Praise Hymnal Revised 2020: Contemporary Praise and Worship Songs

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Praise Hymnal Revised 2020: Contemporary Praise and Worship Songs

Author: Edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.

Publisher: Taylor Publications, 2020

ISBN-13: 978-1932711547

ISBN-10 : 1932711546

Related website(s): http://www.taylorpublications.com (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Suitable for everyone

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Hymnbook

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

     Taylor, Robert J. Jr., editor.  Praise Hymnal Revised 2020: Contemporary Praise and Worship Songs (Published in 2020 by Taylor Publications LLC, 20171 Hilltop Ranch Dr., Montgomery, TX  77316).  I do not usually review hymnbooks for the Home School Book Review blog, but I have done a couple before, so I’ll do one for this brand-spanking new book also.  The first collection of the Praise Hymnal contained sixty contemporary songs arranged by Darrell Bledsoe in 1993.   It was newly revised and expanded to 270 numbers in 2010, and then revised and enlarged again in 2017.  Praise Hymnal 2020 is a collection of contemporary Praise and Worship and Youth songs, set in four-part, shape note harmony. There are 421 songs in this new Praise Hymnal book. In addition to the book and the recorded music for many of the songs, all 421 songs are available in power point files with music and words.

     Some might question calling this a “hymnbook” since very few of the selections included are “classic hymns.”  The vast majority of songs in the book would fall into the category of “Contemporary Christian Music.”  However, in modern common parlance, many people use the word “hymn” generically to describe any kind of religious song.  The Praise Hymnal 2020 is available in hardback, either maroon or blue.  All the songs in the 2017 Praise Hymnal are still in this new book, plus 84 more.  One who prefers classic hymns and gospel songs will probably not see much to his liking here, but those who like the newer “praise and worship songs” of Contemporary Christian Music should find this book quite interesting.  Disclaimer:  One of my songs, “Praise Ye the Lord Jehovah” based on Psalm 135, is contained in this book.

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Amora

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Amora

Author: Grant J. Hallstrom

Publisher: ClearStone Publishing, 2020

ISBN-13: 9780982150337

ISBN-10:  0982150337

Related website(s):  http://www.HistoryofChristianTheology.com (author), http://www.clearstonepublishing.net (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

     Hallstrom, Grant J.  Amora (Published in 2020 by ClearStone Publishing, 15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 175, Irvine, CA  92618).  It is the second century A.D., and Antonius Pius is Emperor of Rome (138-161).  A young girl named Amora, daughter of influential parents Amado and Livia, marries the wealthy businessman patrician Leo who was known to be intemperate and decadent.  Over the next few years, during which time Leo’s friend Marcus Aurelius becomes Emperor, Leo and Amora have a beautiful daughter Natalie and a coveted son Esteban.  However, Natalie disappears and is found brutally murdered, while Esteban is born with a deformed leg, all of which causes Leo and Amona to drift apart.  Leo turns more and more to his business and pleasures, but Amora finds comfort in Christianity.

     In a fit of rage, Leo denounces his Christian wife and her sixteen year old slave Maria to die in the arena, saying, “If she prefers to lie in a tomb instead of my bed, I cannot stop her.”  However, he finds his life turned upside down as the slave’s lover Antonio pursues a quest for vengeance.   How does Antonio seek his revenge?  What will happen to Leo?  And where can Esteban go?   This historical novel is based on the true story of the noblewoman who inspired Justin Martyr’s petition to the Roman Senate.  The basic theme is forgiveness versus vengeance set in a sweeping action-adventure tale of sacrifice that examines spirituality and faith and explores the path to healing as the characters struggle with their pains of loss, betrayal, and guilt.  Amora earned Amazon’s #1 New Release ranking for Christian Historical Fiction.

