Biblical Fiction for Young Readers {Homeschool Review Crew}

Biblical Fiction for Young Readers

Homeschool Review Crew

Here’s our story.  We received a new review package in the mail.  I pulled out two books.  And then, my hands were mysteriously empty.  That is the story of how quickly books disappear in our house.  It also is the story of how good these books are because they still haven’t surfaced as they make their rounds through our house of readers.  I’m always pleased when I can find Biblical fiction for young readers to introduce to their hungry minds.

WorthyKids
What books you ask?  The first two books in The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls series from WorthyKids/Ideals.  We received titles one and two which are The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2).

About the Series

This new series is geared towards kids ages 6-9 which includes four of the kids in my house.  Now, that is the recommended age but my twelve year olds and my ten year olds read and enjoyed these books as well.  They also make wonderful read alouds for your homeschool as well. Biblical fiction for young readers is hard to come by and I was very excited to be asked to be on this review.  In fact, now I’m not so sure we should have because my kids want the other books today!  Or actually they wanted them as soon as they finished book two which was the same day as our package arrived with my oldest.

WorthyKids/Ideals might be a familiar company to you if you enjoy the children’s favorites of VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears.  We love both of these series and have several of their books on our shelves.  This new series follows the same vein wanting to expand on your child’s faith and knowledge of the Bible.  While doing this levels of mystery and intrigue are weaved throughout to make your child want to read on and learn more.  Books like this are hard to find in the library so I love to add them to our shelves.  We call them Biblical fiction for young readers.  Christian fiction is another popular genre but it’s more for older teens and adults in my opinion.

The Author

M. J. Thomas is the author who penned this new series.  Though I’m not sure that he wrote them with pen and paper first or if he just typed them.  But I’m a fan of pen and paper and like to think that’s how it was written. When Thomas was looking for good Biblical fiction for young readers to have in his own home he came up short.  And thus the series was born!  Main characters in this series are Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog.  Not surprisingly these are characters in his real life as well.  Peter is his son, Mary his niece, and Hank is his dog.  I personally love learning how books come to be and would love to find out more about how his mind came up with this great story line.

Book One

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book one finds our main characters Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog staying with their Great Uncle Solomon who happens to be an archaeologist.  Here they discover ancient scrolls that have magical powers to transport them back back back into time.  So far back in time in fact that it is truly the Beginning of time.  Here they witness the creation of the world.   But it’s not all fun and games as they must solve a mystery or they will not be allowed to return to present time.  While learning about history can be fun getting stuck there forever would not be.  As they rush around to discover the answer they get to meet some interesting characters in history including that dreaded snake.  Other fun and interesting characters are their fun rhino friends who offer rides and even the angel Michael who gives them a seven day timeline before they’re stuck forever.

My kids were spellbound.  My older kids read this book in a matter of an hour or two each and had read both books before the day was up.  They then of course were begging for the other books which have not been released yet.  On our amazon waitlist they go!

Book Two

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book two follows the storyline of book one in that more ancient scrolls are found that transport our trio back in time with another mystery to solve.  This time they are taken back to the time of Noah’s Ark.  They must find Noah and help with the completion of the ark.  Along the way they meet helpful characters and foes who will stop at nothing to ensure their mission is not completed.  The dark ruler will send a shiver down your back.  A good mysterious shiver not a violent one.  Seven days is all the time Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog have to solve their riddle in order to get home.

We really enjoyed these books.  My kids that can read all sat down to read them on their own.  We also used them as read alouds for my non readers.  They very much remind us of another Biblical fiction for young readers(at least in our house) that we have repeatedly used as read alouds.  A good strong Christian basis.   If you do not ever want your child to read anything that contains magic then this is not the book for you.  They do contain magic as the characters are transported back in time through ancient scrolls and have to solve mysteries in order to make it back home.  We don’t do witches or “dark” magic in our home but this kind of magic or fantasy is allowed and I am comfortable with all my children reading these books. 

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Interested in what other review families thought of these two books?  Check out the Main Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews have been linked up.  Also make sure to check out their facebook, instagram, and twitter for more about Biblical fiction for young readers and the other books that are to come in this series of The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. 

 

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Family Movie Night {Homeschool Review Crew}

Family Movie Night

Homeschool Review Crew

Do you have family movie night?  We tend to do it either Friday or Saturday night depending on our schedule.  Recently it was a mom and two older daughters movie night though.  We received a new movie from Mapelle Films.  This movie is Trust Fund and it’s a new twist on the prodigal son story from the Bible.  We also received Love Was Near, a book to go along with the movie. It’s the to be read after viewing.  This movie and book are geared towards ages 12 and up.

