Bing: the Story of a Tramp Dog

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Bing: the Story of a Tramp Dog

Author: Thomas C. Hinkle

Publisher: A B Publishing, republished 2016

ASIN: B002RDJAAY

ASIN: B005LE4J7A

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 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Adventure

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

      Hinkle, Thomas C. Bing: the Story of a Tramp Dog (Published in 1932 by William Morrow and Company Inc., New York City, NY; republished in 2016 by Lone Oak Books). It is in the   1880s, and Bing is a white and silver tramp dog born in the Kansas town of Black Thorn.  His mother was a collie.  Survival is a constant battle that depends on foraging for enough food to stay alive and fighting off the other dogs who cross his path.  So he heads west to the village of Killdeer.  There he finally finds love and acceptance when he meets with 16 year old Joe Harlan.  When Joe had been two years old, his father, mother, and uncle Jim Harlan were caught in a blizzard while driving a covered wagon on the Kansas plains.  In the blinding storm, the wagon went over the edge of a ravine.  Joe’s parents were killed, so Joe now lives with his uncle and adopts Bing.

     Pretty soon, however, Bing is blamed for the killings that are taking a heavy toll on the neighboring farmers’ livestock. This puts Joe into a state of anxiety.  He knows better, but can’t prove Bing innocent.   Who is the real killer?  What will become of Bing?  Is there anyone who is able—and willing—to help Joe to show Bing’s innocence?  This is a great story involving adventure, excitement, suspense, and mystery that would be especially interesting for middle to upper grade boys.  And there is absolutely no bad language.  Publisher Delbert Beechy wrote, “As Amish schoolboys, my brothers, schoolmates, and I liked Thomas C. Hinkle’s books.  Out of print for nearly half a century, these heartwarming horse and dog stories are back by popular demand.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hothead

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Hothead

Author: Cal Ripken Jr., with Kevin Cowherd

Cover Illustrator: Robert Papp

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers, republished 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1423140030

ISBN-10: 1423140036

Related website(s): http://www.scholastic.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 8 – 12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: General youth fiction

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

     Ripken, Cal Jr., with Cowherd, Kevin.  Hothead (Published in 2011 by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group LLC, 114 Fifth Ave., New York City, NY  10011; republished in 2012 by Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY  10012).  Twelve year old Connor Sullivan, who lives with his father Bill, mother Karen, and fifteen year old sister Brianna in Baltimore, MD, is a seventh grader at York Middle School and an All-Star shortstop and cleanup hitter on his Babe Ruth team, the Orioles, under coach Ray Hammond.  However, things aren’t good at home. His dad, a used car salesman, has been laid off and is having trouble finding a new job, so his mom, a nurse, is having to work a lot of overtime at the hospital just to make ends meet. 

     Connor feels the pressure and develops a big problem with his temper on the field.  When he strikes out or makes an error, he’s a walking Mt. Vesuvius, slamming batting helmets and throwing gloves. His teammates are starting to avoid him, even his best friend Jordy Marsh.  Can Connor clean up his act in time to regain his teammates’ trust and help the Orioles win the championship against the best team in the league?  Or will his coach kick him off the team?  And what happens when Connor is beaned by opposing pitcher Billy Burrell?  Hothead is either Book 6 or Book 7 of “Cal Ripken Jr.’s All Stars” series.  Anyone who followed Major League Baseball in the 1980s and 90s will recognize the name of Cal Ripken Jr. as a shortstop and third baseman with the Baltimore Orioles for his entire career (1981-2001). Kevin Cowher is a sports writer with the Baltimore Sun.

