Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

battle

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

Authors: Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

Cover Illustrator: Mark D. Ford

Publisher: WaterBrook, republished 2009

ISBN-13: 9780307457998

ISBN-10: 0307457998

Related website(s): http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com (publisher)

Language level: 1 (very frank but nothing profane, obscene, or vulgar)

(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: For teen boys

Rating: **** 4 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

     Arterburn, Stephen, and Stoeker, FredEvery Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation (published in 2002-2003 by WaterBrook Multnomah Press, 12265 Oracle Blvd. Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO  80921; an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York City, NY).  We live in a highly sex-saturated society which makes it very easy for just about anyone to fall into sexual sin.  To help people deal with this situation and the problems which it can cause, Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker first wrote Every Man’s Battle.  Then they wrote Every Young Man’s Battle.  Since then, Every Woman’s Battle and Every Young Woman’s Battle have been added to “The Every Man Series.”  I was given a copy of Every Young Man’s Battle to review as part of my research for developing some material to help teen boys and young men in maintaining sexual purity.  Can a young man escape the lure of sexual temptation in today’s world?   Surrounded by sex constantly–in movies, TV, video games, music, and the Internet, is it impossible to stay sexually pure?  How can men survive the relentless battle against the onslaught of lust?  Every Young Man’s Battle shows young men how to rise above today’s debased, self-seeking culture by examining God’s standard, training their eyes and mind, cleaning up their thought life, and developing a plan by exchanging shame and confusion for a positive, thriving relationship with Christ. It includes a comprehensive workbook for individual and group study, comes highly recommended, and has won a Gold Medallion Book Award.

The biggest complaint about the book is that the very graphic examples, explicit information, and suggestive language which it uses could cause more problems with lust than they might solve by introducing images, ideas, and thoughts to which a teen boy had not yet been and need not be exposed.  This is a real possibility for some, especially younger ones.  The authors do spend a lot of time talking about masturbation, proceeding on the belief that all masturbation is sinful or at least to be avoided because it falls into the category of having the “hint of sexual immorality.”  However, some criticisms are perhaps the result of misunderstandings. One person wrote that when one author describes his former sexual sins, “they are obviously ones that he remembers fondly.”  That is unfair; both authors speak of their memories with a very penitent attitude.  Another said, “The reader of the book is made to feel as though every young man is a sexual deviant.”  That is not true, but every young man has the potential of becoming a sexual deviant unless he learns better, and thus all young men need to practice self control.  Still another opined, “The point of saving one’s self sexually for marriage is presented poorly” and “at no point do the authors even mention marital sex as something that is wonderful or good.”  This also is just not so.  And one other claimed, “All of these accounts put blame on the man and only the man for the sexual sin.”  No, but the man and only the man is to blame for his part in sexual sin, regardless of the girl’s actions, and he is responsible for protecting the girl rather than exploiting her for his satisfaction.

In contrast, here is another view.  “I’ve seen a lot of knocks on here for the graphic nature of this book, but for me personally, reading it and applying the strategies and concepts to my own addiction have been life and soul saving. I appreciate that the authors don’t shy away from the graphic details because it shows just how nasty a porn addiction can become (and makes those of us who have gone to some really dark places not feel alienated and alone in the fight). I’m 30, and I could have used this book when I was a teenager. Why? Because they address the very topics in porn and masturbation that my dad was too bashful or naive to talk about. And I was not comfortable approaching him to talk about whether or not I had a problem….Parents, if you’re concerned that the content is inappropriate, read it for yourselves and talk to your son about the strategies.”  My friend Andy Diestelkamp had this to say: “Now, to be fair, I suspect these books may have been intended for men whose pornography issues are deep enough that such descriptions are no longer arousing to them.”  It has been suggested that this book may be more suited for older teens/early 20’s. To sum it all up, while one may not agree with every conclusion and observation in it, Every Young Man’s Battle might be helpful to a young man who is already deep into pornography, lust, and sexual sin but is perhaps not useful for one who has been reared in a more sheltered environment.  For the latter, recommendations include Pure Teen by John Thorington, Hard Core: Defeating Sexual Temptation with a Superior Satisfaction by Jason Hardin, Finally Free by Heath Lambert, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Josh Harris, and Fortify by the nonprofit group Fight the New Drug.

