Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review of Bella's Gift by Rick and Karen Santorum


  
Review of Bella's Gift by Rick and Karen Santorum. 
 
From:
 
 
 
On May 13, 2008, the Santorum family welcomed their eighth child into the world. Isabella Maria was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, or Edward's Syndrome. Only 10 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are born alive, and 90 percent of those children do not make it to their first birthday. Faced with these bleak statistics, doctors told the family to prepare for Bella's death. Instead, they chose to celebrate her life.
Over the next six miraculous years, the Santorum family adjusted to life with a special needs girl—and watched her transform the lives of everyone around her. In many days of sickness and joy, she became an inspiration to her community and, ultimately, to the nation. Bella’s  Gift details the peaks and valleys, the joys and sufferings, and the incredible value of life with a special needs child. In a world that often measures worth according to usefulness, Bella’s story is a reminder that our real value lies in our capacity to love.

AUTHORS
Karen Santorum
Karen Santorum is a former neonatal intensive care nurse and attorney. She is the author of two books: Letters to Gabriel and Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners. Karen and her husband of almost twenty-five years, Rick, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick, and Isabella. Her greatest role and love in life is being a wife and mother.

FACEBOOKTWITTER
Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum, a native of Pennsylvania, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2012. He served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the Senate from 1995 to 2007 and is the author of several books, including the 2005 New York Times bestseller It Takes a Family. Rick's most important role and love in life is being a husband and father.

FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMPATRIOT_VOICESPATRIOTVOICESPATRIOTVOICES Contributor: Elizabeth Santorum
Elizabeth Santorum graduated magna cum laude from the University of Dallas. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, she spent a year campaigning across the nation on behalf of her father, Senator Rick Santorum. Appearing on CNN, Fox News, NBC, and many other news outlets at twenty years old, she became one of the campaign's most requested speakers. Elizabeth has spent time doing mission work in Uganda, is currently a John Jay Fellow, and absolutely loves being a big sister.

ENDORSEMENTS
Max Lucado
pastor and best-selling author of Before Amen
Life takes sudden turns. The horizon brings unexpected storms. The road we walk is prone to go from smooth to rocky in a matter of steps. No one is spared the difficult path. Rick and Karen Santorum weren't. The birth of their daughter Bella  was a birth into a life they never asked to enter. Their faith was tested, their futures were rerouted. And, as a result of it all, they are different people. You know the Santorums as public figures in the halls of Congress and on the trails of a presidential campaign. You are about to know them as parents of a special girl. Their struggles, fears, faith, and fortitude -- it's all in these pages. I urge you to read this book. Life takes sudden turns for all of us. And we need wisdom from a family who has kept their balance and stayed on the road.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
parents on TLC's 19 Kids & Counting
We love the Santorum family and the way they love children like God loves children. Rick championed the bill to end partial birth abortion in America. The Santorum family has tirelessly fought to return our nation back to the Christian values our country was founded upon. Bella's Gift will inspire families and marriages to draw close to God through the joys and the hard times of life.

Sean Hannity
television and radio host, author, and political commentator
I have gotten to know Rick, Karen, and their family really, really well over the years. This book is a love story from two parents who walk the walk as husband and wife, father and mother. In typical Santorum style, they pull no punches, but they will also pull at your heart and your soul.

Greta Van Susteren
Fox News Channel personality
Bella’s  father was a Fox News Contributor so I have known about this little child since the day she was born. She is nothing short of amazing—she has beaten all odds! This book is a touching love story about how this very challenged child enriched her family . . . and anyone who meets her. You will be enriched—and inspired—by reading her story.

Archbishop Charles Chaput
One of the joys of being alive is to see love in action and the indelible mark it leaves on the world. Karen and Rick Santorum have written the kind of extraordinary book about their daughter with special needs that moves the heart and stays in the memory.

Michael G. Lamb M.D. and Kathleen G. Lamb M.D
Bella Santorum's  story is one that all medical professionals should read and profit from. Her and her family's struggle, besides being inspiring, is also medically enlightening. Too many members of her medical team assumed that her situation was hopeless. This was not so much from a lack of caring as it was a lack of knowing. A detailed, careful reading of the medical literature on children with Trisomy 18 reveals that these children do not have the dismal outcomes that some so-called experts claim. In rare disorders like Bella's, there really are no experts. The ideal professional will yearn to become the expert, seek the truth, know the facts, and assess the entire situation. He or she needs to know in detail all about the child, the medical condition, and the family situation. Only then is one able to really offer good care. Unfortunately, the tendency to 'write off' children like Bella  is all too common in modern American medicine with its bottom line, dollars and cents, mentality. Hopefully this book will help to change some of that.

Mark Levin
lawyer, author, and host of The Mark Levin Show
Bella’s  Gift is a must read. I've had the privilege of enjoying family dinners at the Santorum’s  home with the entire family, including Bella. I've witnessed the love that she has for her family and they for her. Bella’s story reminds us that love requires sacrifice, an idea that is becoming increasingly lost in our selfish society. Read it. You’ll be moved, inspired, and encouraged by the story of this little girl and her heroic family

George F. Will
syndicated columnist
The radiant truth about special-needs children, such as the Santorums’  Bella, is that they give to those around them something that we all need. This gift, that suffuses every page of this marvelous book, is the reminder that every life is sanctified by the capacity to receive and respond to love.
 