     Besides doing a great job of describing the baseball scenes, this book is an excellent story for young people about the importance of learning how to manage anger properly by highlighting the consequences of acting without thinking.  Some common euphemisms (e.g., “gee”) and childish slang terms (e.g., “pain in the butt”) appear, but there is no cursing or swearing.   Also, some parents may think that age twelve is a bit young for Connor to go out with Melissa, even though he declares, “Not that this was a date or anything.  Because it definitely wasn’t.  Uh-uh.  No way.”  However, the pace should easily keep up the interest of a pre-teen, so it would be good for a reluctant reader, especially one who likes baseball.  One reviewer (I assume a kid) said, “BAD BOOK TOO PREDICTABLE. Worst book I have ever read don’t read it. Don’t spend it time on it it’s boring,” but most others praised it for not only its moral but also its readability. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dos Idiomas, One Me: A Bilingual Reader

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Dos Idiomas, One Me: A Bilingual Reader

Author: Maggy Williams

Illustrator: Briana Arrington

Publisher: Loving Healing Press, 2020

ISBN-13: 978-1615995455 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1615995455 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1615995448 Paperback

ISBN-10: 1615995447 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.MaggyWilliamsAuthor.com (author),  http://wwwLHPress.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 5 – 7

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Children’s book

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,Maggy.  Dos Idiomas, One Me: A Bilingual Reader (Published in 2020 by Loving Healing Press, 5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI  48105).  A young girl feels torn between two languages. At home, she speaks Spanish with her family, while at school, she speaks English with her friends, and she finds herself resenting the fact that she always has to translate her thoughts and feelings.  How does she come to realize that being bilingual is a gift?  Is there any way that she might have fun with it?  And what can she do in the role of teacher and translator to help others?

     With eye catching and thought provoking illustrations by Briana Arrington, Dos Idiomas, One Me, one of three “Girls Empowerment “ books by author Maggy Williams, equally incorporates Spanish and English, thus promoting biliteracy.  A bilingual reader doesn’t do much for me because I neither speak nor read Spanish, so about half the book is beyond my comprehension.  But for bicultural children and those learning either English or Spanish as a second language, it lets young bilingual speakers know that they are not different–but special.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kipper

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Kipper

Author: Linda Buckmaster Rapson 

Publisher: Moody Press, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0802445582

ISBN-10: 0802445586

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 8-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: General youth fiction

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

    Rapson,Linda Buckmaster.  Kipper (Published in 1981 by Moody Press, a division of Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL).  Twelve year old Kipper Bufkin, a sixth grader, lives on a farm near Fairplay, OH, with his father Clyde and his boxer dog Meatball.  When the boy was five, his pregnant mother Grace was killed in a barn fire which Kipper accidentally started when he stumbled and dropped a kerosene lantern while checking on a newborn Holstein heifer.  Kipper thinks that his father blames him for her death, and there has been a seven year rift between the two.  Kipper’s best friend is Hallie Swickard who lives with her parents on a neighboring farm.

     Kipper and Hallie both want to buy Amos, the town’s best Hereford calf and potential grand champion steer, from Mr. Parrish and win a trophy at the fair, but for entirely different reasons.  Kipper hopes to win his father’s admiration and prove that he is worth something, helping to mend the shreds of their relationship and become close as a father and son should be.  Hallie thinks that it would be an escape from stitching bean bags and aprons for her 4-H Club.  Who gets Amos?  What happens when Kipper loses the money which he’s saved up to buy the calf?  And will Kipper and his father ever be able to reconcile?

     This is a lovely yet humorous story of two young people who must learn to cope with both the pains and the joys of life.  Mr. Bufkin spits tobacco juice, and there are a few colloquial euphemisms (e.g., “tarnation”), but no cursing or swearing occurs.  The book does demonstrate the importance of developing a proper father and son relationship and well pictures the benefits of community in a rural area.  Also, a lot of information about farming is imparted.   In a sequel, Kipper Plays Cupid (1981), Kipper plots to have his father marry his sixth-grade teacher instead of the woman his father has chosen, and he and Hallie learn a deeper lesson about Christ’s sacrificial love.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alan and Naomi

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Alan and Naomi

Author: Myron Levoy 

Publisher: iUniverse, republished 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0595474240