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Boy With a Pack

Boy_with_a_Pack_cover

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Boy With a Pack

Author: Stephen W. Meader

Illustrator: Edward Shenton

Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1939

ISBN-13: 978-0152112400

ISBN-10: 0152112405

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 13-18

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

Meader, Stephen W.  Boy With a Pack (published in 1939 by Harcourt Brace and World Inc., 757 Third Ave., New York City, NY  10017). It is 1837, and seventeen-year-old Bill Crawford, whose parents are dead, lives in Fairfield, NY, with his brother and sister-in-law Wash and Jenny.  Wash works in the local woolen mill, but Bill doesn’t want a job sweeping at the mill, and besides the mill isn’t hiring.  So, refusing to be licked by the hard times, he puts every cent that he owns into a tin trunk full of “Yankee notions” and sets out afoot from New Hampshire, crosses Vermont, ‘York State traveling the Erie Canal, and Pennsylvania, and tramps southward to the Ohio Country as a peddler.  Along the way, he acquires a dog named Jody, a mare named Martha, and the mare’s foal which he names Bub.

Bill also encounters Alonzo Peel, a crooked Vermont horse-dealer who nearly murdered Bill for his trade goods; Mary Ann Bennett, the cook aboard Buck Hoyle’s canal boat who goes off with Bill and is chased by Hoyle but then leaves Bill to flee to Ohio; and Banjo, an escaped slave who is being sought by his owner Ransome Cawley and whom Bill works with local Quakers to help escape to safety.  Can Bill ever find Mary Ann?  Does he decide to return home or stay in Ohio?  And will Cawley catch Bill with Banjo and shoot him?  Stephen W. Meader was a social worker and a prolific author of historical fiction adventure novels for young people, especially for teenage boys.

There are several common and colloquial euphemisms (golly, gosh, gee, darned, tarnation, by gum, gol-dinged) but no cursing or profanity.  Mention is made of smoking a pipe, chewing tobacco, and drinking beer.  However, the story, which was a 1940 Newbery Honor book, does an excellent job giving the reader an understanding of what life was like during our nation’s westward migration in the early nineteenth century, especially Bill’s time working on the Erie Canal, with the detailed descriptions of the way things worked, like the stalls in the bows, and how canal boats and their teams of horses were able to pass one another on the same towpath in both directions without getting tangled up.  Also, as a native Ohioan, I found that Meader’s descriptions of Ohio’s geography were extremely accurate.  It is a great book.

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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Franklin

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Author: Benjamin Franklin

Publisher: Dover Publications, republished 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0486290737

ISBN-10: 0486290735

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

Franklin, Benjamin.  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (first published in French in 1791, then in English in 1793; republished in 1907 by American Book Company, New York City, NY).  Everyone who is even remotely acquainted with American history, especially during the colonial and revolutionary eras, is familiar with Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).  He was a statesman who helped draft the Declaration of Independence and later was involved in negotiating the peace treaty with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War; an author; an inventor of bifocals, a stove that is still manufactured, a water-harmonica, and the lightning rod; a printer; and a scientist… Covering his life up to his prewar stay in London as representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly in the year 1757 where it ends uncompleted, this charming self-portrait recalls Franklin’s boyhood, his determination to achieve high moral standards, his work as a printer, experiments with electricity, political career, and experiences during the French and Indian War.  Blessed with enormous talents and the energy and ambition to go with them, Franklin was one of the most important figures in American history.  Related in an honest, open, unaffected style, this highly readable account offers a wonderfully intimate glimpse of the Founding Father sometimes called “the wisest American.” The work begins by detailing many of the personal aspects of his childhood at Boston, MA, including his contentious relationship with his brother James, from whom he would learn the printing business as an apprentice, and continues with his setting out on his own to Philadelphia, PA, where he ultimately would find great financial success in publishing the “Philadelphia Gazette” and “Poor Richard’s Almanac.”

