Category: Book Reports
Book Report: The Softwire – Tween and Teen Fantasy 0 comments

I read The Softwire because I got it free on my Kindle and wanted to see what our junior edition customers might be reading.
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The Softwire was a very interesting book that I enjoyed reading. The story is about J.T. Turnbull, who was born on a spaceship with many other children, after all their parents died because of a malfunction on the ship.
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They are traveling to the Rings of Orbis, the planet where their parents had promised to work. When they get to Orbis, the orphans find out not everyone is pleased they have arrived and they have to work as servants in a smelly factory.
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J.T. also discovers that he is a Softwire – an unusual person who can interact with computers without plugging in, he simply has to think about it in his mind and he is inside the computer. The central computer that controls everything on Orbis begins acting up and many people think J.T. is to blame and try to capture him. When J.T. was inside the computer, he saw a virus, but can it catch it in time?
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My favorite part about this book was how it made technology come alive and it showed how people, especially young people, interact with computers. I am anxious to read the other books to find out what happens on the other Rings of Orbis. You can get this book on your Kindle for free today! Always confirm the price as the book may not be free for long.
Click here to purchase Softwire

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Book Review: The Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers – Only $2.99 0 comments

Today we are very happy to introduce Dee, the young mother of Zack, age 5, and Missy, age 2. Dee and her children will be reviewing books appropriate for children their age. We look forward to their reviews in the weeks to come! Today, Dee, Zack, and Missy review The Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers .
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I absolutely love the idea of a Bible for young children. Timeless stories written to capture the attention of the kiddos is what it’s all about. Ever since my 5 year old Zack was a toddler, we’ve had a bedtime story time with him. The last story of the night is always with a biblical emphasis. So when we were given a copy of this book on Kindle, it fit in nicely to our “Bible Time” routine.
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If you are at all familiar with the Zondervan for kids books, the character illustrations are familiar, colorful and fun. On the Kindle, however, there’s a slight disappointment… no color! Illustrations just don’t capture the kiddo’s attention quite as well as they would’ve had Kindle been equipped with color. (Maybe that’s in the next upgrade? 😉 )
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The stories are very well told, and do a good job of simplifying the original text to children’s level. They are easily read out loud, and do not seem to lose much of the original story even though they are much condensed.
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A couple of technical aspects that I found slightly distracting, though Zack didn’t notice, was that since this is a book for Toddlers, there were some pages with only one sentence per non-illustrated page. Probably the same as there is in the print version, but having an entire electronic page of mostly nothing but “blank” is slightly disconcerting. Also, the order of the pictures was a bit confusing when reading straight through chapters. When turning pages in an actual book, having a picture from the next story on the next page makes sense. Not so much when you’re reading straight through on the Kindle, and suddenly, whoops! Where’d that picture come from? How does that relate to what we’re reading? Ohhhh… it’s for the next part… ok. 😉
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Despite Zack’s not exactly being a toddler anymore, he did enjoy the stories. He also enjoyed scrolling through the Kindle by himself and looking at all the pictures as they came up. The pictures are very well done and are plentiful, though we do miss the color on the Kindle. The stories went quick with him, but that may be due to his age. I believe this book would probably be best for children in the three to four year old age range. My two year old, Missy, was not very interested in the stories, perhaps due to the lack of colorful pictures to help capture her attention.
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The Beginner’s Bible for Toddler has 29 total stories (11 Old Testament; 18 New Testament) and an active table of contents for easy linking to a favorite story. If the Kindle for PC, tablet or phone applications are used for this book, the illustrations are in color. Today you can purchase this Bible for only $2.99.
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Click here to purchase The Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers

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Book Report: The Shape of Mercy 0 comments

The Shape of Mercy is a rare and enjoyable combination: a book that is both warmly familiar and enticingly fresh. It is one of my new favorites.
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The story begins with Lauren Durough, who has left a life of privilege to attend a state school and live in campus housing. Lauren answers a job post to help elderly librarian Abigail Boyles transcribe a family treasure – a 300-year-old diary written by Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
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The book intertwines the contemporary and historical stories. Author Susan Meissner deftly shifts between the stories, giving the focus just where you want. At first, Mercy’s story is much more intriguing. The journal accounts of the Puritan colonies brought me back to The Witch of Blackbird Pond – a book I haven’t read since middle school, when I loved it so much I read it several times over.
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Lauren’s relationship with her parents is strained by her guilt over their affluence. She enjoys losing herself in Mercy’s life, which unfolds throughout the book. But just as Mercy’s story is ending, Lauren’s takes off and walking the journey with her is thrilling and enlightening. Lauren discovers Abigail may be keeping her own secrets; she can’t figure out her cousin’s friend Raul; and most of all, she discovered who she could be in the shape of Mercy. An oh-so-subtle theme emerges to make the story linger long in your mind.
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This book is perfect for adult readers, but would also be appropriate for young adult and middle school audiences. I got it when it was offered free on Kindle. It’s now priced at $9.29.
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Click here to purchase The Shape of Mercy

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Book Report: The Unfinished Gift – Christmastime in 1943 0 comments

Traditionally, the Christmas holiday is a time of family and togetherness. Tragically, Christmas can also be a time of uncertainty and anxiety.
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Dan Walsh’s novel, The Unfinished Gift, is the story of Patrick, a seven-year-old boy whose mother has died in an automobile accident while his father is serving in the Army Air Corps in England during World War II. Christmas is just a few days away when the social worker is forced to leave Patrick with his only relative in Philadelphia – his estranged grandfather.
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While Patrick is a mature little boy with insecurities and fears of his own, his grandfather is a cantankerous, bitter old man who doesn’t want his grandson reminding him of his failures as a father to his only son, Patrick’s father Shawn.
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God, working through a neighbor, a box of belongings, an unlikely hero during a snowstorm, and an unfinished gift, draws the grandfather out of his self-imposed prison of despair.
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Mr. Walsh’s writing style is engaging; the story moves along at a good pace. He reminds us of the social issues in 1940s America; the cruelties of war; and that little boys can have a very strong faith in God. This book is available to download on your Kindle for only $4.69. You may also need a box of tissues.
Click here to purchase The Unfinished Gift

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