The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin is a charming Christian fiction novel about love, sacrifice, and self-discovery. We follow Mia, a woman soon to be thirty, who has suffered through many losses in her life. After two broken engagements, Mia decides to forget about dating completely in order to focus on God and the abilities He’s gifted her with to be a nurse practitioner. Her ultimate goal would be to serve God by joining an organization that helps those in far-off countries who are in need of medical help. Mia doesn’t like surprises, which is why she’s caught off guard when she is suddenly invited to attend her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy’s, wedding in Las Vegas to a man Mia has yet to meet. Jake is slowly recovering from his recent injuries as a police officer, but the emotional wounds of losing his partner would take much more time to heal. After the terrible tragedy shakes him to his core he finds comfort in watching out for his partner’s young adult son, Sam, who’s recently asked Jake to be the best man at his wedding. Little does he know that the pretty woman he met at the diner would also be present for the wedding as the bride’s sister? With Jake and Mia’s lives slowly becoming entwined, they discover things not only about each other, but also about themselves, leading to healing and the hope of a new beginning of romance. I found this book utterly entertaining and charming. I have yet to find a more modern-day story with Christian values and lovable characters sprinkled throughout each page. It was a diverting experience to be so engaged with each character and their desires and fears. It is such a rarity to have this great a story with current problems and lovable characters to be based around Christian values from beginning to end. I highly recommend this rare gem to anyone with fiction-fever.
This book was given to me by Bethany Publishing in return for an honest book review. All opinions expressed in this review are my personal opinions and a positive book review was not required.
Bible Study for Busy Mamas – Child Training Boot Camp: A Thirty Day Bible Study
By Pam Forster
Understanding yourself and then your child is significant to creating an environment conducive to obedience. How many times has a parent been scolding their children only to imagine the scolding finger is really pointing right at them? I know this has happened to me before. But what can one do? Should they give up just because of your both wrong when conviction sets in? No! Connecting both parent and child with God’s truth is the answer. As a parent leading a strong-willed child, it is important to pray and take scriptures that apply to obedience and apply them to family life. It has been said that to be a good leader you must be a good follower, and in this case, Pam Forster has expressed it in a 30-day bible study, not for children but for parents! After she guides parents through her concepts on obedience she guides the parents in explaining God’s view on obedience to children on their level and through creative means.
Forster’s 30-day devotional is worth a couple of reads in order to not forget what is being taught as well as to receive God’s guidance and discernment every time focused prayer and scripture reading is exercised. She does encourage extensive study and personal notes through several topic searches. It is a blessing, through all the daily strife, that she can help a parent refocus through Bible study that guides parent/child relationships away from disobedience, bickering, unkind speech, and whining.
This book was free through a book review program in return for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own and a positive review is not required.
Writing Strands: Level 2
Writing Strands: Level 3
Writing Strands: Evaluating Writing
Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction
By Dave Marks
In this blog post, I am reviewing The Writing Strands Bundle: Basic Beginner Set from Masterbooks from New Leaf Publishing. The bundle came with a Level 2 and 3 Writing Strands book, Understand Fiction Reading Strands book, and Evaluating Writing.
In Level 2 and 3 Writing Strands, the books break into daily activities that create opportunities for students to write a sentence and develop more details throughout the following lessons. Sentence structure is taught and then through questioning it is developed. Some of the fundamental principles of Writing Strands include:
- Every person needs to learn to express ideas and feelings in writing.
- There is no one way right way to write anything.
- All student writing efforts are worthy of praise.
- All writing at any level is hard work.
The exercises, skill areas, and objectives are all laid out at the front of the book in order to plan lessons carefully and meaningfully. These are followed by a list of the specific writing strands and progression of writing difficulties, such as a creative writing strand, basic writing strand, descriptive writing strand, and organizational writing strand. The book lays out suggestions for guiding students in better writing. Finally, a list of mastery skills to keep up with the child’s progress.
Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction is just as thorough and descriptive in its layout. It instructs the teacher, student and parents to establish goals and objectives for reading and lays out a plan for acquiring prior knowledge of the reading, making sense of the reading, visualizing images while reading. On pages 12 and 13 the book describes a comprehensive list of common techniques for helping young children develop the ability to think and analyze what they hear and read. Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction also details a list of goals and objectives for ages seven and above as well as for ages twelve and above that includes literal recognition or recall and inference, evaluation and appreciation. Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction is so detailed that a strong foundation using this resource will create a student that is well prepared for an academic future as well as for a future full of love for literature.
Lastly, Writing Strands: Evaluating Writing, lends an example for parents and teachers to understand evaluation methods. It incorporates:
- Issues That Make Teaching Writing Hard
- How to Correct Problems in Writing
- What to Look for: Important Terms and Common Problems
- Student Writing, Comments by Parents, and Conversations with Dave
Dave Marks did an outstanding job! His teaching of writing and reading make it easier for those of us that are more of the “math and science” type of people. Not only did I find it useful for my classroom but I felt I was learning so much myself as I went through the books.