ISBN-10: 0595474241

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 9 – 12

Rating: *** 3 stars

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

Category: Historical fiction

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

     Levoy, Myron. Alan and Naomi (Published in 1977 by Harper Trophy, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 30 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY  10022).  It is 1944 and twelve and a half year old Alan Silverman, a Jewish boy, lives with his father Sol and mother Ruth in a New York City apartment at The Oak Terrace Arms.  Alan’s best friend at junior high school and in the neighborhood is Shaun Kelly, who is also the captain of Alan’s stickball team.  Joe Condello, captain of the other team, is prejudiced against Jews. Naomi Kirshenbaum, a Jewish girl who is a refugee from France, and her mother live with the Silvermans’ friends and neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Liebman.  The girl is severely disturbed emotionally because she saw her father brutally beaten and murdered by the Nazis.  The other kids call her crazy.  Alan’s parents ask him to befriend Naomi and spend time with her to see if he can help her calm down.

      Alan says no at first.  He doesn’t want to give up his stickball game for anyone—especially not for crazy-acting Naomi, and he’s afraid that the other boys will call him a sissy. But when he hears about her horrifying experience during the war in France, he changes his mind and agrees to try.  What can Alan do to win Naomi’s trust?  Will his efforts accomplish any good for the girl?  And how does the whole situation affect his friendship with Shaun?  There is a really good story here with important lessons concerning the importance of empathy, the dangers of prejudice, and the value of true friendship.  Unfortunately, it is marred by some bad language.  For example, it is noted that Alan and Shaun “told each other the latest dirty jokes circulating around the class.”

    However, that is not the worst of it.  There is something annoying and even disconcerting about reading literature intended for ages 9-12 in which twelve year old boys toss around the “h” and “d” words and near-vulgarisms like “son of a b****” and “bas*ard” as if handing out candy.  Alan even says the “h” word to his mother.  “What in the he** do you want from me?”  Yes, I know that people, even kids, talk like that, but I don’t think that it needs to be enshrined in “children’s books.”  Alan and Naomi is said to have won several awards.  Oh yes, that’s right! Nowadays the more cursing and profanity a work of youth fiction has, the more likely it is to be given a prize. Another reviewer wrote, “Not for young readers, 16+ only.” There is a touch of sadness at the end, but it concludes on a hopeful note.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Call Waiting

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Call Waiting

Author: Michelle Cunnah 

Cover Illustrator: Nadine Badalaty

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0060560362

ISBN-10: 0060560363

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

Language level: 5

(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: I would not suggest it for anyone

Rating: 0 stars

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

Category: 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

     Cunnah, MichelleCall Waiting (Published in 2004 by Avon Trade, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 10 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY  10022).  Emma Taylor, a Junior Accounts Manager in Advertising, lives in Hoboken, NJ, is turning 31, and hopes that her architect boyfriend Jack Brown will propose marriage to her.  Emma’s parents are divorced.  Her plastic surgeon father is married to Peri who is Jack’s older sister, and her Human-Rights lawyer mother Julia, who lives in England, is married to George.  Emma and Jack’s circle of couples-friends include Rachel and Hugh, Sylvester and David, Tish and Rufus, and Katy and Tom.  However, Emma becomes worried that Jack’s gorgeous, perfect, voluptuous boss Claire is after him.  Is Jack the commitment-phobe that she fears?  Will he actually go ahead and propose?  Or does Claire succeed in breaking them up?  I picked this book up in our library’s book sale room because the blurb on the back made it sound interesting.

     Call Waiting and its predecessor 32AA, which introduced Emma Taylor, are referred to as “chick lit.”  Now, I don’t mind reading a good, clean romance novel, ala Grace Livingston Hill or the “Love Inspired” series.  But this book is not about true romance; it’s just about plain, old sex, pure and simple.  In the very beginning, as Emma introduces Jack to the readers as her new boyfriend of eight months, she says, “Honestly, I’m the one sleeping with him so have insider information!”  I thought about throwing it away then, but I continued reading to see if it got any better.  It didn’t.  It ends with Jack and Emma not married yet but in bed together; she is “tugging at his zipper” and says that “his hands are doing wicked things to—certain parts of my anatomy.”   There are several other references to various erogenous body parts and specific sexual encounters.