MEDIA INQUIRIES For press inquiries regarding Bella's Gift please contact
Emily Lineberger at emily.lineberger@harpercollins.com
Copyright © 2014 HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Leona's Review:
 
First, no matter what your political views are, this will touch the hearts of all. A moving book about a little girl that has stolen the hearts of those who meet her and the ones who have seen her on TV or read her story.
I knew that little Bella had this disease as she was in the news when her father was running for president. He quit the race for his family.
I lost my husband of almost 57 years of marriage in January and maybe this is one reason this book touched me so deeply. Life is precious at any stage of life, before and after birth.
The descriptions of Bella giggling and her smile was visual. The reader follows the struggle and tears of the family as well as the family fun times. The Santorum have much faith in God even with the trials they have with a child who needs constant care.
Every other chapter is written by the parents of Bella. When reading, you want to reach out and give them a hug. Each chapter begins with the word LOVE.
There are pictures in the book which add to the feelings of the book.
The other children play an important part in the lives of their parents, each other and Bella.
I saw this book offered to read and review on booklookbloggers. I almost did not read it because of my stress at this time but I am so glad I did. I really made the decision after I saw the Santorums and Bella on FOX more than once. I had to read a chapter of at a time but that Is OK. It is a good family read.
This would make a wonderful gift for parents who have a special need child. 
I received a complimentary copy of Bella's Gift to read and review. The opinions are my own.
 
Leona Olson

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review of You Have a Brain by Dr. Ben Carson

You Have a Brain by Dr. Ben Carson.
This is the second book I have read by Dr. Carson and I have found both inspirational and informative. I was glad to see a chapter devoted to his mother, Sonya Carson. This mother is one who cared for her children and was the biggest influence in their lives as far as I was concerned.
Dr. Carson was a world-known neurosurgeon who worked hard to get to his position. He proves it can be done and it is up to you to do what is necessary to make your goal in life.
The chapters are:
Chapter 1: The Amazing Brain
Chapter 2: Think Beyond the Can
Chapter 3: Gone
Chapter 4: How We Got Smart
Chapter 5: Bookworm
Chapter 6: Taming my Temper
Chapter 7: Expanding My Options
Chapter 8: The Smartest Choice
Chapter 9: Off to College
Chapter 10: The Challenge-Medical School
Chapter 11 : Becoming a Neurosurgeon
Chapter 12: More Twins
Chapter 13: Mother's Influence
Chapter 14: Talent
Chapter 15: Honesty
Chapter 16: Insight
Chapter 17: Nice
Chapter 18: Knowledge
Chapter 19: Books
Chapter 20: In-depth Learning
Chapter 21 : God
Chapter 22: Think Big
The chapters are short and I personally think this should be a classroom study book. It can be done in 20 minutes a day with reading and a discussion. It is also a good family book to read and discuss.
Sonya Carson kept telling her sons, Ben and Curtis, they have a brain that God gave them so use it.  One became an engineer and the other a doctor.
Dr. Carson tells about his childhood, his jobs, his surgeries, his temper and his family. He is a very religious man and talks about God. He encourages young people to T.H.I.N.K.B.I.G.  These are chapters 14-21.
One of my granddaughters asked me what was my pet peeve and I said "telling a lie" because one forgets what they said in a lie but remembers the truth; something I always told my sons and daughter as I raised them. The next day, I see that Dr. Carson said the same thing in his book.
I will give this a 5 star rating. I also read Gifted Hands after I saw the movie.
I received a complimentary copy to read and review from booklookbloggers to read and review. The opinions are my own.
Leona Olson
 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review of Home for Christmas-Stories for Young and Old

 
 
Home for Christmas -Stories for Young and Old
This book has 20 short stories for the Christmas season. I felt  some books were not for the very young but an older child of 10 or more could read this with the family and discuss the contents. The stories could be read one or two at a time. Before each story, there is a woodcut illustration in black and white which helps identify the story. Some of the stories are European so many I have not heard. I especially liked the Miraculous Staircase and I slightly recall reading this years ago.
 
The list of stories are:
Brother Robber by Helene Christaller
Three Young Kings by Gorge Summer Albee
Transfiguration by Madeleine L' Engle
The Cribmaker's Trip to Heaven by Reimmichl
The Guest by Nikolai S. Lesskov
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke
The Miraculous Staircase by Arthur Gordon
No Room at the Inn by Katherine Peterson
The Chess Player by Ger Koopman
The Christmas Lie by Dorothy Thomas
The Riders of St. Nicholas by Jack Schaefer
Grandfather's Stories by Ernst  Wiechert
The Vexation of Barney Hatch by B. J. Chute
The Empty Cup by Opal Menius
The Well of the Star by Elizabeth Goudge
A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill
The Carpenter's Christmas by Peter K. Rosegger
What the King's Brought by Ruth Sawyer
The Christmas Rose by Selma Lagerlof
On page 335 there is a page of acknowledgements for the stories and when they were published. This is also a great way for the children and adults to learn about authors together.
 
The book was published by Plough Publishing House.
Complied by Miriam Le Blanc
Illustrated by David G. Klein
 
David G Klein is an illustrator for advertising, institutional, editorial and books whose work has appeared for Grey Advertising, Saatchi and Saatchi, NYT, WSJ, Business Week, Forbes, DC Comics, Marvel, Random House Books, Tor Books, Franklin Press
He is acknowledged through such awards as:
Society of Illustrators
Society of Newspaper Designers
Society of Publication Designers
He has Authored:
"The Paper Shtetl"
"The Golem's Voice"

www.dgklein.com
I received a complimentary copy from Plough Publishers to read and review. The opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review of A Thing of Beauty






A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson

From the back of the book:

Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago--right after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatched dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself. She would disappear from public view and live an artist’s life.
That was the plan.
Ten years later, Fiona’s huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled over at yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for an art project . . . but all she’s got so far is a piece of twine with some




A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson

From the back of the book:

Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago--right after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatched dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself. She would disappear from public view and live an artist’s life.
That was the plan.
Ten years later, Fiona’s huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled over at yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for an art project . . . but all she’s got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length.
She’s thirty-two years old and still recognizable, but Fiona’s money has finally run out. She’s gotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation she’s willing to do almost anything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maid’s quarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu.
Josia is everything Fiona isn’t: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short, happy. As the light from the maid’s quarters begins to permeate the dank rooms of Fiona’s world, something else begins to transform as well—something inside Fiona. Something even she can see is beautiful.

