Saturday, January 23, 2016

Books I've Read in 2016

I love reading books meant for all ages.  Any book with stars by it is one I'd consider reading again in the future (or would consider having my kids read in the future) so presumably you (or your kids) might like it too.  If you've read (or wondered about) any of these books feel free to comment -- I'd love to chat with you...  Oh and if you love a book I don't (or vice versa), we can still be friends.

X - The Marvels, Brian Selznick
This novel did not meet my expectations.  I really enjoyed "Hugo" and "Wonderstruck", but this book dragged on with numerous generations of people that I couldn't keep straight.  Then came the very mature subject matter that was subtly introduced.  Aimed at pre-teens, but not recommended.

***The Golden Boy, Tara Sullivan***
Habo is a 13 year old albino boy living in Tanzania with his mom and siblings.  Themes include: discrimination, superstition, unconditional love and belonging.  Some graphic themes.  Aimed at pre-teens, but recommended for pre-teens and up who aren't squeamish.

***The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah***
Set during WWII in France, this novel highlights the lives of two sisters -- one a mother and one a young visionary -- and how the war affects each of them in different ways. Some language.

Fly Away, Kristin Hannah
This novel tells the story of the death of a loved mom, bff, daughter, and wife and how her loss affects everyone around her.  Some language.  Super frustrated that this is book 2 without any mention being made on the book itself.

*Revenge on the Fly, Sylvia McNicoll* 
Set in 1912, this novel tells the story of Will and his father -- new Canadian immigrants who have just arrived from Ireland.  Based on a true event where a newspaper hosted a fly killing contest.  Aimed at pre-teens, but a worthwhile read for anyone interested.

Kidnapped Book1,2 and 3, Gordon Korman
Apparently this book series is a set of three that is the continuation of another set of three books called "On the Run". Who knew?  I sensed it as I read, but when you call a book "Book 1" it seems like it should be the first book.  Aimed at pre-teens.

Sky Jumpers, Peggy Eddleman
This novel is first in a post-apocalyptic series aimed at pre-teens.  It's an interesting storyline, but Hope does something she is not supposed to do -- over and over again. Aimed at pre-teens, but not recommended for rebellious or scientifically minded pre-teens. 

Jessica Darling's It List, Megan McCafferty 
Jessica's older sister gives Jessica a 'to do' list describing how to become popular in grade 7. Jessica follows it, but nothing turns out as she expects.  Some bathroom style humour. Aimed at pre-teens.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 2016!

Wishing you LOVE in the new year....




~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"The Five Times I Met Myself" by James L. Rubart

"The Five Times I Met Myself" by James L. Rubart is a novel that asks the questions: "What would you say if you met your younger self?"  "What past mistakes would you fix?"  "What wrongs would you right?"
Brock Matthews is faced with these questions when, in a spin on time travelling, he meets his younger self in his dreams.  His life is falling apart at the seams so when he finds he can alter it through dreaming, he goes for it.


I was intrigued by the premise of the book, but what I liked least about the book was what I had expected I would appreciate the most -- the "Christian" element.  

The expert in this novel is Dr. Shagull -- a mentor and help to the main character.  Dr. Shagull states: "God isn't a name any more than president is a name.  It refers to a position only."  He then goes on to describe Christ as "The most brilliant man who ever lived."  After Brock shows his confusion at Christ being called a man, Dr. Shagull says: "I suppose that comes with being God and all."  Dr. Shagull speaking in unclear riddles was tiresome.  He does it again later in the book when talking about whether or not Brock is in control of his dreams.

Most disturbing of all is Dr. Shagull's use of the Trinity to describe time travel.  He draws a three circle Venn Diagram on a page and says of the middle: "I believe this is not only where past, present, and future meet, it's also the place where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit intersect.  They are separate, yet One."  He goes on to say "If you can believe that this truth is real, ...  then you can believe they can take you to a place outside of time where you can communicate with your younger self."

