Donald Drains the Swamp

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donald drains

Book: Donald Drains the Swamp

Author: Eric Metaxas

Illustrator: Tim Raglin

Publisher: Regnery Publishing, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1621579380

ISBN-10: 1621579387

Related website(s): http://www.regnery.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: All ages

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

Metaxas, Eric.  Donald Drains the Swamp (published in 2018 by Regnery Publishing, a division of Salem Media Group, 300 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, DC  20001).  The cave people need help. Their King has long forgotten all about them, thanks to the swamp creatures who surround the castle.  “They’re slippery!—and scaly!—and SLIMY!”  Donald is just another caveman. However, when the people ask for his help, he realizes there’s only one way to save the kingdom.  Donald Drains the Swamp is a kid’s book that is obviously written to appeal to adults as a whimsical parable for the current political climate.

At a recent family gathering, this book was given as a present, and we all read and liked it.  Of course, we were all die-hard conservatives.  I can imagine that Democrats, other Leftists, and all the “never-Trumpers” would despise the book, but I thought that it was cute and agree with another reviewer who wrote, “The book is perfect for kids, especially ones with parents exhibiting full blown TDS….This book simplifies and distills the truth of what has been happening behind the scenes that MSM have not covered truthfully the last 2 years with their 24/7 fake news assault.”

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Once in the Year: A Christmas Story

once-year

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Book: Once in the Year: A Christmas Story

Author: Elizabeth Yates

Illustrator: Nora Spicer Unwin

Publisher: Upper Room, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0835806268

ISBN-10: 083580626X

Language level: 1

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

Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12

Rating: ***** 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

Yates, Elizabeth.  Once in the Year: A Christmas Story (published in 1947 by Coward McCann Inc.; republished in 1991 by Upper Room Books, a division of The Upper Room, 1908 Grand Ave., P. O. Box 189, Nashville, TN  37202). Young Peter, perhaps around twelve years old, lives on a Vermont mountain farm with his father Andrew, his mother Martha, and their hired man Benj.  Peter hears his mother read the Christmas story, and tell him how she once went out on Christmas Eve and saw the forest in bloom.  She even has a faded flower from the experience tucked in her Bible.  Then Benj tells him about animals talking in Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born and how he heard the animals speak on Christmas Eve.  Se Peter determines to go to the barn at midnight and hear for himself.  What will happen?

Using characters from her 1944 Newbery Honor Book Mountain Born, and later found in its 1952 sequel, A Place for Peter, author Elizabeth Yates McGreal combines the retelling of two old and familiar traditional Christmas legends about the flowering forest and the barn animals talking at midnight in this lovely little Christmas story for children and adults.  It is illustrated with beautiful pen-and-ink drawings of cookies, candles, flowers, leaves, birds, and squirrels by Nora Spicer Unwin, which make the pages delightful to look at.  Those who object to any celebration or observance of Christmas will not care for this short book.  But for others this would a wonderful tale to read to children on Christmas Eve, and the adults will likely enjoy it as much as the kids.

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Lone Journey: The Life of Roger Williams

lone-journey

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Book: Lone Journey: The Life of Roger Williams

Author: Jeanette Eaton

Illustrator: Woodi Ishmael

Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company, republished in 1968

ISBN-13: 978-0152484729

ISBN-10: 0152484728

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 12-16

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

Eaton, Jeanette.  Lone Journey: The Life of Roger Williams (published in 1944 by Harcourt Brace and World Inc., 757 Third Ave., New York City, NY  10017). Roger Williams (1603-1683) was a Puritan minister, theologian, and author. Born in 1603 at London, England, to merchant tailor James Williams and his wife Alice, Williams was educated at Charterhouse School under the famous jurist Sir Edward Coke’s patronage, and also at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He took holy orders in the Church of England, but he became a Puritan at Cambridge. In 1629, he married Mary Bernard, the daughter of a notable Puritan preacher, and they emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630.  After moving to Salem then to Plymouth Colony, he was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for sedition and heresy and established the Providence Plantations in 1636, which later became the Colony of Rhode Island, as a refuge offering what he called “liberty of conscience.” Williams died in 1683 sometime between January and March and was buried on his own property in Providence.

