A Place Apart

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: A Place Apart

Author: Paula Fox

Jacket Illustrator: Robert Sabin

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, republished 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0374359850 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0374359857 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0374458683 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0374458685 Paperback

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 12-15

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

     Fox, Paula.  A Place Apart (Published in 1980 by Farrar Straus and Giroux, 19 Union Square W., New York City, NY  10003).  Thirteen, turning fourteen, year old Victoria (Tory) Finch, a freshman in high school, loses her father, a high school principal, who dies of a heart attack four days after Thanksgiving.  Shortly after her father’s death, Victoria and her mother Lois struggle to regain a sense of order and security, so they sell their old house in Boston, MA, and move to a small village outside of Boston called New Oxford.  Elizabeth Marx becomes Tory’s best friend, but Tory meets an older teenage boy named Hugh Todd, a junior who is wealthy and sixteen. Even though he is a snob, she becomes infatuated with Hugh as he runs the school theater club and asks her to enlarge a scene that she writes for an English class into a play that he wants to direct for the senior graduation play.  

     Then Tory’s mother decides to marry Lawrence Grady and move back Boston.  How does Tory react to that?  Does the play ever get finished and performed?  And what happens between Tory and Hugh?   There is no bad language in the book.  Several references to smoking cigarettes occur, even by one of Tory’s fellow students (Stanley Bender, Hugh’s friend and editor of the school paper), and Tory is allowed to drink a glass of Chianti at an Italian restaurant during a family holiday meal.  My basic question is, “What is the purpose of this story?”  It won some Literary Awards.  It was a National Book Award Finalist for Children’s Hardcover Fiction (1981), and it was given the National Book Award for Children’s Paperback Fiction (1983). 

      Also, several reviewers praised it highly.  One wrote, “This is another excellent title by Paula Fox.”  Another said, “It was written beautifully and the characters were developed wonderfully.”  Someone else noted, “I consider it one of the best books I’ve ever read.”  Still another wrote, “It’s a beautiful and painful work of art—I cherish the book and consider finding it a precious gift.”  And one other person said, “It had such a profound effect on me.”  Maybe I’m missing something here, but perhaps it’s just a gal-type thing that’s totally foreign to my “guy” experiences growing up.  I will say that Tory learns a valuable but painful life lesson about not allowing oneself to be used by someone else just to bolster his (or her) ego.  Author Paula Fox won the Newbery Medal in 1974 for The Slave Dancer.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tombs of Dross: Book One of The Lorian Stones

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Tombs of Dross: Book One of The Lorian Stones

Author: Lew Anderson

Cover Illustrator: Bradley J. Knefelkamp

Publisher: TreeStone Publishing, republished 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1548854263

ISBN-10: 1548854263

Related website(s): http://en.gravatar.com/lewaanderson (author)

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 10 – 18

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

     Anderson, Lew. Tombs of Dross: Book One of The Lorian Stones (Published in 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; republished in 2018 by TreeStone Publishing, Northfield, MN).  Fifteen year old Isaac and his thirteen year old brother Zachary (Zac) have recently moved from the city.  While the boys are exploring the property behind their family’s farm with their almost thirteen year old friend Brielle (Breezy), the three young teens discover a stone pillar with strange yet beautiful engravings which lead them into a mysterious world of excitement, intense danger, and deep friendship where they meet peculiar people, extraordinary creatures, and unnatural forces.  Through shipwrecks and battles with beasts and men, they are hunted and pursed, yet befriended and, entwined in an ancient plot, they fight to survive.  Where are they?  Why are they there?  What will happen to them?  And will they ever get back home?   

     Tombs of Dross is Book One of the “Lorian Stones” trilogy by Lew Anderson.  It is identified as “Engaging Christian middle grade and teen adventure fantasy.”  Author Anderson said, “I wrote the Lorian Stones Trilogy as a Christian alternative for upper middle grade and teens (including my own children) seeking adventure fantasy without a focus on magic. Swords and bows replace spells and wizardry; perseverance, trust, and hope in the darkest hour prevail as themes throughout. The books are very action based, while conveying spiritual principles.”  With its emphasis on strength and courage, endurance and faith, friendship and trust, it definitely has a “Chronicles of Narnia/Lord of the Rings”-ish type of feel to it.

