Giveaway of YA Christian novel: The Sparrow Found a House

Are you looking for a good book for your teenager that is interesting and relevant, yet teaches good morals and values?

Elisha Press is running a “blitz giveaway” of some signed softcover books. Five copies of “The Sparrow Found A House,” autographed by author Jason McIntire, will be given away on Saturday night. You can enter with just your email address here: http://elishapress.com/blog/sept-2013-giveaway?referrer=penney .

“The Sparrow Found A House” is a Christian novel targeted toward young adults, but advertised to be suitable for all ages. The author is a 2005 homeschool graduate, and homeschooling plays a major role in the story. Here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Rivera is living every teenager’s nightmare. Her widowed mom has married a man who wears his heavy Christian values like his sergeant’s stripes – on both sleeves.

Glenn Sparrow is persistent, immovable, and not afraid to be firm. Worse than that, he’s loving, kind – even fun – and he has Chris, Moe, and Katie completely won over.

But Jessie is determined that she won’t be won over, or give up her “freedom” without a fight. She knows what she wants, and it isn’t what they’ve got.

Or is it?

Reviewers have used phrases such as “realistic,” “true to life,” “believable,” and “hard-hitting but understandable” to describe The Sparrow Found A House. All seem to agree that it’s a little different from most Christian fiction.

Be sure to get your entry in soon, as the giveaway ends at 8PM Central on Saturday: http://elishapress.com/blog/sept-2013-giveaway?referrer=penney .

On their website, you can read the story online for free! I just did, and I really liked this story. It takes you through the process of a family becoming a godly, loving family, as they leave behind the ways of the world. They change step by step, and one of those steps is to start homeschooling their children. Many realistic life situations happen to them as they struggle to make this transition. They encounter turbulence from without and within their family. They face opposition to their efforts, but they continue to pray and ask God for strength and wisdom, and He takes them from glory to glory.

It is a very good story.

I still really like books I can hold in my hand, so I would like to buy the softcover book. I would like for my kids to read the story, and they would be more likely to read it if we have a physical copy of it. I may just read the story to all of them. It’s that good!

You can also get free digital copies of the story at their website here.

How Curious George Saved His Creators

Margret (1906-1996) and H. A. Rey (1898-1977) were Jewish. They were both born in Hamburg, Germany and lived in Paris from 1936-1940. In June 1940, they fled Paris on bicycles carrying drawings for their children’s books, including one about a mischievous monkey named Fifi, hours before the Nazis marched into the city.

They made a narrow escape from Nazi-occupied Europe via a four-month journey across France, Spain, Portugal and Brazil and ended up in New York in the fall of 1940.

Their illustrations of animals for children’s stories saved their lives as officials along the way opened their suitcase and saw the innocent pictures and assumed they were harmless and sent them on their way. So, in a way, Curious George saved his creators, even as they saved him by carrying his stories during their escape.

It’s not surprising that saving the day after a narrow escape became the theme for most of the Curious George stories.

What is surprising to many is that the Reys were able to create such light-hearted characters and capture childhood innocence in such a dark time.

Knowing what they went through helps us to appreciate the miracle and value of their art.

It also sends the message that even though life can be difficult, even dangerous, something good can be produced out of the worst situations.

Reminds me of Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Also reminds me of Romans 5:3-5

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

CBN did a story about this fascinating story here.

And the Chrysler Museum of Norfolk, VA has an exhibit that documents their journey. Here’s a link to a description of the exhibit.

Review of Felice Gerwitz Books

The Truth Seekers Mystery Series

By Christina and Felice Gerwitz at MediaAngels.com.

Book 1 The Missing Link: FOUND

by Christina and Felice Gerwitz

From what I understand, the reason that Felice and her daughter wrote these novels is that Felice noticed the lack of good books for younger readers to learn about Creation Science in an enjoyable way. Her daughter, Christina, suggested that Felice write one herself. So they wrote one together. And then they wrote another… and another. The results were exciting, action-packed mystery novels that contain lots of good Creation Science information.

Although these books are geared toward youth, I enjoyed them so much, I read them to myself before I read them to my kids.

As I was reading Book 1, I was continually amazed that Felice’s daughter, Christina, was only 14 years old (I originally wrote that she was 17, but Felice informed me that she was only 14 when they started writing these books!) when she helped her mom write this. I thought they wrote very well, and I truly enjoyed the story, the characters and the knowledge I gained from reading it.

The writers interweave Creation Science facts with an exciting story of a couple of mysteries that teen brother and sister, Christian and Anna Murphy, get tangled up in and help to solve as they help their dad with his job. They display good character, even as people around them show less than ideal character and behavior. They influence the people around them, but they don’t act stuffy or superior. They pray whenever they get in a tight spot, and they give thanks to the Lord when He delivers them. They seem like real-life kids, very likeable, not perfect but definitely learning to be Christ-like.

The mystery surrounds an excavation of a fossilized man that the paleoanthropologist leading the dig believes may be the “Missing Link”. Christian and Anna, along with their dad, hold onto their faith and their unswerving belief that man did not evolve and this fossil could not be the “Missing Link”. They watch and pray, and they find out in the end that things are not always as they seem.

