Return to Gehenna

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Return to Gehenna

Author: Bradley J. Knefelkamp 

Publisher: ‎ Independently published, 2022

ISBN-13: 979-8841411178

ISBN-10: 8841411178

Website(s): https://knefelkamp.wixsite.com/author (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 10-14

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.  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.  Return to Gehenna. (Published in 2022 by Riven Publishing).  Chanse and his twin sister Chelly, Drake and his sister Breena, and their friend Ricker have escaped from Gehenna, ruled by the cruel dictator Dymorius, where children are made slaves to work as ore diggers in the mines of Tartrus.  However, living in luxury with good King Artheos at Hamar, the twins and their friends can’t help but think about those still suffering under oppression in Gehenna. For their own individual reasons, they each decide that they need to go back and help others living under Dymorius, armed with gifts that Artheos bestows upon them for their quest.  Can they learn how to work together?  Will they be successful in achieving their goal?  Or do they get recaptured and taken back to the mines?

‏     Return to Gehenna is the second book in a series chronicling the events in the age between myth and legend.  The common euphemism “gee” is used occasionally, and one character smokes a pipe, but there is nothing that is really objectionable.  Return to Gehenna is a fast-paced story for middle grade and young teen readers full of adventure as it continues the activities of the five kids who escaped from the mines of Tartrus.  Yet it also has an underlying depiction of good versus evil with lessons about the importance of cooperation, humility, friendship, and courage.   The conclusion is satisfactory, but the last words in the book are, “To be continued….”

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Well Hung

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Well Hung

Author: Lauren Blakely

Cover Illustrator: Helen Williams

Publisher: NOOK Press, 2016

ISBN-13: 9781681017501

ISBN-10: 1681017501

Website(s): http://www.laurenblakely.com (author)

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: no one

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.  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

     Blakely, Lauren.  Well Hung (Published in 2016 by NOOK Press).  Wyatt Hammer is a carpenter who owns and runs a construction business.  His office manager is a beautiful woman named Natalie.  Based on his previous experience, Wyatt has one rule, which is never date a co-worker.   However, he begins to fall in love with Natalie, and his feelings seem to be reciprocated.  Then on a business trip to Las Vegas, they lose a contract, get drunk, and are married in a wedding chapel.  I picked up this book to see if modern romances are as raunchy as some say they are.  The answer is yes!  There actually is an interesting story lurking in the book, but Wyatt and Natalie fornicate before they are married, have sex as “husband and wife,” and even get it on while waiting for a divorce, all described in great pornographic detail. 

     One could have surmised the nature of the plot by its subtitle on the cover, “He knows how to use all his tools” and the drawing of a shirtless man with his hand on his crotch, or by the first couple of sentences in the introduction.  “Here’s what you need to know about me — I’m well-off, well-hung and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh—and I don’t mean at the size of his d*ck.”  Also, the conversations are filled with vulgar and obscene talk.  I would not recommend this book to anyone.

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Rusty at Ram’s Horn Ranch

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Rusty at Ram’s Horn Ranch

Author: Shannon Garst

Illustrator: Raymond Creekmore

Publisher: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1951

ISBN-13: 978-1-949171-80-8

ISBN-10: 1-949171-80-8

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:  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.  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

     Garst, Shannon.  Rusty at Ram’s Horn Ranch; (Published in ‏1951 by Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York City, NY). John David, twelve years old, is an orphan boy.  His mother had died before he was four.  Then a few years after that, a wild stallion had thrown his father, Tod David, and pawed him to death.  John was sent for a while to a boys’ home where his bright red hair, freckles, and stammering made him the object of merciless teasing.  Later, he lived with his father’s brother, Uncle Lon, who had a violent temper and mistreated the boy.  When Lon orders John to rebrand a stolen stallion, the youngster runs away with his horse Toby and comes to Ram’s Horn Ranch, a sheep farm in Colorado owned by Bruce and Melissa Leonard with their twin eleven year old children Ben and Ginger, where he calls himself David Jones, claims to be fifteen, and asks for a job.