Click here for examples:
These books were sent to me as part of a blogging for books review system by Moms of Masterbooks reviews by New Leaf Publishing. All opinions expressed are my own and a positive review is not required.
Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program Nonfiction: Grade 5
Joyce L. VanTassel Baska, Ed. D. and Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D.
Students submerged into today’s educational system are confronted with all types of critical writing assessments. Students schooling for more than 12 years and preparing for college entrance exams need an easy to use reading comprehension program to practice their writing skills. “Jacobs Ladder Reading Comprehension Program targets are reading comprehension skills in high ability learners by moving students through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of texts using a field-tested method developed by the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary.” This type of inquiry process develops the reader and writer within every student, preparing a child for the future.
This book is divided into parts. Part I is the teacher’s guide. Part II includes reading and student ladder set with four sections divided into subjects: science, math, social studies and the arts. The third part is reading and student ladder sets for fiction and nonfiction comparisons. Lastly, the pre and post assessments with scoring rubrics, record keeping forms and standard alignments bring closure to the workbook.
This book was sent to me as part of books for blogging program by the Librarything.com. The opinions expressed are my own.
Second Chances: Finding Healing for Your Pain, Regaining Your Strength, Celebrating Your New Life by Pat Smith is like a GDO (Girls Day Out). While reading this book, I imagined myself listening to Pat tell me her stories friend to friend. The ability to write in this personable manner creates a connection between the author and reader like nothing else. Pat describes her heartaches, doubts, and failures as well as her successes and joys to make a complete circle of life.
Second Chances realistically includes the dramatic stories of several friends and acquaintances as she expresses God’s handy work for overcoming obstacles in life. She creates a safe haven where failure is okay and used as a step stool to future successes. Pat Smith invites you saying, “Join my journey through this book and read about turning out trials into triumphs our misery into ministry, and our passion into purpose.” and adds, “My prayer for every reader is that you can release any anger, hurt, pain or disappointment you carry so that you can receive your second chance.” What a blessing to find a friend in Pat through this written word. As she shares scripture, one can say she helps you find a friend in God as well.
This book is a great and easy read that will hardly let you put it down as it entangles you in the moment. Now that I am done reading it, I am excited about passing it on.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House.com for my honest opinion and review.
Buy here: Amazon.com
Biblical Principals of Work and Finance
Moneywise is a 3 DVD Series with 14 lessons on what God says about money. The creators of this DVD set introduce the series with several promises of exciting interactions and visuals within the 13 week series of Moneywise lessons. Do they deliver? Yes!
Chad Hovind approaches the lessons with vivid visuals and interesting historical content. As an educator, I enjoy the fact that he is not only including facts about how to organize finances but rather shared and integrated a Biblical view of managing money. Although the content may be difficult for uninterested students, it is full of valuable information supported on the web through Godenomics.com.
As he progresses through the lessons Hovind lays out one opportunity after another to create connections between the Bible and prosperity. He begins with, Godonomics-What The Almighty Says About The Almighty Dollar, continued with, Godonomics and the Marketplace-Whistle While You: Work, Profit, Lead, Rest, Give, and finishes with, Common Sense Godonomics and the Wisdom of Solomon: Whistle While You: Manage, Spend, Serve and Give Freely.
There is so much information in this series you will want to go over it more than once.
I was given a free copy of this product through MasterBooks.com in exchange for my honest opinion. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Book Review by LG
I shared Lee Ann Mancini’s children’s book, I’m Not Afraid!, with my students and they loved it. This book, illustrated by Dan Sharp, is a part of a series of award winning books about the Coral Hood Sea Kids and their adventures.
This adorable little book is full of great lessons! Based on Isaiah 28:9-10, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord…”, this book series teaches children valuable lessons about sharing, dealing with fears and more. A coworker and I shared this book with students and they were asked what their favorite parts were and this is what they said:
“My favorite part of the story is wen Suzie prays and trust God. My favorite character is Suzie!” Angel, 2nd grade
“My favorite character is Suzie. My favorite part is when she went on the roller coaster and when she prayed. I think it was very nice.” Jacqueline 4th grade
My favorite character is Rachel. She had already built up the faith so she wasn’t scared. Eden 3rd grade
“My favorite character is Suzie and I liked it when she prayed on the roller coaster so she wouldn’t get scared.” Josiah, 5th grade
These books are inspirational and create a platform for teachers and parents to open up a dialogue about what the child may be feeling about fear. These are not easy topics to introduce sometimes and having a friendly, non-invasive remedy to discuss the content can really help in discovering how some children may feel and help them realize the same about others.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”