     Some fighting and killing occur, so the intensity level would be PG, with a suggested age from 10 and up.  A childish slang term for the human posterior is sometimes found, but no cursing or profanity is used.  It is a good read for youngsters and adults alike, and highly recommended as a compelling, delightful book for all those who love full-fledged fantasy adventure tales of hope and friendship in the midst of danger and trial, with a budding romance to muddle things up.  The last chapter is a real cliff hanger, setting the stage for the sequels, Battles Grim: Book 2, and Pillars and Power: Book 3.  There is also a prequel entitled Horse Boy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shadows on the Pond

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Shadows on the Pond

Author: Alison Cragin Herzig 

Jacket Illustrator: Deborah Chabrian

Publisher: Little Brown and Co., 1985

ISBN-13:  978-0316358958

ISBN-10: 0316358959

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 12-15

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

     Herzig, Alison CraginShadows on the Pond (Published in 1985 by Little Brown and Company, Boston, MA).  Jill Matthews, almost fourteen years old, is with her mother at their Vermont summer cottage while her father remains with Jill’s older sister Kate at their home in New York. To escape worries about problems between her parents, Jill spends most of her time with her neighbor and life-long friend Migan (full name—Ptarmigan) Todd, also about fourteen at a beaver pond which is their sanctuary deep in the woods. The girls court danger by destroying the beaver traps set by cruel Jim McCullough, known as “Trapper Jeep,” who is the fiancé of Migan’s Aunt Karen.   Another danger is a drunk named Carly Simon who drives around the pond in his old jalopy shooting off his rifle.

     A broken arm grounds Migan, but Ryan Jameson, a teenage boy whom Jill has seen at her school in the city, arrives in Vermont to visit friends nearby and helps her in trying to save the beavers.   The story’s climax is an explosion at the beavers’ dam.  Who caused it?  Does anyone get hurt?  And what happens to the beavers?  There are references to drinking wine and beer and smoking cigarettes.  The “d” word is used a couple of times, once by fifteen year old Kate, and the “h” word is found once.  This book is a story both of first love, with some emphasis on kissing, and of ecological interest, without being environmentally extreme.  It would appeal mostly to adolescent girls.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Murder On Route Sixty-Sex

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Murder On Route Sixty-Sex

Author: Karen Colson

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1499165135

ISBN-10: 1499165137

Language level: probably 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:

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

     Colson, KarenMurder On Route Sixty-Sex (Published in 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).  Back when I was a junior and senior in high school (1970-1972), I worked in the school library.  One of our jobs during the intermission before our work period was to reshelve the books left out by students in the previous period.  One day, I picked up a small paperback with what I thought was the phrase “Route Sixty-Six” in the title.  Both the front cover and the blurb on the back made it look and sound interesting.  Since there was no name in it and no one around to claim it, I decided to take and read it.  That is until I came across a rather explicit sex scene which made reference to a guy’s “male tool” and what a girl would do with his “long, hard pole” when she took it out of his pants. 

     At least, that’s what I seem to remember.  I checked the cover and found that I had misread it.  It said, “Route Sixty-Sex.”  I immediately showed the book to the librarian, Mrs. Cora Chance, and told her what I had read.  Since I didn’t want it, she just took it and tossed it into the waste basket in her office.  Mrs. Chance wouldn’t even have the James Bond books in the school library because they were too raunchy.   Recently, while looking for books on Route 66, I came across Murder On Route Sixty-Sex.  I think that this is the same book that I saw some fifty years ago.  The cover looks pretty much like what I remember. 