      Despite his misgivings, Mr. Leonard hires John temporarily.  Nicknamed Rusty because of his hair and complexion, he befriends a stray black and white sheep dog which he names Pal. Rusty discovers that keeping sheep can be as exciting as herding cattle or breaking wild horses.  When some sheep are discovered killed, did Pal do it?  Will Rusty be allowed to stay with the Leonards?   And what happens when the ranch is hit by a strong blizzard?  Several common euphemisms (gee, darn, gosh, golly, doggone, dratted) occur but no actual cursing or swearing.  Every night when Rusty stretches out on his blankets, he prays for help to be good enough so that the Leonard family will keep him.  This heartwarming story is a good Western adventure, with an unusual locale.  It also has a lot of solid Western and sheep-raising detail.

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Pray Then Listen: A Heart-to-Heart with God

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Pray Then Listen: A Heart-to-Heart with God

Author: Teresa O’Driscoll 

Publisher: Circle Books, 2022

ISBN-13: 978-1789043693

ISBN-10: 1789043697

Website(s): http://www,teresaodriscoll.co.uk (author), http://www.circle-books.com (publisher)

Language level:  2 (the euphemism “gosh” is used several times)

(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: Primarily for 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: Religion

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.  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

     O’Driscoll, Teresa.  Pray Then Listen: A Heart-to-Heart with God (Published in 2022 by Circle Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd., No. 3 East St., Alresford, Hampshire, U.K. SO24 9EE).  The basic premise for this book is found at the beginning in the Introduction where the author writes, “God…said to me…’Write a book and show people how to speak to Me.’”  As with any human-authored work on a religious subject, people of different theological backgrounds may find statements, observations, and conclusions with which they disagree.  For example, the author says of God’s response to her prayers, “In some of the situations He spoke to me directly.”  Many sincere Bible believers, who pray fervently and are fully convinced that God hears and answers their prayers, do not share the thinking that God speaks directly to them.  Also she writes of certain answers to prayers that “I am, of course, describing miracles,” whereas, again, there are devout Christians who are firmly persuaded that God is still active in our lives today but not in a miraculous way.

     There seems to me to be a lot of emphasis on physical preparation for prayer.   Many of the meditations begin with instructions like this: “Sit with your back straight and close your eyes.  Exhale fully and take a slow in-breath.  Hold it for a few seconds and breathe out and feel tension leaving with it.  Then say the following prayer.”  As with many of the suggestions in the book, some may find these directions useful while others may not.  I do appreciate the author’s reaction to the question as to why bad things happen: “Many years ago, after going through an extremely testing time related to a close relative, I eventually made the decision to put that question aside….I don’t know why bad things happen.  But I decided to keep putting my trust in my loving Heavenly Father.”  I also applaud her stand on the Bible: “Although written thousands of years ago, the Bible, a collection of books, is as fresh and as relevant today as it was then.”  There is much interesting reading in this “prayer guide.”

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Cross Intents: The Birth

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Cross Intents: The Birth

Author: Scott R. Wells 

Illustrators: Debbie Lewis, Paul Elsner

Publisher: Illumify Media, 2021

ISBN-13: 978-1955043410

ISBN-10: 1955043418

Website(s): http://www.AuthorScottWells.com (author), http://www.IllumifyMedia.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 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)

Category: Historical 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.  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

     Wells,Scott R.  Cross Intents: The Birth (Published in 2021 by Illumify Media Global).   Elric is an angel captain, one of the heavenly hosts, who is tasked with the job of seeing that the Messiah is born by keeping a young betrothed couple whose names are Mary and Joseph safe.  However, there is also a multitude of demons under the direction of Marr, Satan’s right hand prince, who are trying to foil God’s plan. How will the King enter the world? When will He come?  And will He be able to deliver His people?  This very well written book is “fantasy” in the sense that the author, Scott Wells, wrote, “The primary angelic characters in this story are fictional, and the specific actions they carry out are the simple musings of a single man.”