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Cachalot

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

cachalot

Book: Cachalot

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Illustrator: Esteban Mato

Publisher: Del Rey, republished 1981

ISBN-13: I978-0345280664 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0345280660 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0345280664 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0345280660 Paperback

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Adults

Rating: ** 2 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Foster, Alan Dean.  Cachalot (Published in 1980 by Del Rey Books, an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Inc.). Cachalot is a nearly landless ocean planet covered 99% by water.  Long ago, a guilt-ridden human race had tried to atone for centuries of slaughter by transporting Earth’s surviving cetaceans to Cachalot. Scattered humans live peacefully with the great sea-creatures which they had hunted near to extinction in floating townships and only a couple of land cities.  Then one day something rises from the deep destroying everythhing in its path, including all the humans that live on the floating cities.  Scientists Pucara Merced and Cora Xamantina, along with Cora’s daughter and assistant Rachael, join planet Commissioner Yu Hwoshien and peaceforce Captain Sam Mataroreva to find out the truth about what is attacking these cities and why.

Are the whales doing this?  Or is some off-world alien race perhaps behind it?  And is one of their own crew possibly involved?  If one likes talking whales, with a little romance and mother-daughter drama thrown in, the adventure is personal enough, with the crew’s interactions, to be interesting, and the banter between the scientists and the cetaceans, along with the deep sea peril, will keep the reader’s attention.  The “d” and “h” words are both used frequently, and there is some sexuality.  It is not pornographically descriptive but does contain clear references to people not married to each other committing fornication, with statements like they “made love under the stars, and “intimacy was easily attained.”  Definitely NOT for the kiddos!

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Case of the Stone Mansion: Josie and the Digger’s Club, Volume 1

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

josie

Book: Case of the Stone Mansion: Josie and the Digger’s Club, Volume 1

Author: Pamela Bush

Cover Illustrator: Darcy Richardson

Publisher: Pamela Bush, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0984803675

ISBN-10: 098480367X

Related website(s): http://www.pamelabushauthor.com (author)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 10-14

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Bush, Pamela.  Case of the Stone Mansion: Josie and the Digger’s Club, Volume 1 (Published in 2018 privately by Pamela Bush).  Thirteen year old Josephine (Josie) Winnell lives with her father, who is the town sheriff, and mother.   Her best friends are Lillian (Lily) Spencer and Charles (Charlie) Maxwell.  The three teens form “the Digger’s Club” to help people with problems and to catch thieves and vandals. Soon they invite newcomer Amy Stone to join the club.  Her parents have moved to the area because they inherited the old stone Galloway mansion on the edge of town and plan to turn it into a bed and breakfast called the Stone Mansion.

The club’s first adventure results from the fact that the old house has a reputation for being supposedly haunted because people have reported seeing strange lights there.  While exploring the mansion, the Diggers stumble onto a clue, which leads to scavenger hunt for a possible rumored treasure hidden there.  Given one last day to explore before the remodeling begins, Charlie doesn’t arrive on time.  Who is the “ghost”?  Is there really a hidden treasure or is it just a long forgotten game?  And what has happened to the missing Charlie?

Who doesn’t like reading a good, exciting mystery written with a ghostly theme and page turning excitement?    The story deals with relevant issues for modern pre-teen to early teen readers, but without going too far, as so many current pre-teen/teen books do; there is nothing objectionable here. While the book is intended for young people, adults can enjoy it too. Case of the Stone Mansion is Book 1 in the “Josie and the Digger’s Club Series,” which has been called “today’s version of the classic mysteries of Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, etc.”

Posted in mystery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Checkmate in the Carpathians: Passport to Danger, Book Three

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

checkmate

Book: Checkmate in the Carpathians: Passport to Danger, Book Three

Author: Mary Reeves Bell

Cover Illustrator: Cheri Bladholm

Publisher: Kingsley Books, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0971349988

ISBN-10: 0971349983

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 12 – 17

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Bell, Mary Reeves.   Checkmate in the Carpathians: Passport to Danger, Book Three (Published in 2000 by Kingsley Books Inc., P. O. Box 121584, Nashville, TN  37212).  Sixteen year old Constantine Kaye, usually just called Con, lives with his mother Roberta and step-father Nigel in Vienna, Austria.  His father was killed before Con was born.  Con’s best friend is Hannah Goldberg.  Con and Hannah play chess while they take a rickety train to a dream skiing vacation at Iasi in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, where they will be staying in style with Hannah’s uncle, Aaron Goldberg who is the new American ambassador, and Aunt Ruth.  However, Con opens a letter from his elderly friend Maria Rozstoski describing a violent mystery from her Romanian youth near Iasi and asking him to look into it on his trip.