 

Family Movie Night

Because this is geared towards ages 12 and up it was not an entire family movie night.  But rather just my oldest two daughters and I watched the movie and read/discussed the book.  The rest of the family had a different movie they watched.  We don’t often separate out the family for two separate movies but it seemed like the best solution to this.  I had not prescreened the movie and did not know if it would be something I’d want my four year old to watch.  It’s not just FYI.

Have you ever heard of the prodigal son story from the Bible?  Most people have.  Even people who don’t attend church know this story. It’s a classic of it’s own.  This movie gives it a new twist.  It’s no longer a son but a daughter who decides to go out and leave behind all she’s known for a bright new future.  Only the future isn’t quite what she thought it’d be.

Who do you relate to most in this story?  The brother who stays home or the one who leaves and comes back to much rejoicing?  I never really thought about it much but while going through the movie and study book with my daughters I really examined my own feelings.  The daughter/son who stayed home.  That would be me.  And then it hits me.  Am I really that person?  Am I cynical?  Do I think I deserve that attention and that I’m more worthy?  Lots of great discussions can come from this movie!

About the Movie

The movie is the product of a homeschooler!  Isaac Alongi was someone early on the scene to homeschooling being homeschooled starting in 1982.  Guys I gotta add that was before I was born!  Anyway it’s always nice to see that homeschool kids can do great things too!

Now this movie is based loosely on the Bible story of the prodigal son.  Before you schedule this for your next movie night please make sure and read some reviews and think about the ages of your family.  Due to some violence and hard lessons learned I’m not sure I would alter the age given by the movie.  It suggests ages 12 and up and I agree.  Now I might relax that to 10 or so but not much more than that.

Jessica Rothe plays Reese.  The younger spoiled daughter of a rich man who is an aspiring author.  When she learns her dad has been keeping secrets from her she decides she can’t trust him and goes off on her own.  She thinks she’s found true love. Of course, if that was the end of the story there would be no story.  So guess what?!  It’s not the end of the story. She has an older sister who has to stand by and watch and pick up the pieces when her younger sister runs off.  And there is her dad of course too. Oh and what about this guy she thinks is worth leaving her family for?

Needless to say because it’s the prodigal son story she comes home.  She’s lost everything but her regret and has yet to realize what true love is.  Until she comes home and her father still loves her.  That’s the general synopsis.  You’re going to want to watch the movie to find out all the juicy details.

I’d rate this movie a four out of five.  Not bad.  A good family movie night movie for older kids and parents.  Plus it can spur lots of discussion.

 

Love Was Near Book

Now the Book

Love Was Near is a book companion for the movie.  It retails currently for $12.99.  Think of a diary where you’re thinking about and reflecting on a monumental part of your life.  That’s the vibe that this book gives off.  It’s more of a reflection and rethinking of the movie than just a story version of the movie.  I think it offers quite a bit of thinking and reflecting on ourselves and our own lives as well.  

There is so much more to life than what we see and hear the first time around.  Sometimes if we reflect and think on the things that have happened it offers up a new perspective and learning experience.  Join Reece as she does just that with what has happened to her in this book.  I personally think it’s a good read and makes you think a bit about your own life and really take away some new points.

Side note:  There is also a study guide to go along with the movie.  This would make a great Bible study type program to do with the movie with your own children or a church group.  Find it HERE.  

 

Mapelle Films

Learn More

Want to hear more about this movie and book for your next Family Movie Night?  Check out the main Homeschool Review Crew blog for the main post. A great article to read is from a local(to me!!) Homeschool community the Midwest Parent Educators so take a peak at it too! You can also find them on social media through facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Read Alouds

We love read alouds in our house.  If you’re not familiar with the term read alouds, this refers to reading a book out loud to an audience.  In our case, I am the reader and my children are the audience.  I love homeschooling Charlotte Mason style which places a large influence on literature and using good literature in your homeschool.

So I thought I’d share with you this weeks read alouds.  And yes that’s plural.  We read more than one book a day.  In fact, we normally have 3-4 different daily read alouds.

 

homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

 

While we’re reading our books I often have a calming(Peace and calming or lavender) or focusing(vetiver and brain power are amazing) essential oil blend diffusing to make sure we are all focusing and not letting our brains wander.  The main reason I started this is that I was letting my brain wander while reading!  Yes it is possible to have a wandering brain while reading and still read well!  Also, some of my kiddos are doers.  They have to be doing something to really understand what they’re reading so they’re going to be playing with essential oil infused playdough or mega blocks.