     Yet, I hesitate to label it as just “fantasy” because it is based on and includes historical events.  So I have coined (I think) the category of “historical fantasy” for it.  The book is an amazingly marvelous story of the age old battle of good versus evil.  Here the physical and spiritual realms intertwine as angels and demons fight for the sake of their kingdoms in the most important warfare in history.  There is an appendix in the back with references to quoted passages of Scripture.  The Birth is Book 1 of the “Cross Intents” trilogy.  The second book, The Baptism, covers Jesus’s escape to Egypt and His childhood years.

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The Rape of the A.P.E. (American Puritan Ethic): The Official History of the Sex Revolution, 1945-1973

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Rape of the A.P.E. (American Puritan Ethic): The Official History of the Sex Revolution, 1945-1973

Author: Allan Sherman

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, republished 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1540710833

/?/ISBN-10: 1540710831

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:

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.  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

     Sherman,Allan. The Rape of the A.P.E. (American Puritan Ethic): The Official History of the Sex Revolution, 1945-1973 by (Published in 1973 by Playboy Press). The Rape of the A*P*E* was a book by Allan Sherman, published in July 1973 by Playboy Press, regarding sex and its historical repression and resurgence in the United States.  The “A.P.E.” in the title is a play on the terms “ape” and the “American Puritan Ethic.”  I had forgotten about this book and having read it until I was recently reminded of it by seeing the author on a couple of old What’s My Line television shows via You Tube.  I was in my early twenties, so it must have been some time around 1974 to 1980, when a friend recommended the book to me, saying that it was really funny.

     In fact, positive reviewers used such terms as “great laugh” and “hysterically funny” to describe it.  Admittedly, it does have its humorous moments, although much of them are risqué and raunchy.  But mostly it is just vulgar and obscene.  One could have guessed that this was so by noting the original publisher, Playboy Press.  Or it should have been determined from the subtitle, “The Obscening of America, an R.S.V.P. (Redeeming Social Value Pornography) Document.”  And the advertising blurb would have given this away.  “The Rape of the A*P*E* (American Puritan Ethic) is the ultimate sex book. It is the hilarious but true story of 27 salacious years of American history – the Sex Revolution – America’s longest and hottest war.”

     Just an example in Allen Sherman’s introduction: “There is a brief but telling instant when a boy is taking off a girl’s underpants, during which she must give her assistance; if she doesn’t lift her behind a split second, it is impossible. Ours was a nation of girls who would rather die than openly contribute to their own seduction. It is a tribute to the girls of 1940 that they learned how to lift their asses without seeming to be lifting their asses. Sometimes they did it with a ho-hum and a stretch, pretending to be utterly bored, meanwhile shifting their position just long enough for the expert panty snatcher to do his job. I have witnessed it many times, this fantastic arabesque girls do and every time I am overwhelmed with the sheer creative artistry of it. It belongs among the great moments of ballet.”  I cannot recommend this book—at all!

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Christian Crosswords: Biblical Crosswords and Word Puzzles

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Christian Crosswords: Biblical Crosswords and Word Puzzles

Author: Jenna Martel

Publisher: ‎ Independently published, 2022

ISBN-13: 979-8842183791

ISBN-10: 8842183791

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: 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.  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

     Martel, Jenna.  Christian Crosswords: Biblical Crosswords and Word Puzzles (Published in 2022 by Jenna Martel).   I love crossword puzzles.  Christian Crosswords by Jenna Martel is a book of Biblical crossword puzzles and word puzzles. I did all the crossword puzzles in it.  There are sixteen of them.  Most of the clues have a Scripture reference, and there is an appendix in the back for those which don’t.  If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ll get many of the clues right away.  I had to look up a few, but, hey, the whole point after all is to learn something new, isn’t it? 

