Proving the Church of Christ

proving

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Proving the Church of Christ

Author: Michael J. Davis

Publisher: Gospel Armory Publishing, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1942036241

ISBN-10: 1942036248

Related website(s): http://www.GospelArmory.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

Davis, Michael J.  Proving the Church of Christ (published in 2018 by Gospel Armor Publishing, Bowling Green, KY).  Are all churches basically alike? Or is there something different about the church of Christ?  And is it just one among many, or is it the only right church? This book searches the Scriptures to find out the answers to these questions.  Mike Davis is a faithful gospel preacher and a good friend.  In Proving the Church of Christ, he shows what God’s word has to say about the Lord’s church with a total of nine chapters, one each on its oneness, time and place of beginning, name, plan of salvation, faithfulness, pattern of worship, established government, and continuity from the beginning, all of which have discussion questions, plus a final review of “Summary and Warning.”

The study contains the kind of teaching which I grew up hearing, back in the days when the Lord’s church seemed to be growing rapidly.  While there are undoubtedly varied and complex reasons why the church does not appear to growing as quickly today as it once did, it just may be that one possible reason is that we do not hear the same kind of preaching about the uniqueness of the church of Christ as much as we used to.  Davis’s book could well be useful in church Bible classes, home or small group Bible studies, and personal Bible devotions in order to stir up the minds of members of the church by way of remembrance, to instruct young people that they may be grounded better in the faith, and most of all “to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

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Juan Castell and Aunt Sofia’s Giant Book of Please, Thank You, Welcome

juan sofia

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Juan Castell and Aunt Sofia’s Giant Book of Please, Thank You, Welcome

Author: Ian Sadler

Illustrator: Adrienne Brown

Publisher: Gelos Publications, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0996415781

ISBN-10: 0996415785

Related website(s): http://www,GelosPublications.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 3 – 8

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

Sadler, Ian.  Juan Castell and Aunt Sofia’s Giant Book of Please, Thank You, Welcome (published in 2018 by Gelos Publications, 332 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 1032, Chicago, IL  60604).  Juan Castell is a very nice young boy who always says “Please” and “Thank you.”  One day his Aunt Sofia from Peru has an amazing secret to tell him.  Distant visitors from far away planets and moons will soon come to earth, and everyone here needs to be able to greet them as politely as possible.  Aunt Sofia is the Deputy Chief of Courteous Replies and works with groups in Nevada, Italy, and England to get ready.  But time is running out.  Now she also needs Juan’s help in preparing people to welcome their guests in every language from Greek to Chinese.  Just how many languages do you think that is?  What can Juan and his aunt do to save the day?  And where all does Juan get to go in his efforts?

This Book 4 in Gelos Publications’ Mom’s Choice Award winning “The Rhyme, Laugh & Learn Series” is great not only to encourage children to be polite to others but also to introduce them to how people say “Thank you” in other cultures such as Spain, India, France, and China.  In the back are two pages of further learning activities, one with a language dictionary of common greeting words, and the other with map questions.  Other books in the series, which offers readers a truly entertaining yet educational journey of fun and laughter through memorable rhyming text by Ian Sadler and whimsical illustrations by Adrienne Brown, are Normal Nina and the Magic Box which I have previously reviewed, The Pennydale Zoo Great Talent Contest, and Jimmy and Jane and the Tale of the Yellow Moon.

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Grandma’s Precious Memories

grandma

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Grandma’s Precious Memories

Author: Katharine Yusuf

Illustrators: Marilyn Martin and Jean Bates

Publisher: Prairie Moon Publishers LLC, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0999476505 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0999476505 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0999476512 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0999476513 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.PrairieMoonPublishers.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 4 – 10

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

Yusuf, Katharine.  Grandma’s Precious Memories (published in 2018 by Prairie Moon Publishers, P. O. Box 779, Nevada, MO  64772).  Ellie loves to visit with her grandmother.  Grandma and Ellie like to play bingo, dress up in the different colored necklaces that Grandma has won, and walk outside in the garden to see the roses.  Grandma had even taught Ellie how to cook.  However, one day Ellie comes to Grandma’s room, and Grandma seems different.  She asks, “Sweetie, what’s your name?”  Ellie, who hears a nurse tell her mother that Grandma’s not doing well today, is confused and becomes very upset.  What is wrong with Grandma?  Will she ever get better?  How can her mother comfort Ellie?

