Wednesday, December 1, 2021
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an enduring Christmas classic for many reasons. The story of an unfeeling, pragmatic person coming to an understanding that his inaction is going to lead to not only a bad end for himself but for others as well, and making a change for the better is something that connects with many people. Old Ebenezer Scrooge is not a hardened criminal. He hasn't done anything illegal. But his greed and his
I have enjoyed listening to Patrick Stewart's naration of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for the past few years. It is a fantastic performance of the best parts of the book. Patrick Stewart does not narrate the book word for word, and it makes a story more powerful, in my opinion. His voice does a great job performing the voices of the various characters of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Mrs. Cratchit, and all the others.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Friday, November 5, 2021
Adventures in Odyssey is a series of radio programs that are fun, wholesome, and Christian based that have been produced since 1987 to the present. Mr. Whittaker and his friends have various adventures in and around his shop named Whit's End, which is an ice cream shop and adventure emporium. Every episode teaches a bibilical moral like honesty, courage, gratitude, etc. The series reminds me of the Veggie Tales shows, and has a similar, uplifting goal. I highly recommend these wonderful programs for kids and adults!
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown is an absolutely delightful book about Roz the robot and her adventures after she has returned to the world of humans. She has been found on her island where she has lived happily with her adopted son Brightbill and her other animals friends. To keep he beloved island from being ransacked by the aggressive robots who will keep returning for her no matter how manys she fights off, she's returned to the world of humans, and has been given a job on a farm. The humans she works for are fair and kind, but she hasn't forgotten her island home or the friends she's left there. When the children who live on the farm find out that she has independent thought and misses her island home, they want to help. But will they be able to? And more importantly, can Roz even get back home without being captured again? Read this wonderful story, and find out!The Wild Robot Escapes was published in 2017.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is a delightful book aimed at children, but which can still be enjoyed just as much by adults. When a cargo ship sinks, a crate carrying a robot washes up on an island uninhabited by humans. Rozum Unit 7134 is activated by a family of otters who accidentally push a button on the back of her head. Roz, as she requests to be called, is programmed to learn languages, help others, and survive. As she does all these things, without any interaction with humans, she begins to become more and more self aware. She makes friend with animals, and when her explorations of a cliffside lead her to accidentally cause a rockfall that kills a family of geese, leaving one unhatch egg as the sole survivor, she adopts the egg. But what happens when her makers send a pack of robots to the island to find out what happened to the cargo ship, and all their lost robots? Read the book and find out! The Wild Robot was first published in 2016.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
I am excited to let you know about my friend Jessica Thompson's newest book, A Caterer's Guide to Holdiays and Homicide! If you enjoy Holidays, and if you enjoy murder mysteries, read on! Deck the halls…with a personal chef, a snowed-in lodge, and a sprinkling of murder! “Watch the knives!” While acting as personal chef for a friend’s mountain retreat, Violet and her husband, Jake, must set aside their stress over infertility and create a magical and delicious holiday – until tragedy crashes the party. Being snowed in and unreachable from town, Violet and Jake end up hired for a different kind of job – finding out which of the guests committed murder and why they’re trying to frame their hostess. Violet must find a balance between following her gut and keeping it all under control until the police can reach them, while still managing the kitchen. But can she sniff out the killer before anyone else bites the big one? A Caterer’s Guide to Holidays and Homicide will give you a culinary holiday you won’t forget!
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is a favorite Halloween story of many people in much the same way that The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are beloved Christmas stories. Poor Ichabod Crane is picked on and bullied by Brom Bones. Ichabod wants to marry Katrina VanTassel, as much for her money as for her, but Brom wants Katrina for himself! Ichabod has a supersticious streak, and believes in all sorts of supernatural things. Brom knows this. So what happens after one Halloween feast when Ichabod, broken hearted from Katrina's break up, is headed home at midnight? Something is waiting for him in the woods! And it isn't very friendly...