    The remaining twenty pages are blank word puzzles to be filled in with any words you choose, connecting all the words.  An example is given.  This is a fun and challenging way to get to know the Word of God. This wonderful book would be useful for Sunday Schools, for students in faith based schools, and for people of all ages.  It is appropriate for ministers and everyone who loves the Word of God and puzzles.  Also, it might be of interest to Christian homeschooling parents.

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Voice in the Storm: A Novel in Parts

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Voice in the Storm: A Novel in Parts

Author: Eric Thomas Ruthford 

Publisher: Independently published, 2022

ISBN-13: 979-8826332511

ISBN-10: 8826332511

Website(s):  http://www.ericthomasruthford.com

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 13 – 17

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.  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

     Ruthford, Eric Thomas. Voice in the Storm: A Novel in Parts (Published in 2022 by Eric Thomas Ruthford). Middle schooler Helene is ready for a perfect summer with her friends Laura and Kim at Camp St. Innocent directed by Father Nektarii at Lake Antoine near Mt. Sawtooth for Eastern Orthodox kids. Church camp is her only time to see her friends from before her family’s move in the middle of seventh grade from Martin Lake a thousand miles away to Whitesburg, where the bullies and the cliques of her new school make her go from shy to terrified.  During the camp, a nearby forest fire threatens to force an evacuation. Helene puts her science skills to work to think of a way to escape the smoke. With the help of a meteorologist who has come to study the fire, she creates a plan.  Will camp be cancelled?  Is Helene’s plan a possible solution?  Can she even find her voice to convince the camp director that it could work?

     Actually, this book covers about three years and is divided into five sections.  Helene narrates the first section about the fire near the camp.  Laura narrates the second, a boy named Silouan the third, Kim the fourth, and Helene the fifth, all about various situations at camp and in their homes.  Along the way, the “d” and “h” words are used, the term “my God” is found as an exclamation, Helene calls Father Nektarii a bastard, and there are some near vulgarisms such as “smart assed” and “kick butt.”  Instances are found of flipping Silouan “the bird,” kissing, making out, and “chest-talking” including many mentions of “boobs.”  And a big knock-down, drag-out fight over a boy (Silouan) occurs.  To be realistic, these kinds of things do commonly happen, and many folks likely have no problem with them, but some parents might feel that some of them could be inappropriate for children on the lower end of the recommended reading level.

     Aside from this, the story-line is interesting and easy to follow, with a great deal of suspense in the last section.  Some of the kids are homeschooled.  The campers help their friends, grow in faith, make ketchup bottles explode, and try to avoid the director’s quirky punishments for breaking the camp’s no-kissing rule.  Author Eric Thomas Ruthford well exemplifies the old writers’ adage to write about things you know.  He was baptized an Orthodox Christian in 2001 and attended church summer camp.  Perhaps, Voice in the Storm will best appeal to Orthodox teens, but the observant non-Orthodox reader will learn a lot about Orthodox traditions, especially their music.  This is Book 1 of the “Camp St. Innocent” series.  Helene’s adventures will continue in A Voice Is Born.

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Radical Red

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Radical Red

Author: James Duffy 

Jacket Illustrator: Stephen Marchesi

Publisher: Atheneum Books, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0684195339

ISBN-10: 068419533X

Website(s): http://www.SimonSaysKids.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 ‏9 – 13; I would say more for ages 12-16.

Rating: **** 4 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.  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

     Duffy, James.  Radical Red (Published in 1993vby Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a division of Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).  It is 1894, and twelve-year-old Connor O’Shea lives in Albany, NY, with her Irish immigrant parents, father Donal who is a capitol policeman, and mother Nora who is a washer woman.  Susan B. Anthony is in town to convince the state constitutional convention that women should be entitled to vote.  Connor meets Miss Bertha Hall, one of “Aunt Susan’s girls,” becomes interested in the women’s suffrage movement, and even convinces her mother to get involved.  However, her father is quite reactionary, relying on his friend Senator Phelan to guide him, and becomes increasingly abusive when his wife and daughter disagree with his views.