    The description reads, “In the tiny town of Williams, located on the historic Route 66, Ramona is accused of murder, her best friend Lola is out to make her first of many millions and Leonard, dressed in his own George Hamilton designer collection, is focused on taking care of his ever hard desire, no matter the consequences. Chills, thrills, laughter and sex take you into the world of a small town filled with hopes, dreams and desire.”  The only problem is that Murder On Route Sixty-Sex is dated 2014, although that could be a republication date.  In any case, I do NOT recommend it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Precious Cargo: Angel’s Luck #2

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Precious Cargo: Angel’s Luck #2  

Author: Joe Clifford Faust

Jacket Illustrator: A. C. Farley

Publisher: Ballantine Books, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-1111034559

ISBN-10: 1111034559

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: Adults only

Rating: ** 2 stars

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

Category: Science 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

     Faust, Joe Clifford.  Precious Cargo: Angel’s Luck #2 (Published in 1989 by Del Rey Books, an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Inc., New York City, NY). In the first book of the “Angel’s Luck” series, trader James May and his crew successfully rescue the legendary Essence Phials, which hold the extracted minds of humanity’s greatest geniuses, but his ship is blown to space junk in the attempt, and they cannot collect their reward for retrieving the stolen Phials.  So in Precious Cargo (Angel’s Luck #2) they are grateful to be rescued by the luxury liner Hergest Ridge, even if the commander is May’s ex-wife, who had made it plain that she never wanted to see him again.

     Commander Margaret O’Hearn has other problems. Among her passengers is a delegation of Arcolians, aliens only recently at peace with humanity. And there are rumors of an anti-Arcolian blockade along her route and the possibility of terrorists on board her ship. So the last thing Maggie needs aboard is her ex-husband and his crazy copilot Duke, who has sampled an Essence Phial and is now possessed by a second—and extremely xenophobic—personality.  What will happen to the Arcolians?  Is Maggie able to prevent the outbreak of another human-alien war?  And can May save his own precious cargo while helping to protect Duke from himself? 

     One has to have a strong stomach to tolerate much of the modern pulp science fiction.  Besides instances of drinking alcohol, even to the point of getting drunk, the language is atrocious.  A great deal of cursing (with the “d” and “h” words) and a lot of vulgarity (with the “s” and “f” words, along with other crudities) both occur.    There is also some sexuality with references to male and female anatomy, a discussion where one man tells how he “knocked up” a woman, and a scene in which, though it is not too explicit, it is clear that May and Maggie are intimate. In addition, I found the story a little confusing at times, but it might have made more sense if I had read Book One.  Book Three is entitled The Essence of Evil

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement

Author: Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, and D. Newell Williams, editors

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., republished 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0802838988 hardback

ISBN-10: 0802838987 hardback

ISBN-13 : 978-0802869753 paperback
ISBN-10 : 0802869750 paperback

Related website(s): http://www.eerdmans.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: Older 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)

Category: Non-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

     Foster, Douglas A.; Blowers, Paul M.; Dunnavant , Anthony L.; and Williams, D. Newell, editors.  The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement Hardcover – January 15,

(Published in 2004 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2140 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI  49505).  Those of us who seek to identify as non-denominational, New Testament Christians believe that “the seed is the word” and that wherever the pure word of God is preached the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ will result without regard to any specific “historical movements.”   However, historians have to deal with “historical movements.”  With its roots in British and American endeavors to restore apostolic Christianity, the “Stone-Campbell Movement,” or what I grew up hearing called “the restoration movement,” drew its inspiration from the independent efforts of nineteenth-century religious reformers Barton W. Stone and the father-son team of Thomas and Alexander Campbell, along with many others.

     The union of these two movements in the 1830s and the phenomenally rapid growth of the new body thrust it into a place of significance in early nineteenth-century America, and it quickly spread to other parts of the English-speaking world.  From its beginnings this Movement has developed into three major American communions — Churches of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Christian Churches/Churches of Christ — as well as churches in several other countries.  Over ten years in the making, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement offers for the first time a sweeping historical and theological treatment of this complex global communion. Written by more than 300 contributors across the Stone-Campbell Movement, this major reference work contains over 700 original articles covering all of the significant individuals, events, places, churches, and theological tenets that have characterized the Movement.

