Thursday, February 14, 2019

Angels Can Laugh Too by Alberta Rothe Nelson

Angels Can Laugh Too is a sweet, uplifting story written by Alberta Rothe Nelson and published by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. The story follows Randolph Rippenhoffer (also known as R squared) from just before his death through his adventures as a guardian angel. He helps various people through various trials, some of them are funny, and some of them are sad.

Angels Can Laugh Too (c) 2004
by Alberta Rothe Nelson
The saddest was a story of a boxcar full of Jewish orphans during WWII. It was interesting to watch R Squared's emotions as he tried to help the children. Imagining the emotions of a soul who has passed on was a sweet addition to the book. It makes me wonder who might be watching me, trying to help me through various blunders. I also liked the addition of the bad "angels" that R Squared had to deal with as he tried to help the man battling his alcohol addiction. The bad "angels" reminded me of C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters, and the devils in that, which were trying to tempt people in the wrong direction for their own insatiable hunger. I liked that even though R Squared didn't reach his goal with the man, that he didn't give up on him, and made plans to continue trying to help him.

I really enjoyed listening to this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading inspiring, religious stories.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Samantha, An American Girl by Susan S. Adler, Maxine Rose Schur, and Valerie Tripp

Samantha, An American Girl (c) 1998
The American Girls collection is an inspiring series of stories about girls from different eras of American history. Samantha's story begins in the Edwardian period, specifically 1904, and follows Samantha through various adventures believable to the time period.

I listened to the Samantha Story Collection about Samantha, a little girl growing up at the beginning of the 20th century. The stories were written by Susan S. Alder, Maxine Rose Schur, and Valerie Tripp.

Samantha is a good example for young readers. She is a wealthy, yet compassionate girl who is not afraid to befriend anyone who needs and appreciates her help. She is extremely altruistic, going to great lengths to help her friend Nellie many times throughout the series. Yet she doesn't come across as a character who is fake, or too good to be true. She seems realistic and genuine, and her actions show the value of friendship and believing in one's own abilities.

Since the story happens around 1904 there are various themes that are addressed, which were realistic concerns of the time, particularly women's suffrage, and child labor in unsafe factories. These themes are addressed in a way that the target audience, children, can understand, and also that adults can appreciate.

I recommend the Samantha Story Collection to young elementary aged readers. Adults reading with children will appreciate the stories as well.

I have not read all the American Girl Series, but from what I have read, the books are well written, entertaining, and teach valuable morals to their readers.