Thursday, March 31, 2011

Number One Kid


Number One Kid

About this Book

The author of the beloved Kids of the Polk Street School series introduces a new generation of readers to a multicultural group of kids who enjoy all the activities of an after-school center.

I'M #1! That’s what Mitchell McCabe’s favorite T-shirt says. He'd like to be Number One at the Zigzag Afternoon Center, where there are lots of fun activities to choose from: swimming, nature walks, field trips, art, even homework help. And YAY—there's snack time! But Mitchell is worried. What if he's the only kid who doesn’t get a prize on Prize Day? Luckily, Mitchell realizes he's a winner at something terrific.

In this delightful new series, award-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff introduces readers to a quirky, lovable group of kids, capturing all the excitement and surprises of new friends and after-school fun.

About this Author

Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan's Song, a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction; and the Newbery Honor Books Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Lily’s Crossing was also chosen as a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book. Her most recent books are Big Whopper, Eleven, Wild Girl, and Storyteller. Patricia Reilly Giff lives in Connecticut.

MY REVIEW

This was a cute little book. I read it with Aiden and he enjoyed it. I think if he had wanted to he would have been able to read most of it on his own but he isn't quite at that stage yet. This is a great book for kids who have just started reading chapter books.

Thanks so much to Random House of Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

No Safe Haven

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Books (March 15, 2011)
***Special thanks to Julie Gwinn, Trade Book Marketing, B&H Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Kimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, writer, and musician approaching life with a positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. Her previous book,Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy, chronicles her daughter’s extremely rare health issues and how the Woodhouses received an amazing gift through the ABC television program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Kim and her husband have two children and live in Colorado.


Kayla Woodhouse is a teenage author whose life-altering medical condition (a nerve disorder that prevents the body from regulating its temperature or sensing pain) has not stopped her love for swimming. She is home schooled and has an adventure blog called Dragon Claws, Dog Paws, Swimming Laws.


Visit the Kim's website.

Visit the Kayla's blog.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A young widow and her physically challenged daughter survive a plane crash in the Alaskan mountains but must puzzle together how it relates to the recent death of their husband and father.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (March 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433671166
ISBN-13: 978-1433671166

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


JENNA

The plane dropped like a 3000 pound stone.

Jenna Tikaani-Gray braced herself with one hand, and held a warm, foam cup away from her body with the other as they jostled along. These pockets of air were turning the flight into a wild ride at the fair. Good thing she loved those rides almost as much as she loved flying, because they were dropping again. Down, then up, then down again, until the sky turned to silk and the plane sailed along.

At least the turbulence hadn’t spilled the coffee.

After a long, slow sip, Jenna released a sigh as their small de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, left the bowl of Anchorage, Alaska, and lifted into the clear blue sky above. The mountains around Anchorage always produced a bumpy ride, but she’d managed to pass coffee to Hank and their other passenger without mishap.

Only one more leg of the journey and they’d be home.

A beautiful hand reached across the seat, welcoming her embrace, and she smiled at her twelve-year-old daughter, Andrea. Such a sweet kid. Jenna had definitely been blessed from above with her only child. Andrea had been through such trial and heartache, yet faced the world smiling.

Jenna squeezed her daughter’s hand as the radio buzzed and crackled.

“Juliet Kilo 3-2-6 November”--Departure Control came through the channel loud and clear.--“I’m getting no mode C on your transponder. Squawk 2-3-7-5 i-dent.”

Hank, the pilot, replied, “Roger. Juliet Kilo 3-2-6 November i-dent…”

“Negative radar contact. Maintain VFR. Do you have another transponder?”

“Roger. I’ll switch to backup.”

Jenna leaned over the side of her seat watching Hank flip the switch from transponder A to B. She waited for word from Departure Control.

“Still negative radar contact. Can you maintain VFR?”

“Roger that, Control. No problem.”

That was strange. How could both transponders be malfunctioning? She furrowed her brow. When they returned to North Pole, she’d have to get it checked out. Good thing Hank was an experienced pilot. Since Marc’s death, Jenna had hired him to pilot their plane, and knew he could handle whatever might happen.

Andie pulled on her arm, bringing Jenna’s attention from the cockpit back to her daughter.

“Mom?”

“Yeah, sweetie?”

“What does VFR mean?” Andie’s fascination was clear on her face.