Nearly every family knows someone—a relative, friend, or neighbor—who is living with some kind of dementia and memory loss.  I can say from personal experience that it is a situation which is sorrowful and even a little frightening.  Author Katherine Yusuf, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while in pharmacy school and worked as a clinical pharmacist until forced to retire due to increasing disabilities, wrote this book based on a dream which she had following a phone call from her mother who was very upset.  She had visited Yusuf’s grandmother who suffers from memory loss and did not recognize her own daughter.   When Yusuf told her mother about the dream, she was encouraged to write it down.

They decided that the story should be told from a child’s perspective because the problem is harder for children than adults to understand.  The back contains four pages of both questions and activities for home or classroom use by groups, families, or individuals.  There is even a recipe for Grandma;s lemon squares.  The captivating text and pastel illustrations will help parents, teachers, counselors, and caregivers explain what can be done when a friend or family member is diagnosed with dementia and memory loss.  Yosuf says, “If I can lend comfort and hope to just one person dealing with memory loss or dementia in a loved one, then this book will be worth it.”

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Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast

runaways

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast

Author: Tim Bennett

Cover Illustrator: David Danglis

Publisher: Sel Publications, 2017

ISBN-13: 978-0692941546

ISBN-10: 0692941541

Related website(s): http://www.moviesandmemoirs.org (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 13 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)

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

Bennett, Tim.  Runaways: When It’s Easier to Just Get Away…Fast (published in 2017 by Sel Publications, 3895 Howlett Hill Rd., Syracuse, NY  13215).  Ace Parks, nineteen years old, lives in Albany, NY.  His dad left the family when Ace was just a kid, and his mom died of kidney failure a couple of years ago.  As a result, Ace decided that he could not believe in a God who would allow these kinds of things to happen, although his mother continued to profess her faith to the end.  In addition, Ace is on probation due to an incident when he got drunk in a bar and cut a man who was attacking him.  However, he now has a good job working for Luigi’s Pizza and hopes to use his inheritance to become co-owner of a new Luigi’s franchise that is soon to open.  Unfortunately, while delivering a pizza in a neighborhood where racial tensions have caused other pizzerias to avoid, he accidentally runs over a little girl.  When the gang which roams the area starts to come after him, he panics and leaves the scene.

Ace convinces his girlfriend Gabriella (Gabby) Capaldi, who is seventeen years old and has been seeing Ace behind her father’s back, to run away with him to France, where Ace’s billfold with all their money is stolen and they end up seeking help from a missionary whom his mom had supported near Paris.  But Mr. Capaldi sends a private investigator to bring Gabby home, and Ace’s Uncle Jerry Jensen, a lawyer, comes to talk Ace into giving himself up.  What will Ace and Gabby decide to do?  How do things turn out for each of them?  And will Ace learn any important lessons from his experiences?  Parents may want to know that this is not a book for small children or for reading aloud in a family with youngsters.  There are references to showing the middle finger and to drinking beer.  A few common euphemisms (e.g., darn) are found, and people are said to have cursed, though no actual curse words are used.

However, for teens and adults, this riveting page turner, filled with drama, action, love, and the power of God to work out what seems to be a bad situation that appears to have no good solution, will have the reader in suspense from the first chapter.  It is well researched and has characters that are realistic.  As another reviewer noted, “The story provides moral lessons without being moralistic.”  Some sexual conversation occurs, but Ace and Gabby are both committed to waiting until marriage, and there is nothing immoral.  Author Tim Bennett, who has labored as an international worker with Elim Fellowship and Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for ten years in France, told me of the book that “It is based roughly on my Christian testimony and my experiences working as a missionary in France.”  Runaways is an exciting read, and I say, “Bring on the sequel!”

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Daniel Boone with Original Lithographs in Color by the Author

daniel boone

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Daniel Boone with Original Lithographs in Color by the Author

Author and Illustrator: James Daugherty

Publisher: Viking Children’s Books, republished 1971

ISBN-13: 9780670255900

ISBN-10: 0670255904

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 9-15

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

Daugherty, James.  Daniel Boone with Original Lithographs in Color by the Author (published in 1939 by The Viking Press, New York City, NY).  Daniel Boone was born at Reading, PA, in 1734 to Quakers Squire and Sarah Boone, one of eleven children.  When Daniel was sixteen, his father moved the family to the Yadkin River Valley of North Carolina.  During the French and Indian War, he fought with the North Carolina militia under General Edward Braddock at the ill-fated Battle of the Monongahela.  Returning home, he married Rebecca Bryan.  In 1775, he helped blaze the trail to Kentucky for Richard Henderson’s Transylvania Company.  While living at Fort Boonesborough, his daughter Jemima and later he himself were captured by Indians, but Jemima was rescued, and Boone escaped.  After living awhile at Boone’s Station in Fayette County, near where he fought in the American Revolutionary War Battle of Blue Licks, and then Maysville on the Ohio River, Daniel and Rebecca emigrated with some of their children to the Femme Osage country west of St. Louis, Missouri, where he died peacefully in 1820.

