Friday, July 26, 2019

"Kate and the Spies" by JoAnn A. Grote


About this book:

  “Time Period:  1775 
  When Kate Milton and her cousin happen across the Boston Tea Party, they unwittingly step into the midst of the American Revolution. The eleven-year-old girl finds herself pulled deeper into the conflict by members of her own family-by those who support the Patriot's revolutionary cause and those who believe the colonies should submit to the King in England. When her cousin begins to spy for the Patriots, what should she do? Kate and the Spies uses actual historical events to tell a compelling fictional story-of a girl who must determine the right course of action in a confused and difficult time.”


Series: Book #6 in the “Sisters in Time” series. Reviews of #1, #2, #3, #4 Here, and #5 Here!


Spiritual Content- Mentions of God & Jesus; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of churches, church going, pastors, sermons, & prayer services; A few mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; A couple mentions of Christians; A couple mentions of Easter; A mention of a blessing.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: two ‘stupid’s;  Many mentions of deaths/murders, gunshots, shooting people, firing squads, fighting, violence, riots, & wars (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of stealing, thieves, vandalism, arrests, & prison; Mentions of the Boston Massacre; Mentions of deaths & treason; Mentions of threats, threats of hanging people, pretending to hang others, & fires; Mentions of blood/bleeding, bruises, injuries, & doctors fixing those injuries (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of mean boys throwing rocks at a dog because of its name (barely-above-not-detailed, the dog ends up with a broken leg, but is otherwise fine); A few mentions of a cut-up snake; A couple mentions of taverns; A couple mentions of jealousy.


Sexual Content- N/A.

-Kate Milton, age 11
                                P.O.V. of Kate
                                             Set in 1773-1775
                                                        141 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
(*Note: A dog is injured in this book, so sensitive animal lovers might avoid this one.)
One thing I’ve noticed quickly when reading this series is that while the books are not technically connected, the characters all feel familiar—like you’ve seen or heard about them before. In this case, I’m going to say that’s not a good thing, because it can be confusing. In the prior book, we meet a young girl whose father has a print shop, a cousin who is the daughter of a doctor and is set in the Boston Tea party time period. Now, in this book, we meet a girl who is the daughter of a doctor, has an uncle who owns a print shop, and is set in the Boston Tea party time period. Do you see how it can be confusing? None of the names match up, but because it feels similar to the reader, it feels like a bit of déjà vu.
With this book, I truly didn’t expect much in terms of enjoyment, and, unfortunately, those thoughts ended up being true. I think if this was a childhood favorite series, I would be a bit kinder to it, but since it’s my first time reading the series, I feel a bit let down. I’m not in the target market, however, for this series. I can see homeschooling families use this series to expand upon different time periods, but I don’t think I particularly like this series.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

Friday, July 19, 2019

"Yours Truly, Thomas" by Rachel Fordham


About this book:

  “For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.
  Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.
  When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.”


Series: Connected to “The Hope of Azure Springs”.


Spiritual Content- A couple Scriptures are read; Talks about God; ‘H’s are not capitalized when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; Mentions of blessings; A few of churches & clergymen; A few mentions of sins;
             *Note: A few mentions of evil men.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: two ‘blasted’s; A mention of a curse (said, not written); Some eye rolling; A fire, smoke, & passing out (barely-above-not-detailed); Punching a man after he shared rude comments; Mentions of fires & death; Mentions of a hostage situation, guns being aimed/shot to threaten others, & a death; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, drunks, & saloons; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of hitting a person; A few mentions of lies & lying; A couple mentions of gambling; A couple mentions of tobacco.


Sexual Content- two fingers kisses, three hand kisses, a nose kiss, three cheek kisses, four forehead/head kisses, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, and two semi-detailed kisses; Touches, Embraces, Dancing, & Nearness (barely-above-not-detailed); Wanting to touch & dance; Noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of saloon girls & men making comments about them; Mentions of romantic & mushy letters from lovers; Mentions of kisses & seeing a couple kiss; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of having someone warm in bed with you on cold nights; A couple mentions of blushes; A mention of a wedding night; A mention of flirting; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
             *Note: A couple mentions of being womanly & wearing a dress that fits each curve; A mention of animal husbandry.

-Penny Ercanbeck, age 22
-Thomas Conner
                                P.O.V. switches between them
                                           Set in 1883
                                                        309 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
One word to describe this book: sweet.
Three words to describe this book: sweet, sensitive, and caring.
Rachel Fordham became an author to watch in my book after reading and truly enjoying her debut novel, “The Hope of Azure Springs”. While I’d say I still enjoyed that novel a bit more than “Yours Truly, Thomas”, this new novel was still a good read.
Penny completely won me over within the beginning pages. Her caring and sensitive soul is something I relate to in more ways than one. I loved seeing those traits in a Christian Fiction book. Thomas was a good hero as well, but I don’t believe I connected with him as much as I did with Penny. I only have two things that I wasn’t the happiest with, though: How short this book is and that there were a few too many convenient parts that happened too quickly. It was still a sweet book and I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from Azure Springs again.


See y’all on Friday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Revell) for this honest review.

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Missing Pages" by Vera Dodge


About this book:

  “It’s Independence Day, and Ivy Bay is decked out for the holiday. Mary is enjoying the annual Fourth of July parade until the July Queen, a local high school student named Amanda Branson, disappears from her float in the middle of the festivities. The police immediately begin searching for the missing girl, but she seems to have vanished without a trace. Deepening the mystery, Mary thinks she saw Amanda at the docks shortly after the parade. She can’t be sure it was really Amanda, though, so Chief McArthur won’t listen to her.
  Every day that passes makes it less likely that Amanda is unharmed, but Mary is determined to bring her home safely. Then her investigation reveals a startling possibility: Does Mary’s granddaughter Daisy hold the key to finding Amanda?”


Series: Book #8 in the “Secrets of Mary’s Bookshop” series. Review of Book #1 Here!, #2 Here!, #3 Here!, #4 Here!, #5 Here!, #6 Here!, and #7 Here!


Spiritual Content- 1 Corinthians 4:21 at the end in the bonus pages; Prayers; Going to church; Talks about God & praying; ‘H’s are capitalized when referring to God; Mentions of God, trusting Him, & thanking Him; Mentions of prayers, praying, & prayer meetings; Mentions of churches & church going.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: two ‘oh my gosh’s and five ‘stupid’s; All about mentions of a girl’s disappearance & other disappearances/abductions; Mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of a husband leaving his family; A few mentions of lying & lies; A couple mentions of stealing & a burglar; A couple mentions of gossip;
             *Note: Mentions of social media; Mentions of Disney.


Sexual Content- Mentions of boys, cute boys, dating, girlfriends/boyfriends, & cheating; A few mentions of hand-holding.

-Mary Fisher
                                P.O.V. of Mary
                                         263 pages

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Pre Teens-

New Teens-

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-

My personal Rating-

While I’ve read quite a few books dealing with disappearances, this one stood out from the rest due to the way it was written. A teen girl’s disappearance is definitely a serious and time-sensitive topic, but this book felt a little more laid back. It honestly was nice to not have my heart racing in suspense over what would happen next. It was a festive story, but not my favorite in the series.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.