Jenna felt the tension ease from her own features as she leaned close to Andie, a little thrill rippling through her body. How she loved talking about flying. “Visual Flight Rules. Hank filed an IFR flight plan—Instrument Flight Rules—but the transponders must be malfunctioning, so the tower is instructing him to fly VFR, meaning visually. If we didn’t have a clear day, that would make flying VFR trickier, sometimes impossible.”

“Is it safe to fly VFR?”

Andie must have noted her reaction earlier. Jenna had never been good at hiding things from her inquisitive child.

Jenna noticed the other passenger glance back at them from his seat next to the pilot, and she held back a frown. The rough flight could explain the man’s lack of a smile, but what caused the fierce look he shot them? Jenna cocked her head, questioning the man with her silent stare. A poke from Andie brought her back to the question.

“Yes, sweetie. It’s perfectly safe.”

“Just checkin’.” Andie giggled, squeezed Jenna’s hand, and turned to look out the tiny window next to her seat.

The man watched Jenna as she faced forward once again. Something in his intense gaze pulled at her, but she couldn’t discern what. She’d been so excited about going home that she hadn’t paid attention when they were introduced. His first name was . . . Cole? Ugh. Good job remembering the details, Jenna. Marc had taught her better than that.

Well, whether she could remember his name or not, something about this guy bothered her. She just couldn’t put her finger on what.

Forcing herself to break the connection, she slid her chin left and tried to focus on the scenery beneath them. Greens and blues melded with the white of melting snow. This was her favorite part of flying. Watching the beauty of God’s handiwork skim below her.

The two men up front spoke in hushed tones, bringing her attention back to their puzzling guest. Hank approached her before the flight asking if they could take another passenger, and she didn’t mind since the added income would be to her benefit. But who was this guy? And why, if he were just another tourist, was he so serious?

Closing her eyes, Jenna attempted to dispel her concerns. Think about the amazing news from Andie’s neurosurgeon instead. The results were far beyond her expectations, and for the first time in many years Jenna allowed herself to dream big for her precious child. So much tragedy and hurt could now be replaced with hope. The future was brighter than ever.

Instinctively, she reached for the dog tags around her neck. If only Marc could’ve been there. He’d been distraught when, as a toddler, their daughter was first diagnosed. But the additional diagnosis two years ago just about broke the man. He’d never quite recovered, and his demeanor had forever changed. The once crazy adventurer—a man full of life and laughter—closed himself behind a stone wall of protection.

She’d fought long and hard to penetrate his defenses, but taking care of Andie had become their focus, taken all their energy. When their daughter went in for brain surgery a year ago, the walls between them finally fell as they cried and held one another in the surgical waiting room. But Jenna never had the chance to discover what drove her husband to such emotional extremes. The accident happened before Andie was released from the hospital.

Opening her eyes, she blinked back the tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. Stop it! This is no time for tears. It’s a happy day.

They would move on from here.

She turned to gaze out the window. How long had she been lost in her memories? And, for that matter…where were they? Leaning closer to the glass, she searched for familiar landmarks. The scenery wasn’t right.

Before she could open her mouth to speak to Hank, brisk movement in the cockpit drew her attention to the two men up front. Seeing a tangle of arms shoved her heart into her throat.

Hank was fighting the passenger!

The man grabbed Hank’s arm and—a gun! Hank had a gun!

Before Jenna could move, Hank jerked his arm free, took aim, and shot the radio. Glancing at Andie, she ripped open her seatbelt. Her daughter’s eyes widened and her mouth hung open as Jenna yanked the belt off her and shoved her over the seat toward the rear of the plane. She climbed after her frightened child, signaling her to crouch in the floor. As Jenna hunched over her sweet daughter, she hugged her tight, whispering calming words in an attempt to shield her from the horror of the scene unfolding in front of them.

The plane plunged and veered to the west.

Heart thundering, Jenna monitored the scuffle through a crack between the seats and prayed for wisdom and safety. What was happening? And why? Arms wrestled and tangled—the passenger pushed upward, almost hovering over the pilot. What if he killed Hank?

As the plane teetered and shuddered, Jenna felt the panic rise in her throat. Surely God wasn’t going to let Andie die, not after all she’d survived already.