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling is the exciting 3rd book in the Harry Potter series. A prisoner has escaped from the notorious and seemingly inescapable wizards' prison of Azkaban just as Harry's 3rd year at Hogwarts is beginning. If that's not bad enough, the prisoner is accusing of killing Harry's parents, and seems to be after Harry himself! What's a 13 year old wizard to do? At least this year's defense against the dark arts teacher is competent. But will Professor Lupin, the
Ranger's Apprentice: The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan is an exciting fantasy adventure geared toward young teens, but exciting for anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure. Halt and Will have been a great team of master and apprentice, but when Will has to go as an ambassador to the north will he be able to do what needs to be done? Especially when Lord Morgareth does something sinister and unexpected from his hide out in the Mountains of Rain and Night? The story has very little down time, and moves at a quick pace. It also has a twist at the end that will lead into the next books.
Friday, September 10, 2021
The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore (only 5.99 right non Kindle!) is based on the true story of Bob Inama, an American soldierand Luisa Voigt, a West German woman who work to help people escape across the Berlin Wall. The Slow March of Light!
Thursday, September 9, 2021
When 15 year old Alex sees a sign in the window of a cluttered bookshop advertising for adventurers to apply within, he doesn't think much of it until he looks away, looks back, and the sign has changed! Wanting to find out Slathbog's Gold by M.L. Foreman was first published in 2009.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling follows the adventures of 12 year old Harry Potter and his friends during his second year at Hogwarts. Someone or something is attacking muggleborn witches and wizards and petrifying them! Even Nearly Headless Nick, a ghost, has been petrified! Who or what could do that to someone who's already dead? As Harry and his friends work to solve this mystery before someone is killed, they find themselves deeper and deeper in danger!
Monday, August 2, 2021
I am so excited to announce that Puppies and Portals, my newest book, has just been published! And right now, the EBOOK is only 99¢! The PRINT version, for anyone interested, is 12.95. It is a middle grade time travel adventure that kids and adults who like stories about time travel with plenty of action and danger will enjoy! Sample Chapter from Puppies and Portals HERE!
Sunday, August 1, 2021
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is a delightful story that highlights the beginnings of all the comings and goings between Narnia and Earth, in particular how the wardrobe in Professor Kirk's house became a magical portal to begin with. In the story, young Diggory Kirk and Polly Plummer make friends and decide to go exploring in the shared crawl space above the attic rooms in the houses where they live. (They live in a long row of houses, and the crawl space evidently goes all the way from one end to the other.) Trying to get into the abandoned house for some exploration that is just beyond Diggory's
The first book of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling will always be one of my favorite works of fiction. (Trailing not far behind The Hobbit.) In it, young Harry Potter, orphaned as a baby and living with his dispicable aunt, uncle, and cousin, discovers with the help of a bumbling but lovable and strangly tall and hairy fellow name Hagrid, that he, Harry, is a wizard! Not only that, but he has been accepted to Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry located in Massachusetts.) But all is not rosy and easy for Harry. He discovers as he begins his studies at Hogwarts, that the evil wizard Voldemort who tried to kill Harry as a baby, is still out there, somewhere biding his time. What will Harry do if he is confronted by Voldemort and Headmaster Dumbledore isn't there to protect Harry? After all, Harry is only 11! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was first published in 1995.
Early Man directed by Nick Park is a fun family movie about a group of cavepeople who come up against a technologically advanced culture that has mastered bronze. The advanced group led by an entertainly wicked leader, takes the valley the cavepeople had been living in, forcing them out into the less hospitable land. One HERE.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, and Gordan Korman is an action adventure book aimed at young readers. It is the eleventh book in the series, but I didn't feel lost as I listened to it (I listened to the audio book) despite not having read the others. The Cahill family has been at odds with the Vespers (and with each other) for centuries. The Vespers, a secret organization, have been looking for the 39 clues in order to take over the world, and the Cahills have been working to protect them. Amy and Dan, the modern day protagonists are working to stop the bad guys. But will they succeed?
Friday, July 2, 2021
Rabbit Ears World Tales Volume Six: The Firebird and The Monkey People is an enjoyable CD with two stories from different parts of the world. The Firebird is from Russia, and The Monkey People is from South America.
