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I'm a mommy, wife, chauffeur, zookeeper, reader and book reviewer

Friday, January 27, 2012

Christian contemporary Hardy Boys

Lost Island SmugglersLost Island Smugglers by Max Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lost Island Smugglers by Max Elliot Anderson is about Sam Cooper and his family’s latest move. Sam’s dad’s job has them moving frequently. While Sam has learned to adjust and makes friends quickly, it’s hard to leave relationships behind over and over. When the Cooper family visits a local church, Sam meets two boys who seem to know how to find all the excitement. Tony’s dad owns the marina and Tyler is Tony’s sidekick. After getting all three boys free scuba lessons, Tony borrows one of his dad’s boats so he and his friends can do some real scuba diving. The boys learn a lot about themselves as well as a few secrets of the island that someone else wants kept secret.

Growing up I loved reading Hardy Boys (preferred them over Nancy Drew) and this reminded me of a Christian contemporary version of Hardy Boys. There is definitely action, adventure and suspense for both boys and girls 8-12 years.

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A good read for horse crazy girls

Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders)Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana is about a 14 year-old named Kate McGregor who is trying to avoid her past and her Aunt Marion by getting a summer job. Unfortunately that job means having to deal with her past instead of ignoring it.

If you know a girl aged 8-12 who is crazy about horses, this book is definitely for her. Kate has to deal with all the typical things girls this age face—bullies, truth and lies, trust, and emotional roller coasters. Even as an adult I found myself laughing and crying.

*Note: there is one language issue toward the end. Anyone sensitive to this may want to preview before handing it off.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

My daughter and I both loved it!

There's a Spaceship in My Tree! (Star-fighters of Murphy Street)There's a Spaceship in My Tree! by Robert West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s a Spaceship in My Tree!: Episode I (Star-Fighters of Murphy Street) by Robert West is about a boy whose family moves from California to the Midwest and the adjustments he has to make. Everything is so different and he prays each night and wishes on a falling star that he can just go back “home.” As he meets a couple kids who also live on Murphy Street, he discovers that things are more different than he thought. In fact, they’re strange—including the spaceship-shaped treehouse.

West adds a new twist to Christian Sci-fi that I hadn’t seen much, if at all. It’s a fun middle-grade page-turner that I think both boys and girls will enjoy.

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Cute, fun read for 7-10 year-olds

The Chicken Pox Panic (Cul-de-sac Kids, #2)The Chicken Pox Panic by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chicken Pox Panic (Cul-de-Sac Kids #2) by Beverly Lewis is a cut story for 7-10 year old girls. Abby Hunter is focused on planning a special party for one of her adopted brother’s first birthday in the U.S. Then one of her friends begins to wonder if she is adopted. Abby worries that the special day will be ruined when the cake plan falls apart and chicken pox spreads through the neighborhood.

The Cul-de-Sac Kids books are Christian, but not preachy. They are a quick, fun read.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Similar to Chronicles of Narnia

EmberoksEmberoks by Andrew Duncan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emberoks by Andrew Duncan is about a thirteen year-old boy named Kristofer who is going on his first camping trip alone—his rite of passage to manhood. His night is interrupted by his grandfather getting sick, his brother and sister getting kidnapped and meeting Emberoks. It is really hard to describe an Emberok. Perhaps it is a mix of elf and gnome with an occasional giant.

Overall the story, plot, descriptions and characters are well-done. It is an exciting fantasy adventure that keeps you turning pages. Bible stories are sneaked in, in an interesting way. The metaphors and symbolism are not preachy. In my opinion, only one or two scenes are overdone. I think it was worth the money.

If you liked Chronicles of Narnia, you will probably enjoy this, though I would recommend it for older middle grade to young adult age.

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