     This book was recommended to me by my good friend, fellow gospel preacher, and one of the contributors Steve Wolfgang.  It is not the kind of volume which most people would sit down and simply read through (although when I was growing up, I could often be found sitting down and just reading through dictionaries and encyclopedias).  I did page through The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement and read many of those articles which caught my attention or appealed to me.  I certainly have my own strong convictions on religious matters, but I will have to admit that it attempts to present a fair, representative picture of the rich heritage that is the Stone-Campbell Movement.  Scores of photographs and illustrations from around the world (many quite rare) enrich and enliven the text, and an extensive, carefully prepared index for rapid reference facilitates ready access to important information throughout the volume.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Ántonia

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: My Ántonia

Author: Willa Cather 

Cover Illustrator: Larry Knox

Publisher: Dover Publications, republished 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0486282404

ISBN-10: 0486282404

Related website(s): http://www.prestwickhouse.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: Older teens and adults

Rating: **** 4 stars

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

Category: Classic literature

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

     Cather, Willa.  My Ántonia (Published in 1918 by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA; republished in 2006 by Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics, P. O. Box 658, Clayton, DE  19938). James Quayle “Jim” Burden, the narrator and protagonist of the novel, is an orphaned boy from Virginia who grows up on his pioneer grandparents’ farm in Black Hawk, Nebraska, from age 10 and later becomes a successful lawyer in New York City.  Ántonia “Tony” Shimerda, a bold and free-hearted young girl, is the elder daughter in a family of Bohemian immigrants which arrives on the Nebraska frontier towards the end of the 19th century. Jim is the neighbor who will befriend Ántonia, teach her English, and follow the remarkable story of her life.  When Jim goes away to college in the East, what happens to Ántonia?  Does Jim have any opportunity to make it back to Black Hawk?  Will Ántonia ever get to see him again?

     My Ántonia, published in 1918 by American writer Willa Cather, evokes the Nebraska prairie life of Cather’s childhood, and commemorates the spirit and courage of immigrant pioneers in America. This book is considered Cather’s first masterpiece.  One of Cather’s earliest novels, it is considered one of her best works and is the final book of her “prairie trilogy” of novels, preceded by O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark.  Cather was praised for bringing the American prairie to life and making it personally interesting. The novel is divided into sections called Books: I The Shimerdas, II The Hired Girls, III Lena Lingard, IV The Pioneer Woman’s Story, V Cuzak’s Boys. My Ántonia remains in print in a number of editions ranging from free Internet editions to inexpensive, mass-market paperbacks to expensive “scholarly editions.”

      My Antonia begins with a brief introduction in which Jim is on a train journey, speaking with an unnamed woman, supposed to be Cather herself, who also knew Ántonia and suggests that Jim write about her.  I enjoyed the book, moreso than I did O Pioneers!, though some parts are not for young children.  The “d” word is used occasionally, and there are references to drinking beer and smoking.  A suicide occurs as the pressures of the new life are too much for Mr. Shimerda, and he kills himself before the winter is finished.  Also, Antonia has a baby out of wedlock as her life takes a hard turn when the man she loves proposes marriage, but deceives her and leaves her with child.  Otherwise, it is an interesting story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ohio’s Bicentennial Barns: A Collection of the Historic Barns Celebrating Ohio’s Bicentennial

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Ohio’s Bicentennial Barns: A Collection of the Historic Barns Celebrating Ohio’s Bicentennial

Author: Beth Gorczyca 

Illustrator: B. Miller (Photographer)

Publisher: Wooster Book Co., 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1590988039

ISBN-10: 1590988035

Related website(s): http://www.woosterbook.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 all

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Youth non-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

     Gorczyca, BethOhio’s Bicentennial Barns: A Collection of the Historic Barns Celebrating Ohio’s Bicentennial (Published in 2003 by The Wooster Book Company, 205 W. Liberty St., Wooster, OH  44691).  Ohio became a state in 1803.  The Ohio Bicentennial barn-painting program was an inexpensive, grassroots marketing campaign that painted the official logo of the Ohio Bicentennial on a highly visible historic barn in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Over 2,000 farmers and landowners submitted their barn descriptions to the committee for consideration. Beginning in 1998, artist Scott Hagan, then just nineteen, spent five years painting the logos, tailored to every barn’s unique character. Typically, the barn owners hosted a celebration at the completion of their barn painting.

