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Reviews Written by
JenniferB "@" (Alberta, Canada)

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Close as a Breath
Close as a Breath
by Callie Grant
Edition: Board book
Offered by more_for_u
Price: CDN$ 8.10
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Story, Jan. 13 2016
This review is from: Close as a Breath (Board book)
Close as a Breath is an 'Absorb' board book title for 0-8 year olds in the Graham Blanchard series of books, indicating that the book is written to help children connect facts about God with their inner lives.

The story follows a father and daughter on an outdoor walk. The daughter asks a variety of simple questions and the father offers answers. He eventually offers that God is in all places and the closing scripture passage explains how God is made known through His creation.

The work is lushly illustrated with large, softly blended landscapes by Sarah Ackerley. The text by Callie Grant, while simple and child-appropriate, does seem a bit forced into a semi-repetitive, somewhat inconsistent rhyming scheme. This is a strong preference of mine, that text be either prose or clearly consistent poetry, and not somewhere in between.

I love the beautiful nature scenes and the theme of God being known through His creation. Ultimately, the message didn't seem to come all the way home for its intended age group (my 9-yo seems to resonate the most with it, but the text and format are overly simple for her).

I received a review copy of this title. All thoughts are my own.

Five Star 09735 Poly Wireless Composition Notebook, College Ruled, 7x5-Inch, 1-Subject, 100-Sheets, Assorted Colors
Five Star 09735 Poly Wireless Composition Notebook, College Ruled, 7x5-Inch, 1-Subject, 100-Sheets, Assorted Colors
Price: CDN$ 4.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my fave, Jan. 12 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I prefer the hardback composition books (iScholar), these are smaller, expensive, and the spine is only tape on plastic. Not the best.

Annoyingly, it doesn't lay very flat and if you try to fold it back to write on it in your hand, it doesn't go back into a flat shape when you close the book, it stays slightly open.

Fool Moon Rising
Fool Moon Rising
by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.26
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Idea, But..., Jan. 12 2016
This review is from: Fool Moon Rising (Hardcover)
Fool Moon Rising is a simple story about a cocky moon who brags about his brightness. Most if the book depicts the moon making all sorts of wild claims about his prowess. Near the book's end he comes to learn that his light is only a reflection of the sun's and from that point on, points to him as the source of his light.

As an adult, this parable is instantaneously understandable. Any goodness in us is due to God's glory and we should always point to Him. To children...this message is a bit more veiled and needs to be drawn out by the parent explicitly in order for children to understand it.

As a parent of seven, I must admit that the book fell a bit flat with its intended age-group here at our house. Reading it out loud, the text is child-appropriate, but the deeper message (while unarguably a good one) is a bit harder for kids to dig out. It's the type of book adults like the idea of, but the actual reception by children may be less than enthusiastic.

I received a copy if this title for review. All thoughts are my own.

Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century
Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century
by Hank Hanegraaff
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 10.53

4.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Refutal, Oct. 1 2015
The most sure vaccination against false teaching and error is a thorough familiarity with God's Word itself. Just as cashiers may recognize counterfeit cash by feel after handling so much of the real thing, so Christians also ought to handle God's word so often that false teachings ring hollow and sound off.

That said, Hanegraaff's work - Christianity in Crisis - clearly, and with incredible thoroughness, routs out the deep, underlying causes as to why so many teachers within the charismatic movement may reek of untruth. Tackling the word of faith/prosperity gospel movement specifically, Hanegraaf's expose lays bare the questionable teachings that many popular speakers spread.

Many have questioned the title - Christianity in Crisis - and indeed, it is a vague one. Is orthodox Christian doctrine, the faith once delivered to the saints, under attack only by this select group of false teachers? I am afraid not. Perhaps a more focused title would in fact be more fitted to the content found within this work's pages.

After thoroughly working through and dismantling flawed and dangerous doctrines category by category, the author then reorients readers to conservatively understood foundational, unifying elements of the Christian faith. While somewhat lengthy and filled with copious footnotes, appendices, and indexes, this work is essential reading to refute dangerous teachings, particularly if great specificity or detail is required to converse with loved ones treading dark paths.

May we also be as Bereans, comparing all teachings against the Word of Truth itself.

I received a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

The Traitor's Wife: A Novel
The Traitor's Wife: A Novel
by Kathleen Kent
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff for Fans, Oct. 1 2015
It must be terribly difficult to write a follow up novel to one as powerful as The Heretic's Daughter. What a task Kent set herself for all her future writing endeavours when she penned the unforgettable original.

Kent tackled the task with aplomb, creating a gritty love song of a prequel dedicated to exploring the characters of Martha and Thomas Carrier more fully. Rarely have I read such a realistic, unconventional, yet somehow satisfying courtship. (Readers may want to know that there is premarital intimacy.)

Filled with visceral descriptions, powerful characterization, and heady realism, this novel has much to offer devotees of the original who remain hungry for more of this stark, brutal, and somehow beautiful landscape.

I received an ARC. All thoughts are my own.

Bo's Cafe: A Novel
Bo's Cafe: A Novel
Offered by Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, Sept. 27 2015
I've mentioned before that teaching fiction isn't exactly my favorite genre. It takes a terribly talented author to pull it off without it feeling preachy. Teaching fiction so often ends up being neither great fiction nor great teaching. This proves true with Bo's Cafe.

Bo's Cafe makes no bones about being a platform for the authors belief in relationship based Christianity. I've got no issues there - living a transparent life in Christ with others is a beautiful, freeing thing.

What does ring false for me though, are the conversations that take place between the two male main characters. Now...I'm a woman, so maybe men do talk to each other this way. I've never ever seen it, though. A mentor dedicated to one on one meetings that he spends using a strange form of Socratic, psycho-babble questioning? Honestly, this incessant dialogue was very annoying. It certainly seemed more like talk therapy than it does encouraging and exhorting one another from the Word of God.

The takeaway? Get friends, get real. I'm not sure I needed an entire novel filled with quasi-spiritual, self-helpish talk to get there. In any case, I won't be taking another trip to Bo's Cafe anytime soon.

I received a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

Owen Fiddler
Owen Fiddler
Price: CDN$ 6.51

2.0 out of 5 stars Can't Recommend, Sept. 27 2015
This review is from: Owen Fiddler (Kindle Edition)
This is a tricky review to write, since I have corresponded with the author and respect him and his journey. I also read and enjoyed Marvin Wilson's autobiographical work, I Romanced the Stone. Owen Fiddler is another matter however.

Owen Fiddler is a man in need of a saviour. Self-serving and degenerate (as we all are before knowing Christ), he enjoys crawling around in the muck and mire. Or he thinks he does in any case.

One of my main dislikes of this title are about how Wilson chose to portray that degeneracy. I believe there are ways to clearly depict those sorts of actions (which are unsurprising in and of themselves) without writing them as though there were a boom-boom-wah-wah soundtrack playing. I found the writing mood distasteful and 'icky'. Of course, Fiddler IS icky, but I would prefer reading about him without being IMMERSED in his ick.

The theological perspective is also a bit dicey. I won't go into details, but the perspective is more of a Christian spiritualism as opposed to a more orthodox set up.

I continue to respect Wilson as an individual, and as a non-fiction writer. This work was a miss for me though.

I received a review copy, all thoughts are my own.

Hot Chocolate with God: Just Me & Who God Created Me to Be
Hot Chocolate with God: Just Me & Who God Created Me to Be
by Camryn Kelly
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Girly Delight, Sept. 26 2015
My Thoughts: From the moment my daughter (8) saw this book, she was SO excited! ”Wow, Mom, I think this book was actually written by these girls!!” We received a black and white ARC (review copy, all thoughts are my own), but the final copy must be even more spectacularly girly with all of the flowers and embellishments. This one is perfect for tweens.

Price: CDN$ 2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Too Scary, Sept. 26 2015
This review is from: Ghostwriter (Kindle Edition)
I've read a number of Thrasher's works, he spins tight, suspenseful tales. Ghostwriter, however, was gory, dark, and leaned dangerously towards spiritism (longing to communicate with the dead). Not my favorite work of his. Some scary stuff I can handle. This was a bit much - only buy this if you actually enjoy horror. I won't be keeping my copy.

This was a review copy. My opinions are fully my own.

Westcott Spring Assist Preschool Scissor (15483)
Westcott Spring Assist Preschool Scissor (15483)
2 used & new from CDN$ 4.81

2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Last, Sept. 19 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Only had this a few weeks before one of the blades popped off the plastic it was mounted on. Bad design.

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