I do not know how much is taught about Roger Williams in the usually dumbed down “social studies” curricula of today’s public schools, but he is an important figure in the history of our nation.  This biography of Williams written for children, was a Newbery Honor Book in 1945 and shows that three hundred years ago Roger Williams was fighting for many of the principles of democracy which are held dear by most Americans but threatened in our time. He was the one of the first Americans to demand that a government should be the instrument of the people, working for the greatest good of the greatest number. Also, he was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, welcoming early settlers of all religious faiths including Quakers and Jews, freedom of speech, fair dealings with American Indians, abolition of slavery, and the separation of church and state, being convinced that there was no scriptural basis for a state church.  Of course, he did not mean what modern “freedom from religion” advocates mean by that phrase.  He still believed that the moral principles of the Scriptures ought to inform the civil magistrates, but he simply felt that none of them had a warrant to promote or repress any religion.

Author Jeanette Eaton also won Newbery Honors for three other books, A Daughter of the Seine: The Life of Madame Roland (1930), Leader By Destiny: George Washington, Man and Patriot (1939), and Gandhi, Fighter Without a Sword (1951).  Lone Journey does a great job of describing pertinent events in the childhood and youth of Roger Williams which led him to his eventual place of influence in the colonies as a champion of religious freedom.  Part of the reason for his success and that of his colony was that he was an honest and genuine man, who dealt fairly with his peers and with the native tribes that surrounded him.   Time and again he risked his own life in his crusade against religious and racial intolerance, as he battled successfully for fairness and lack of prejudice in relations between people.  One need not agree with all aspects of Williams’s theology to understand and appreciate his place in America’s heritage.

Posted in biography, Newbery Honor Books, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Men’s Training Class

mens class

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Men’s Training Class

Author: Jarrod M. Jacobs

Publisher: Jacobs Publications, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1717185051

ISBN-10: 1717185053

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 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

Jacobs, Jarrod M.  Men’s Training Class (published in 2018 by Jacobs Publications, 5695 Caneyville Rd., Morgantown, KY  42261).  “When I was a lad,” I did not serve “a term as an office boy to an attorney’s firm.”  I did, however, participate in a number of “men’s training classes” conducted by the local congregation which my family attended.  The purpose of these special classes, usually held one night a week for six to eight weeks every few years, was to help men and boys, old and young, in developing their skills to lead and/or serve in the public worship of the church.  Topics covered normally included making announcements, leading singing, leading prayer, waiting on the Lord’s table, taking up the contribution, reading Scripture, giving a short talk (a.k.a. “extending the invitation”), and even preparing a sermon.  I found the information presented in those classes to be extremely useful. Through the years, I have not seen a lot of good material available to provide for this need.

Concerning this short, 41 page book, author Jarrod Jacobs says in his introduction, “The purpose of these lessons is to help men become confident in leading the congregation in the public worship of the church.”  There are six lessons.  After an opening chapter on stage fright, the subjects presented are reading Scripture, leading songs, offering prayer, the Lord’s supper and collection, and making a short talk.  The two greatest fears that appear in surveys of men are flying on a plane and speaking before an audience.  Since God wants us to worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24) and expects things to “be done decently and in order” (I Cor. 14:33), then, by implication, it is necessary for men to lead and help in conducting this worship.  Any male who has ever felt inadequate or uneasy about serving the church in a public manner should find this material very helpful and useful.