So our breakfast read aloud is normally a more focused Christian living and guiding type book.  Lately we’ve been reading through some YWAM biography books.  Their heroes and heroines of history series is amazing.  This week we’re reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

That brings us to our second read aloud time of the day.  This is normally at lunch time.  At lunch this week we are reading The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Makes sense that we’d be starting her most famous book series while reading about her life.  This is how homeschooling Charlotte Mason style is so great!  You can read about an author and also read some of their books at the same time.  For me that’s amazing.

For our lunch read aloud we’ll go through the whole Little House series before we decide on a new series. Sometimes we just go back to book one because it’s amazing how children can pick out new things each time they listen.  I even find myself picking out things that I’d not paid attention to before when I read them as a child.

Another read aloud!  Yeap they just keep coming!  The next read aloud is for supper.  For our supper read aloud we like to read The Chronicles of Narnia.  This is our constant.  We just go from one book to the next and then back again.  So far we have skipped reading aloud The Last Battle though as it’s a bit much for our younger kiddos.  The older kids have read it on their own though and we’ve had some good discussions.

Our last read aloud comes with bedtime.  For bedtime I will read another series.  Right now we’re doing Anne of Green Gables.  We’ll go through the entire series.  Once this one is over I think Emily of New Moon will be up next.  I’ve always been a big fan of these books and love sharing them with my children.  Anne with an E is still one of my favorite characters!

What are some books that you like to read out loud to your children?  I want them to be books that will teach my children something.  Character training is so important and most of our books are going to focus on teaching while telling a vivid story.

A Christian Comic Book {Homeschool Review Crew}

A Christian Comic Book

Homeschool Review Crew

As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we recently received a new Christian Comic Book to review.  My oldest son was particularly interested in this one!  Captain Absolutely was out of the box and in his hands before I even realized that it had arrived!  Thanks to Focus On The Family for keeping him occupied reading for a few hours.

 

A Christian Comic Book

 

Yes I did say a few hours.  He literally read this book super fast.  It’s written like a comic book with lots of great graphics and just enough suspense and fun to keep my 10 year old intrigued from cover to cover.  Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a librarian named Josiah King who while hiding amongst a room full of Bibles actually opens and starts reading one.  Due to some radioactive fumes(aren’t they always the culprit) and the fact that he’s reading the Bible,  he is turned into the hero Captain Absolutely.

About the Book

Do you remember ever listening to or reading Adventures in Odyssey?  I remember listening to the audio shows and watching the cartoons for Adventures in Odyssey as a child.  Captain Absolutely, the star of this Christian comic book, is a character from that show.  

We received a paperback copy of this book.  The bright colors and vivid graphics caught my eye as I was sneaking looks over my sons shoulder.  As soon as he finished reading the book it went off to my oldest daughter and then on down the line.  Currently I think child seven is reading the book and she’s the last independent reader I have.  Once she’s done I might actually get a chance to read it!

Captain Absolutely: Battle Against Dr Relative is written by Wooten Z. Bassett and illustrated by Dennis Edwards.  This character is a spin off of the Adventures in Odyssey series.  The series was written over a span of 5 years while it was appearing as a comic strip within the Clubhouse Magazine from Focus On The Family.  Only 105 pages long it will entertain your child as Dr Relative is dealt with by our hero who is defending truth, justice, and lots more truth.

This book is listed as a kids juvenile fiction and is currently retailing for $9.99.

Our Thoughts

I was not super interested in this book to review.  Got to admit it.  Science fiction and superheroes has just never been my thing.  Give me a historical fiction novel or a good biography and I’m hooked.  But sci fi and futuristic stuff, it’s over my head and just does not engage me.  My son on the other hand thinks this is amazing and could not wait to receive it to review.

Once the book arrived he grabbed it and found a comfy spot.  Within a few hours of sitting down he’d read the book straight through!  Even though I’m not a fan of this genre I do love the message behind this book.  It’s teaching children how to stand firm in their beliefs no matter what the rest of the world might be saying and doing.

Focus On The Family

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Check out the Main Blog Post for the review team.  All of the reviews of this Christian Comic Book are linked up there so you can pick and choose some to read and see what everyone has to say.  You can also find Captain Absolutely and Focus On The Family on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and YouTube.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

The Secret Bridge {Homeschool Review Crew}

The Secret Bridge

Homeschool Review Crew

I love to read!  I’m sure you have noticed that by all the book reviews I post on here.  Recently I received a copy of The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing through the Homeschool Review Crew.  Find out what I thought of it below!

