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Showing posts from May, 2010

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

A girl is transformed, through instruction in life at court, determination, and magic, from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence, a fit ruler of the kindgom of Montagne as it faces war with neighboring Drachensbett.

Interesting twist on Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and other fairy tales involving dragons, enemy kingdoms, evil stepmothers, a handsome prince and hidden princess.

Princess Ben is shown as a fat, spoiled princess who has to save her kingdom after her mother and the king are killed. Her aunt, now queen, does not seem to like her.
Ben is sentenced to a high tower where she finds and learns magic which is both useful and hindering. When it seems war is at hand, Ben escapes her cell to help but is caught and used as a slave in the enemy camp.

Ben overcomes obstacles and grows and changes for the better throughout the story. And her aunt changed as well.
There wasn't enough in the story to show me the change between the prince and princess from sworn e…

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

Last year my children wanted a bedtime story so I retold "Wings." One of my children eagerly awaited "Spells" so I could tell the next part of the story. After I read it I was asked to retell it. Sadly, this story wasn't made for storytelling.
This book showed us the fairy world, Avalon, and how Tam and Laurel fit into fae society. No action with the trolls came until almost the end.
Also, it sets up the next book for Laurel to have to choose between David, her human boyfriend and Tam, the fairy. …

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes. Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever. Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

I don't think I've ever read…

Friendship for Grown-Ups by Lisa Whelchel

I received this book from Book Sneeze to review.
Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel shares her experiences of growing up without true friends and how she learned to find and develop them as an adult through God's grace.Not many people can say they lived their most crucial developmental years on the sound stage of a wildly popular TV show. But that's exactly what happened in Lisa Whelchel's life. As a child, she learned to guard her heart so tightly to avoid true hurt that she found herself unable to form lasting friendships as an adult.Friendship for Grown-Ups details her experiences of learning to come out of her shell, to trust, risk, and become vulnerable by God's grace and find meaningful friendships. Readers encounter her captivating story and refreshing perspective on life's most precious gift--and they find practical tips for their own friendships along the way.Lisa Whelchel was sent to Hollywood when she was very young-by herself. Sometimes …

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer. Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging boo…

The Sapphire Flute by Karen Hoover

It has been 3,000 years since a white mage has been seen upon Rasann. In the midst of a volcanic eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother's wishes, she leaves for the mage trials only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father's secret--a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father's greatest enemy. At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the sapphire flute and told not to play it. The evil mageC'Tan has been searching for it for decades and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak. The girls' paths are set on a collision course...a course that C'Tan is determined to prevent at all costs.

I won this book in a contest and was anxious to read and review it for Karen, especially after I met …

In the Company of Angels by David Farland

Based on the true story of The Willie Handcart company of 1856, In The Company of Angels unfolds the triumphant tale of pioneers who struggle against unendurable hardships-persecution, buffalo stampedes, rampaging Indians, lingering starvation, and the early onset of the coldest winter in US history-to find the gentle homeland of the soul.

I went on Trek last summer with my church youth. We went the end of July when it was hot. We pulled handcarts for over 50 miles, experienced a sudden lightening/rain storm, went without water longer than we should have, put up and took down camp, grew blisters and soothed heat rashes.
You can ask anyone who went and they will tell you it was the best week. We grew spiritually and mentally, realizing we can do hard things.

It was hard going over Rocky Ridge in the summer, I can't imagine what it was like for the pioneers, who were starved and exhausted, to attempt the climb in the middle of a blizzard.

David's story is told from three viewpoi…