     What happens between Connor and her father?  How does Mrs. O’Shea react?  And will women get the right to vote that year?  This is a gripping story of women’s rights.  A few terms like “O Lord” and “Good Lord” are used as interjections.  While I am sure that there were many antagonistic fathers and husbands like Donal, a subplot of unresolved family conflict is always a source of sadness.  As the reviewer for School Library Journal noted, an author’s note telling readers who was real and who was not, what Duffy’s sources were, and what happened afterward would be very helpful.  But the book does a good job of portraying what it was like to be an immigrant wife imprisoned in an arranged marriage far from home and what it was like to grow up female at the time.

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New Market Memories: Ohio Bicentennial Edition, 2003

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: New Market Memories: Ohio Bicentennial Edition, 2003

Editors: Willa B. Stanforth, Caroline B. Surber, and Gretchen Huffman

Illustrator: Mary Harmon Braun

Publisher: The New Market Historic Preservation Committee, 2003

ASIN: B09QRW6GL9

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 anyone

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: History

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.  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

     Stanforth, Willa B.; Surber, Caroline B.; and Huffman, GretchenNew Market Memories: Ohio Bicentennial Edition, 2003 (published in 2003 by The New Market Historic Preservation Committee).  I normally say that my hometown is Hillsboro, OH, the seat of Highland County, because that is where we went to church, where our Post Office was, where we did our shopping, where our telephone exchange was, where we found restaurants for the few times we ate out, and where I graduated from high school.  However, we did not live in town.  We lived out in the country near the small town of New Market, the first county seat, where I went to elementary school.  Several years ago, probably around 2003, we were visiting back in the area, and as a present my aunt handed me a $50.00 bill and told me to go into Hillsboro to a certain place where I was to ask for “the New Market book.”  I did and received a book.  Unfortunately, I later learned that what I had purchased was not “the New Market book” but “the Highland County book.”

     On a subsequent visit, either at my aunt’s home or at the Highland County District Library, I saw a copy of “the New Market book” and upon returning home tried to find a copy online.  No luck!  Fast forward.  We recently were back in Hillsboro for my fiftieth high school graduation class reunion.  We stopped at the library to kill some time, and I saw “the New Market book” again.  So, when we came home, I decided to try once again to locate a copy online.  And voila!  Lo and behold, I found one on Amazon. So I bought it (actually two were listed for sale).  On the title page, it says “A Pictorial and Historical collection of Information Regarding New Market, Ohio, Founded in 1798.”  Also, I had the good fortune that it was signed by two of the editors.  Many of the “Memories” reach back before my time, but there are still a lot of “Memories” for me. 

     There are pictures of John P. Walker, my father’s uncle who was school janitor for many years but had passed on before I started school, and Elsie Muhlbach, my piano teacher.  Information may be found about storekeepers Bert and Verdie Walker, distant relatives whom I never knew, and their son-in-law and daughter who followed them, Elmer and Mary Bloom, whom I did know.  It tells of Delmer and Jewell Walker, also distant relatives who were my school bus drivers, and their son Jim.  Biographies of my first grade teacher, Mae Fenner, and my sixth grade teacher, Elizabeth Saum, are included.  References occur to the McConnaughey family, relatives of my Grandmother Bertha McConnaughey Walker, whose ancestors also settled in New Market Township.  And there is a complete list of all students at New Market Elementary School for the 1962-1963 school year, with my name in the third grade and my brother Renn’s name in the first grade.  This book would have almost no meaning or value to anyone who has no connection to the little town of New Market in Highland County, OH.  But it is precious to me.  I’m so glad that I found New Market Memories.

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