     Gorczyca and Miller, who has an eye for perfection in composition, resolution, and color, have done a spectacular job of presenting a beautifully-written and nicely photographed record of these bicentennial barns.  This amazing book gives all the locations and good details about each barn.  The barns, majestically painted by Mr. Hagan are presented artistically, one county at a time, with each barn’s description on one page and its photo on the opposing page. The technique of keeping the image on one page prevents the spine from interfering with the reader’s thorough enjoyment of the barns.  Avid barn collectors will especially enjoy the volume, which makes a good coffee table read or a great gift.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Finding Your Seat at the Table: Creating Your Ideal Career

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Finding Your Seat at the Table: Creating Your Ideal Career

Author: Teboho Mofokeng 

Publisher: Bowfica Pty. Ltd., 2020

ISBN-13: 978-0620890083

ISBN-10: 0620890088

Related website(s): http://www.tebohomofokent.co.za (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: 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)

Category: Youth non-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

     Mofokeng, Teboho.   Finding Your Seat at the Table: Creating Your Ideal Career (Published in 2020 by Bowfica Pty. Ltd.).  This book is designed to give the reader all the ideas, plans, and pre-requisites for building a successful career in today’s era.  It shares global trends on the future of work, the tools to create a career path, and how to execute it with the goal of giving a strategic advantage on how to communicate and lead in diverse cultures. The world of work is constantly changing, and there is not much that we can do about it. There are some careers which are becoming redundant with an oversupply of skills, while new careers are in demand for which there is a shortage of skills.

     The author, Ms. Teboho Mofokeng, is a leadership and management speaker who is also a civil engineer.  She stresses the pursuit of skills. But before that she points the need to be self-aware and define one’s Purpose, Value, and Mission (PVM). Then she focuses on the specific, valuable, and marketable skills that will separate one from the rest of the pack. The idea is not to climb the mountain of life-change all at once, but to establish S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals.  There is a chapter on managing difficulties and setbacks in dealing with other people.   Another chapter deals with communication skills and gives the key tools of negotiation. 

     The book is also an excellent read for basic on-the-job project management.  And the author emphasizes the importance of finding happiness in work and staying happy even when things are not going as planned.  Finding Your Seat at the Table is an inspiration-filled book that is tremendously valuable for anyone who is looking for not just a job, but a career that offers control, provides autonomy, and gives a sense of fulfillment. The subtitle reveals the main theme of the book, which is “Creating Your Ideal Career.” This book will give the step by step plan to achieve it.  In short, the book is a guide to everything needed in the career spectrum of a person whether it be a corporate or an artist, professionals or non-professionals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dexter the Tough

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Dexter the Tough

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix 

Illustrator: Mark Elliott

Publisher : Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, reprinted 2008

ISBN-13 : 978-1416911593 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1416911596 Hardcover

ISBN-13 : 978-1416911708 Paperback

ISBN-10 : 1416911707 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.SimonSaysKids.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 7 – 10

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

     Haddix, Margaret Peterson.  Dexter the Tough (Published in 2007 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).   Fourth grader Dexter Jackson has moved from Cincinnati, OH, to live with his grandmother in Kentucky because his dad Thomas is very sick with cancer, so his parents have to go to Seattle, WA, for his dad’s treatment.  On the first day of his new school, Dexter is already mad at the principal, the secretary, the janitor, and the kids who laughed at him. When Ms. Abbot, his teacher, tells the class to write a story that lets her know more about who they are, Dexter writes, “I’m the new kid. I am tuf. This morning I beat up a kid.” 

     The other boy’s name is Robin Bryce, and Dexter hit him because Robin was crying in the restroom.  Why was Robin crying before Dexter hit him?  Is it possible that Robin would still want to be Dexter’s friend?  And what will happen to Dexter’s father?  I found this to be an interesting story as the author gradually reveals the details behind the opening incident.  In several meetings, his persistent teacher encourages him to flesh out his story, asking Dexter questions which help him to acknowledge his feelings, including his resentment at being left behind by his parents, his concern about his father, and his guilt about hitting Robin, so that he can come to terms with his emotions. 

     In the end, Dexter discovers many surprises hidden in his own tale as he makes revisions to it, and an appropriately happy conclusion wraps up all of the loose ends.  One thing that I liked was the fact that Grandma definitely believes in prayer.  Robin had been homeschooled through third grade but talked his mother into letting him going to regular school.  Homeschooling is not necessarily presented in a bad light, but the impression seems to be left that homeschooled students might have trouble making friends.   I have known literally hundreds of homeschooled children, and that has never been my experience.  But I still liked the book.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment