Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Reviews

Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912 (Dear America)
Voyage on the Great Titanic
By Ellen Emerson White
{Review by Bethany Ann}

This book is a fiction novel written in journal form. It is the fiction diary of Margaret Ann Brady, a girl living in 1912 who traveled on the Great Titanic when it sank. I have enjoyed reading various "Dear america" books which are fiction diaries to help make historical events come alive. This book was very well written and had much information on the Titanic, including pictures from the actual vessel.

Margaret, a 13 year old girl is a orphan with her older brother William. After living on the streets for as long as they could with little money, William is forced to leave Maragaret at a home for girls runned by nuns, while he goes to America to find work. After a while, Margaret gets to be a companion for Mrs. Carstairs, who is traveling to America on the Titanic, and desires a companion. So Margaret takes the voyage with Mrs. Carstairs in hopes of finding William once she gets to the States. In the journal, Margaret tells of her adventures on the Titanic, including the sinking of the ship and all that went with it. For Margaret, it was a new experience going aboard a fancy ship with fancy people, when she was formerly living on the streets, eating whatever she could find. On April 15, 1912 late a night Margaret gets a knock on her door from her butler Richard, whom she is slowly coming to like. When Richard tells her to come down with her life jacket, and tells her to loose no time, Margaret starts to worry but once assuring herself that she was on board the "unsinkable ship" that it was just a drill. But as time goes on she realizes the ship is sinking and with it, many of its occupants that were not able to get on the few lifeboats which saved them. Of even greater greif, Margaret realized that Robert drowned in the sinking and once she does get to America by a boat that happened to be out and able to help, what is she to do? Will she find her brother and if so, will they be able to get off the streets?

I really enjoyed this book...reading it in a whole day. I loved how there was much history but it wasn't boring...the writer did an excellent job making the book interesting by personalizing it with a girls view. The only thing I didn't appreciate was there was one kissing scene were Margaret and Robert kiss before the Titanic sinks, and one lady who was there used the Lord's name in vain once while expressing her awe of the sinking ship. but other than this I really enjoyed the book and learned a lot! I also thought it was neat to read the book this year, being that this is the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Roses for Mama, repack
Roses For Mama
By Janette Oke
{Review By Bethany Ann}

This book is about Angela, a teen-aged daughter living with her older brother of a year and her three younger siblings. After their father died, their mother became ill and followed her husband to Heaven. But she leaves her five children behind and little Angela is forced to care for them and raise them in their mother's stead while her brother Thomas works to make what money he can. When things get hard Angela wonders how she can keep it up and fears that she could never raise them in the way her mother would AND do the housework at the same was just too much! And on top of that she tries to minister and witness to their neighbors and their parents did, hoping to bring them to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And then when everything seems as if it will overflow a young man comes into her life and wishes to court her. Without her fathers guidance there to help her make some tough decisions and the weight of everything on her shoulders, will she ever make it? And  should she really marry this rich man who seems to know nothing of prairie life? Find out in this book!

This was such an inspirational book for me, especially being that I'm the oldest child in our family and can relate to Angela's problems and difficulties with helping raise her siblings after her parents die. I felt so rejuvenated and fresh after finishing it and it definitely helped me review how I treat my siblings and made me think about ways I might need to inprove. I remember the story being so sweet and crisp, and it was a wonderful way for me being that this is my first Janette Oke book I've read so far {despite the fact we own most of them...I'll have to read more! :D} I loved how deeply the affection between her and her siblings was and how genuinely she cared for them and their well being. It was such a loving, family filled book and I would highly recommend it to any girl! Janette's love for the tight-knit family was evident and poured through like refreshing sunshine with each page. I loved seeing this up-close view of how real families thrived in the prairie days without the modern conveniences of our day and time. But still they found ways to connect and stay strong together. Overall I loved it! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey, Young Readers Edition
Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey
By Tim Tebow
{Review By Bethany Ann}

In this young readers edition of Tim Tebow's book we learn about Tim's story of faith, and football. Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos NFL football team and due to his strong unwavering faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and his perseverance to proclaim it to the nations, many have been blessed and encouraged, including our family. In this book you will learn about Tim's early life which included being the youngest of a family with 5 children who were missionaries to Philippines, playing plenty of sports, being homeschooled and learning about the Lord at an early age. It also goes through a personal account of his draft in to the NFL to play profesional football and tells about the hardships and positive sides of doing so.

My family has been very inspired by Tim Tebow's life, mainly for his diligence to display God's love even while playing football and his impact for changing the world for Christ. Maybe it started when he aired the commercial on T.V. while the Super Bowl was going that was encouraging young girls who were pregnant not to get abortions due to the fact he is a pro-life and was almost aborted as a unborn child, or maybe it was when he would kneel on the field and pray to the Lord for guidance during the game. Whenever it was, we were so inspired to see someone with such a faith and to see it showed without fear in such a way. But anyways, yes we are big Tebow fans {not just my father and brother but also us girls! We normally aren't very interested in football, but when it involved faith such as his..I was all there! :D}But anyways when my friend {who is a HUGE Tebow fan...and a female at that!} purchased the book, I asked if I might borrow it to read it. She gladly loaned it to me and lets just say I read it in a day...unable to put it down. {Yes, football can be that interesting! ;D} I was very inspired by the book and even read it with my brother to find that my other siblings gathered around to hear it too! Most of you may not be into sports or football, but for those who are familiar with Tim Tebow and would like to read his book, I'd highly recommend it! I give it 5 out of 5 stars! {Notice: I only read the young readers version since that is what my friend purchased since the adult version was sold out. He he... I've not read the adult version and am only reviewing the young reader edition, although I'm sure the adult version is good as well!}