     In fact, the whole book is totally amoral from beginning to end and borders on pornography.  Besides Jack and Emma’s fornication, among their friends, Katy and Tom are married, but Rachel and Hugh are living together with plans to marry when she becomes pregnant, Sylvester and David are a homosexual couple, and Tish had seduced Rufus to get him to start dating her.  In addition, a lot of imbibing alcoholic beverages occurs, and besides a great deal of cursing and profanity, the “s” and “f” words are frequently used, along with other vulgar terms.  It seems as if the hormone-laden Rachel can’t complete a sentence without dropping the “f” bomb.  I really could not recommend this book to anyone.  A friend of mine once noted that if something is for “mature audiences only,” it usually isn’t fit for the dogs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Racing the Sun

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Racing the Sun

Author: Paul Pitts

Publisher: HarperCollins, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0613377010 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 061337701X Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0380754960 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0380754967 Paperback

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

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 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)

Category: General youth fiction

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

     Pitts, Paul.  Racing the Sun (Published in 1988 by Avon Camelot Books Inc., 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10019).  Twelve-year-old Brandon Rogers lives with his dad Keith, an engineer and professor at the University of Utah, and his mother Helen.  Brandon is a seventh grader at Roosevelt Junior High School, where his best friend is David Berger.  David’s nickname is “Ham,” and Brandon’s nickname is “Cochise” because he and his family are Navajo (although Cochise was an Apache).  Being an American Indian isn’t something Brandon likes to advertise. His father had left his Indian heritage behind and changed his name from Kee Redhouse when he went to college, and Brandon has grown up in suburbia–just a “regular kid,” happily a member of the UGA (Underachieving Goof-offs of America) and living the middle-class life that his father carved out for their family.

     However, Brandon’s ill Navajo grandfather, with his smoky smell and embarrassing mumbo-jumbo such as chanting himself to sleep, moves off the reservation near Little Water, NM, and into the lower bunk in Brandon’s room.  Then he starts getting his grandson out of bed before sunrise every morning to race the sun.  Will Brandon be able to cope with the disruptive changes?  What happens when the dying Grandfather demands to go back home one last time?  And are there any important lessons for Brandon to learn?  This is a thought-provoking, realistic story, interspersed with several comic moments.  Unfortunately, there is a little bad language.  The “d” word is found twice, once when Brandon’s dad yells at the boy for nagging him about taking Grandpa home, the other by a man on the bus, who also uses the “h” word a couple of times.  But this fast-reading novel offers a glimpse of Navajo reservation life and culture, and illustrates the importance of appreciating one’s heritage.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Escape from Gehenna

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Escape from Gehenna

Author: Bradley J. Knefelkamp 

Publisher: Riven Publishing, republished 2020

ISBN-13: 978-1479381340

ISBN-10: 1479381349

Related website(s): https://knefelkamp.wixsite.com/author (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)

Category: Fantasy

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

     Knefelkamp, Bradley J.  Escape from Gehenna (Published in 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; republished in 2020 by Riven Publishing).  Chanse and Chelly Adaman are twelve-year-old twins and live in the country of Gehenna whose evil dictator Dymorius enslaves the young. Taken the day they turn six, children work in the dark iron mines of Tartrus beneath the ground until they reach adulthood, only to be released into the service of Dymorius.  Their task-masters are vile creatures called Batrauks.  Chanse and Chelly’s friends are Drake, Breena, and Ricker.  One day, the five young people stumble upon a way out, and the twins make for a country beyond their borders of which they’ve heard rumors. However, when Dymorius finds that two have fled, he has his own reason for tracking them down before they can escape.

