Josie and the Digger’s Club #2: Case of the Missing Cats

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Josie and the Digger’s Club #2: Case of the Missing Cats

Author: Pamela Bush

Cover Illustrator: Darcy Richardson

Publisher: ‎ Independently published, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1731578686

ISBN-10: 1731578687

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

Language level: 1

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

Recommended reading level: Ages 10-14

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Mystery

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  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

     Bush, Pamela.  Josie and the Digger’s Club #2: Case of the Missing Cats (Published in 2018 by Pamela Bush).  After solving the case of the Stone Mansion, the Digger’s Club members, Josie Winnell, whose father is the local sheriff, Charlie Maxwell, Lily Spencer, and Amy Stone, are plunged right into another case that involves missing cats, who are being stolen by someone in their city of Paradise, Wisconsin.  The first “Missing Cat” poster, of a lost black and white cat, catches their attention. Just days later, when the third cat is reported missing, the Diggers get involved.  Soon, they narrow it down to two, seemingly unlikely, suspects.

     With his mind already made up, and not wanting to hear that everyone is “innocent until proven guilty,” Charlie breaks away from the other Diggers and secretly follows someone else who he believes is the real thief, namely fellow student August Bentley.   Can the cats be rescued? Is Charlie right? Will the real cat-nabber be caught before someone gets seriously hurt?  Not only does this story contain an intriguing mystery, but also the kids learn some important lessons and Biblical principles are encouraged.  Volume 3 is Case of the Stolen Medallion.

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The Glory Tent

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Glory Tent

Author: William Edmund Barrett

Jacket Illustrator: Burt Silverman

Publisher: Queens House, republished 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0892440269 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0892440260 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0380006496 Paperback

ISBN-10:‎ 0380006499 Paperback

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: 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: General 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

     Barrett, William Edmund.  The Glory Tent (Published in 1967 by Doubleday and Company, Garden City, NY).  Homer Smith, age 24, is a tall, young black man who took to the highway when he received his army discharge at Fort Lewis, WA.  He comes to Minerun, MO, where he sees signs announcing the one-week revival meeting with Wilbur Gillespie as evangelist and healer.  Nostalgia for his younger days makes Homer decide to stop, and he begins to participate in the set up by helping some boys put hymnals on the chairs.  But Gillespie has suddenly left the revival, and the woman in charge of the revival, Deborah Dallen, notices Homer and, after a conversation, talks him into replacing the preacher.  That night, a young white woman named Julia Kelvey, who is paralyzed and in a wheelchair, gets up and walks, claiming to have been healed.

     There is newspaper coverage of the event, and the next night a huge crowd appears.  In the hubbub that follows, Homer finds that he is attracted to Deborah. Has a miracle really occurred?  Can Homer overcome his doubts and continue with the revival?  And what happens between Homer and Deborah?  This is an odd little novellette dealing with faith, miracles, and realities. The phrase “To h*** with you!” is found once, and Homer smokes cigarettes.  Homer does get himself into a scrape, but his sense of honor makes him see a job through.  The book explores many aspects of revivals, personal relationships, healing, and ambitions.  Author William E. Barrett was a Catholic, but he has captured the Baptist evangelist tent revival method in The Glory Tent very well.  Homer Smith initially appeared in Lilies of the Field, which was made into a film. 

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Sugar Was My Best Food: Diabetes and Me

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Sugar Was My Best Food: Diabetes and Me

Authors: Carol Antoinette Peacock with Adair Gregory and Kyle Carney Gregory

Illustrator: Mary Jones

Publisher: San Val, republished 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0613280921

ISBN-10: 061328092X

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 – 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: 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.  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

     Peacock, Carol Antoinette, with Gregory, Adair, and Gregory, Kyle CarneySugar Was My Best Food: Diabetes and Me (Published in 1998 by Albert Whitney and Company, 6340 Oakton St., Morton Grove, IL  60053).  Co-author Adair Gregory is eleven years old, lives with his parents, older brother Stephen, younger brother Connor, baby brother Quinn, and pet dog Slugger in a town near Boston, MA, is tall and skinny, has blond hair, likes sports, and wants to be a pro-athlete when he grows up.  Two years earlier Adair was diagnosed with type I diabetes, and in this book he tells the story of how he became sick while visiting his uncle’s ranch in Wyoming, was told he had diabetes, and learned how to cope with the necessary changes in his life.  At first, Adair was rather upset, but little by little as he and his family began to manage his illness, things got better after a while.

     I am a diabetic, but I have a very mild case of Type 2, and it didn’t manifest itself until I was 59, so I didn’t go through what Adair experienced.   A couple of reviewers liked the book.  One called it a “Great book for giving support to kids newly diagnosed,” and the other wrote, “This book really gave an insight to my grandson about the illness, at a point where he understands what children with this disease go through.”  However, a critic said, “This book, written in 1998, is severely outdated. Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes has changed dramatically since this book was written….It may have been adequate for the time in which it was written, but I’m going to advocate that it be removed from circulation at our library. I shudder to think of a newly diagnosed child reading this.”