Leona's Review:
Sorry, this was not a great or even a good read. I was disappointed that this was published by a Christian publisher. The language was not to my standard and I tired of a disorganized and a pessimist Fiona.
The cover really did not do the book justice.
At one point Fiona said " I really am my own worst enemy".
I like to say that a book that one does not like does not mean everyone does not like it; this book has received a number of 5 stars so keep that in mind when considering reading it.
I received a complimentary copy from booklookbloggers.com to read and review. The opinions are my own.
Leona Olson
www.mnleona.blogspot.com antique buttons threaded down its length.
She’s thirty-two years old and still recognizable, but Fiona’s money has finally run out. She’s gotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation she’s willing to do almost anything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maid’s quarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu.
Josia is everything Fiona isn’t: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short, happy. As the light from the maid’s quarters begins to permeate the dank rooms of Fiona’s world, something else begins to transform as well—something inside Fiona. Something even she can see is beautiful.

Leona's Review:
Sorry, this was not a great or even a good read. I was disappointed that this was published by a Christian publisher. The language was not to my standard and I tired of a disorganized and a pessimist Fiona.
The cover really did not do the book justice.
At one point Fiona said " I really am my own worst enemy".
I like to say that a book that one does not like does not mean everyone does not like it; this book has received a number of 5 stars so keep that in mind when considering reading it.
I received a complimentary copy from booklookbloggers.com to read and review. The opinions are my own.
I will give it a 2 star for the effort of writing the book.
Leona Olson

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review of Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare


   
From amazon.com:

In this extraordinary play, one of Shakespeare's finest tragedies, a once-great general finds himself torn between his duty to the Roman Empire and his passionate attachment to Cleopatra, the alluring "Queen of the Nile." In depicting the collision of two contrasting cultures — Antony's world of political conniving and the hedonistic pleasures of Cleopatra's court — the playwright portrays a timeless paradox of human nature, the quest for seemingly irreconcilable goals.
The action of the play ranges from Alexandria and Rome to Syria and Athens, from the rugged quarters of military camps to the luxurious atmosphere of the Egyptian court. In the latter milieu Antony lingers, shamed by his overwhelming passion for Cleopatra yet irresistibly drawn toward love as a source of vitality and renewal. After ignoring increasingly urgent demands by his co-ruler, Octavius Caesar, for his return to Rome, Antony reluctantly obeys at last, marrying Octavius's sister and forming a fragile political alliance. This bond shatters when he returns to Cleopatra's side. Octavius declares war on the lovers, forcing them into a battle for world domination with dramatic and unforgettable consequences.
Brimming with Shakespeare's matchless poetry, Antony and Cleopatra is one of the world's great plays. In this inexpensive edition, it will enthrall students of drama and literature, poetry lovers, and all who appreciate Shakespeare's art.

Leona's Review:
I have not read Shakespeare for years and so decided to read Antony & Cleopatra. As usual it is hard to understand Shakespeare but I imagined Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra and Richard Burton as Antony.
It was an interesting read of a play. I will read it again in the future.  There are five acts and scenes in each act.
There is the cast of characters at the front of the book which helps the reader identify the people in the play. There is also an explanation of words such as "Nay if an oily palm" is a sweaty palm (page 5) and "Be a child o' the time" which is comply with the humor of the minute. (page 43).
The publication is Dover Publications. www.DOVERPUBLICATIONS.COM.  The cost is reasonable and 115 pages.
For those interested in the history of Antony and Cleopatra, this is a good read. I will have to give William Shakespeare a 5 star rating.
I won this book frpm goodreads.com and the opinions are my own.
Leona  Olson

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Review of 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables by Bob Welch


   
 
 
52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables by Bob Welch
From goodreads.com
Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels, musicals, and films of all time: "Les Miserables." In "52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables," Bob Welch walks readers through Hugo's masterpiece, extracting dozens of uniquely spiritual reflections from this enduring portrait of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. Welch reminds us that Jean Valjean's life provides the truest example of why real love is found in the grittiest places, and that hearts are made whole beneath the crush of mercy. Most important, though, Welch keeps returning to the intersections of faith and reality throughout Hugo's writing--those places where mercy becomes an inroad to the heart, and where love is only truly received when it is given without condition. Discover again why life's purpose is found not in attending to personal needs and desires, but in responding to the hearts of others.
Leona's Review:
It has been a  long time since I have watched the movie, Les Miserables and after reading 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables, I now want to read the book. I did not realize Victor Hugo had written the book in 1862. There is also information about Victor Hugo;  I knew a little of him but now encouraged to read more.
Bob Welch has written an inspirational book using the characters as key points in messages. The book has love, hate, misery, death, suffering but I also read hope .
The first part of the book has the characters and places listed and how to pronounce the words which helps the reader. The chapters are short and have a message.
Chapter 8, "It's Not About "The Stuff". "They confuse heaven's radiance stars with a duck's footprint left in the mud" from Les Miserables which "being the solution begins with the perspective." (page 28). I understood the message was we worry too much about what we have. The author uses a man's BMW car as an example.
Chapter 29, "Wisdom Can Come From Weird Places" "God has his own ways" from Les Miserables. "God sends us life lessons on pleasant breezes and on ill winds. It is up to us to raise our sails". (page 99) I understand it is up to us to make the decisions.
There is a chapter for book clubs to use for discussions. Question number 4: "How were Jean Valjean and Avert similar? How were they different?"
I read this book in a few days but as one reviewer wrote, this is good for inspirational reading for one time a week.
The author has done a great job of making the reader think about the messages. I give it a 5 star raring.
I received a complimentary copy to read and review from booklookbloggers.com. The opinions are my own.
This is a Thomas Nelson Publisher book. It would make a wonderful gift for a friend or family member.
Bob Welch is a goodreads.com author. You may reach Bob Welch at www.bobwelch.net. He is an inspirational speaker as well a writer.
Leona Olson