 

The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

 

About the Book

This book is gorgeous for one.  I know looks shouldn’t matter but this book cover is so pretty.  It’s definitely one I’d pick up and look at in a book store.  After looking through the website all the books from Lamplighter Publishing are this way.  Their goal is to create “Christlike character one story at a time.” 

The Secret Bridge is written by Amy le Feuvre in 1899.  It’s 272 pages long and even for that length it’s a quick read.  I’m not sure that I would allow young children to read this book.  Maybe an age limit of 11-12 or so, but that would have to do with their mental capacity and not just their physical age.

A note.  Any profanity or questionable content in the original works is removed or phased out of the copies that Lamplighter Publishing offers for sale.  This is one of the ways that they ensure they are promoting their values and not taking people away from God but rather drawing you closer.  The company was started in 1994 by Mark Hamby and now offers over one hundred and thirty titles.

 

The Secret Bridge

 

My Thoughts

I loved the book cover.  The book also did not disappoint.  We get to travel back in time and meet a great character.  Bridget Channing.  Her father dies leaving her penniless and alone in Ceylon.  Can she survive?  What will happen to her?  She sales to England and on the voyage she attracts the attention of Godfrey Bullingham.  Determined to make her own way and not rely on pity or charity Bridget wants nothing to do with him.

Once in England Bridget finds out that the uncle she was to stay with has also passed away and she is now without a place to stay.  What should Bridget do?  Godfrey offers her marriage and with no other options she accepts.  

Now Bridget must find out what she is to do.  How does she go on?  She’s quiet and shy and due to this she hasn’t many friends.  She self professes as not believing in Christ.  But she shocks even herself when she turns to Christ and learning how she should act and behave as a new bride.  Her example?  Why the Bible of course!

Throughout the book we’re challenged to grow closer to Christ.  To await him as a bride awaits the bridegroom.  I think our young girls can get great character training and enjoy deep thoughts while reading and processing The Secret Bridge.  While reading it I found myself thinking and digesting little morsels and thinking in ways I might never have thought before.

Find out More

Find out what other reviewers thought of The Secret Bridge.  All reviews are linked up on the Main Blog for the Homeschool Review Crew.  So many different readers are sure to take away many different take aways.  You can also find Lamplighter Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Homeschool Reading Made Fun {Homeschool Review Crew}

Homeschool Reading Made Fun

Through The Homeschool Review Crew

Homeschool reading made fun is easy using Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) from Apologia Educational Ministries.  We received this new curriculum to review through the Homeschool Review Crew and can’t wait to share our thoughts with you.

 

Apologia Educational Ministries
 

We actually are a houseful of readers and love to read here.  But, sometimes I wonder how much of the books my kids are comprehending.  I wanted to make sure that they are reading not just for enjoyment but for content also.  That is why when I saw that Readers in Residence was offered as a review item this semester I jumped at the chance!

About the Curriculum

This new program and Volume 1 specifically is geared towards grades 4-6.  I am using it with two of my children who are in grade 5 roughly.  As far reading level they are definitely above their grade but again I’m not sure that they comprehend everything they read.  We’re loving this program though.

Prior to starting this curriculum your child should know how to read and be reading well.  They should be reading at a 4th grade level at least.  If your child is older but has special needs or is a slow reader they could definitely use this program as well. 

Primarily in Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) your child is going to learn how to read for comprehension through activities and reading assignments.  

 

Homeschool Reading Made Fun

Two books are included for this curriculum, an all inclusive student book and a teacher’s guide.  I love that the student book is spiral bound as that makes it easier to flip the pages and use it without breaking the binding.  The teacher’s book contains all the answers and helpful hints that you’ll need to help your child go through their workbook.

Skills to be targeted and learned through this curriculum:

  • identify and understand figures of speech(hyperbole, metaphor, etc)
  • build up their vocabulary
  • use context clues to decode meanings of unfamiliar words
  • pay attention to and note how writers use punctuation and the others elements of writing 
  • make inferences
  • recognize literary elements that are used to create fiction and nonfiction
  • understand the author’s crafts, intentions, and choices

Our Thoughts

As I mentioned above, this curriculum is geared for grades 4-6 and my two fit in there nicely.  Both love to read and were excited to get to read books for school.  We do a lot of free reading and read alouds instead of just assigning books to be read.  