To make matters worse, Con thinks that he sees “Dirty Harry,” an escaped neo-Nazi terrorist named Hans Grunwald who swore to kill the two teens when they had earlier helped to convict him, on the same train.  This adventure leads Con and Hannah straight into the dark corners of Europe’s anti-Jewish past.  Can the two find out the information that Maria seeks?  Is that really Grunwald whom Con sees on the train?  And how does an orphan named Poppy fit into the picture?  Checkmate in the Carpathians is a worthy successor to the two previous “Passport to Danger” books, The Secret of the Mezuzah (No. 1) and The Sagebrush Rebellion (No. 2).

The story not only is an exciting, suspenseful mystery with a poignant ending that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, but also contains some important historical material about World War II and the treatment of Romanian Jews by Romania’s brutal Iron Guard.  There is also a warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism even today embedded in it.  I agree with another reviewer who wrote, “Con and Hannah are great kids in a real world, and their friendship and adventures make for excellent story-telling…. This is top-notch high-quality Y[oung] A[dult] fiction with a Christian worldview.”

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The Elevator Family

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

elevator

Book: The Elevator Family

Author: Douglas Evans

Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes

Publisher: Yearling, republished 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0385327237 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0385327234 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0440416500 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0440416500 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.scholastic.com (publisher)

Language level:  1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Evans, Douglas.  The Elevator Family (Published in 2000 by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc., 1745 Broadway, 11th Floor, New York City, NY 10019;  republished in 2004 by Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012).  The Wilson family consists of father Walter, mother Winona, and ten year old twin brother Winslow and sister Whitney.  When they arrive at the San Francisco Hotel and discover that there are no available rooms, they decide to stay in the place that suits them best of all.  It’s a cozy little room that has its ups and downs—a room called Otis, the hotel elevator.  While there, they get to meet the shy, lovesick teenage bellhop Gavin; the hotel flower girl Cathy who is the object of Gavin’s unspoken affections; Mr. Brown, a weary traveling salesman of kids’ fads; a British rock group with the funny name of “What?”; Mrs. Goldengate, a busy society lady with a pampered poodle named  Oui-Oui; and a slew of other surprising visitors.

For the Wilsons, only the best will do, so staying in the elevator is absolutely “fantabulous!”  But how do they handle the grouchy clerk Mrs. Quinn?  What kind of reaction do they get from other guests who want to use the elevator?  And is there anything that they can do to help find the kidnapped daughter of billionaire newspaper publisher Frank Chronicle?  There are a few references to drinking wine.  However, this is a lighthearted and heartwarming fantasy story filled with adventure and wry, zany humor about an eccentric family that will keep middle-grade children groaning with glee.  Most reviewers used words like “cute” and “funny” to describe the book.

However, one reader definitely did NOT like it, writing, “Wow what a bad book! Im serious this book was the stupidest thing I’ve ever put my hands on” (sic).  I beg to differ.  It is not stupid.  Admittedly, it is silly, but that is not the same thing as stupid.  Silly is not necessarily bad and can be quite humorous, while stupid is usually rather annoying.  Another person summed it up well, saying, “It’s a cute story with its share of humor, but there is nothing special about it.”  The quirky style is like a clever tall tale.  Furthermore, the short chapters make it great for beginning or reluctant readers.  There are four Elevator Family sequels, including The Elevator Family Hits the Road and The Elevator Family Takes a Hike.