I listened to another CD titled Rabbit Ears World Tales #3. It contained the folk Tales East of the Sun, West of the Moon, from Russia and Anansi from Jamaica. Anansi is a silly fellow. He is mischevious and clever, not bad-hearted, but gets into trouble.
I listened to the single CD of Rabbit Ears: Native American Heroines, and really enjoyed it. The narrators did a wonderful job. One story was the relatively well known tale of Sacagawea and everything she did. I liked how the reunion with her brother was portrayed. The other story was the tale of a chief's daughter, Princess Scargo, who received a giant pumpkin filled with live fish!
The Ruins of Gorland by John Flanagan begins with young Will hoping to be accepted as an apprentice warrior. Or at the very least, a trainer for the warrior's horses. But because he's so small, he isn't accepted in either of those schools, or any of the schools that are looking for apprentices.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
The Berenstein Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstein is a short story good to be
Saturday, June 19, 2021
On 19 of June 1865, 2000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas where Gordon Granger, a U.S. Army officer issued General Order no. 3, informing the people of Texas that every person who had been enslaved up to that point in the borders of the United States, was free. This came some years after the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, which was issued January 1, 1863, a few months after January 31, 1865 when the 13th Amendment passed in Congress, and some months before December 6, 1865 when the 13th Amendment, officially ending slavery throughout all the United States was ratified. Declaration of Independence should apply to all people, male and female, regardless of race. ******************************************************* What Is Juneteenth?. (2021). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth********** Gordon Granger - Wikipedia. (2021). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Granger **************** National Archives Safeguards Original ‘Juneteenth’ General Order. (2020). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/juneteenth-original-document********************************************* The Emancipation Proclamation (article) | Khan Academy. (2021). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/civil-war-era/slavery-and-the-civil-war/a/the-emancipation-proclamation***** The Emancipation Proclamation. (2015). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured-documents/emancipation-proclamation********************** 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery. (2016). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/13th-amendment ***** 13th Amendment ratified. (2021). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/13th-amendment-ratified************************************************** The Declaration of Independence. (2015). Retrieved 19 June 2021, from https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration?_ga=2.263441740.1345254968.1624119945-1476364428.1624119945
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
How to Get Rid of Bad Dreams by Nancy Hazbry and Roy Condy is a fun and entertain short story for children. I enjoyed reading it, and I thought the suggestions given for getting rid of bad dreams were fun. It is a good bed time book that I find entertaining, and I especially like the way it helps children develop accountability and the idea that they are in control of their own thoughts and attitudes. It is very empowering. How to Get Rid of Bad Dreams was first published in 1983.
In Rachel Yoder-Jumping to Conclsions by Wanda E Brunstetter, young Rachel Yoder always seems to be landing in trouble of one kind or another. This is mostly
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster directed by Scott Jeralds is a fun adventure cartoon movie when Scooby and his human pals travel to Scotland to help Daphne's cousin Shannon Blake host the Highland Games on the shores of Loch Ness. While there, Scooby and Shaggy have a run in with the Loch Ness Monster, or so they think. Additionally, the gang has to navagate between the arguments of a man who believes the Loch Ness Monster is a myth, and a woman who is completely convinced that Nessie is real! What will happen as the kids work to find out what is really going on? Watch the movie and find out! The movie's primary audience is children, but all ages would find it enjoyable. The movie was published in 2004.