There are three books that we get to read with this curriculum.  Sarah, Plain and Tall is the first book to be read.  You do need to read these in order and work through them in order because they build on what your child is learning.  We already had this book in our cabinet so we were ready to go!  I did get a second copy from the library as I have two children going through this.  I also bought a second student workbook.

The other two books to be used are Charlotte’s Web and Because of Winn Dixie.  My kids have read all of these books prior so they weren’t overjoyed at reading them again.  As we worked through the workbook pages to go with Sarah, Plain and Tall though they realized that they had missed out on details and facts through the book before.  They had read the book just for enjoyment and didn’t take in everything.  Studying the book with questions actually made them focus and comprehend so much more.  

I personally love this curriculum and what my children are learning.  My children are really enjoying it as well.  I can see this continuing to be used in our homeschool and us going on to purchase the other volumes.  Homeschool reading made fun and full of learning is what this curriculum amounts to.

Learn More

To find out what other review families thought of having homeschool reading made fun with Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) please visit the main Homeschool Review Crew blog review page where all the reviews will be linked up.  You’re sure to find a schooling style that correlates with yours to see how it works in their school.  Also check out Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Upcoming Blog Series!!

Upcoming Blog Series

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books

I am so excited to share with you that I’m participating in another Homeschool Review Crew blog hop!  This year we are doing a 5 Days of Homeschooling and my theme for the upcoming blog series is 5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books. 

That means that each day Monday through Friday next week you’re going to see a post from this series focusing on homeschooling with living books.  I’ll include things like 

  • what are living books?
  • how can you use living books in your homeschool?
  • popular living books for different ages
  • what are twaddle books?
  • why we don’t use twaddle books in our homeschool or even keep them in our home
  • who does this homeschool style work for?
  • what are some great homeschool curriculums to use with these books
  • and so much more!  Stay tuned!

Living Books and Learning

I’m so excited about this upcoming blog series because I really love using living books in our homeschool and I think you’re going to love learning more about what makes our home tick.  I realized that I don’t often share the nitty gritty of why we have made certain choices in our homeschool and I want to do that!  Maybe you’re a new homeschooler or maybe you’re just looking into other ways to homeschool.  Either way, come join me!  

Not only will you get to read my awesome series in the upcoming blog series but I’ll be linked up to all the other bloggers who are part of the homeschool review crew so you can read their posts as well!  It’s going to be a great week of tons of content just for you!

Here’s a synopsis of what we’ll be talking about!

“Homeschooling can be fun and rewarding utilizing the local library to help you.  We love the Charlotte Mason approach and are using her philosophy on living books versus twaddle in our homeschool.  It enrichs our lives and helps us instill good character and values into our children as they grow into young adults.”

 

 

 

 

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

American History Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

American History Study

Homeschool Review Crew

As we’re working through our school year I decided that we needed to add in more history.  Who can go wrong with history?  It’s a favorite subject of ours and we really haven’t covered a lot of American History lately.  Enter Memoria Press to the rescue.   We received two products from them to review that pertain to American history; 200 Questions About American History Set and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Set.

 

Memoria Press
 

I was so excited when these came in the mail.  My kids gave me a look though.  I think they saw more work for them and less excitement.  That didn’t last long.  They soon were over at the box with me asking questions and wanting to know if they could take parts and read them.

About the Curriculum

Since we received two sets let’s talk briefly about each.  Both sets are meant for grades 5-8.  I think this is spot on and have been using them with my two who are doing 5/6 grade work.  Now the cards that come with the 200 Questions about American History Set are super fun and all my kids love looking at those.  They’re all learning so much just from reading and chatting about the cards.

Now about 200 Questions about American History Set.  It is a great set compiled of the teacher guide, student book, and the flashcards.  We have loved working with this set.  Created to work with The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic this ties in very well.  It can also be used with The Story of the World Volume IV.  We use The Story of the World as well but are only in book 1 so can’t tell you how well they work together.  I can say that there were some questions in here that I didn’t know so this is a very thorough course!

 

200 Questions About American History Set Grades 5-8
 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic is also a set.  It comes with a text, teachers guide, and student guide.  This is the newly revised second edition. The text you receive is a combined version of the books by H. A. Grueber.  Memoria Press edited and combined them for this current text.  This covers the start of America with the Native Americans up through 1898 and the Spanish American War.