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review of Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig



Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

Fully authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate, Rhett Butler's People is the astonishing and long-awaited novel that parallels the Great American Novel, Gone With The Wind. Twelve years in the making, the publication of Rhett Butler's People marks a major and historic cultural event.

Through the storytelling mastery of award-winning writer Donald McCaig, the life and times of the dashing Rhett Butler unfolds.  Through Rhett's eyes we meet the people who shaped his larger than life personality as it sprang from Margaret Mitchell's unforgettable pages: Langston Butler, Rhett's unyielding father; Rosemary his steadfast sister; Tunis Bonneau, Rhett's best friend and a onetime slave; Belle Watling, the woman for whom Rhett cared long before he met Scarlett O'Hara at Twelve Oaks Plantation, on the fateful eve of the Civil War.

Of course there is Scarlett.  Katie Scarlett O'Hara, the headstrong, passionate woman whose life is inextricably entwined with Rhett's: more like him than she cares to admit; more in love with him than she'll ever know…

Brought to vivid and authentic life by the hand of a master, Rhett Butler's People fulfills the dreams of those whose imaginations have been indelibly marked by Gone With The Wind. 


Leona's Review:

I won this book from goodreads.com. I have always liked the movie Gone With the Wind and since this was authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate I thought it would be a good book to read.
There is some history that was changed as the author admits but it did not change my opinion of the book.
Rhett Butler's People is about the people, friends, enemies and family of Rhett Butler. It is not always about Rhett Butler and Scarlett.  There is the history of the Civil War and how it changed so many lives. Like Gone With the Wind, it had hard times and sad times; it also shows people can and will come through hardships.
A lot of Gone With the Wind is in Rhett Butler's People and I thought it was well done.
The movie happened to be on while I was reading this book and it helped me picture the characters.  It kept the main characters as they were in the movie; Melanie is still sweet and Scarlett is still demanding.
I have never read Gone With the Wind but have watched the movie many times. I see I need to read the book now.
I give it a 5 star rating. I did like it and will read it again.
Donald MaCaig is on facebook.

Leona Olson

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review of Get to Know Apostls Paul by Nancy I.Sanders


   
Book review of Get to Know Apostle Paul by Nancy I. Sanders

From amazon.com:
Apostle Paul—part of the Get to Know series—is a unique biography about Paul. Focusing on the life and character of this Biblical hero, using color photographs, maps, and other visual resources to tell the whole story, young biography fans will come to learn more about this man of the God, his writings, his impact on the early church, and the role he plays in history.
Featuring a bibliography and scriptural references throughout, this is sure to become a favorite for young readers and for first book reports.

Leona's Review:
This is the fourth book of the Get to Know Series. They are Get to Know Jesus, Get to Know Mary, Get to Know King Saul and Get to Know Apostle Paul.

The author, Nancy I. Sanders has written wonderful books that are for the children but as an adult, I learned a lot.
These are great Christmas gifts and also gifts for Jewish children. The books are reasonably priced so one can get the four Get to Know Series for a child. Read the books with them a chapter at a time and let them do further studies on the subjects.

This book focuses on the Apostle Paul and the book begins with the young boy, Saul.
There are maps and also symbols such a Sandal for a Biblical Hero, an Eye for Eyewitness Account, a Clay Jar for Did You Know? and a Scroll for a word bank.

Table of Contents:

A boy Named Saul  (page 11)
A Hebrew of Hebrews (page 19)
Destroy the Church! (page 27)
The Road to Damascus (page 35)
Preaching in the Synagogues (page 43)
Christians: Followers of Christ (page 51)
The First Missionary Journey (page 57)
The Jerusalem Council (page 65)
The Second missionary Journey (page 73)
The Third Missionary Council (page 81)
Appeal to Caesar (page 91)
From Paul in Rome (page 99)
Timeline of Paul (page 106)
Glossary (page 109)
Selected Bibliography (page 113)
Source notes (page 115)
Student Resources (page 119)
About the Author (page 121)
The book is dedicated to:
Dan-It's amazing to think that you were walking in the footsteps of Paul as I was writing this book. What an awesome journey God provided you to take! Dad and I thank God for you. We pray God will complete the good work He's begun in your life.
I recieved a complimantary copy to read and review from booklookbloggers.com The opinions are my own.

Nancy I. Sanders may be found at www.nancyisanders.com
Leona Olson

Review of Get to Know Jesus by Nancy I. Sanders

Book review of Get to Know Mary by Nancy I. Sanders

From booklooks.com:
Book Description
Jesus - part of the Get to Know series - is a unique biography about Jesus, the son of God. Focusing on the life and character of this Biblical hero, using color photographs, maps, and other visual resources to tell the whole story, young biography fans will come to learn more about this man of the God and the role he plays in history. Featuring a bibliography and scriptural references throughout, this is sure to become a favorite for young readers and for first book reports.

