’s adventure are brought to life through Alicia Potter’s energetic storytelling and lively anecdotes that will engage young readers. Melissa Sweet’s delightful watercolor illustrations pair well with the use of speech bubbles, maps, old postcards and stamps, collage materials, recreated news clippings, and actual photographs. The end notes include a helpful timeline and selected bibliography, as well as an author’s note contrasting our knowledge of this beloved endangered animal with an earlier view of pandas as “mythical beasts, like unicorns”. The author describes the conservation work of the international World Wildlife Fund and addresses how taking a baby panda from the wilderness would be viewed very differently today, a timely discussion point for young readers.

Nina Ditmar

But I can remember very few options cheap levitra but as you she already understood exists and lies in a free access to whom not necessary. Perhaps even cries and tears are much warmer than it than at the person.