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Christian Children's books, Faith, Children's Books

Well written Children’s Books

I just got an email about this and wanted to share~ we have some of these and they are very well written and discuss issues important to children with a Christian perspective. Things like, why does Dad not have a job to why should people have faith. Here are some:

Select Seasons of Faith picture books are just $5 each. That’s 50% off! Choose from the following titles for your little valentine:

  • The King’s Daughter
  • The Red Boat
  • The Prize Cake
  • Saying Farewell
  • Race with Midnight
  • Braving the Storm
  • Seventy Times Seven
  • You Can’t Come In

Sale ends February 14, 2013! Online:

Just a solid series of books. The illustrators vary, but they are usually cute. This would be a real heart gift! 

You may also want to look into their devotional magazine for kids, called Keys for Kids.

My daughter loves these. They do ask for a donation, but they also offer a free subscription (one per family).

*I am actually not an affiliate, I just like these:)

CBH Ministries

CBH Ministries

Ryken’s Bible Handbook Review

Heather —  February 6, 2013
Ryken's Bible Handbook, Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, Bible as literature, Bible Reference

A great addition to a home library.

Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, James Wilhoit , Hardcover, 672 pages, Trim Size 5 1/4 x 8

One of the fun things for me in reviewing faith based books is finding out things my husband knows and never mentions! Yes, my husband went to Wheaton and I love asking his opinion.

When I received this book my husband picked it up and mentioned that Philip Ryken is currently the President of Wheaton College.

I found it interesting, that one of the authors of this Bible Handbook is the president of Wheaton. (although, psst, he was not yet when this book published)

I became curious about Ryken’s history. Turns out, Ryken’s father is Christian literary scholar and Wheaton professor, Leland Ryken, and Philip Ryken graduated from Wheaton College with a double major in English literature and philosophy. He also received a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1992, and a Ph.D. in historical theology from Oxford in 1995.

After learning all this about the authors, I understand better why they would write such a Bible handbook, a Biblical reference that looks at each individual book in the Bible as literature, while also looking at the Bible as a whole, complex piece of literature full of literary genres, from the poetry of the psalms to the story parables.

This is a reference book that is extremely detailed, yet somehow fun to read! The reference goes through each book of the Bible, all 66. It is very easy to pick it up as you are studying a particular book of the Bible and just glean a little bit more about what you are reading. You also can just read the entire book as a book, it is so fascinating. I like how the authors break everything down into bits of information.

The beginning portion looks at how the Bible functions as a whole piece of literature. What the main storylines and themes are. You’ll look at the big characters. For example, God is the chief protagonist. (no surprise there, right?)

The main section is where you will go through the Bible book by book. For example, in looking at the Book of Esther, you will see an explanation on how Esther is a unified narrative, with a single main plot.

You will see the structure and unity of the story in (of) the Book of Esther. Little sidebar extras mention the “numbers” that are important in the story of Esther (i.e. 10 banquets). You get a rundown of the key places and characters, key doctrines and themes, tips for teaching the book, a quick overall overview and a lesson in what a “Hero” story is. As you finish up, there is a portion that describes the “Contribution of this Book to the Bible’s Story of Salvation in Christ.” This is a great bit of wrap-up, I think. Finally there is a bit on applying the book and some quotes that offer other’s perspectives on this book. In about eight pages, you can learn so much about what to look for in the book of Esther.

This is done for each book of the Bible. Some are, understandably much longer than the Book of Esther, yet still not ever boring.

In the back, you’ll find a one year Bible reading plan and about 15 pages of colorful maps.

I really recommend adding this book to your library. Five stars from me.


*I received a copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.



A little while ago, I reviewed a wonderful French program for Nick.

At the time, I was more worried about Nick getting some language work done than my younger child.  As we worked and after I really reviewed their site, the Great Commission Languages I decided that the level Nick was using is just too difficult for Em.

Still, I had her work through the sample lessons on their site as Nick worked and she seemed to really enjoy learning French. So, I really want to get the junior level for her!  Here is a sample from Le Francais Facile Junior Level. This is for k-3 and is great, with nice illustrations and characters that children can identify with.

In light of how much I like this curriculum and the fact that I would like to buy more I decided to become an affiliate for The Great Commission languages.  I really do like this course, and i think many others will, too! They do also have Spanish, however I have not reviewed that one.

If you are looking for a language program, I encourage you to take a look at this one! And, please use my link if you do. You can find it here:

The Easy French

Thank you!

Do you like Great Commission Languages and want to be an affiliate too? Webmaster’s Earn Money Here!

Our Schoolroom!
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Hi all! Welcome:) This week’s theme in the Not Back to School Blog Hop is Our Schoolrooms! This is a fun one for me as I love to see others schoolrooms and get ideas to use in my home.  Join In by visiting Heart of the Matter and linking up.

I hope you enjoy this peek into my home. I am usually very private but I thought this was a fun, easy way to share, using the video. (Excuse my voice, earache, sore throat going on here!)

Anyway, if you do not homeschool, come on over to our side, we often have cookies, and coffee and I am enjoying getting to know my children so much!

Honestly, homeschooling may sound odd, or at least difficult~but it is a very nice way of life for our family. I encourage you to consider it. I like passing on my world views, my love of books, my time to my kids. They are a blessing, indeed.

Now, for full disclosure {grin} I do have children in public school as well. Honestly, I wish they were home as well. I got into this homeschooling thing way after the pioneers, and I made the choice to only homeschool some of my kids (pretty much the one the public school was failing). Once I began, I then continued with my younger child.

So, its a busy place around here, with two highschoolers in public school, one homeschooled highschooler and an elementary homeschooler.

I tell you what, the time is going by so quickly!

Not Back to school hop

The Write Foundation Review

Heather —  November 10, 2010

How do you approach teaching your child writing? I generally teach writing as a portion of our literature studies. My son loves to read and so I try to use that as a jumping off point to get his attention and then incorporate things like grammar and writing structure.

I received The Write Foundation curriculum to review and I immediately noticed that they stress the actual writing process as the base for their teaching approach. It is almost an about face from how I have done it. They say:

“Many writing curricula focus on the different types of writing, such as creative writing, story writing, poetry writing, persuasive writing, argumentative writing, informative writing, descriptive writing, book writing, fiction writing, novel writing, but the basic foundation of writing is assumed. The Write Foundation begins with the writing process, how a student formulates a topic, then a thesis, then supporting points, and by incremental teaching drills in the basics. In most grammatical subjects, we have found that failure is almost totally because the basics have not been learned.”

I appreciate this angle and felt that this review might help my son go back and reinforce some writing skills.

I requested Level 2: Paragraph Writing   Suggested Ages: 12-15.

About Level 2, (From their site):

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system
  • Begins with steps to writing the basic paragraph
  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech
  • Teaches different styles and techniques each week
  • Teaches the organizational process of  brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing.
  • Progresses to writing two-, three-, and four-paragraph papers
  • Introduces the five-paragraph formal essay
  • Creative poetry writing
  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure
  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

See a syllabus for this level.

As we began this program, I had a hard time adapting to a different approach. I had trouble incorporating the lessons into our daily life. I read that the lessons were originally developed for a coop setting and I do think that the presentation of the teaching materials could be improved.

Overall, I think the program needs some tweaking to make it easier on the Homeschool teacher to teach. That being said, I think the concept of using a more foundational writing system for a curriculum is sound and can really help an unenthusiastic writer, especially. I give it a 3 out of 5.

I do like that the program is written from a Christian perspective and I hear that the customer service is great for this company. In addition, there is a Write Foundation Yahoo group.

See samples for all The Write Foundation Curriculum

Find ordering information here. Costs vary a bit depending on how fast you work through the program and your choice of materials, but range from $65-$100.

See what my crewmates have to say about The Write Foundation

I received materials from Write Foundation for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

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IMG_208So what are your views on fantasy fiction?

Many of my readers know that I love stories like Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. I am an avid reader and have plenty of opinions about what I like. One thing that has changed as I have gotten older and become Mom, is that I find myself a harsh critic.

That sounds awful, but yeah, I have to admit that. As a Christian Mom, there are some ideas and books that I really cannot support, no matter how in style or well written they may be. For example, I won’t read the vampire books going around now. Looking back, I did read the Anne Rice books long ago—and I have to say, I just don’t think there is anything about this type of story that goes with a Bible verse that often comes to mind–

Philippians 4:8:  Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It is funny what gets your attention—but I find myself very turned off by dark or frightening stories. I know some people get a thrill from these, but I just don’t and I won’t promote them.

So what is different about the Narnia and LOTR for me? I have actually spent a couple of days thinking about this, because I know that there are dark moments and frightening things in those stories as well. I think it is the fact that those stories have promise and a hope that good will win out…that light will overcome darkness…and they are very careful to distinguish good magic and bad magic from each other…

Anyway what brought all this up? It was a book I have for review, from the Peleg Chronicles, entitled Foundlings. When I read this book, I expected to like it, mostly because it said it had an exciting plot and characters and no magic, no humanism, and even no evolution. I figured this would be a book that would not go against many of my beliefs, and I would not have to worry about my kids reading.

Ironically enough, the book is very intense and does have dark moments! I found myself surprised when the heroes of the book encountered dark priests and sacrificial offerings and truly bad, bad guys. Not to mention the dragons.

However, in really looking at it, I am thinking the book would fit into my Narnia and LOTR category. I thought the novel was very exciting, and the heroes had stellar qualities–virtue and loyalty, especially in the face of difficult odds. I thought the setting was fantastic and really, the whole tale was something new to me, which I appreciate.

Foundlings is just one story in the Peleg Chronicles series. Peleg is actually a real figure referenced in the Old Testament, and this tale is set about 150-200 years after the flood of Noah.

My son really liked it and offered his review:

A world of Danger, Giants, Dragons, and Serpents, a world named Peleg

Full of excitement and suspense! Matthew Christian Harding is a Christian, a husband, a father, and a writer. His first book Foundlings is placed in a time after the Flood of Noah, after the Tower of Babel and the Dispersion (It was true to the Bible when it was quoted but still very original). The characters were well developed as the book progressed. I felt as if I knew them. Peleg was described so well that it almost seemed real. The book also includes well placed scripture.

Foundlings is full of adventure and tells the story of a group of GOD loving Christians. They find each other while watching out for the evil dragon priests that want to sacrifice them to their false god. They then help others when they can and spread GODS love.

I read Foundlings in one sitting. (Till 4:30am) just so I could find out what happened next. I was lost in the world of Peleg until the end of the book, and I want to go back. You will find that only Tolkien rivals Foundlings. I recommend that you enter the world of Peleg, and be immersed in adventure and you will not want to put it down. When you have to you will be craving the next installment of the Peleg Chronicles.

The book had many fight scenes and opportunities for the heroes to show their valor, so I should have known this was perfect for a teen boy!

Overall, I have just told you a bit about the book. You can find out much more on their website,

So while I find myself a bit confused about what makes a  book truly “good”…I do recommend this for teens 12+ I think the book and the setting make for some great discussions about Christian beliefs and history.

Foundlings is available from Zoe & Sozo Publishing for $11.95. Paladins, the 2nd book in the series, is also available for $11.95.

See what my crewmates have to say about Zoey and Sozo Publishing, here.

I received Foundlings for review Purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

They Almost Always Come Home

Heather —  June 10, 2010



Yesterday, I told you about a great new book. Today I would like to share a bit more. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win the giveaway!

Here is an interview with the brand new author, Cynthia Rushti:

1. How would you describe your book?

The tagline for the book is “She’d leave her husband…if she could find him.”

When Libby’s husband Greg doesn’t return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an oatmeal marriage and mind-numbing career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness-savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance. What the trio discovers in the wilderness search upends Libby’s assumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

It’s my prayer that this fictional adventure story and emotional journey will reveal its own hope-laden clues for those struggling to survive or longing to exit what they believe are uninspiring marriages. How can a woman survive a season or a lifetime when she finds it difficult to like the man she loves?

2. How were you different as a writer and as a person when you finished writing They Almost Always Come Home?

This book changed me in a profound way. It forced me to take a more honest look at myself and my reactions to crises so I could write Libby’s character with authenticity. Libby is a composite of many women. I haven’t experienced what she did, but I identify with some of her struggles and longings, as I hope my readers will. I see my friends in her eyes and know that her tears aren’t hers alone. Her shining moments feed my courage. Libby speaks for me and for many others when she discovers that she is stronger than she realized and weaker than she wanted to admit.

Writing her story was a journey for the author as much as for the character.

3. What did you feel the tug on your heart to become a writer?

My journey toward a lifetime of writing began by reading books that stirred me, changed me, convinced me that imagination is a gift from an imaginative Creator. As a child, I read when I should have been sleeping…and still do. I couldn’t wait for the BookMobile (library on wheels) to pull up in front of the post office in our small town and open its arms to me. Somewhere between the pages of a book, my heart warmed to the idea that one day I too might tell stories that made readers stay up past their bedtimes.

4. What books line your bookshelves?

My bookshelves—don’t ask how many!—hold a wide variety of genres. The collection expands faster than a good yeast dough. I’m a mood reader, grabbing a light comedy one day and a literarily rich work the next. Although I appreciate well-written nonfiction, I gravitate toward an emotionally engaging contemporary women’s fiction story.

Leave a Comment to be chosen to Enter the Book Tour Giveaway! The winner will be drawn by Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.

North Pak 20 inch cinch sack (lime)
Day Runner journal
Canoe Brand wild rice
Canada’s brand blueberry jam
Coleman 60-piece mini first aid kit
Wood canoe/paddle shelf ornament
Six original photography notecards from video trailer
“Hope” hanging ornament
Mini Coleman “lantern” prayer reminder