Leona's Review:

Get to Know Jesus is part of the Get To Know series. Jesus, Mary, King David and Apostle Paul. These are children's book but as an adult I learned a lot.

Get to Know Jesus begins the story of Jesus at His birth. It has the many stages of His life as a child and as an adult.

There are symbols for features throughout the book: Scripture, look for an oil lamp to read a Scripture from the Bible; Bible Hero, look for a sandal for information about a Bible hero; Eyewitness Account, look for a picture of an eye each time someone who saw what happened tells about it; Did You Know?, look for a clay jar to learn fun facts; and Word Bank, look for a scroll to learn the meanings of new words.

Page 31 has a family tree of Jesus. Using something like this can help a child understand that like them, Jesus also had a family.

There are maps, pictures and drawings which are always appreciated for a learning tool.

Table of Contents:

The Important Plan

A Special Birth

Childhood and Youth

The Teacher

Stories and Parables

The Son of God

Miracles

Preparing for Passover

A Sad Day

Unexpected News

A New Purpose

The Future

Timeline of Jesus

Glossary

Selected Bibliography

Source Notes

Student Resources

About the Author

The book is dedicated to Jon and Linda, and the next generation of believers you've raised to be followers of the Truth.

Visit Nancy I. Sanders at her site: www.nancyisanders.com

I give this a 5 star rating. I received a complimentary copy from Booklookbloggers.com; HarperCollins Christian Publishing. ( booksneeze.com) to read and review. The opinions are my own.

I recommend one buy this series for a Christmas present for a child. I would think a child of 10 or so could read with help and one could read to a younger child. These books can be read over and over and make good conversations for a family get together.

Leona Olson

www.mnleona.blogspot.com

Leona's review on Get to Know Mary: http://mnleona.blogspot.com/2014/07/get-to-know-mary-by-nancy-i-sanders.html

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review of Widows of Eastwick


   

 

From amazon.com:

Book Description

 October 14, 2008
More than three decades after the events described in The Witches of Eastwick, Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie—widowed, aging, and with their occult powers fading—return for the summer to the Rhode Island town where they once made piquant scandal and sometimes deadly mischief. But what was then a center of license and liberation is now a “haven of wholesomeness” populated by hockey moms and househusbands primly rebelling against their absent, reckless, self-involved parents. With spirits still free but energy waning, the three women reconstitute their coven to confront not only this youthful counterspell of propriety but also the enmity of those longtime townsfolk who, through their youthful witchery, they irreparably harmed. In this wise and wicked satire on the way we make peace with our pasts, John Updike proves himself a wizard on every page.
Leona's Review:
I found this book at my local library.  I actually needed an author that last name began with U so I chose this one.
I have not read the first book or seen the movie; it happened to be on TV as I was reading the book but to be honest, it did not hold my attention so I did not watch all of it.
The book was about three ageing women/ witches trying to go back to Eastwick. Things have  changed as one finds when they return to the past.
The book was OK and maybe because I am in my 70s, it was somewhat  a little depressing. I did like the characters.
I felt there were too many happenings in the book but I did enjoy the travels and descriptions. I never got to Egypt but have been to China to see the Great Wall and Terra Cotta Warriors.
I will give it a 3 star for my rating.
Leona Olson

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review of Ghost Moon by Rebecca York



Book review of Ghost Moon  by Rebecca York.

From goodreads.com

York delivers the seventh novel in her paranormal Moon series. A freed slave from a parallel universe, Quinn has come to this world on a mission, but she's interrupted by the ghost of Caleb, a seductive werewolf who had been murdered by the ancestors of Quinn's dearest friends.


Leona's Review:

To be honest, I needed a Y for my author's challenge of reads and found this at my library.
Quinn is from another world and has gone through a portal to the world of her friends.
Caleb was killed by his cousin 75 years ago and is a werewolf.
This book held my attention even though it is not usually the type of book I read. The author kept my interest to the end.
I did not care for the sexual language in the book but liked the relationship of the characters. As the reader, I became familiar with the characters, good and bad.
The book is fast moving and quite detailed in descriptions so the reader is not lost with the many characters and different worlds. I think they author has done a great job and I did enjoy the read. I am giving it a 4 star only because of some of the language.

I am adding this information from amazon.com so the reader can have some information about Rebecca York.

From amazon.com:
Biography
"[Rebecca York's] books. . . deliver what they promise: excitement, mystery, romance. . ."
- Michael Dirda, Washington Post

An award-winning, best-selling novelist, Ruth Glick is the author of over 140 books. Writing as Rebecca York, she has authored or co-authored over 90 romantic suspense novels. The first of her Berkley Sensation paranormal romantic suspense novels, KILLING MOON, was published in June 2003; EDGE OF THE MOON followed in August 2003 and WITCHING MOON in October 2003. KILLING MOON and EDGE OF THE MOON were launch books for the Berkley Sensation imprint.

She writes the popular 43 Light Street series for Harlequin Intrigue. Over 30 Light Street Intrigues have been published. NOWHERE MAN was called "one of the most heart-wrenching, moving works of romantic suspense in several years," by reviewer Harriet Klausner.

