Saturday, November 5, 2011

Through My Eyes-Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker

Tebow’s book starts with his dramatic entry into the world. His pregnant mother had been told that she probably would not survive his birth. The doctor suggested abortion and she refused this offer quickly. Tim Tebow was born safely and his mother was healthy, which caused rejoicing. Next, Tebow writes about his childhood, from homeschooling to playing with his brothers, and more. In the last half of the book, he writes a lot about his football career. Throughout his story, Tebow shows us how important it is to have a good relationship with Christ.

This book is an extraordinary Christian story. Tebow writes down his story extremely well and will keep readers turning the pages. He teaches us that there is always a way to solve our problems with God’s Word.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Dragon's Tooth - N.D. Wilson

The Dragon’s Tooth’s main character is a twelve year old boy named Cyrus Smith lives with his older brother and sister Daniel Antigone at the old, run down Archer Motel. One day, a mysterious guest named Billy Bones arrives with a friend. For some reason, he requests a certain room which happens to be Cyrus’ room. The man arrives and many strange things happen, but it was not long before someone killed him and badly injured his friend. After an explosion burns the motel down to the ground, Cyrus and Antigone find themselves in the rubble with Daniel nowhere to be found and a friend of Billy Bones telling them that they need to go to a “safe place.” Soon, Cyrus and Antigone find themselves battling evil cooks, undead assassins, and more in a desperate attempt to save their captured brother.

N.D. Wilson has made this book filled with suspense, action, and adventure. It is a little bit confusing at times, though, but it clears up with time. I think that this book was written for tweens and teens, but parents might enjoy it too!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
Rating: M

Call of Duty: Black Ops is a first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of Alex Mason. Mason wakes up in an interrogation room with his unknown captors sitting in a booth right in front of him. They tell him that they captured him and are asking him what the numbers they are making him listen to mean. Seeing Mason’s confusion, they tell him that these numbers are a broadcast that they discovered. They also know that an attack is planned for them and deciphering the numbers’ secrets is the only way anyone will survive through the attack. Mason is still confused and the captors try to electrify him to get the information. Then, they try to get the info by getting him to recount his previous missions. With no other choice, the player must relive all the past missions in a hope to escape that torture room and stop the nuclear war their captors told them would happen if they did not find out what the numbers mean.

Call of Duty: Black Ops also has online and offline multiplayer and zombie survival game modes. In these, the players must work together to defeat their foes.

I really like this game. I think that this is one of the best shooters out there. However, parents, please remember that you can turn off the blood and foul language easily. Keep in mind, though, the blood will come back if you are playing online.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Discovering God's Way of Handling Money - Howard and Bev Dayton

Discovering God's Way of Handling Money is a superb introduction to personal finance and Biblical financial principles. Published through Crown Financial Ministries, it is a great combination of Bible study and practical instruction. Teens are walked through the Biblical understanding of stewardship, and they're taught how to make a budget, track spending and write checks. Highly recommended for middle and high school students.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Theodore Boone: The Abduction - John Grisham

Theodore Boone is back again, and in John Grisham’s newest mystery, Theo’s friend, April, has vanished! The only problem is that no one has any idea what happened. Theo, her best friend, decides to do his own secret investigations with his closest friends and his ex-lawyer uncle Ike. Even working together on search efforts, when one question is answered, three more appear, and everyone starts to wonder, how long until we see her on the news, dead or injured?
This book is very well done. It is a suspenseful page-turner that is almost impossible to put down. I recommend this to a younger audience, but even adults will like it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Kids pitted against other kids in an arena death match for Roman-style entertainment is horrifying, although author Suzanne Collins also makes the story captivating. She weaves through her violent tale elements of sacrifice, survival, strong family loyalty, and, of course, a love triangle that keep the reader turning the pages in spite of the dark themes.

It wasn’t until I got the to the final pages of The Mockingjay that all the pieces of the trilogy began to fit together. In the end, Suzanne Collins has an anti-war message to sell. She tries to draw a parallel between war and the arena death matches pictured in the first two books – it’s all gruesome, horrifying violence that destroys merely for power, money and the glory of winning.

As a parent, if you chose to let your child read this book, I’d recommend staying a bit ahead of them. There are some definite talking points even outside of the war themes. Love, sacrifice, vigilantism, revolution, pragmatism, just war, drug abuse, suicide, slavery and more find their way into the story. Suzanne Collins wrote an entertaining story that is obviously popular, but it’s loaded with baggage that a young reader might need help unpacking.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun Summer Reading List for Girls!

Does Nancy Drew make you yawn? Do you want books that last a little longer than the Dork Diaries? Before long you'll be fighting boredom with this collection of good reads.

The Molly Moon Series by Georgia Byng – When Molly discovers a strange book, she soon learns that she possesses the extraordinary ability to hypnotize people and animals, and oh, did I mention she can make time stand still? The books include a sprinkle of time travel, a tablespoon of magical crystals, and a heaping cup of girl power!

The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz – This book isn't really for reading the whole way through; it's more for flipping through for fun activities and ideas. It's a great one to have by your side the whole summer! I mean, what other book tells you Japanese T-Shirt Folding, Fourteen Games of Tag, and How to Be a Spy?

There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar – Louis's books are always great summer reads, and this one is no exception. Wit and humor are added in the book throughout as you follow the amazing transformation of a boy that everybody hates.

Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke – I recommend these adventures to everybody. Read a review here!

Theodore Boone by John Grisham – Don't let the title fool you; this series is not just for boys! John Grisham's new series targeted for a younger crowd is great! Read the review here!

Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman – This humorous and adventurous tale gives you a realistic look at the diary of a noble teenage girl growing up in England during the Medieval time period.

The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling – Even if you're not a big fan of fantasy, give these books a try. They're great for drives to the beach or sitting poolside. Be prepared to think a little with these though.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – All summer reading doesn't have to lack substance! This WWII dramatic tale set in Denmark is quite moving and highly recommended!

Agatha Christie – mysteries girls enjoy too; read a review here!

Nine Days a Queen by Ann Rinaldi – An historical novel about Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for just nine days when she was just 16 years old!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fun Summer Reading List (for boys, mostly)

If you’re a little too old for the Hardy boys and have already read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8 times, here are a few ideas to keep your summer reading on!

Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr) – the fourth book in this cycle comes out in November; read the review of Eragon here!

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – read the review here!

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – read the review here!

Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanagan – short, fun reads; it’s a series that must be read in order

Agatha Christie – mysteries we never get tired of; read a review here!

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson – the first book in a series of 3, and rumor has it, they are making a movie!

Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson – a Disney World action/adventure series that might make you want to take a vacation to Florida

The Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima – start out with The Warrior Heir in a 3 book series that’s best read in order

Theodore Boone by John Grisham – the best-selling author has a new series for a younger audience; read the review here!

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan – another series from the Percy Jackson author; read a review of The Red Pyramid here!

Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan – and another series from the Percy Jackson author (book 2 comes out in October)

I Am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore – the book is better than the movie, and the next in the series comes out in August

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – the best-selling survival story of an American in WWII

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – if you haven’t read these yet, you must

Brad Thor – a Tom Clancy style thriller author (contains some language) whose books can be read in any order; read a review here!