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Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

danny dunn

Book: Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy

Authors: Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin

Illustrator: Paul Sagsoorian

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1974

ISBN-13: 978-0070705463 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0070705461 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0671560928 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0671560921 Paperback

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level:  Ages 9-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Williams, Jay, and  Abrashkin, RaymondDanny Dunn, Invisible Boy (Published in 1974 by McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York City, NY).  Young Danny Dunn lives with his mother in the home of inventor and retired Midston University professor Euclid Bullfinch, for whom Mrs. Dunn works as a housekeeper.  Danny’s father had died long before, and Danny’s best friends are Irene Miller and Joe Pearson.   When he accidentally short-circuits Professor Bullfinch’s new crystalline material, Danny enables the professor to create a new machine that makes people seem invisible.  Can Danny and his friends actually become invisible?  How does Danny plan to use the device?  And what will he and Professor Bullfinch do when the government finds out and tries to commandeer it?

There are a few common euphemisms (e.g., gosh, drat, gee) and some references to smoking a pipe and cigarettes.  What makes the story so interesting, and a bit scary, is the way in which the military wants to use the professor’s technology for its own purposes, especially in today’s world, where not only governmental agencies and multi-national corporations spy on everyone, but ordinary citizens spy on each other.  Anyone who has ever had to deal with a mindless government bureaucrat will appreciate the depiction of General Gruntle. One really has to admire Professor Bullfinch for his character and “civil disobedience” at the end while still being strongly patriotic in his own way.

The story is also quite scathing about the perversion of science toward power and control, rather than being for the benefit of all.  Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy was book #13 in the original series, but one source calls it Vol. 2 of the paperback reprints.  These books are a bit dated, as the science and technology go, but they are practically prophetic about things like personal computers, cell phones, the internet, digital cameras, etc., and are still very entertaining and educational for children between the ages of ten and fourteen, especially boys.  They help kids appreciate the value of science.  I have previously reviewed two other books in the series, Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine (1969) and Danny Dunn and the Universal Glue (1977), and have one more to read in the future, Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave (1961).

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Next-Door Neighbors

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

neighbors

Book: Next-Door Neighbors

Author: Sarah Ellis

Jacket Illustrator: Jacqueline Garrick

Publisher: Yearling, republished 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0689504952 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0689504950 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0440406204 Paperback

ISBN-10: 044040620X Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.SimonSaysKids.com (publisher)

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9 – 12

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Ellis, Sarah.  Next-Door Neighbors (Published in Canada in1989 by Douglas and McIntyre/Groundswood Books, Vancouver, BC; republished in the United States in 1990 by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).  Twelve year old Margaret (Peggy) Davies has just moved with her minister father, mother, seventeen year old sister Doreen (Dorrie), sixteen year old brother Colin, and cat Nebuchadnezzar, from their old home in the country to a new town where she goes to Lord Nelson School.  Peggy is shy and feels lonely and uncomfortable, so she tells a lie about having a horse back at Cedargrove, but Linda, who seems to be a leader among the girls, finds out the truth and begins to snub Peggy.  Then Peggy starts to meet other people.

There’s the unconventional George Slobodkin, son of the Russian immigrant church custodian who lives with his family in an apartment attached to the church on one side of the Davieses’ house, but Peggy thinks that he’s weird.  And there’s Sing Lee, the Chinese servant of her neighbor Mrs. Manning on the other side, but his mistress treats him imperiously.  Can Peggy learn to overcome her shyness?  Will she ever make any friends?   And how do her nerdy schoolmate, the Oriental houseman, and a puppet show figure in Peggy’s adjustment to her new neighborhood?  There are a couple of common euphemisms (e.g., “heck” and “gosh”) and some references to drinking beer and circulating a bottle of rye.

