Monthly Archives: March 2015

School weeks…

I need to update as far as our school weeks. Basically, we have been doing school, play practice, basketball the last several weeks. It has consumed me, so that blogging has not been on the top priority list.

I am at that point in the year where I am remembering why spring break was invented for teachers. I am looking with longing at the books on my to-read piles and wishing for time to just sit to read.

FullSizeRender-5 All year, after H. has his writing class, he has been taking care of this little guy while his mom teaches Geometry.

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Lots and lots of drama practice…

IMG_0205 One of the best parts of drama practice, is that everything is sprinkled with prayer and close friendships. Plus, there is always great learning going on here. The discipline learned here, translates into other areas of life and school.

We are finished with week 31 of MFW 1850-Modern times. We have been enjoying Crash Course history videos on YouTube immensely to go along with our reading. They are great!

We were learning about JFK and also were able to find all sorts of great things online to really cement that home!

This is short, but I figured it was better than nothing! =)

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Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description:

Irene and Rand come from very different walks of life. Will they find common ground in their fight to survive?

Irene has grown up in the jungle as a missionary with her Aunt Anita, but now she and countless others are imprisoned by Japanese soldiers at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines. Irene and her aunt are safe there, and she keeps busy with her duty of delivering censored messages to the camp’s prisoners, but like everyone else, she prays for the war to end and for her freedom.

Rand is a wealthy, womanizing American, whose attempted escape from the internment camp has put himself and others in danger. When Rand and Irene’s Aunt Anita meet one another in the hospital, Irene learns more of his story and her heart is determined to save his family.

But the danger outside the walls of the hospital worsens every day, and life in this exotic place is anything but luxurious. Can Irene find Rand’s family before they disappear forever? And can a humble missionary woman and an arrogant man find common ground in the face of their biggest fears?

My Review:

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I had previously read Liz Tolsma’s WW2 books, and have been looking forward to reading this one as well. I believe I looked forward to it more after having the privilege of meeting her this last fall.

This is an unusual story, much like her other stories, it does not follow the traditional WW2 storyline. Instead, you are transported into a land far away, experiencing the cruelty and starvation that caused the USA to fear the Japanese. You will be living in an internment camp, where freedom is only an illusion. The twists and turns of the story take you down a path that you will be unsure you want to travel, but the story will keep you reading.

I was reminded of the book “Evidence not Seen by Darlene Diebler Rose“. Even though, it took place in a different country,  the story of an American held in a Japanese internment camp rang true to me. I love how you can trust the research that Ms. Tolsma put into her stories. They have the basis of truth, which would allow you to use these in a high school curriculum as historical reading.

The topic is in itself, not the prettiest, but it is done in a way that older high school students will benefit from it’s telling, even when it addresses parts that are not as lovely. Another great read from a wonderful and sweet author.

This book was provided for me for review by NetGalley and the publisher. The thoughts contained herein are my own.

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The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

The handsome firefighter makes a living coming to people’s rescue, but Gin is used to fighting her own battles.

Nothing has ever come easy for single mom Genevieve Lightly. Over the years, she’s managed to pay the bills waitressing, and she is deeply devoted to her daughter, Raine. Gin has been satisfied moving from city to city, never putting down roots or making commitments. But when engine trouble temporarily strands them in the small town of Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises her daughter they will stay put until Raine graduates from high school in the spring.

Dan Moretti couldn’t imagine a life without Evie, but she married his best friend. After Max died while fighting a huge blaze, Dan has looked out for Evie and her son, Cody. Evie has always made it clear she thinks of him only as a friend, but Dan has secretly held out hope that her feelings would change. When a small town scandal erupts, Dan is caught in the middle and his loyalty put to the test when he realizes his feelings are the ones that are changing. He’s falling for a beautiful, unconventional waitress named Gin.

As Cody and Raine move closer to making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives, Dan makes a decision, too. But can he convince a woman who doesn’t believe in happy endings to take a chance on a new beginning . . . with him?

My Review:

I had no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up. The author creates a tale of two families from two worlds. They live in the same town, yet only cross paths when their children become irreversibly entwined.

I enjoyed this book as the characters were real. They were not cookie cutter, nor were they without faults. Yet, they seemed to make me fall in love with each of them. Many books focus on only one or two characters, while this story had me rooting for all parts of the story. There were layers for each character, which involved another. I learned as we unveiled each piece, how much talent that takes.

This is not a terribly light read, but neither is it a heavy read. Topics are dealt with relating to teen pregnancy, death from firefighting, abuse and widowhood. They are all lightly touched on, without giving sordid details. This would make it a great book to read with older teens that need to experience this. I especially liked how Cody was a great kid, that never thought it would happen to him, yet it did.

 

I recommend this book as a great read!

 

This book was given to me for review by BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description:

When Holly’s secrets backfire, is the mess too big to unravel?

Holly Cramer has worked hard to keep the identity of her daughter’s father a secret, shamed and embarrassed by the one-night stand. But when the police knock on her door searching for Creed Kershaw, she realizes his identity isn’t as hidden as she thought. The fact that Creed is a person of interest in a recent drug-related murder only increases her humiliation.

When Holly’s and Creed’s paths cross, Holly is unsure whether to be terrified of him or trust him. His tenderness with their daughter makes her want to believe his story that he had nothing to do with the murder. Then she discovers that Creed has a connection to Leonard Miller-who killed both her sister’s fiancé and her brother-in-law, and kidnapped her nephews-and things only become more complicated.

Will Creed lead them to the man who has plagued her family, or become another of his victims?

My Review:

Holly Cramer is determined to turn her life around after having a child. Her past is not making it easy on her. The book opens with a mugging, which will have your heart racing. The desire to figure out who actually committed the murder in this murder mystery, will keep you reading. This book sort of ties up a lot of loose ends that were left open in the previous books. You will want to make sure you read them before this one.

I found the frustration with the legal system portrayed accurately in the book, and the desire to see justice despite the circumstances. It is hard when you see someone you love harmed, and you are helpless to help them.

Through the twists and turns of this book, I often disagreed with the choices the characters made and felt frustrated with them. But I have learned that is real life! Life really hands you a lot of hard knocks. You will feel you got handed a plateful of difficult to handle relatives. You love them to pieces, but want to shake them as well.

I enjoyed how this book tied all those things together, in a not so neat package.

This book was given to me for review by BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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