The man rammed a fist into the pilot’s face. Though Hank tried to fight back, he soon crumpled under the intense blows. Hank wore an evil smirk as he croaked out the awful words: “You’ll…never make…it…alive…”

The same fear that stole her breath rushed into the passenger’s face. What did Hank mean? Was it a threat to the passenger? Or to them all?

Determination stretched taut over the man’s rugged features as he threw Hank to the floor behind him, and climbed into the pilot’s seat. “Tie his hands!” He tossed a small cord to Jenna.

He fought to level off the plane, then glanced back in her direction. His breaths were ragged and his eyes bore a glassy sheen. He looked different… unfocused. Dare she depend on him? After Hank’s words, Jenna wasn’t sure about anything. It was all happening too fast.

Grabbing Andie, she hauled herself back over the seat and fumbled with the cording. It was a good thing Hank was unconscious, as her knots needed work. She darted a glance toward the cockpit, and decided to strap Hank back in. Their landing could be really rough if this guy didn’t know what he was doing, and she wanted their former pilot to be in decent condition to go to jail.

“Leave him!” Even though his upper lip was sweaty and he looked slightly green, his glare could burn a hole through steel. “You two buckle up!” He turned back to the controls.

Minutes passed.

Jenna bowed her head in prayer.

“This may be bumpy, I don’t know…what they did to…your plane…” The man’s words grew more and more slurred. “I’m not feeling…so… hhhoo…”

In a matter of seconds, he slid down his seat and slumped over the yoke, arms limp at his sides.

Time stood still. She could hear her lungs taking in air, watched Andie’s eyes widen in fear, felt the plane dive forward, but Jenna couldn’t move. God, Help me! Spare my daughter, please Lord!

Andie screamed. “Mom!”

In a split-second, Jenna’s survival instinct kicked in. Bolting up, she grabbed Andie. “It’s going to be okay, baby.” She slid a hand down Andie’s cheek. “I need you to help me move this guy, and then I want you to grab Hank’s headset and buckle up in the co-pilot’s seat. Can you do that?”

Without waiting for an answer, she squeezed Andie’s shoulder and climbed over seats into the cockpit. Adrenaline pumped pure strength through Jenna’s veins as she moved the bulk of the man who had tried to save them.

Or kill them.

She shook her head and shoved his solid, muscled frame over the seat. Jenna motioned for Andie to help strap him into another seat. Hank was sprawled, with his legs at an odd angle, but she had bigger concerns at the moment. Like landing the plane.

Andie grabbed Hank’s headset, dashed back to the front, and climbed into the seat next to her. .

Jenna took a deep breath and turned to the controls as Andie buckled in. She looked through the windshield--and gasped.

Denali—“the high one”—the tallest mountain in North America, loomed before her. They shouldn’t be anywhere near the Alaska Range, and yet here they were—flying straight into the South Face.

“Your seatbelt, Mom!”

Jenna’s hands gripped the yoke tighter. No time for a seatbelt. She needed control of this plane.

“Mom!”

“It’s okay, honey. Calm down.”

“But, Mom…” Andie gripped the headset. “Can you save us?”

Two weeks of flight ground school and one lesson didn’t quite give Jenna the know-how she needed to get out of this alive. “I’m gonna try, Sweetie.” Oh, God! Show me what to do!

Pulling up on the yoke, she tried to level out the small aircraft. “Honey, I need you to set those four dials on the radio controls to 1-2-1-5. That’s the emergency frequency. 1-2-1-5. Okay?”

Andie nodded and didn’t hesitate to obey. The kid had been through brain surgery and a lifetime dealing with a rare physical condition. Her hands shook as she sucked in a deep breath and started turning the knobs. “Okay, Mom.” Nervous blue eyes met hers as she handed over the headset. “It’s set.”

Slamming the headset onto her head, Jenna winced. Careful. Breathe. Andie’s relying on you. “Mayday! Mayday! Juliet Kilo 3-2-6 November needs emergency assistance. We have no pilot aboard capable of flying this plane. Mayday! Mayday!”

Crackling, hissing, static, and then silence.

“Mayday, mayday! Juliet Kilo 3-2-6 November requesting emergency assistance!”

Nothing.

Andie’s sweet voice filled the cabin as reality set in. “Mom, the radio’s dead. Hank shot it. Why would he do that, Mom?” Tears quietly streamed down her daughter’s face.