Bach's Fight for Freedom by David Devine and directed by Stuart Gillard is a story about a small section in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach when he was in his early 30s and working for Duke Willhelm. A young pre-teen protagonist named Frederick comes in contact with him when Fredrick is
I just finished listening to a very inspiring talk by Hank Smith that was recorded and put on an audiobook by Covenant Communications called Build Your House Upon a Rock by Hank Smith. The talk is directed at young people, ages 12-17, but as an adult I still found it inspiring and educational. Hank Smith talks about the parable from the Bible about a man who build his house upon a rock versus the man who built his house on sand. The house on the rock stayed firm when a storm came, and the house on the sand was washed away. Hank Smith joked about when he was little, he imagined the man with the house on the rock building it literally
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Rush Revere and the First Patriots is the second book of a five book series by Rush Limbaugh. In this book, the main protagonist Mr. Rush Revere and four students, Kam,
Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh was a fun historical story that I feel children would enjoy. In the story, history teacher Mr. Rush Revere and his magical, talking, time traveling horse Liberty, bring history alive for his students at Manchester Middle School, especially Tommy and Freedom, two bright young students
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo is a fun story for children. When Mercy Watson, a lovable, corpulent piggie crawls into bed with her owners, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, her
Sunday, May 2, 2021
J. Scott Savage. As of the writing of this post, he is the author of 18 novels, including The Far World series, (Water Keep, Land Keep, Air Keep, and Fire Keep), the Mysteries of Cove series, (Fires of Invention, Gears of Revolution, Embers of Destruction) and The Lost Wonderland Diaries which has just begun. I love J. Scott Savage's books for the fun adventures they contain, the action that hardly lets up until the end, the surprising twists that happen, and the positive morals they teach kids (and adults) without being overly didactic.
The novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my favorite books of all time.The reluctant hero, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins sets off on a quest to help a group of dwarves regain their homeland, an extinct volcanic mountain that is hollow inside, from a dragon that took it from them.
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull follows the adventures of three friends, Nate, Summer, Pigeon and Trevor as they become aquainted with Mrs. White, the proprietor of The Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shop, a new candy story in town. At first thinking that she is a sweet but otherwise unremarkable motherly middle aged lady they quickly discover that she has special candy. Candy that has magical properties.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy by Melissa de la Cruz was an enjoyable middle grade about a middle school girl, Filomena Jefferson-Cho who finds herself whisked away from the real world into the fairy tail world of her favorite books series. The story itself was entertaining, and I feel that while I didn't like it as much as I had hoped, I'm not the target audience. As an adult, I found a lot of plot holes, unnecessary gaps, and big chunks of time jumped where things happened quickly, but needed, in my opinion, to be explained more.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
The Wielder Series by Franca Ogbonnaya is an exciting series of books set in a fantasy world populated with fascinating and diverse species. So far, there are two books, and a novella. I have read both books, The Novice Wielder and The Wielder Trials. The main character of both books is a young lady named Britea. The first story begins with her thinking she is an average teenager with nothing unusual or special about her, until she exhibits the ability to wield water.
Friday, April 2, 2021
The movie Rikki Tikki Tavi, directed by Chuck Jones is, in my opinion, as delightful as the written story. The storyline is mostly the same. There are a few differences, however that I noticed. Not large enough to change the story as a whole, though. One small difference is that when Rikki Tikki is found after having crawled out of the river half choked, Teddy, his young human friend, and Teddy's mother Alice find him in the written story. In the animated movie, it is Teddy and his father who find him. Other than that, there are few other deviations between the movie and written story. The animation is fun, the colors are bright, and Rikki Tikki's characterization, including his expressions are well done, making him endearing to the audience, especially to children. Yankee Doodle Cricket, which I thought was also well done. The animated version of Rikki Tikki Tavi, directed by Chuck Jones and based on the story by the same name by Rudyard Kipling was published in 1975.
Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling is a short story written primarily for children. The title character, Rikki Tikki Tavi, is a young mongoose who is washed away from his home by a flood. Though half choked, a British family that has come to India to live for an undetermined time in a bungalow nearby, find him and nurse him back to health. Rikki Tikki quickly makes friends with Teddy, the youngest member of the family, as well as Teddy's mother Alice, and Teddy's father (whose name we are not told) though Teddy is clearly Rikki Tikki's favorite.