Largely absent from the work is much discussion regarding his role in the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. Franklin wrote the book in three different settings from 1771 to 1790.  It is divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them. There are actual breaks in the narrative between the first three parts, but Part Three’s narrative continues into Part Four without an authorial break, only an editorial one.  Part One of the Autobiography is addressed to Franklin’s son William, at that time (1771) Royal Governor of New Jersey. The second part begins with two letters Franklin received in the early 1780s while in Paris, encouraging him to continue the Autobiography, of which both correspondents have read Part One. At Passy, a suburb of Paris, Franklin begins Part Two in 1784. Beginning in August 1788 when Franklin has returned to Philadelphia, the author writes Part Three.  Written sometime between November 1789 and Franklin’s death on April 17, 1790, Part Four is very brief.  The Autobiography remained unpublished during Franklin’s lifetime. In 1791, the first edition appeared, in French rather than English, as Franklin’s Mémoires published at Paris and containing only part one. This French translation was then retranslated into English at London in 1793. The first three parts of the Autobiography were first published together in English by Franklin’s grandson, William Temple Franklin, at London in 1818.  John Bigelow purchased the original manuscript in France and in 1868 published the most reliable text that had yet appeared.  Other than some references to drinking wine, from which Franklin usually abstained, there is nothing objectionable.

Franklin is sometimes held up by militant atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other disbelievers as an example of how one of our Founding Fathers could be a good moral person and a productive citizen without identifying as a Christian.  It is true that Franklin probably was not a “Christian,” at least an orthodox one, as that term is commonly used.  However, consider these quotes from his Autobiography.  Concerning belief in God, he wrote, “And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which led me to the means I used and gave them success” (p. 46).  After describing his acceptance of Deism at age fifteen and the ill effects that it had on his behavior, he said of his further consideration on the attributes of God, “And this persuasion, with the kind hand of Providence, or some guardian angel, or accidental favorable circumstances and situations, or all together, preserved me through this dangerous time of youth, and the hazardous situations I was sometimes in among strangers, remote from the eye and advice of my father, without any wilful gross immorality or injustice, that might have been expected from my want of religion” (p. 118).   And about religion in general, he noted, “I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; and though some of the dogmas of that persuasion, such as the eternal decrees of God, election, reprobation, etc., appeared to me unintelligible, others doubtful, and I early absented myself from the public assemblies of the sect, Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter….Though I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia” (pp. 149-150).  To call Franklin an “unbeliever” is simply wrong.

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Leader by Destiny: George Washington, Man and Patriot

LEader By Destiny

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Leader by Destiny: George Washington, Man and Patriot

Author: Jeanette Eaton

Illustrator: Jack Manley Rosé

Publisher: Harcourt Brace, 1938

ASIN: B0006AOB86

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 16 and up

Rating: **** 4 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.  Leader by Destiny: George Washington, Man and Patriot (published in 1938 by Harcourt Brace and Company Inc., New York City, NY).  Nearly every set of biographies for young people contains a volume on George Washington.  This biography of George Washington for young people by Jeanette Eaton, author of a previous biography of Madame Roland entitled Daughter of the Seine, is said to make “him a compelling and charming person as well as a great man.”   I wasn’t sure if any book about Washington could provide information about him that I didn’t already know, but this one certainly does. Eaton obviously thinks well of our first President but does not omit his flaws, pointing out that he was a slaveholder, made mistakes in judgment, lost more military battles than he won, and was beset by personal trials and exhaustion.  One reviewer noted, “Washington came off as a fallible human being who made an important contribution in the early nationhood of the United States.”

The first half of this very, very thorough account of nearly 400 pages (plus full index), which was a Newbery Honor recipient in 1939, is devoted to Washington’s childhood, youth, and early life up to the time of the American War for Independence.  His years as President are covered in the last two chapters.  While Washington was not known as a drinker, there are a number of references to drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages, as well as to using tobacco and dancing, all of which are probably historically accurate.  The “d” word is found a few times, and the term “God” is occasionally used as an exclamation, both primarily in conversation.  And Eaton doesn’t hesitate to express some very candid and often unflattering opinions of various Revolutionary War heroes.

Because Leader by Destiny, like many other nonfiction works, is somewhat novelized, much of the historical circumstance is explained in fictionalized dialogue.  Another reviewer noted that while it must be difficult to fill in the blanks where no written records exist, that didn’t stop the author from imagining all sorts of interesting subtext in the relationship between George Washington and (Mrs.) Sally Fairfax, the wife of his good friend and neighbor George Fairfax.  Although some of his letters might suggest that he was, or had earlier been, in love with her, this book is loaded with meaningful glances and romantic tension between the two of them that may or may not have actually happened.  So some of such details could be taken with a grain of salt.  At the same time, the book is impressive as it introduces notable figures of the time and makes known their perspective on the situations at hand.

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Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky, Book 1

51KAI+Kc49L._SY346_

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky, Book 1

Author: Kenneth Scott Sumerford

Publisher: Credo Christus Press, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-0999134931

ISBN-10: 0999134930

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:  Recommended for ages 16-90, but I would say adults only

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

Sumerford, Kenneth Scott.  Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky Book 1 (published in 2018 by Credo Christus Press).  Liberty Adair, a 28 year old woman living in Denton, TX, is recovering from her broken marriage to an adulterous preacher husband who was unfaithful to her with several different women.   She is a Christian but has questions about God, science, and her future.  One day she unexpectedly meets a college professor named Dr. Ernest Siegfried who is good-looking and available but an atheist who believes that modern science has replaced belief in God. He is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39. Liberty and Ernest struggle to find the answers by using science, the Bible, probabilities, and logic. Together they embark on a journey to discover the truth about their rocky future together, the evolution of life, intelligent design, and mysteries of the Divine.  Can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs?  Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator?  How does God interface with humans?  Author Kenneth Sumerford originally wrote Liberty: Out of a Clear, Blue Sky in 2017.  In 2018 the book was republished in two volumes with Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky as Book 1.

The story, which is about romance, evolution, intelligent design, philosophy, politics, and more, presents a basically conservative political viewpoint, with pro-second amendment and anti-homosexual agenda arguments.  As to language, besides some common euphemisms (e.g., heck) and childish slang (e.g., butt), Liberty uses the term “bastard” once but immediately apologizes for it.  There is no cursing or profanity.  Bible believers will appreciate the fact that evidence for intelligent design is woven into the romantic plot.  However, some would probably like to know that the general approach seems to be old earth creationism, with references like “the first four days or four epochs of creation.”  Also, it is frequently mentioned that nearly everyone in the story drinks wine and other alcoholic beverages—a lot, and the “paranormal” is evidently equated with the supernatural. The book is said to be “recommended for ages 16 to 90.”  However, there is a great deal of emphasis on sexuality and Ernest’s promiscuity, with several liaisons of Ernest, both before he met Liberty, as told in flashbacks, and even after they started dating, being depicted.

For example, one of Ernest’s early girlfriends named Susan was identified as being “hot in bed.”  When another former girlfriend named Wilda visits, she and Ernest “played on the bed and made love for almost an hour.”  A few days later the same two “lovers enjoyed the emotions and slow-paced sex for almost an hour.”  The descriptions are not necessarily vulgar or obscene, but some of them are rather frank and detailed.  In fact, on one occasion, after Ernest and Liberty go back to her house following a date, “They were back on the love couch in about two minutes.  They began a set of hugs and passionate kisses.  Their hands were roaming like playful puppies running through the new white snow.  Ten minutes later, they were down to their underwear.  Ernest had tossed away his pants, shirt and shoes; Liberty peeled off her black dress and was down to bra and hip-hugger, red panties.”  Thankfully, when Ernest suggests taking  it into the bedroom, Liberty resists the temptation and tells Ernest to leave.   But as he puts his clothes back on, he gloats that they made it to “second base” and expresses the hope that in a few weeks they “can go to third.”  Perhaps there may be a satisfactory resolution to all this in Book 2.  The ending certainly does leave the reader hanging.  “That same day Liberty was thinking about being married to Ernest but there were some obstacles to overcome during the next few months.”  If you are an adult and this kind of thing floats your boat, you may have at it.  However, I would not be comfortable suggesting this to a sixteen year old, or any teenager for that matter.

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Zeus and Roxanne

zeus

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Zeus and Roxanne

Author: Patricia Hermes

Publisher: Aladdin, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0671003708

ISBN-10: 0671003704

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 7-11

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

Hermes, Patricia.  Zeus and Roxanne (published in 1997 by Minstrel Paperbacks, an imprint of Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).  Zeus is a lovable, troublemaking mutt who is racing along the bay in Key West, FL.  He finds that he appears to be able to communicate with Roxanne, a lonely, formerly injured dolphin separated from her pod.  Zeus belongs to ten year old Jordan Barnett and his musician father Terry, who is unsuccessfully trying to write a rock opera.  Jordan’s mother has died.  The Barnetts have come to Key West for the summer and live across the street from Mary Beth Dunhill, a marine biologist, and her two daughters Nora, fourteen, and Judith, twelve.  The girls’ father has left and remarried.  It just so happens that Mary Beth is trying to get a grant to continue her study of Roxanne.  Zeus chases a cat into the Dunhills’ garden and then, noticing her photo of the same dolphin from earlier, follows Mary Beth to her workplace where she learns that Zeus and Roxanne can do “inter-species communication.”  She asks Jordan if she could borrow Zeus for her research on Roxanne.