“Baby, I don’t know, but I have to try to land this plane. Put your head between your knees right now and cover your head with your arms.”

Her brave little trooper obeyed, and Jenna prayed for guidance. Taking a firm grip on the yoke, she tried to turn the plane. The rudder barely responded. Something was wrong with the ailerons. What had she forgotten?

Okay, Jenna, think. Cut your descent. Flaps down. What else can I do? Oh, God, help me remember! Help me think. There was no avoiding it: they were going to crash. She needed to strap herself in. Fumbling with one hand made it all the more difficult. “Andie, help me with the buckle.”

She had to steer away from Denali. Sultana stood to her left, towering in all her glory. If she could just get close to Kahiltna glacier, she might be able to land there. But they were too high on the mountain. She’d have to find a different place and soon. With all her might, she worked the yoke to turn west, but the mountain face rushed toward her at a terrifying pace.

Not much time left.

Lifting the nose up, she prayed for the snow to be deep enough to cushion their landing. It was all she could do. The plane barely responded to her attempts to turn it, and they raced toward the steep mountain side.

With one last cry for help, Jenna lurched as the plane dove toward the side of the mountain. Letting go of the yoke, she flung her arms over her daughter’s body inhaling Andie’s sweet scent: Citrus shampoo and a sweetness all her daughter. But she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the scene.

Metal crunched. Glass shattered and peppered her arms. The plane creaked and groaned as they impacted Sultana’s unyielding side. The sound of screaming metal surrounded them, and Jenna knew. The mountain had ripped the wings from the fuselage. Her breaths seemed hours apart as the plane pummeled the snow-packed earth underneath them.

Another desperate prayer formed in her mind—only to be blotted out when everything went from the brilliant white of the snow to deep black.


ANDIE

What’s that?

Air crossed my face like someone breathing beside me. Then something rustled next to my hand.

Wind. I feel wind. My thoughts began to clear. Why would I feel the wind inside an airplane? Memories flooded my head and chills raced up my spine. Something wasn’t right. I tried to shake off the foreboding, but the slight movement sent piercing pain screaming through my head.

Ow! Okay, that’s weird. I wasn’t used to feeling pain.

I placed a hand on my head and put slight pressure to it. Slowly, I opened my eyes.

Oh! Bright light. Wiggling within the tight confines of my seatbelt, I just about conked my head on some sort of thingy hanging in the air above me. Everything was a blur and I felt like I was spinning. Why am I spinning? The sun shone bright, and I rubbed my eyes. The spinning stopped.

Weird.

The seat belt straps were cutting off the circulation on my shoulders and squeezing the living daylights out of my stomach. I fumbled with the straps and wrestled with the buckles. Finally, I managed to unlatch them—and fell, landing on my shoulder.

Ow.

I was on the ceiling of the plane. Hanging . . . upside down? No wonder my head hurt. I was just glad I didn’t land on it.

I rubbed the sides of my head to try and clear my fuzzy mind, then climbed on my hands and knees through a hole that at one time must have been the windshield. Moving only made my dizziness worse.

“Ouchy!” My head started to hurt. Really hurt. What was the weird, zinging pain? Wait…pain? Fear swirled through me like a hurricane. The last time I felt pain, they told me I needed brain surgery. Tears slid down my icy cheeks before I could stop them. Lord, please no! No. No. Not again, God I can’t handle this, it’s too much.

Panic bubbled up inside of me. Stumbling, forcing one foot in front of the other, I kept going. I wiped away the tiny droplets feeling grit and dirt covering my face. I looked down at my upturned palms. They were covered in dirt—

And blood.

Lots of blood.

Oh, great. Spots danced in front of my eyes as the dizziness overwhelmed me.

And then there was nothing.


The stinging on the back of my head made my eyes pop open. The sky loomed above me, and if I hadn’t known better I would have said it looked threatening. How long was I out? The pain was still there, but at least my brain wasn’t so fuzzy.

Ok, Andrea, do something. Those words seemed to help me push myself to a sitting position. I took deep breaths to calm the shaking that had taken over my body. One more breath, then I reached my left hand back under my long black hair to touch the scar on the back of my neck to see if it was intact. The familiar bumpy groove greeted my fingers. I pulled my hand back with a sigh, but avoided looking at it. I didn’t feel the stickiness of blood…well, not on that hand. That must mean no blood or wounds were on my scar. But my sticky right hand haunted me, as if something fierce--like a giant, abominable snowman--lay on top of the blood, waiting to gobble me up.