Author and illustrator James Daugherty dipped his pen and his brush into one of our nation’s most dynamic characters whose life adventures are more exciting than the shadowy legend that his name brings to mind, and was awarded the John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 1940.  There are a few references to whisky and liquor, and one description of burning Indians in a cabin might be a little intense for small children, but otherwise the marvelous frontiersmen is glorified in this brief biography with Daugherty’s distinguished, rugged  illustrations which presage the heroic action figures found in modern comic books. The highlights of the remarkable career of this Kentuckian, as he carved trails through primeval forest and mountains, creating the Wilderness Road into vast unexplored territory for the colonists and early Americans, are set forth with pride.

One complaint about this book is its supposed political incorrectness, calling the Indians redskins, varmints, savages, and red dogs.  However, it is a historically correct picture of how many people felt during those days of often unprovoked Indian attacks on innocent settlers, many of whom just wanted to live in peace.  The white men didn’t do to the Indians anything different from some tribes of Indians had already been doing to other tribes for hundreds, maybe thousands, of previous years.   Another criticism is that it is a mixed bag of historical anecdotes that combines direct narrative, lengthy quotes, translated speeches, and an authenticated nugget or two of historical fact with conjecture, all masquerading as serious biography.  Hey, cut some slack here.  There is no legend in the book, ala “killed him a b’ar when he was only three” (as the song says about Davy Crockett).  If Boone’s life is presented in a folksy storytelling dialect like a tall-tale yarn, remember that it’s a book for kids, not a tome for scholars.  It should hold the interest of rough-and-tumble boys all right.

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Fitting It All Together: For Today’s Christian Woman Fulfilling Many Roles

21OzNayBpFL._BO1,204,203,200_

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Fitting It All Together: For Today’s Christian Woman Fulfilling Many Roles

Authors: Peggy Collins and Linda Olivet

Cover Illustrator: Michael Walker

Publisher: 21st Century Christian, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0890980583

ISBN-10: 0890980586

Related website(s): https://www.21stcc.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 teen girls and adult women

Rating: *** 3 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

Collins, Peggy, and Olivet, LindaFitting It All Together: For Today’s Christian Woman Fulfilling Many Roles (published in 1990 by 21st Century Christian, 2809 Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN  37204).  This book is intended for a ladies’ Bible study.  The authors’ reason for writing is evidently revealed in page iv where they note, “It is apparent to us that there are still negative attitudes about women working outside the home when they have children.”  The purpose of the book seems to be stated on page 4 where the authors say of the contemporary Christian woman, “She can be an effective Christian, wife, mother, homemaker, career woman, and all the other ‘people’ she may elect to be.”  Its theme appears to be found on page 21 where they write about Biblical guidelines, “They do not preclude the career for the Christian [woman], but rather help us keep a Christian perspective on how our energies can be divided among our responsibilities.”  There are thirteen chapters or lessons, each with thought questions at the end.  I realize that the subject of a wife and mother working outside the home has been controversial through the years, but the emphasis throughout this book is upon the “career woman,” i.e., the working wife and mother.  One of the authors is the Director of Instruction at a large city school system, and the other is an instructor of nursing at a major university’s nursing college, while both are also wives and mothers.

They cite a 1986 study by C. Collins about combining employment and motherhood which supposedly “shows that young children from infancy through the preschool years are not detrimentally affected by the mother’s working, as long as the daycare situation is satisfactory and the overall relationship between the mother and child is good.”  However, Ph.D. specialist in infant attachment Brenda Hunter in her seminal 1991 book Home By Choice: Facing the Effects of Mother’s Absence–Creating Emotional Security in Children presents the detailed research which demonstrates with overwhelming evidence to the contrary that children fare much better when mothers stay home and take care of them than when they are put in day care so the mothers can go back to work, leading to the conclusion that trying to make “quality time” for children simply cannot make up for the “quantity time” that they need with their mother.  Collins and Olivet affirm that “the woman described in Proverbs 31 obviously worked outside the home” and that “her success in her job outside the home was a part of the overall picture of her life as a successful woman.”  I would agree that the worthy woman did more than just wash dishes, launder clothes, mop floors etc..  But my reading of the chapter leads me to conclude that other work was more like a “home based business” rather than a job away from home in something like an office or factory.