I read the second book Dinosaur Quest at: Diamond Peak to myself first, too, because I was already reading enough books to the kids at the time, and I couldn’t wait! It was just as good as the first one. This time, the kids were on their own away from home, but they still maintained their integrity and behaved in a godly fashion in spite of extra freedom that they knew was more than their parents had expected them to have.

The mystery was exciting and was tied to the photography job they were there to do. They were to photograph a dig of a very large T-Rex dinosaur that the paleontologists believed was fully intact. The Murphys had lots of interesting discussions with the man in charge of the dig. Fortunately, one of the men on the team also believed in biblical Creation and helped them defend the faith. There was some foul play as someone tried to get rid of this man by cutting his climbing rope. Other mysterious things happened that caused the Murphys to seek out the truth that someone was trying to cover up. And through an accident, they made a very surprising discovery about the dinosaur fossil. But you’ll have to read the book to find out what it was.

The third book is just as exciting and action-packed as the first two. Keys to the Past: Unlocked has the Murphys exploring a sunken ship and finding an artifact that helps prove that civilizations were more advanced from the beginning than evolution models claim. They also have some very enlightening discussions with the researcher who is studying the ocean’s sedimentary layers to try to prove that evolution is true and the earth is billions of years old. The Murphys and their dad tell him some things that really make him think in a new way.

Felice wrote study guides for each of these books that help to extend the study of Creation Science and other topics that are explored in each book. They also help budding writers study literary techniques and help the teacher check for reading and vocabulary comprehension.

I would recommend these books to anybody who likes mysteries and is interested in learning more about how to defend the biblical account of Creation.

You won’t be disappointed. Your kids will love them, too!

I just found out about a neat interview that Felice did with her daughter, Christina, for the Ultimate Homeschool Expo in which they talk about their homeschool experiences and some of the background experiences for the writing they did in these books.

You can find that here!
Check out all of Felice’s other resources at MediaAngels.com.

What We’re Reading and Loving Right Now: The Wormling Series

We started reading The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry last week. It’s the first of a series called The Wormling Series.

301591: The Wormling Series, Volumes 1-5 The Wormling Series, Volumes 1-5
By Jerry B. Jenkins & Chris Fabry / Tyndale House

Owen Reeder would describe himself as nothing special, especially since he’s been told that all his life. Perhaps his only ability is to devour books. But one day, a stranger visits his father’s bookstore and suddenly Owen’s ordinary life spirals out of control and right into a world he didn’t even know existed. Believing he has no special gifts, he finds himself about to be forced into a battle that will affect two worlds: His and the unknown world of the Lowlands! Recommended for ages 10 to 14.

I averaged about 8 chapters a day (the chapters are short) and we’re already finished with the first book. Today we started on the second book of the series, The Sword of the Wormling.

We had an interesting little twist today. I have been calling Patrick when I start reading the story since he’s in South Carolina with Gary, and he listens to me read on the phone. Today he didn’t have a phone because they lost it yesterday. So I started the story, knowing I would have to read it all again to Patrick when he found the phone. The other kids were excited to continue the series where we left off.

Well, I got so sleepy while reading that I was going to quit after Chapter 4. The kids didn’t want to quit, so Anna read from there while I snoozed. Fell right over on the couch and slept for a while (even heard myself snore a couple times).

Anna read 4 more chapters. Now I have to read 8 chapters to Patrick tomorrow. (They found the phone tonight, by the way, PTL). But it’s okay, because I need to get caught up, too!

We are really enjoying these books. If you have kids aged 10-14 or older, you might want to check out this series. All of my kids 10 and up, including my 20-year-old are listening.

It’s an allegory of the gospel message and spiritual warfare. We’ve read several allegories, but this one is fresh and original. I think Jerry B. Jenkins is a very good writer, so I was sure this would be good when I saw it at the library. And I have not been disappointed.

Finding Your Personal Penguin

I have made the cutest discovery! I don’t know how many people discovered this before I did, but it’s new to me.

I bought a board book at a library sale.

It was called Your Personal Penguin. It was written by Sandra Boynton.

I kept noticing the title as I saw the book laying on the floor, and I felt mild curiosity about what that book could possibly be about. One day, I picked it up and read it to one of my little ones. It was a cute little story.  I looked more closely at the cover and saw that there was a link online to a song by Davy Jones that went with the story.  I decided to check it out.  I watched the video of Davy making the song.  I loved it!  I’ve always liked his voice, and he still sounds the same as ever.

So I go to that website from time to time to listen to it again.  I even had the kids play it for my birthday party.    I really like this song.  The older kids do, too, though they don’t like to admit it. Here’s the video of Davy recording the song:

Scroll down near the bottom to see it.
http://www.workman.com/boynton/

Tell me if you like it, too.

Wow, I just went to the website again and started playing the songs that go with the other books she has written. I am blown away. She has been able to get famous musicians to perform these songs from the different genres, such as B. B. King singing a Blues song, One Shoe Blues and Steve Lawrence singing Blue Moo, based on the famous old song, Blue MoonBlue Moo book and CD is subtitled 17 Juke Box Hits From Way Back Never.  Also performing original songs based on her books are Neil Sedaka, Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys, Sha Na Na, and of course, Davy Jones.

I now have a new favorite author/illustrator/songwriter!

It’s so nice to meet you, Sandra Boynton.