     With all the research going on today and the breakthroughs that have been achieved, I would assume that almost any book about a medical subject would probably be practically outdated as soon as it rolled off the presses.  And while Type 1 is a whole other ball game from Type 2, in general, there is no “one size fits all” way of treating diabetics, but rather treatments will vary for different people depending on the severity.  I’m sure that it could use some updating and modernization, but I still think that this is a good book to help children understand what diabetes is, what people with the disease experience, and how it is to be dealt with.  If nothing else, they will learn that you can’t catch diabetes from a diabetic.

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Outlander Chronicles, Book One: Phoenix

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Outlander Chronicles, Book One: Phoenix

Author: C. H. Cobb 

Illustrator: Dani Snell

Publisher: Doorway Press, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0984887507

ISBN-10: 0984887504

Website(s): http://www.chcobb.com (author), http://www.doorwaypress.com (publisher)

Language level: 2

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

Recommended reading level: Ages 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: Dystopian novel

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

     Cobb, C. H.   Outlander Chronicles, Book One: Phoenix (Published in 2011 by Doorway Press, Greenville, OH).  It is the year 2120, some eighty years after a smallpox pandemic, unleashed by Muslims, has reduced the global population to eight million, divided between Townies, who are trying just to survive, and Anarchs, who attack and kill Townies.  Jacen Chester, a 23 year old young man, lives in a dying community of Townies near the rusting ruins once known as Exton, PA, outside of Philadelphia.  After burying both of his parents, the last of his entire family and community, he decides that the time has come to replant civilization, dreaming of establishing an organized community (Phoenix) that will restart the arts and sciences, and rediscover the technology of the former world. He meets a mysterious wanderer, an older man named Hakim Abdul al Malik, who decides to help him accomplish his dream. Together the two gather a small community and set their sights on the empty interior of the continent in the ruins of Denver, Colorado.

     How can the group survive as it faces lethal attacks from without?  Will they stay together as they experience hatred and bitterness within?  What lessons do they learn about forgiveness and religious tolerance?  Author Chris Cobb seeks to incorporate a Biblically faithful worldview into everything that he does, including his writing.  Just from a literary standpoint, Phoenix is well written and exciting to read, but I especially appreciate the way in which Cobb embeds Biblical principles in the story line. Jacen is an atheist while Hakim, though an Arab, is a Christ believer.  It is Book 1 of the “Outlander Chronicles” and ends with the group near the ruins of Cedar Rapids, IA, with the announcement that “When spring finally arrived, the twenty-four souls of Phoenix would be but 800 miles from their destination.  But that’s another tale; maybe someday I’ll tell you about it.”  A dystopian novel suffused with hope, the book is suitable for high-school-age readers and older.

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Studying the Hymns

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Studying the Hymns

Author: Dennis Abernathy

Publisher: Faith and Facts Press, 2020

ISBN-13: 9781948973694

ISBN-10: 1948973693

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 everyone

Rating: ***** 5stars

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

Category: Nonfiction

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

     Abernathy, Dennis.  Studying the Hymns (Published in 2020 by Faith and Facts Press, 6530 Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN  46268).  Anyone who knows me knows that I love hymns.  I love singing them.  And I love studying about them.  For several years I have posted hymn studies to various e-mail lists and to my own Hymn Studies Blog at WordPress.  Dennis Abernathy, also a gospel preacher, labors with the White Oak Church of Christ in White Oak, TX, where he has been for around thirty years, and obviously has an interest quite similar to mine.  His book, Studying the Hymns, consists of twenty-six hymn studies based on sermons that were preached for the White Oak church and other churches.

     The chapters are arranged roughly in alphabetical order, beginning with “Abide With Me” and “Amazing Grace” through “My Jesus, I Love Thee” to “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” These have been well received and appreciated, and, hopefully, they will be beneficial toward spiritual growth and enhanced appreciation of the hymns which we sing. This book is written to help the reader appreciate, not just the tune of the hymn, but the meaning of the words.  Abernathy writes, “With that said, it is my prayer that this book will kindle a renewed appreciation for singing in worship as you offer God the sacrifice of praise made possible through His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.”