Meanwhile, Terry begins to fall in love with Mary Beth as he manages to find inspiration for his music, while Jordan bonds with Judith and Nora. The three kids decide to turn two separate households into a single family.  But after seeing a photo of his late wife, Terry decides to pursue his original plan of traveling to another town to continue writing his music.  While staying at a hotel with his owners, Zeus runs away back to Mary Beth’s research center.  Her boss and rival, Claude Carver, who wants the research grant money to come to him and not Mary Beth, tells her that Roxanne was caught in an illegal fishing net and killed.  Then he captures Zeus to use as bait to lure out Roxanne, who is in fact alive.  When Mary Beth goes looking for the dolphin in a submersible, the propeller becomes tangled in Claude’s nets.  What happens to Mary Beth?  Will Zeus ever be found?  And can Roxanne ever be reunited with her pod?  Most often, there is first a book which someone then makes into a movie, usually not too well.  But this book is a novelization of a 1997 film by released MGM, directed by George T. Miller, and Steve Guttenberg and Kathleen Quinlan.

The comedy/adventure story generally has a feel-good, family-friendly plot line, but a few problems do occur that should be pointed out for concerned parents. There are some common euphemisms (e.g., gosh) and references to Terry and Mary Beth involved in slow dancing.   The film is rated PG because “some material may not be suitable for children.”  The rating doesn’t specify what that material is. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know what the language is like in it, but Terry and Mary Beth spend the night at a local beachside resort.  It is not said that they slept together, but it could be implied, and later Terry agrees to move into Mary Beth’s house with Jordan and Zeus.  The two do eventually get married, but apparently they have no qualms about living together beforehand.  It is little, subtle things like this which turn an otherwise good book or movie into propaganda for the sexual revolution.  People with discernment will beware.

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Hello, the Boat!

hello boat

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Hello, the Boat!

Author: Phyllis Crawford

Illustrator: Edward Laning

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 1938

ISBN-13: 9780030350351

ISBN-10: 0030350352

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 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

Crawford, Phyllis.  Hello, the Boat! (published in 1938 and republished in 1967 by Holt Rinehart and Winston Inc., 383 Madison Ave., New York City, NY  10017).  It is 1817, and the Doak family has left the farm in Virginia and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA.  There are father George, mother Biddy, sixteen year old daughter Susan, fourteen year old son Steve or Red, ten year old son David or Bub, and their two pointer dogs Brownie and Patch.  But Father wants to move further west to Cincinnati, OH, so he arranges with Mr. Riddle for the whole family to sail a store boat with pots and pans, hardware, bonnets, dry goods and Yankee notions down the Ohio River.  They should make enough money by stopping whenever settlers call “Hello, the boat!” and selling their wares along the way to buy a farm and build a new house near Cincinnati.  Mother, who was a teacher, will homeschool the children during their travels (the children read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Walter Scott’s Waverly, and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe).  While en route they are joined by George’s good friend known as Pappy.

Then as they get close to their destination, Pappy disappears and all the money in their till is missing.  How do they manage to survive when the river floods?  What happened to Pappy and the money?  Will they ever see him again?  And can they make a fresh start without funds?  This children’s historical novel by Phyllis Crawford, published in 1938, was a Newbery Honor recipient in 1939.  There are some colloquial euphemisms (tarnation, dang, blamed, confounded), a couple of references to drinking whiskey and rum, and a few instances of smoking a pipe.  However, the book combines accurate information about the time period and its tall tales with an adventuresome story that recreates the life of young people in that day.  The plot is exciting, the Doak family is charming, and there are interesting characters whom they meet on their journey.  It would make a great movie.

Posted in historical fiction, Newbery Honor Books, Uncategorized | Leave a comment