I am starting to be a big fan of Sadie Hoffmiller! She is the main character in Pumpkin Roll, by Josi Kilpack, the 6th book in a 13 book series. There are few things Sadie enjoys more than baking. She does love sharing what she bakes, and being around her boyfriend, Pete.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is an exciting story about how the visits between Earth and Narnia first began. Diggory and Polly, a boy and girl who are friends accidentally stumble into Diggory's unscrupulous uncle's private attic room while they're trying to explore the crawl space of the row of town homes in which the two friends live. Diggory's Uncle Andrew, seizing the opportunity for an experiment, tricks Polly into touching one of the magic rings he has created, which compels Diggory to go after her to rescue her. Thus begins their adventure into the "wood between the worlds" and other places, including a frightening place where they meet someone wicked who makes an appearance in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The Magician's Nephew is an exciting story for children as well as adults who enjoy fantastical adventures in fantasy worlds. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys such stories.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
My Dearest Enemy by Jennifer Moore is a sweet, and well-written love story that takes place during the war of 1812. Abigail Tidwell, a Canadian, finds a wounded American soldier in her barn, and feeling a moral obligation to help him, despite the fact that he is one of those "Cursed Americans" she uses her medical skills taught to her by her father to save his life. Thinking that is the end of her obligations to him, she is surprised to discover that he is worried about the men in his group from which he was separated during the battle where he was wounded, and needs her medical skills to help them as well. What follows is an exciting story that looks at the war of 1812 from both sides. It involves a smart, skilled heroine and a brave, valiant hero. And of course, a dastardly villain who is out to get them both. I enjoyed this story, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean, historical romance. My Dearest Enemy was published in 2018.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
The Lake Quilt Mystery by S.D. Brown starts out with Kelsey and her mom headed to what they think will be a relaxing vacation at a mountain resort. Kelsey’s only complaint is that her best friend is in the hospital recovering from a burst appendix. But then things get more complicated when clues show Kelsey that there is more to this Lake resort than she first thought.
Beat by Jared Garrett is a very exciting post-apocalyptic story about a young man who lives in a society that can't get too excited. Literally. They're told that if their heartrate goes over 140, that the "bug" that's in their systems will activate and kill them. So they're told. But Nik suspects otherwise. As he starts to uncover the truth, he starts to learn how controlling his society is. But he also finds himself and his friends in greater and greater danger. When he realizes what the Prime Administrator is willing to do to anyone who knows the truth, he realizes he needs to get the truth out there, all while staying away from the Enforsers. I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes exciting, non-stop action, and post apocalyptic stories. Beat was first published in 2018.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary is a fun book that I remember fondly from my childhood. Listening to it on CD recently, I discovered happily, that I enjoyed it just as much as before. Ralph, a juvenile mouse living in a hotel, meets Keith, a young boy who has come to stay for a few days with his parents. Ralph is delighted that the boy understands him, and better, that Keith lets him use his toy motorcycle to play with. To make it run, all Ralph needs to do, is make a motor sound with his mouth! Things are going great, until Ralph accidentally ends up in a heap of laundry with the motorcycle! Worse yet, when Keith gets sick, there's no medicine to be found anywhere in the hotel. Will Ralph be able to come to the rescue, even though he can't find the toy motorcycle? Read the book to find out! I recommend this book to youngsters as well as parents who enjoy fantastical stories with animal protagonists. The Mouse and the Motorcycle was first published in 1965.
Friday, February 19, 2021
The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan are a group of short stories written by the author of the popular Percy Jackson books. The short stories are fun for anyone who is a fan of fantasy and adventure, but may be more especially appreciated by fans of Riordan's work. I am only familiar with Percy Jackson through the movies, and this is my first experience with Riordan's writing. It was well done and exciting, and I appreciated his ability to put tension and excitement into his stories. These 4 stories shed a bit more light on a few of the characters readers get to know in his other books. People who know the stories of these characters more than I do, might have their heartstrings yanked on just a bit more. Being only slightly familiar with the stories, I felt the tug as I read Luke's story, having some idea of what is coming later after the diary entries of his that I read. All around, the stories are entertaining, and I recommend them to readers young and old who enjoy Greek mythology, fantasy, and fast-paced action. The Demigod Diaries was published in 2012.