Otherwise, this is an undramatic yet warmhearted and moving novel with a convincing portrayal of quiet maturation as Peggy learns a great deal about herself and defies the small-town social taboos.  Shy Peggy’s adjustments are the focus of this story. Though set in 1957, plausible characterizations of people in true to life situations make the book realistic, capturing universal fears and feelings not unique to any specific period.  Peggy’s small victories and adventures add up to enable her to overcome much of her shyness and make some new, unexpected friends.  It’s nice to read a tale about a minister’s family that pictures the members as “normal.”

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Fox Farm

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

fox farm

Book: Fox Farm

Author: Eileen Dunlop

Jacket Illustrator: Mary Dinsdale

Publisher: Holt Rinehart and Winston, republished 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0192714282

ISBN-10: 0192714287

Language level:  3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 10 and up

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Dunlop, Eileen.  Fox Farm (Published in 1978 by Oxford University Press in England; republished in 1979 by Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York City, NY).  Ten year old Adam Hewitt grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but his mother had died giving birth to his little sister who also died.  His father, Andrew, known as ”Hew,” married Ruby Frazer and moved to Australia, leaving Adam in the care of the Social Work Department.  After being in a children’s home and staying with several foster families, thin, red-haired, and watchful Adam has come to live with the Darkes at Fox Farm near Garlet in the Scottish countryside.   The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Darke, teens Anne and David, and young Richard who is a year or so older than Adam.  The Darkes want to adopt Adam, but he holds out the hope that his father will send for him to come to Australia.

One day Mr. Darke has to shoot a fox which had killed some of their chickens.  Shortly after that, Adam finds a stray fox cub which he names Foxy.  He and Richard decide to keep the fox in an old tower on the farm and secretly try to raise it as a pet.  Can the boys manage to get the money needed buy food for Foxy?   How does the fox react to the attempts to train it?  And what will happen with Adam?   This cute children’s book isn’t necessarily about a fox, but more about the two boys and a growing friendship. The great theme of the plot is having the serenity to accept the things that one cannot change.  Adam has been constantly disappointed by his biological father, yet he continues to fawn over him.

By caring for his fox, Adam gradually comes to accept the fact that he too has been abandoned but does have a place in his new foster family.  Besides the facts that smoking a pipe is mentioned and some common euphemisms (e.g., “blasted”) occur, the “d” word is used twice, once by Richard.  I really liked the story.   I just don’t understand why some writers of youth fiction feel that they simply have to include some cursing and swearing or other bad language to make their books seem realistic and “relevant.”  However, it is still a good tale, and those who like to read about foxes should especially enjoy it, even with the surprise at the end.  There was an edition of the book published under the title Foxy.

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Glimpses of Eternity: Studies in the Parables of Jesus

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

glimpses

Book: Glimpses of Eternity: Studies in the Parables of Jesus

Author: Paul Earnhart

Cover Illustrator: Jonathan Hardin

Publisher: DeWard Publishing, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1936341412

ISBN-10: 1936341417

Related website(s): http://www.deward.com (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

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Earnhart, Paul.  Glimpses of Eternity: Studies in the Parables of Jesus (Published in 2012 by DeWard Publishing Company Ltd., P.O. Box 6259, Chillicothe, OH  45601).  The Bible says of our Lord that on one occasion, “All these things spoke Jesus to the multitude in parables, and without a parable He did not speak to them” (Matthew 13:34).  When I was growing up, we were always told that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  And that about sums it up.  Author Paul Earnhart is my friend.  I first met him back in the very early 1980s.  We have never had the opportunity to be close since then, but our paths have crossed several times through the years, and I admire him greatly.

The studies in Glimpses of Eternity are the compilation of a series of over sixty articles written by Paul for Christianity Magazine, of which he was a co-editor.  After a few introductory chapters by way of general explanations, Paul seeks to find the meaning and make proper application of all the parables of Jesus, from “The Friends of the Bridegroom” (Matthew 9:14-15) to “The Final Crisis” in the separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).  Avoiding speculation, he handles difficult texts with common sense and wisdom in a thought provoking way to provide good insight into these most interesting stories told by our Lord and to help us see the depth of their teachings.

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