The authors note, “Guilt is a major issue for working mothers” and give an example of a woman who was overwhelmed with guilt about being a working mother and “imposing”  on her husband to leave his work early to  watch the children for a period of time.  Their solution of how to deal with guilt is to decide whether it is “an unrealistic expectation which you or someone else has set for you,” and if “you handled things to the best of your abilities and made the wisest decision possible,” then “accept the fact that in carrying out all of the roles, everything cannot be perfect.”  My only response is to wonder that if a wife and mother feels guilt about leaving her children with someone else to go to work, then maybe there is a good reason for it.  For a Bible study class book, Fitting It All Together seems rather heavy on psychology and light on Scripture.  In fact, it almost feels as if the Scriptures cited are just thrown in to confirm what the “experts” say.   Now, I do not want to leave a totally negative impression about the book.  It does offer some good advice about making choices, time management, care of children, and dealing with changes.  Also, I do not believe that it is always necessarily sinful for a wife and mother to work outside the home.  But I do believe that the Scriptures teach that it is always best for a woman who has chosen marriage and motherhood to make the home the absolute center of her life and work.  This book offers precious little for such a woman.

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The Thing About Jellyfish

9780316380867

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Thing About Jellyfish

Author: Ali Benjamin

Illustrators: Eric Fan and Terry Fan

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, reprinted 2017

ISBN-13: 978-0316380867 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 9780316380867 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0316380843  Paperback

ISBN-10: 0316380843 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.lb-kids.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: Said to be for ages 10 – 13, but I would say 16 and up

Rating: * 1 star

(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

Benjamin, Ali. The Thing About Jellyfish (published in 2015 by Little Brown and Company, a division of the Hatchette Book Group Inc., 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10104).  Twelve year old Suzy Swanson lives in South Grove, MA, with her mother, a real estate salesperson.  Suzy’s parents are divorced, but she has regular contact with her father who lives nearby.  Franny Jackson was her best friend all through school until the end of sixth grade.  Earlier, when the two girls saw some snobby kids, Franny said that if she ever become like them Suzy was to remind her.  So, when Franny forsook her friend and joined the snobs, Suzy did “the Worst Thing” to remind her, and they parted enemies.  Now, as Suzy enters seventh grade at Eugene Field Memorial Middle School, Franny has died from a swimming accident while on vacation over the summer in Maryland.   But not satisfied with her mom’s explanation that “sometimes things just happen,’ Suzy knows that Franny was an excellent swimmer, much better than herself, so while on a field trip to an aquarium, Suzy begins to think that maybe Franny’s death was the result of a sting by an Irukandji jellyfish.

Suzy finds out about a jellyfish specialist named Dr. Jamie Seymour at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and secretly makes plans to go there so that she can discuss her theory with him and ask his opinion.  Does she make it to Australia?   If so, will she find the answers that she is seeking?  And just what was “the Worst Thing” that she did to Franny?   When I read the blurb on the back of this book, I thought that it sounded interesting.  Suzy Swanson “can’t understand how Franny Jackson’s lifetime could be cut so short—before Suzy could make up for the worst thing she’s ever done to her best friend.  When Suzy formulates a bold plan to travel across the globe—alone—to learn the truth about how her friend died, she discovers that the answers she most needs could be right in her own backyard.”  Books about the death of a friend can be helpful for children who are coping with that particular situation, though in my experience most modern ones tend to be somewhat morose and even a bit morbid because they approach the subject from a totally secular rather than a Biblical worldview.  References to evolution, global warming, and other doomsday environmentalism occur.  One scene includes a rather graphic description of killing a frog.

Whenever Suzy’s dad takes her out for their usual Saturday night dinner, he drinks Rolling Rock beer.  At the end Suzy goes to a school dance.  The language contains some euphemisms (heck, omigosh) and childish slang (poop, butt, pee, fart, and even piss).  In fact, Suzy gives a somewhat detailed picture of her going to the bathroom as she gets the urine needed for “the Worst Thing.”  Also, she steals money from both her mom and brother as well as her dad’s credit card number as she prepares for her trip.  And then Suzy’s adult brother Aaron is involved in a homosexual relationship with his boyfriend Rocco, and Suzy mentions seeing through the windshield of Aaron’s jeep a quick kiss between them before they back out of the driveway and drive to the movies.  This moves it from the category of a story that might have some benefit to propaganda for the “gay” agenda.  This book was a National Book Award Finalist and won some eleven other honors.  But, of course, the more children’s books portray homosexuality as normal, the more likely they are to win awards today.  Some might point to the educational value of Suzy as a great role model for scientific inquiry as a field of study, as well as emotional values of friendship and grief.  However with the themes of  death and despair, I found it depressing without much uplifting or redeeming material and feel that it is not appropriate for teens because of its unnecessary objectionable content about the brother having a boyfriend.

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