Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Cups

Three Cups by Tony Townsley and Mark St. Germain is beautifully illustrated by April Willy.  I would tend to think a book intended to teach children about finances would be pretty dull, but this book proved me wrong.  This sturdy hardback book with thick glossy pages contains gorgeous pictures which captivated our little toddler's attention.

The story is about a little boy who receives three cups for his fifth birthday.  The cups are labeled "give," "save," and "spend".  His parents announce that he will now be receiving an allowance which will be divided into these three cups.  The book moves on predictably from there and provides an invaluable opportunity to start teaching even young children about managing money.  The back of the book contains some suggestions to parents for using this book.

Personally, we have not decided if we are going to give our son an allowance or use another system to teach him about finances.  But if we do choose to give an allowance, we will definitely use this book as a teaching tool.  Considering this is put out by a Christian publisher, I was surprised that there were no Bible verses in the entire book and not even any mention of God, only references to giving to church.  That was kind of disappointing, but it can still be used as a great tool for teaching children.  It is just and incomplete tool, in my opinion.

I give this book five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze of Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bone House by Stephen Lawhead

The Bone House is the second in Stephen Lawhead’s Bright Empires Series. The story picks up where The Skin Map left off, tracking a variety of characters through various time periods and dimensions as they all seek to get their hands on the same thing: a map of all the various dimensions that exist, as well as the ley lines used to travel between them.
                While the first installment of the series seemed to move rather quickly and kept readers turning pages as quickly as they could read them, the second volume moved at a much slower pace. Lawhead’s wonderful style and descriptive language was all there, and he is exciting a fun to read, as his vocabulary and historical research make it easy for the reader to place himself back into the various time periods that are worked into the story. However, the story line simply did not seem to progress much, and very few questions left from the first work were answered, while many more were introduced. It seems that the hallmark of a good series of books is some sort of resolution within each story that allows it to in some small way stand alone while contributing to greater whole of the series. The Bone House does not have that quality, but relies completely on what came before and what will hopefully come after.
In summary, I would recommend the series thus far to readers who love the historical fiction and science fiction/ fantasy genres. Lawhead is a great writer, though I don’t believe this book represents his best work. That being said, I would give The Bone House 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When the Hurt Runs Deep

When the Hurt Runs Deep is a deeply insightful book about pain and suffering from well-known author Kay Arthur.  This is the first book by her that I have read and I think 2 things stood out to me.  First, she uses a LOT of Scripture throughout her book.  Secondly, this book was not an easy read. 

Arthur, often speaking from a personal knowledge of hurt, fills the book with a lot of information.  I found that it was of such a "heavy" nature that it was hard to read very quickly.  The book also contains a study guide in the back for personal use or with a small group.  I would recommend using the book with the study guide over a long period of time.  You would probably get the most out of it by reading it in small portions and allowing for time to consider what you have read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.