Both sets work together and provide great coverage of American History for your student.  The student books are meant to be used by one student so additional student books for additional students.  They’re easy to purchase through Memoria Press and shipping is fast. 

 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set

 

Our Thoughts

My kids loved this.  We’ve used other Memoria Press products before and have loved them as well but this is our first time trying out their history.  

As a way to add the younger kids into our school we would read aloud our history portions for the day.  The text by Grueber is not dry and dull so they all loved to listen and learn.  Without doing the actual questions my other kids are learning a lot about American History too.  Sometimes I would do a few of the questions that weren’t too difficult with the younger ones too outloud. 

We loved learning more about American history and loved all the mapwork.  No map comes with this, but normally homeschoolers have a plethora right?  We used one that I had on hand so we could map American expansion.

I have found as a parent that we’ve thoroughly covered some time periods and not as thoroughly others.  My husband and I met reenacting the Civil War.  I’ve been doing this since I was 7, so obviously my children have grown up doing it as well and know a lot about that time period.  They don’t know as much about the Colonial time period so I’m glad to have these two resources that thoroughly cover this period!

Learn More

Learn more about the two American History sets we received as well as the other Memoria Press products that were up for review by going to the Main Crew Review blog and checking out all the reviews that are linked up.  You can also find them on facebook, instagram, twitter, and pinterest

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

The Mark of The King {Litfuse Review}

The Mark of the King

by Jocelyn Green

 
The Mark of The King
 
About the book The Mark of The King:

The Mark of the King (Bethany House, January 2017)

Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2iKM4uj

 
About the author of The Mark of the King:
 
 
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg;Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.
 
 

My thoughts:

I have read the works of Jocelyn Green that center around the Civil War and LOVED them.  So I knew that I loved her writing.  When this book arrived I knew that I wanted to read it and read it quickly.  I was not disappointed.  This book is amazing.
 
Travel back in time.  I’d never even heard of this!  Forced marriages so you could get out of jail and go colonize a new world.  I personally don’t think I’d have chosen hardened criminals for this but I’m guessing the king just wanted people over there.
 
Anyway back to the book!  Julianne is an intriguing character that you can’t help but be drawn towards.  She has great strength and makes the most of her lot in life.  Being a gifted midwife she can’t practice since she’s imprisoned for killing a mother.  Well, she really didn’t kill her but you’ll have to read the book to find out!  Then she marries a man she doesn’t know, travels across the ocean, and sleeps in the mud and rain.  Such fun!  But it gets better!  Her brother is supposed to be in this new land.  The brother she raised and loved and nurtured like a mother would.  Will she ever find him?
 
And what about this husband?  Can he be a good man or is he bound by his criminal past?  Will she be able to hide the mark on her or will the world find out and make her an outcast again?
Oh guys!  This is suspenseful and full of good plot twists and characters.  I love the little girl she gets to mother and the complexities of her character.  I love her relationship with Marc-Paul and lets not even get into her brother.
 
Definitely one I’m keeping on my shelf to reread!  Well after it comes back from making the rounds of all my avid reader friends. 
 

Control Girl {Litfuse Review}

Control Girl

Litfuse Review

Control Girl
 
About the book Control Girl:

Tension, anger, fear, anxiety-it all begins with a heart that craves control.

Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don’t match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God’s, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.
 
Thankfully, there is a better way.
Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and
about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve’s desire to know instead of trust, Sarah’s inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah’s controlling hand on her family’s future, each of these women’s stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.
Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

About the author of Control Girl:
 
Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She’s been published by “Family Fun,” “MOMsense,” “Focus on the Family Magazine,” and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True Woman.com and has blogged for several years at shannonpopkin.com. “Control Girl” is her first book.
Find out more about Shannon at shannonpopkin.com.
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My thoughts:
 
I can honestly say that I have control issues.  I know I do.  Control is something that I want to have over my life and what is going on in it.  Control is also something I really and truly rarely have if I think hard enough on it.  As I’ve worked through this book and the Biblical examples I’ve been challenged.  Challenged to let go of my need to be in control.  God truly desires and is ultimately in control of our lives no matter how hard we struggle to take that control from Him. 
 
Do you struggle with a need for control? I think this would be a great study to use with women of your church.  Or work through it on your own.  Personally I feel it would be good to work through this with someone you can talk with.  Someone you can chat and talk over the things you’re reading and how you can apply them to your life.
 
Keep your Bible handy.  I prefer a King James Version.  Others like different versions so make sure you have your preferred Bible handy to look up the verses and stories being told.
 
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