Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Hobbit Devotional

"Drama... Humor... Insight...
What More Could You Ask from a Book?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Storyline - Discover God's message and truth infussed in the beloved classic, The Hobbit, as Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarfs on their journey to reclame their treasure. Filled with humor and relevent lessons from the Bible, A Hobbit Devotional takes readers on a journey of faith while Bilbo goes on his adventure and discovers his own strength and faces his fears. With Bilbo and company as examples, readers get a chance to see how fantasy reflects their ralities as they learn important values from the Bible.

Author - Ed Strauss

Publisher - Barbour Books

Age Group - 14 or 15 and up

Personal Opinion - One insightful, enjoyable, fun read. This was such a great devotional. Each one was filled with truth, as well as some ocasional humor, and great conections to the Bible. Loved, and really appreciated, how it covered what was happening in The Hobbit after the introductory quote so it didn't require me going back and reading the book to understand everything. The Biblical conections were thought out, clear, and soul lifting as well as challenging me to think about my own life. I enjoyed each minute of the book and will have to pass it along to friends and family. Only one denominational difference but it was wonderful and it will sit proudly on my shelf.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saint Francis and the Nativity

"At that Moment
Brother Francis Laid a Figure of 
Baby Jesus in the Manger Bed."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Mario is a shepherd and loves animals which builds a friendship with Brother Francis. One day, Brother Francis tells Mario about how Jesus was born. Wishing to tell others about the great deed of Jesus being born in a stable, Brother Francis and Mario recreate that night in a cave with live animals for others to come and see, creating one of the most beloved decorations of today.

Author - Myrna A. Strasser

Illustrator -  Fausto Bianchi

Publisher - Zonderkids

Age Group - 6 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Mario comes to learn about Jesus through Brother Francis and comparing things he does for his sheep to what Jesus does for him. Brother Francis wants others to understand God's love.

Personal Opinion - What a great depiction of the beginning of one of the most popular traditions/decorations for Christmas, The Nativity Scene. The pictures were like stained glass and eye catching. Coming to know Jesus's love as Mario learned it and sharing it while assisting St. Francis was beautiful. St. Francis is one of my favorite saints so I love the fact that he started this tradition. This is a book I will have to share with my nephews soon. Suggestions at the end of the book to do with the family to acknowledge and understand the nativity scene were great and there are at least two I want to try. Would recommend this highly and it will sit on my shelf and be shared in years to come.

Video -

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Special Notes - There is also a book by the same author about the song Silent Night.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Late Post... Again :(

Welcome to Bookworm,

So sorry that my review is late once again. Finals and Christmas are catching up with me and keeping me from being very faithful to my reviews at the moment. But, finals are over and will have bit of a break until it starts up again so I should be able to prepare some reviews during this time.

At least one other Christmas review is coming up, one that was fun and I hope you like it. It is a children's book and depicts the creation of the nativity scene.

Still working on giveaways. I believe I have one planned for January (need to double check) and am thinking about hosting another at the same time. Still making decisions so any suggestions are welcome.

Anyways, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
and here is to receiving a good read this holiday
while celebrating the
birth of Jesus.

A Winter Dream

"The #1 Bestselling Master
Of the Holiday Novel 
Reimagines the Classic Story of
Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors,
Presenting An Inspiring Modern Story 
Of Family and Forgiveness."
Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms

Storyline - Joseph is one of twelve brothers, is the favorite of his father, and doing well in the family's advertising agency. Unfortunately, this doesn't sit well with his brother and the first chance they get they coerce him into leaving home and never coming back. Joseph is heart broken but tries to make the best of it. Soon he is rising up in his new job and falling for a beautiful and kind waitress, April. But she hides a past and his boss's fiance is a bit flirtatious. When things begin to fall apart, Joseph is left reeling and it seems he is about to sink to the bottom. But his dreams are yet to be realized. Based of the Bible story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.

Author - Richard Paul Evans

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - *Contains Spoilers* Joseph is angry at the situation but is willing to sacrifice for the ones he loves and keeps to his convictions even in the face of adversity (aka being tempted by another man's fiance). Joseph ultimately forgives and loves his family. April is from a polygamist colony and was treated unfairly. She is also very loving and sacrificial. About 2-3 swear words but this is better than some books I have read. The woman who tempted him tore open her dress and it mentions that he saw her under garments.

Personal Opinion - A pretty enjoyable read. I kept going back to it, wanting to know what would happen next even though I know the Bible story like the back of my hand. It is pretty accurate to the Biblical tale and how the author played with the names in keeping them accurate to the Bible story but believable for modern day was a fun, creative aspect to the story. They were quite fun actually, such as Timothy Ishmael, the names of the 12 sons (some the same, some different yet very similar), and Joseph Jacobson. It does require some knowledge of the original story but fun non the less. I also liked how the dreams where made for modern day and yet were accurate to the dreams Joseph had in the Bible. A couple of things don't sit well with me, though. First, very little to almost no mention of God throughout the entire book even though it is based of a Biblical story. The majority of God was a picture of Jesus hung in a girl's house as well as she once was mentioned as consulting her Bible and Joseph's father once mentioned "God's time." There were a couple of things I didn't completely understand after I finished as well so I'm still working through them. Might have to reread it but will save it for next year. The book does deliver what it advertises on the back, "An inspiring modern story of family and forgiveness" and I would like to add love and good coming from bad. Good in those aspects and fairly clean, just wish it had incorporated more of God in the story like in the Bible.

Video - This isn't a trailer but of the author talking about his book. Quite interesting.


Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher

Links - Learn more about the book and author here.

Special Notes - The author has written multiple Christmas novels based off Biblical stories.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paper Angels

 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Thomas's Christmas is looking bleak. Dealing with leaving his abuse father a year ago and bullies at his new school, Thomas tries to be positive and help his struggling family. But his mother signs him and his sister up for the Angel Tree program by the Salvation Army to receive gifts from complete strangers for Christmas because she can't even afford gifts and the issues with the bully escalate. What can one 16 year old do?

Kevin is watching the company he built coming down around him and the bills piling up. Not feeling much hope and not understanding why God is doing this to him, his wife insists on taking Angels from an Angel Tree but Kevin isn't so sure that is a good idea. As the days advance toward Christmas, will Kevin find the truth of what God is trying to tell him?

Author - Jimmy Wayne with Travis Thrasher

Publisher - Howard Books; A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc

Age Group - 14-15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Thomas struggles with a bully at school and his family not having money, yet he is able to over come that and see others who need as well. Kevin doesn't understand why God is letting his business fail but finds the truth God is trying to share.

Personal Opinion - I was first interested in this book because I was familiar with the song of the same name by artist who is also the writer of this book. Beautiful song, highly recommend listening to it. Anyways, this book was beautifully told of what was really important, not only during Christmas, but all year around. God was a big character throughout and the characters were developed realistically as well as having believable stories of heart ache but ending with hope. Both the main characters went on a journey with God, seeing things for what they were and handling their situations honorably. They both made positive difference in their lives and other's. I enjoyed it and was engaged when I reading but part of me thought it could have gone a bit deeper into the characters. It could also be a bit slow at times. But it was still good, filled with reality yet hope as well as reminding what was really important and to trust in God.

Video - This is the music video "Paper Angels" performed by Jimmy Wayne.


Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Links - Learn more about the book and author here.

Special Notes - The book is based off Jimmy Wayne's experience with the Angel Tree Program through the Salvation Army. I bet the song is too.

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