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The Crooked Cave Caper! And Other Exciting Stories

crooked cave

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Book: The Crooked Cave Caper! And Other Exciting Stories

Author: Hugh F. Pyle

Publisher: Sword of the Lord, republished 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0873981309

ISBN-10: 0873981308

Related website(s): http://www.swordofthelord.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 9 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

Pyle, Hugh F. The Crooked Cave Caper! And Other Exciting Stories (published in 1980 by Sword of the Lord Publishers, P. O. Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN  37133).  Said to be “actually 3 books in 1,” The Crooked Cave Caper! And Other Exciting Stories is really a volume of three connected children’s stories.  In “The Mill Corner’s Game,” Nick Nesbitt, age twelve, lives with his mother, father, and twin sister Kate on the edge of the village of Pineville, GA.  Nick is best friends with Pete Rainey, age eleven, who lives with his family on a farm outside of town.  Charlie Creighton, about the same age, moves with his family from Mississippi to the farm next to the Raineys.  To say the least, Pete and Charlie do not hit it off well, so Nick tries to make peace between them.  Can they all learn to get along so that they can play softball together against the Mill Corners team?

Then in “The Crooked Cave Caper!”, Mr. Andrews’s jewelry store in Pineville is robbed.  What do the three boys find on an adventuresome overnight camping trip to Crooked Cave that helps them to solve the crime?  Finally, in “Runaway Mountain,” Nick and his family go on a vacation trip to the mountains with another friend, Jody Miller, and his parents, sister Marge, and rambunctious little brother Denny (“Dennis the Menace”).  When Denny and another young boy, George Garrison, wander off and get lost on the mountain where there are wildcats and bears, Nick, Jody, their fathers, and a couple of rangers spend the night in the forest looking for the two.  Will they ever be found or does tragedy occur?

Woven into these chapters, which are intended to be both interesting and character-building, are warnings against the dangers of alcohol, atheism, permissive parenting, and rock music, along with encouragement for close family life, Biblical childrearing, church attendance, and prayer.  In addition, all through the book, great importance is placed upon becoming a Christian and seeking to live a godly life that will influence others for good.  Some people might feel that the author is overly “preachy” in his writing.  I for one didn’t mind this emphasis and enjoyed reading the stories, but it is certainly true that there is no effort to hide or even tone down the religious underpinnings of the plot.

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Life of Knowles Shaw, The Singing Evangelist

shaw

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Book: Life of Knowles Shaw, The Singing Evangelist

Author: William Baxter

Publisher: Cobb Publishing, republished 2017

ISBN-13: 978-1947622029

ISBN-10: 1947622029

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

Baxter, William.  Life of Knowles Shaw, The Singing Evangelist (published in 1879 by Central Book Concern, Cincinnati, OH; republished in 1972 by College Press, Joplin, MO).  Have you ever sung or at least heard the gospel song “Bringing in the Sheaves”?  The text was written and the original tune was composed both by Knowles Shaw was born in Ross Twp., Butler Co., OH, on Oct. 13, 1834, to Albin and Huldah Griffin Shaw. The family moved to Rush Co., IN, during his infancy. When he was twelve or thirteen, his father, who was a farmer and tanner and later a merchant, died and left him with the words, “Prepare to meet thy God.” For the next six years, he tried to help his widowed mother by working on farms and teaching school. However, his father had also left him with a violin, and his step-father taught him how to play it. It seemed that he had a natural musical genius and found that he could make more money with the violin, so he began to perform at community dances and soon started to drink with his friends. However, one night, while he was playing at a dance, his father’s dying words came back to his mind. He suddenly stopped playing and vowed that he would never again perform at a dance.