     Therefore, the brother and sister find that the path is not easy with Dymorius hunting for them, and not everyone they meet wanting to help.  Do they manage to make it out of Gehenna?  Or are they caught and returned?  And what happens to their three friends?  Escape from Gehenna is a story of perseverance, hope, and love that weaves together Christian principles and Biblical parallels in a fast-paced adventure with humor and suspense to portray an interesting look at how the paths we choose affect ours and others’ lives in more ways than we may imagine.  Well written and delightfully told, it’s a great story with a great pace that will keep the readers wide awake, on the edge of their seats, turning pages, and rooting for the main characters throughout.  I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable and suitable for any age, from five to 85.  This thrilling tale of excitement is the first of a series chronicling events in an age between myth and legend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Girl Watcher’s Funeral

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Girl Watcher’s Funeral

Author: Hugh Pentecost 

Publisher: Pyramid Books, republished, 1972

ISBN-13: 9780515028669

ISBN-10: 0515028665

Language level:  4

(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 only

Rating: * 1 star

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

Category:  Mystery

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

     Pentecost, Hugh.  Girl Watcher’s Funeral (published in 1969 by Dodd Mead and Company, New York City, NY).    Barrel-chested and twinkle-eyed Nikos Karados is a wealthy Greek shipping magnate with a philanthropic bent who comes to New York City with his entourage to stage a fashion show of designs by protégé Max Lazar for the sake of cancer research at the at the stately Beaumont Hotel where Pierre Chambrun is the resident manager. Karados collapses and dies from an apparent heart attack, but while Inspecting the body, the house doctor discovers that Karados’s medication has been replaced by placebos. To avoid a panic, Chambrun has Beaumont press agent Mark Haskell quietly investigate the murder.  There is a host of possible suspects among the models, designers, photographers, reporters, and others.  Who killed Karados?   Why was the murder committed?  And is anyone else in danger?

     Hugh Pentecost was a penname of mystery author Judson Philips (1903–1989). I picked up this book 6 of 15 in “The Pierre Chambrun Mysteries Series” from our library’s discard table because it was labeled “mystery” and next to historical fiction good mysteries  (ala Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton) are one of my favorite forms of literature.  Unfortunately, Girl Watcher’s Funeral is a typical modern “hard-boiled” detective novel with a lot, and I mean a lot, of cursing, swearing, and near vulgarity, numerous instances of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcoholic beverages, and multiple references to amoral sexual activities including fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and pornography.   If something like that floats your boat, have at it, but I prefer stories that are cleaner and more wholesome.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eco Bible: Volume 1, An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus 

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Eco Bible: Volume 1, An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus   

Authors: Yonatan Neril and Leo Dee

Cover Illustrators: Austin Rubben and Tien Vu

Publisher:  Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, 2020

ISBN-13: 978-1735338835 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1735338834 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1735338804 Paperback

ISBN-10: 173533880X Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.interfaithsustain.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:  Of interest primarily to adults

Rating:  *** 3 stars

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

Category: Bible study

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

     Neril, Yonatan, and Dee, Leo.  Eco Bible: Volume I, An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus (Published in 2020 by The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development).   The purpose of this book, referred to as a “green Bible commentary,” is to answer the question, “What can the Bible tell us about ecology?”   Drawing on 3,500 years of religious ethics, Rabbis Yonatan Neril and Leo Dee, co-editors and lead contributors, quote over 100 rabbis from Biblical times right up to the present to show how the Bible itself and its great scholars embrace care for God’s creation as a fundamental and living message and to motivate action to protect all of God’s creation.

     Not everyone will agree with all the presuppositions that underlie the book, such as man-made climate change, but ecologically minded readers interested in what the rabbis have to say about the Hebrew Bible and those who support a faith-based environmental commitment, that emphasizes how to live in harmony with nature and the power of conservation, will find it interesting.  Volume 1 explores Genesis and Exodus; Volume 2 (2021) explores Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Together they cover 450 verses in the Five Books of Moses, linking faith and science, and connecting religion with contemporary thought regarding human health, biodiversity, and clean air, land, and water.

     Certainly the idea of applying Biblical ethics to stewardship, conservation, and creation care is good, and the authors include a number of suggested specific action items along those lines that many may find helpful.  However, I do offer a closing caveat.  It has been my experience that in seeking to find what Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet calls “the ever-increasing number of fresh understandings of the Bible’s verses,” it can possibly become very easy for the would-be expositor to stretch and skew the Biblical text to make it appear that the Scriptures support some pre-conceived agenda.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment