Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Christmas Joy Ride






Carlson, Melody. The Christmas Joy Ride. Grand Rapids: Revell, 2015.

Miranda is a recent divorcee who lost her job and is facing foreclosure on her home. Her almost 86-year-old neighbor Joy is heading to Phoenix to live in an assisted-living facility near her sons. Instead of flying out as she is supposed to do, she decides to drive her RV along Route 66 all the way from Chicago to Phoenix. She has held a contest on her blog to spread some Christmas cheer along the way. She invites Miranda along to help her spread some cheer. Miranda quickly assumes the driving responsibilities. The plot is somewhat predictable, but this is a great Christmas feel-good read that is certain to help many readers get the Christmas spirit. This review is based on an advance review copy which is clearly labeled as "not the final version" provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Keeping Christmas






Walsh, Dan. Keeping Christmas. Grand Rapids: Revell, 2015.

Experiencing an empty nest for the first time at Thanksgiving and soon to be at Christmas makes Judith gloomy. Her husband Stan and friend Betty try to find ways to lift her spirits. Will they be able to help her overcome the depression this holiday season brings? This book is certain to resonate with many readers who are experiencing Christmas without a family gathering. I love the parts that showed how Judith and her children created ornaments each year and how much that meant to both Judith and her children. While I never contemplated putting the book down, the story itself did not flow flawlessly. I can't quite put my finger on the reason. I do, however, believe this is a worthwhile Christmas read that may even help a few persons struggling with the holidays. This review is based on an advance review copy which clearly states that it is not the final text received through NetGalley for review purposes.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Adventures in Writing



Education.com. Adventures in Writing. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2015.

This is a workbook designed to help first graders learn capitalization, punctuation, sentence completion, and creative writing. It also provides a few mazes, paper folding, and other activities to go along with creative writing prompts. It's probably a good supplement for some students. The book is a compilation of several previously published workbooks. This review is based on an advance review e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Let's Learn About the Lord's Supper



DeVries, Catherine. Let's Learn About the Lord's Supper. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2015.

Emma, the young narrator in this picture book, takes us to her room on a play date. Her mother calls her down for a snack. When she prays, she uses and briefly talks about the Lord's Prayer that she has been learning. When returning to the room, she teaches the prayer to her stuffed animal. The illustrations by Ryan Jackson in this picture book are colorful and certain to please young audiences. My biggest problem with the book has to do with the manner in which the stuffed animal was introduced. The narrative seems to imply that a question was asked earlier for which Emma is now giving the answer so that the reader will know if he guessed correctly. It is possible this will be corrected in the final version that will be marketed. The author still fails to break down certain phrases in the Lord's prayer for the intended audience level. It is, however, a book that many Christian parents and schools will want to purchase. This review is based on an advance reader's copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation that a review be written.

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