After hearing the gospel preached with power by Gabriel McDuffie and George Campbell, Shaw was overwhelmed by his conscience and meager knowledge of the scriptures. On Sept. 13, 1852, at about age eighteen, he was baptized into Christ in Mud Creek near Homer, IN (sometimes erroneously reported as being back in Ohio), and identified himself with the Big Flatrock church of Christ which met across the road from his farm. Many expected him to return shortly to the ways of the world, but he remained faithful. On Jan. 11, 1855, he married Martha Finley, and on the third Lord’s day of Oct., 1858, was invited to make his first talk to the people who had gathered for worship. Then 24 years of age, he did such an acceptable job that he was encouraged to preach regularly. Thus, he soon began to study the Bible with a determination to share the gospel to others. Becoming a preacher, he was so popular that he was not able to answer all the calls which came to him. For a while, he lived in Columbus, IN, and was minister with the Central Christian Church. In 1874, he became minister of a Christian Church in Chicago, IL, but soon resigned to go into full-time evangelistic work, and returned to make his home in Rushville, IN, before moving to Columbus, MS.  He combined hymn singing with his preaching, thus becoming known as “The Singing Evangelist.”

Over a period of twenty years, Shaw travelled north, south, east, and west, leading more than 20,000 persons to obey the gospel, sometimes 200 in one meeting. Also, he produced several hymns, for which he became known as “the singing evangelist.” Perhaps, his most famous is “Bringing In The Sheaves,” published in 1874. He also provided tunes for “We Saw Thee Not” and “Tarry With Me.” In addition, he compiled a number of Sunday school and revival songbooks, including Shining Pearls in 1868, Sparkling Jewels in 1871, The Golden Gate in 1874, The Gospel Trumpet in 1875, and The Morning Star in 1877, in which his hymn “I Am The Vine” was first published. Shaw’s last meeting was in Dallas, TX, a five-week effort with the Commerce St. church. Leaving by train for another meeting at McKinney, TX, he was killed instantly at the early age of 44 on June 7, 1878, when the train was derailed and the coach in which he was riding went over an embankment just two miles short of its destination.  This biography of Shaw by William Baxter was originally published in 1879 by the Central Book Concern of Cincinnati, OH.  It was republished in 1972 by College Press of Joplin, MO, as part of its Restoration Reprint Library series, and again in 2017 by Cobb Publishing.

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A Place for Peter

peter

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: A Place for Peter

Author: Elizabeth Yates

Illustrator: Nora S. Unwin

Publisher: JourneyForth, republished 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0890847480

ISBN-10: 0890847487

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 12-16

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

Yates, Elizabeth.  A Place for Peter (published in 1952 by Coward-McCann Inc. Publishers, New York City, NY).  Thirteen year old Peter lives with his father Andrew, his mother Martha, their elderly hired man Benj, and the family dog Shepherdess (Shep) on a Vermont mountain farm.  As often happens when a son reaches adolescence, Andrew doesn’t know whether to think of Peter as a man to be trusted or as just a boy, and a bit of tension arises between the two.  Then Martha receives a letter from her older brother Kenneth that her younger brother Leonard, recently married with a wife expecting a baby, had been seriously injured in an accident, and it was questionable if he would live, so she has to go away and try to help nurse him back to health.

With Martha gone and both Andrew and Benj having to continue the regular farm work, Peter must fill in for his mother in doing such tasks as tapping the sugar maples to make syrup and planting the garden in addition to his own chores.  Then Peter volunteers for the exceptionally hard job of clearing a path through the rough terrain in order to take their heifers for breeding on a neighbor’s farm.  Can he earn his doubting father’s trust by successfully completing these important tasks?  Or has he foolishly taken on too much?  And what will happen when he is bitten by a rattlesnake?  Mountain Born, a 1944 Newbery Honor Book, follows Peter’s growth from a little boy of six until he is twelve.  A Place for Peter picks up where the earlier novel left off.

This beautifully written story of a young man learning how to be responsible is a great book for the whole family.  Also, it is always nice to have children’s literature in which people openly express thanks to the Lord for the good blessings which they receive.  Author Elizabeth Yates’s style of writing gives the reader an engaging tale that contains gorgeous descriptions.  It is highly recommended as an enjoyable addition to any young person’s library.  There is another book about Peter and his family published in 1947 and entitled Once in the Year.  It is not really a sequel to either of the other ones but simply uses the same characters to combine a couple of traditional folk tales which Martha and Benj tell Peter to form a Christmas story.

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