The Daughter's Walk
The Daughter's Walk
By Jane Kirkpatrick
{Review By Bethany Ann}

I had seen this book various times at the library and it looked good so I looked into what it was about on the internet to find that it was based on a historical family. So I thought I'd try it out. I never finished the book, so I don't know the specifics of what it was about besides the point that there was a family living on a farm and were about to loose their home since they couldn't pay their bills. The mother of the family along with her daughter took a challenge to walk all the way across the US in the dresses they were trying to advertised. If they completed this challenge within 7 months they would be given a cash prize, enough to save their home. So the mother left her older children and disabled husband at home to watch the younger children and she and her daughter set off on this adventure. And that's were I stopped. Why  you may ask? Well with each page I read I noticed more and more feminism grinding its way into the story. The whole idea of a mother leaving her kids at home for 7 months to go walk across the US without a male guardian...well that's a bit too much feminism if you ask me. Maybe it would have been okay if they didn't make it so obvious that they were all for feminism...but I just didn't think it was worth my time, to be honest. At first it wasn't very much and I thought I might be able to keep going and that it wouldn't go any further as far a the feminism level went. But it did. finally the feminism was just so much that I decided it no worth the time it would have took to read it. I'm sure it would have been a good story but I really felt like I shouldn't drench my mind in harsh feminism ideas for nearly 400 pages. For the portion of the book I read I give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work
A Love That Multiplies
By Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar
{Review By Bethany Ann}

You may have heard of the Duggar family or seen them on TV on the TLC channel. but if you haven't let me share with you one of the reasons why our family loves them-they have 19 children! {Yes, typos and they are all Jim Bob and Michelle's!} In their newest book, A Love That Multiplies they share about many things including their fiery trial with their last child Josie who was born three and a half months early, weighing only 22 ounces! They also share about their difficulties such as loosing loved ones and they also share an up-close view of how they live on a day to day basis. They shared lots of helpful advice as far as child discipline, organization and they also answer frequent questions such as "Are you going to have more children?" "How do you manage such a large family?" "How does your Christian faith play out your lifestyle?" "Do the Duggar's date or court?" "Why do the Duggar women wear only skirts and the men only long jeans?" and more!

I really enjoyed this book! It was so neat to get to hear about the ins and outs of being on T.V. each week...even though they don't have cable themselves and the things they have gone through as a family...but even more importantly how they used that to honor the Lord and strengthen their faith. The Duggar family has been such a blessing to us as a family and I must truly say that without their older girls positive role model, I wouldn't be who I am today! Our family has never missed a single episode of their show, 19 Kids & Counting and when I saw the library finally had their book I quickly got it and devoured it in two days! I'm sure that anyone interested in finding help with managing their family or for those interested to know more about the Duggar's would love this book and be encouraged and blessed by it! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

The Jewel of Gresham Green, Gresham Chronicles Series #4
The Jewel of Gresham Green 
By Lawana Blackwell
{Review By Bethany Ann}

Jewel Libby has no choice but to leave the only home she's ever known for the sake of her daughter. She's told that she can find refuge in the small dairy town of Gresham where she can seek shelter at the vicar's residence. Little does she realize that her woes are not over. Instead of being taken care of, Jewel quickly changes roles to that of the caregiver for the ailing Andrew and gets deeply involved in all the members of his family.

I saw this book, while browsing one Friday at the library and since the back description seemed decent, I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, this is the 4th book in the Gresham Chronicles Series, that of which I never knew until after reading the book, however I still enjoyed it and will probably read the first books in the series. :D I must note that there were 3-5 "iff-y" things that were a tid bit "questionable" but they never got series, just kind of hinted around at issues I wasn't interested in. But it was a good story without too much romance..which I liked. So often it's hard to find good fiction with very little-to no romance involved, but I loved this book. The writer has a great way of making you feel like you are there in Gresham yourself and alongside the characters as they go through life. I especially loved the happy ending. It was very strongly portraying the good side of mother-daughter relationships and sticking together, no matter what, even when it's hard or extremely difficult. For those that would like a clean fiction without a boatload of romance then this is a book you may want to look into. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. {One star less due to the slightly questionable materials, even though they were not frequent throughout the book}.

2 Words of Grace:

b3 beader said...

Thank you for writing this post Bethany! I love reading all of your book reviews, & I'll definetly start looking for some of these books!

Anonymous said...

I have read a lot of the Jannette Oak books and I really enjoy them! I think the book Roses for Mama is very insparational. Angela really tries to do as her mother asks and she doesn't give up on the children no matter what hardships come. I believe you will enjoy the other Jannette Oak books. I will look into some of the other books you reveiwed. :)