Ruth's many awards include two Rita finalist books. She has two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times: for Series Romantic Suspense and Series Romantic Mystery. NOWHERE MAN was the Romantic Times Best Intrigue of 1998, and the book has been selected as one of their Reviewers' "all-time favorite 400 romances." In addition, she received the 1998 Affaire de Coeur's Critics Choice Award for Best Contemporary Novel, also for NOWHERE MAN. Ruth's book, KILLING MOON won the 2003 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award for best Paranormal. AMANDA'S CHILD won the 2001 Golden Leaf Award for Long Contemporary and was nominated for Best Intrigue of 2000 by Romantic Times. "Tyler" in BAYOU BLOOD BROTHERS won the 2001 Golden Leaf Award for best Novella. In 2007 THE SECRET NIGHT received the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for best Harlequin Intrigue. She is one of only 14 romance novelists to have received the Romance Writers of America Centennial Award for having written over 100 romance novels. Ruth's cookbook, 100% PLEASURE, was picked by USA Today as one of the 12 best cookbooks of 1994; her FABULOUS LO-CARB CUISINE was a finalist for the Mid Atlantic Publishers Association's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award.


Several of Ruth's Moon books (WITCHING MOON, SHADOW OF THE MOON, and NEW MOON) have been on the USA Today best-seller list.

Ruth and her husband travel frequently to research settings for novels and taste new dishes for cookbooks. Her many unique experiences are apt to end up in her books--like the time she encountered a coral snake in the Guatemalan jungle or took a flight in a hot air balloon.
The author may be reached at http://www.rebeccayork.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review of I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe

   
Review of I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe
 
    Book description from amazon.com
    Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?
All that clever, passionate Ravenna Caulfield wants is to stay far away from high society's mean girls.
All that handsome, heroic Lord Vitor Courtenay wants is to dash from dangerous adventure to adventure.
Now, snowbound in a castle with a bevy of the ton's scheming maidens all competing for a prince's hand in marriage, Ravenna's worst nightmare has come true.
Now, playing babysitter to his spoiled prince of a half-brother and potential brides, Vitor is champing at the bit to be gone.
When a stolen kiss in a stable leads to a corpse in a suit of armor, a canine kidnapping, and any number of scandalous liaisons, Ravenna and Vitor find themselves wrapped in a mystery they're perfectly paired to solve. But as for the mysteries of love and sex, Vitor's not about to let Ravenna escape until he's gotten what he desires . . .
 
 
Leona's Review:
I Adored a Lord is the first book I have read by Katharine Ashe  and I did like it.
I do not remember reading a mystery book that is based around a historical romance which has a murder to be solved in this time era. I liked the character of Ravenna Caulfield and her role. The main male character, Lord Vitor Courtenay, helps her solve the murder. It is a book that had me really wondering "whodunit". There are plenty of characters and so I do appreciate the list of "suspects" at the beginning of the book.
I could have done without the one sex scene in the book, I felt it was a little overdone.
I liked the description of the homes, clothing, food and countryside.
Both of the main characters have a family history and this helps to know them and why they have certain feelings.
The author's notes has some history and also remarks on what she has added with her own imagination.
The animals were a great part of the book and especially the puppy Ravenna gives to Vitor. Ravenna has a special talent with medicine for animals and humans.
I give this a 4 star because I did like the theme of the book. I kept thinking of sleuths in previous books I have read and TV movies that investigated somewhat like Ravenna. 
This is the second of the series but can be read without reading the first of the series, The Prince Catchers. The first book is I Married the Duke, then I Adored a Lord and in the winter of 2015 will be I Loved a Rogue. I will read the others.
Katharine Ashe may be reached at www.KatharineAshe.com.
Leona Olson

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review of Hot Dish Heaven by Jeanne Cooney.

Review of Hot Dish Heaven by Jeanne Cooney.
Book Description from back of the book.
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Cub reporter Emerald Malloy is assigned to gather “church food” recipes from the owner of Hot Dish Heaven, a café in a small town in the Red River Valley. Upon her arrival, she learns of a local unsolved murder. Confident that solving the case will catapult her from newspaper “gopher” to investigative reporter, she questions the locals while attending a benefit dinner-dance at the VFW. By the end of the night, she’s consumed lots of hot dish and bars while talking to everyone from the Irish-Catholic priest who lives among these Scandinavian Lutheran farmers to the café owner’s eccentric aunts. She also meets a hunky deputy sheriff and learns some tough lessons about herself. But the question remains, will she live long enough for any of it to matter?
 
Leona's Review
 
I checked out this book from my library. I have been reading more mysteries based in Minnesota lately.
 
Emerald, Emme, is a reporter for a newspaper in Minneapolis and her assignment is to get recipes from a local cafe in Kennedy, Minnesota. When talking to the owner, Margie Johnson, talks about a murder that was never solved. Emme begins her search for the murderer and so this leads the reader to the suspects and what their reason might be to kill Samantha Berg.
 
I did not care for some of the language that included the a*** and s*** words. Somehow I did not expect these words to be used by some ladies I have met on Minnesota.
 
It was an easy read and this book does include lots of "hot dish" recipes .I  call them casseroles but they are "hot dishes" in Minnesota.
 
The recipes call for white Crystal sugar because this is from the beets they harvest in this part of Minnesota.
 
Some recipes are:
Tater-Tot Hot Dish
Cheeseburger Hot Dish
Hester's Favorite Jell-O
Three- Bean Hot Dish
Nut-Goodie Bars
 
 
Recipe for Hester's Favorite Jell-O
"1 can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup hot water
 
1 large box of cherry Jell-o
1 can coca-cola
 
Dump the first 3 ingredients into a kettle and bring to a boil. Add cherry Jell-O. Stir and let cool. Add the can of regular soda and stir until the bubbles disappear. Chill until firm. Cover with Cool Whip. I know this sounds like a weird Jell-O recipe, with soda pop and all, bit  it's actually very good."
 
I am giving it a 3 star rating. I will probably read the next book,  Hot Dish Heaven: A Second Helping of Murder and Recipes.
 