I would have preferred if Dr. Shagull and his "Christian" references were left out of the book all together.  His view on the Trinity's 'intersecting place' is not one that is Biblical in my opinion.

The Grace to You website states: 
"The Bible is clear. There is only one God, 
yet He exists, and always has existed, 
as a Trinity of Persons
-- the Father, the Son, and the Spirit."

So, while I was intrigued with the time travelling tale of Brock Matthews, I was troubled by the spiritual references.  I feel like the moral of the story and the themes of love, forgiveness, and the importance of family would have been stronger if it weren't for these unnecessary and unBiblical detours. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall

"The Legend of the Christmas Cookie -- Sharing the True Meaning of Christmas" by Dandi Daley Mackall is a beautifully illustrated book with a sweet and thoughtful story.

This book tells of young Jack who learns the story of the Christmas cookie and the blessing of sharing God's love with others.  Spoiler alert -- Jack gets the opportunity to share God's love (and his special cookie) with a traveling stranger.


Each Christmas cookie is made using an intricately carved wooden mold, as in the Middle Ages.  It would be great if a set of these molds were for sale to go along with the book.  I have a wooden mold from New Zealand of a kiwi bird and so I have seen firsthand how interesting the cookies made from wooden molds can be.  For those of you who bake, there is a recipe included in the book.

While the book doesn't go into great detail about the actual story of Jesus' birth, the angel's declaration of the good news is key to the story:

"Today in the town of David 
a Savior has been born to you: 
He is Christ the Lord."

It seems that this book is intended for those who are already familiar with Jesus' birth and with why Jesus came to earth.  So -- the true moral of the book is for those who DO know to share God's love and Jesus' gift of salvation with those who don't yet know.  Overall, this is a sweet and inspiring story that will encourage those who believe to reach out to those around them.

If you have any questions about Jesus' birth and the reason for it -- please don't hesitate to ask a question in the comments below or e-mail me.  I would love to tell you more about God's love for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Monday, November 2, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan's Purse has a wonderful outreach called Operation Christmas Child where people can fill shoeboxes with gifts for a child who might otherwise not receive anything.  Samaritan's Purse ensures that children all over the world receive shoeboxes regardless of race, religion and gender.


For homebodies, you can "fill" a shoebox online for approximately 25 - 37 dollars depending on your country of origin.

BUT, I highly recommend getting involved with the hands on process of filling a shoebox.  Children can draw or write out lists of essentials and can pick items out themselves at the store.  This is a great way to show your children that it is such a blessing to give to others.


Check out the website for details about what you can (and what you cannot) include in your box and about drop off locations:


Collection dates are November 16-22, 2015.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Saturday, October 3, 2015

"Counting on a Cowboy" by Debra Clopton

"Counting on a Cowboy" by Debra Clopton is the second novel in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series.  Abby is looking to leave her past behind and start over in a small town.  Bo is content with his life the way it is.

When a baby shows up on Bo's doorstep, he discovers that his life is going to change whether he is ready or not.  Bo needs to learn how to be a father and is desperate for Abby's help, but will helping Bo open Abby's old wounds?


Overall, this novel was a nice read.  I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't have a "2" on the cover so I'd know it was the second in a series prior to reading it, but it didn't hint back to a former novel so much that you'd get lost.

Very little mention is made of faith and God.  Bo has turned over a new leaf after having previously had a non-committal relationship, but we are never told why he has stopped that lifestyle.  The main claim to this being a Christian book is the lack of secular things such as present day promiscuity and foul language.  For that, I'm relieved.

As Abby interacts with the folks in town and with baby Levi she wrestles with her own feelings and unfinished business.  Themes include: dealing with death; drinking and driving; guilt, judging vs helping and doing the right thing.

Throughout the novel Abby and Bo need to ask themselves if love is worth the risk.

But, is the novel worth the risk?  Sure -- especially if you like easy reading and cowboy themes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~
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