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Nightjohn

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Nightjohn

Author: Gary Paulsen 

Cover Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney

Publisher: Laurel Leaf, reprinted 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0785736561 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0785736565 Hardcover

ISBN-13:‎ 978-0440219361 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0440219361 Paperback

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 – 17

Rating: *** 3 stars

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

Category: Historical fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  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

     Paulsen, Gary.  Nightjohn (Published in 1993 by Delacorte Press, New York City, NY  10036; republished in 1995 by Laurel Leaf Books, an imprint of Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc., 1540 Broadway, New York City, NY  10036 ).  It is the 1850s, and Sarny is a female slave, about twelve years old, at the plantation of mean, old master Clel Waller and his wife Margaret.  Her birthing mammy had been sold when Sarny was four years old, and the girl is being raised by another slave, old Delie, whom she calls Mammy. Sarny first sees Nightjohn when he is brought to the plantation with a rope around his neck, his body covered in scars.  He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back to teach slaves reading.  Knowing that the penalty for reading is dismemberment, Sarny is still willing to take the risk to learn.

       When and how does Nightjohn do his teaching?  What happens when Waller finds Sarny making letters in the dirt?  Can Nightjohn escape in time?  Author Gary Paulsen’s novel is said to be a meticulously researched and historically accurate portrayal of a grim time in our nation’s past.  The slaves do believe in God, and old Delie prays frequently.  However, in addition to near vulgarisms such as “horse crap,” “wiping butts,” and the term “bastard,” the “d” and “h” words are used.  Sarney chews tobacco for her job of spitting on roses to kill the bugs, and she trades some of it to Nightjohn for the lessons.  The darkest aspect of the story is the references to “breeding slaves,” which amounts to the rape of children, so caution should be exercised in handing this book to kids below age 12.

     The biggest complaint which I saw about the book was by someone who wrote, “It is loaded with extreme historical inaccuracies, and makes slavemasters/overseers/drivers look like such cartoonish monsters that it actually makes the real sufferings of slaves unsympathetic.  Breeding is a myth created by abolitionists, and…white male on slave rape is apocryphal.”  Well, now.  It is true that not all slave owners were cruel monsters who treated their slaves inhumanely.  But it is documented that some of them were evil and that such practices did occur.  This book was made into a 1996 American television drama film.  And there is a sequel novel entitled Sarney.  Paulsen has also written three Newbery Honor Books, including Dog Song which I did not like, and Hatchet which I did like.

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First Snow

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: First Snow

Author: Helen Coutant 

Illustrator: Vo-Dinh

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974

ISBN-13: 9780394928319 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0394928318 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 9780394828312 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0394828313 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 5-10

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Children’s book

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  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

     Coutant, Helen.  First Snow (Publisher in 1974 by Borzoi Books, a division of Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York City, NY).  Lien, her parents, and her grandmother, live in a small New England town, having come from Vietnam.  They had arrived in summer when the new climate was hot and not that different from the heat of the tropics that they had always known.  But now it is December, and everyone is expecting the first snow, especially Lien who has never experienced snow.  However, the coming of cold weather causes Lien’s grandmother, who is already old and weak, to fall sick.  Finally, the doctor announces that Grandmother is dying.  

     When Lien asks her parents what that means, they don’t give her an answer but just pick her up and hold her.  Then, she decides to ask her grandmother what it means.  Can Grandmother use the first snow that the little Vietnamese girl has ever seen to illustrate what death means?   Will Lien come to understand how death can be accepted as a natural part of life?  First Snow explains dying in a gentle, beautiful way that toddlers and small children can relate to, and would be especially be useful for children who are losing a loved one.

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What’s Up with Cousin Stacy?

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: What’s Up with Cousin Stacy?

Author: Denise Shick

Illustrator: Stephanie Schulz

Publisher: Independently published, 2020

ISBN-13: 979-8689627861

ISBN-10: 8689627861

Website(s): http://www.livingstonesministry.org (publisher)

Language level: 1

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

Recommended reading level: Ages 5-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

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

Category: Children’s book

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  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

     Shick,Denise.  What’s Up with Cousin Stacy? (Published in ‏2020 by Living Stones Ministries). Kevin lives with his parents and younger sister Anne.  Kevin and Anne love to spend time with their older cousin Stacy, the daughter of their Aunt Marie. cStacy showed Kevin how to play baseball better and taught Anne how to play video games.  And she gives the best birthday presents.  But one day Kevin overhears a phone conversation between his mom and Stacy’s mom, both of whom are clearly hurt, and he wonders what Stacy has done to upset them.   Later, Kevin and Anne’s parents explain that Stacy says that she is “gay” because some male friends had mistreated her badly while a female friend was very kind to her, so she moved into the girlfriend’s apartment, and they want to get married.

     What should Kevin’s family do?  Will Stacy’s choices mean that his parents won’t allow Anne to play video games or Kevin to attend baseball games with her anymore?  Will Stacy even be welcome at his birthday party?  What’s Up with Cousin Stacy? explores one family’s response to the news of a loved one identifying as LGBTQ  and helps parents to navigate a difficult subject with young children. With his parents’ help, Kevin learns that love, honesty, and especially prayer are the best ways to navigate stressful situations. This well written book with good illustrations is a valuable tool for parents, ministers, and counselors who seek to demonstrate love and compassion as they help families process and respond to a loved one’s decision to identify as LGBTQ.

      In the back, there is a page of suggestions on what parents can do to help their children understand the news about a family member’s identifying as a homosexual or lesbian.  A plethora of books is available for children which are aimed at presenting a “positive” view of homosexuality under the guise of “tolerance” and “diversity” so as to desensitize kids to the subject and thus normalize the practice.  We need more books for children which present the Biblical view and thus give a proper Christian response for facing this sensitive situation with grace and truth.  In this very encouraging one, there is no name-calling or harsh condemnation, just an authentic and loving conversation between parents and children which explains how kids can love a “gay” family member yet stay faithful to God’s ways.

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The Stone Silenus

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Stone Silenus

Author: Jane Yolen 

Jacket Illustrator: Robert Marstall

Publisher: Philomel, 1984

ISBN-13: 978-0399209710

ISBN-10: 0399209719

Website(s): https://www.janeyolen.com/the-stone-silenus/ (book)

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: Mystery

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  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

     Yolen, Jane. The Stone Silenus (Published in 1984 by Philomel Books, a division of The Putnam Publishing Group, 51 Madison Ave., New York City, NY  10010).  Sixteen year old Melissa Stanhold lives in New York City, NY, with her mother Marya and younger sister Melanie, thirteen.  But they have an oceanside summer home where they often spend weekends in Montauk, NY, with a stone statue of Silenus, a mythological Greek satyr, sitting on the porch.  The girls’ father Joshua Stanhold, a famous poet and screen writer who identified with fauns and satyrs, had been found dead under mysterious circumstances in a Denver, CO, motel swimming pool while on a tour the year before. 

     In October, a year after Mr. Stanhope had died, the Stanhopes are spending a weekend in Montauk along with Joshua’s literary agent and executor Henry Marlow and his son Richie, and a strange young man about her own age appears to Melissa, seeming to be the reincarnation of her beloved father’s spirit.  He knows her father’s special pet name for her and other private aspects of Melissa’s relationship with her father.  Why, he even looks a little like Joshua when he was a teenager.   She thinks of him as a faun-boy and calls him Gabriel.  Just who is this person?  Is Melissa simply imagining him or dreaming about him?  Might he be a reincarnation of her father or maybe the stone Silenus come to life with Joshua’s spirit? 

     This is an odd but interesting story.  There are some bad language (the “d” word and “bastards”), a short reference to Melissa’s periods, some discussion of suicide (Melissa walks into the deep water to feel what it is like to drown, but Gabriel rescues her), talk about offering someone “a stiff drink,” and mention of reincarnation.  Marya and Henry announce their plans to get married later, but Melissa accidentally finds them in bed together one night.  The bottom line is that this is a book about a girl whose poet father committed suicide and how she comes to terms with it. Along the way there is a mystery.

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The Chosen Kids: Encounter at the Dunes

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Chosen Kids: Encounter at the Dunes

Author: R.M. Ruiz 

Cover Illustrator: Kim Spaunagle

Publisher: P3:5 Publishing

ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8985048919 Hardcover

ISBN-10: ‎ 8985048919 Hardcover

ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8985048902 Paperback

ISBN-13: ‎ 8985048902 Paperback

Website(s): http://www.TheChosenKids.com (series)

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: 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

     Ruiz, R.M.  The Chosen Kids: Encounter at the Dunes (Published in 2022 by P3:5 Publishing).  On the sunny coast of California, 11 (going on 12) year old booklover Caiden, his siblings, 15 year old big brother Caleb and 13 year old sister Ava, and their cousins, 16 year old Ella, 14 year old Raelyn, and 13 year old Victoria, all set off to The Dunes with their favorite Aunt Rosie (or Nina) after months of lockdown.  Caiden decides to leave his book at home for the trip and explore the beach, for once.  However, their fun-filled day is interrupted when a supernatural encounter with an angel sends the group on a secret mission to save the world from terrifying monsters with special objects powered by God that show them just how important each one of them is.

     Caiden wanted a fun adventure, not a dangerous quest, and would like to put it off for ten years—or at least a week.  Can the reluctant boy find his courage and rely on his faith in time? Will the chosen kids listen to the Lord and let Him guide them to victory before the enemy causes an untimely apocalypse? What would you do if you were just an ordinary kid one minute and tasked by God with saving His world the next?  Encounter at the Dunes is an easy-to-read, fun story of faith with relatable characters who must choose obedience over their fear. Readers will see examples of prayer, scripture, family love, and the strength of Jesus with humor throughout to keep it light.  This unique tale has an openly Christian theme but is not “preachy.”  It is Book 1 of “The Chosen Kids” series.  The adventure will continue with Encounter at Paradise coming in the spring of 2023.

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