Joanne Cooney may be reached at http://www.jeannecooney.com
 
Leona Olson

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer Book Review

   
 
Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer Book Review

Book description from back of book:

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.


Leona's Review:

This was my first book I have read by Anne Mateer and it did not disappoint.

Lula Bowman has to put her dream of getting a graduate degree in mathematics on hold to help her sister who has lost her husband. The dream of Lula and her father is for Lula to get a graduate degree; her father had always encouraged Lula.

She returns to Dunn, Oklahoma and gets a job as a music teacher. There is no basketball coach for the girl's team and Lula becomes the coach for extra money. This is a new sport at the time and Lula has no clue of what to do. She uses her handbook, Spalding's Official Basket Ball Guide for Women, 1916-1917, on basketball and the coach, Chet Vaughn, of the boy's basketball team to help her.
 
We have a telephone and a Tin Lizzie owned by Chet but still a single woman cannot be alone with a man. The book is set during WWl when so many men are at war.

 
Playing by Heart is a Christian romance and God is called upon many times for help. Have some tissues handy because it is also a book that is emotional because there is death, illness, and a little boy's loss of his father for a few examples.
 
We also see hope, love, sacrifice, history and caring in this historical novel.

The chapters are in first person, one chapter by Lula and the next by Chet and so forth. It gives the reader the feelings of the main characters.

Lula is in Dunn to help her sister and Chet is there to be with his widowed mother while his brother is off to war.
 

I received a complimentary copy of Playing by Heart from Bethany House to read and review. The opinions are my own.
This would be a good book club read.
I give it a 5 start rating.
 
Anne Mateer may be reached at www.annemateer.com
 
Leona Olson
 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review of Historical Records Survey Minnesota

 
 

 
 
 
Historical Records Survey Minnesota
Inventory of the County Archives
Otter Tail County
The Minnesota Historical records Survey Project
November 1940
No. 56
Work Project Administration

First pages are history of the Otter Tail County and the rest of the pages are records.
Got from University of Minnesota Wilson Library through MNLINK.
Not much on genealogy except for the history.
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review of FOR SALE MINNESOTA by Lars Ljungmark


   


Lars Ljungmark
FOR SALE- MINNESOTA
Organized promotion of Scandinavian Immigrants 1866-1873
[Borrowed from library. M 325.2485 L.  The Swedish Pioneer Historical Society Chicago 1971]
Contents:
PART l- INTRODUCTION (page 1)
The Scandinavian immigration to Minnesota 1850-1875 (page 1)
Factors behind the emigration from Sweden (page 3)
Immigration propaganda from Minnesota (page 8)
PART ll- IMMIGRATION-PROMOTION BY THE STATE OF MINNESOTA UP TO AND INCLUDING 1873 (page 17)
The immigration policy of the state, 1858-1866 (page 17)
1867: State activity at its peak (page 26)
State immigration promotion and private assistance to emigrants in 1868 (page 52)
1869: State immigrants- promotion activity under auspices of the various ethnic groups (page 57)
1870- 1873: Diminishing state immigration-promotion because of the drive of the land grant railroads (page 65)
Conclusion  (page 69)
PART lll- IMMIGRATION-PROMOTING ACTIVITY OF THE MINNESOTA RAILROADS UP TO 1871 ( page 70)
Introduction (page 70)
The Scandinavian immigration policy of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (page 78)
The beginning of the active immigration policy of the Northern Pacific Railroad 1869-1871 (page 132)
The colonization policy of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad 1869-1871 (page 150)
1869-1871 (page 150)
Conclusion (page 153)
PART lV- THE IMMIGRATION-PROMOTING ACTIVITY OF THE MINNESOTA RAILROADS 1871-1873 (page 155)
The immigration drive of the Northern Pacific 1871-1873: a lost race against time (page 155)
The Swedish drive of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad 1871-1873 (page 210)
CONCLUSION (page 263)
APPENSICES (page 267)
1. The population of Minnesota according to census figures ((page 267)
2. Hans Mattson 1832-1895)
3. Original entries of land under the Homestead Laws in  Minnesota 1863-1873 (page 369)
4. Fish Lake Township, Chisago County  (page 271 )
5. The emigrant lists in Gothenburg (page 277)
6. The pull from America, as seen in Mollersvard's emigrant lists (page 281)
Bibliography (page 293)
Index of names (page 302)
Leona's Review:
This book concentrates on the railroad. The part about Fish Lake Township mainly is about the census and how many were farmers. Swedes were the main buyers and farmers.
Jay Cooke's involvement in the Northern Pacific project is on page 132.
The book is very detailed with census figures, graphs and names.
I did not read it as a novel but did read certain pages of interest.
I was looking fro information for my husband's family who were Swedish immigrants.
A great book for research.
Leona Olson

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review of Death Before Dinner, An Otter Tail County Mystery by Gerald Anderson

   
 
Review of Death Before Dinner,  
An Otter Tail County Mystery by Gerald Anderson
 
From Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738708747, Paperback)
Could something like murder happen in Fergus Falls-a quiet Minnesota town known for its Scandinavian heritage and great lake fishing? Yah, you betcha!
Every August Dr. George Gherkin, the Fergus Falls State University president, hosts a faculty party. It's tradition for George to lock himself inside the kitchen to prepare his signature dish. But instead of Chicken Kiev, the guests find their chef with a meat cleaver buried in his head.
All the guests are suspects. There's Sally Ann Pennwright, Gherkin's scorned secretary and former mistress; Sherwin Williams, the assistant professor of Art who's been denied tenure for years; and Francis Olson, the athletic director whose attempt to leave Fergus Falls was thwarted by Gherkin. Everyone has an ax to grind with the selfserving, manipulative university president. Can the small-town sheriff-who hasn't handled a homicide case in his entire career-solve this unsavory crime?

Leona's Review

I has a problem rating this book but it did get better as it progressed. The Ole joke advanced it from a 3 1/2 star to a 4 star rating. I usually give 4 star ratings when research has been done and I learn something; I did from this book.
I chose this book from my library because I was doing genealogy research for my husband's family. They are from Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
The book begins with a prologue and the death of George Gherkins. The first chapters describe the characters in the book and their issues with the president of the Fergus Falls State University.
The descriptions of the town and people were great and so I liked this history and information. The author is detailed in his descriptions of food, the decor of the homes and clothing of the characters. The author does leave the reader trying to solve the mystery of the murder and why it happened . I did see politics in this book but we are in Minnesota and they are political.  ( I am not a Minnesotan, just married to one and he is a Scandinavian. We do live in Minnesota).

Main characters:
Dr. George Gherkin-President of Fergus Falls State University
Dolly Gherkin-Wife of George Gherkin
Guest List:
Abigail Armbruster- Mayor of Fergus Falls
Dr. Isabel Corazon- Newest Vide-president at Fergus Falls State University
Francis Olson- Athletic Director at Fergus Falls State University
Sally Ann Pennwright- Private Secretary of George Gherkin
Lance Sterling- President of alumni association
Ruth Sterling- Wife of Lance Sterling
Dr. Harold Winston-Professor of History at Fergus Falls State University
Brick Wahl- A Contractor
Sherwin Williams-Assistant Professor of Art
Mae Williams-
 Wife of Sherwin Williams

Sheriff and Deputy
Palmer Knutson- Sheriff of Fergus Falls
Orly Peterson- Deputy of Fergus Falls


I recommend  Death Before Dinner for a good read and some history of a small town in west central Minnesota.
Leona Olson
www.mnleona.blogspot.com


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Review of Get to Know King David By Nancy I. Sanders



Book Review of Get to Know King David 
By Nancy I. Sanders   

Book Description from booklookbloggers.com

A shepherd and a king, David lived an adventurous life. He protected his family’s sheep from lions and bears. He fought a giant with just a sling and stone. He even spent years hiding from men who were trying to kill him. And eventually, David became a great king. But David was also a man of God. Learn more about this hero from the Bible and his exciting place in history. Discover what it was like to grow up in ancient Israel and then be a king of God’s people. King David - part of the Get to Know series - will teach you everything you need to know about an imperfect young man whom God used to do great things!
This is a Zondervan book.  www.zonderkidz.com
Leona's Review: 


Get to Know King David is part of a series of Get to Know books that are about Biblical people. The books are for grade school age children but I think a wonderful family project for the child (children) parents (or grandparents) to study the Bible together and learn.
Get to Know Jesus, Get to Know Mary, Get to Know King David, and Get to Know Apostle Paul.
The book begins with David as a shepherd boy and continues when he is King David.
David played a harp and wrote songs as he tended the sheep. Psalm 23 was written by David: "The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need'. (page 17)
There is a lot of history and facts about David and other people from the Bible. It is a short book and can be read by chapters instead of reading the complete book at one  time. I suggest the adult read it first so they can be prepared for questions from the child.
There are pictures, maps, and drawings to be used as a learning tool.
Throughout the book are symbols that have information about the book.
Bible Hero- Look for a sandal about information about a Bible hero.
Eyewitness Account- Look for a picture of an eye each time someone who saw what happened tells about it.
Did You Know?- Look for a clay jar to learn fun facts.
Word Bank- Look for a scroll to learn the meanings of new words. The words are also in bold on the page.
A Bible Hero is Samuel: "Samuel was a type of ruler in Israel. He ruled as the judge. He was also a prophet and told God's words to the people. Samuel anointed both Saul and then David as kings of Israel. The books of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel in the Bible are about the life and times of Samuel" (page 17)
An Eyewitness Account found in Tel Dan tells about a battle. It is written by a king who lived north of Israel. The writing on the stone says he killed a king "of the house of David" ". (page 17)
A Did You Know?: "The Bible has two sections- The Old Testament and the New Testament.  These are also known as the Scriptures. The Old Testament tells the history and beliefs of the Jews. The New Testament tells the history and beliefs of Jesus and his followers. )The stories of David are in the Old Testament" (page 16) (Leona's note: Usually I see His with a capital but this was lower case so I left it that way).
A Word Bank- "Tabernacle: The holy place of worship for the Jews before the temple was built" (page 45)
Table of Contents
Chapter 1- A Shepherd Boy
Chapter 2- A Servant on the King's Court
Chapter 3- The Giant Killer
Chapter 4- King Saul's Anger
Chapter 5- In Hiding
Chapter 6- Waiting for God's Plan
Chapter 7- Crowned as King
Chapter 8- The Second King of Israel
Chapter 9- The Turning Point
Chapter 10- Sad Times
Chapter 11- Temple Plans
Chapter 12- David's Throne Forever
Timeline of David
Glossary
Selected Bibliography
Source Notes
Student Resources
About the Author
Get to Know King David is dedicated to:
Jeff and Annette-what a blessing it is to call you family as well as friends.
I received a complimentary copy of Get to Know King David by Nancy I. Sanders from booklookbloggers.com.
The opinions are my own.
I give this a 5 star rating.
I recommend these as a wonderful Christmas gift or a Jewish holiday. They are not expensive; $ 6.99 is the listed price on the back of the book.
Nancy I. Sanders may be found at www.nancyisanders.com
Leona Olson