The fainting happens every time. I hate blood!

Ok, Andie, just don’t think about it.

My surroundings came into focus. Snow, more snow, boulders, glass, the airplane… Uh-oh. The airplane. Hadn’t I been in the airplane? Or had I dreamed that? I glanced around—then wished I hadn’t.

Some sort of big, metal part was smashed against a rock face and the tail-rudder-thingamabob had completely fallen off and lay on the other side of the crash. There was no sign of the wings and the windshield was shattered in a million pieces that lay sparkling on the snow as they reflected the sun’s light. And lying in the middle of it all . . .

Mom!

I ran over to her. She was under one of the wings. Well, partly under one of the wings, covered in blood. Lots of blood. All over her legs. Her jacket was torn and had blood on it too.

“Mom! You have to wake up, Mom!” I shook her shoulder in an attempt to wake her. It didn’t work.

The blood… I pulled in air, then looked away before I threw up, and almost passed out again. That’s when I saw the man who fought Hank.

More blood.

Again, I jerked away, my stomach churning. Too much. Too much fear. Too much loneliness. Too much blood. I couldn’t do it. Walking away, I trudged through the snow, and sat—well more accurately, fell—on the ground. Tears spilled down my now soggy face, quickly turning to ice and sparkling on the snow as a scratchy voice inside my head said the most awful truth.

They’re dead. You’re all alone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wolves Among Us


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wolves Among Us
David C. Cook; New edition (April 1, 2011)
by
Ginger Garrett




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Ginger Garrett is the author of the Chronicles of the Scribes series (In the Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, In the Eyes of Eternity), Dark Hour, and Beauty Secrets of the Bible. Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA.



Focusing on ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News, Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show, 104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets.



A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in Theater, she is passionate about creating art from history. Ginger resides in Georgia with her husband and three children.



ABOUT THE BOOK



This richly imagined tale takes readers to a tiny German town in the time of “the burnings,” when pious and heretic alike became victims of witch-hunting zealots. When a double murder stirs up festering fears, the village priest sends for help. But the charismatic Inquisitor who answers the call brings a deadly mix of spiritual fervor and self-deceptive evil. Under his influence, village fear, guilt, and suspicion of women take a deadly turn. In the midst of this nightmare, a doubting priest and an unloved wife—a secret friend of the recently martyred William Tyndale—somehow manage to hear another Voice…and discover the power of love over fear.



Dinfoil, Germany, 1538. In a little town on the edge of the Black Forest, a double murder stirs up festering fears. A lonely woman despairs of pleasing her husband and wonders why other women shun her. An overworked sheriff struggles to hold the town—and himself—together. A priest begins to doubt the power of the words he shares daily with his flock. And the charismatic Inquisitor who arrives to help—with a filthy witch in a cage as an object lesson—brings his own mix of lofty ideals and treacherous evil. Under his influence, ordinary village fears and resentments take a deadly turn. Terror mounts. Dark deeds come to light. And men and women alike discover not only what they are capable of, but who they are…and what it means to grapple for grace.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Wolves Among Us, go HERE

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

False Pretenses


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
False Pretenses
David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)
by
Kathy Herman




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.



She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.



Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.



Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life.



But it’s about to become hell. One day, out of the blue, she receives a series of anonymous notes that sends her life into a tail spin. Five simple words, “I know what you did.” Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Unbeknownst to anyone, even Zoe’s husband, Pierce, she has a past—a past she had covered so well she never thought she would have to confront. How could anyone know what she did? Can she find the courage to face her past?



If you would like to read the first chapter of False Pretenses, go HERE.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Star Wars Year by Year : A Visual Chronicle


Star Wars Year by Year : A Visual Chronicle

Book: Hardcover | 235 x 159mm | 320 pages | 8 - AND UP years

From the first release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 to the 2009 second season of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle is an unparalleled chronological journey through the making of the most epic science fiction series ever! Featuring incredible illustrations and stills, the book chronologically details the history and development of the Star Wars movies; the events, press, and logistics surrounding the making of each movie; and exclusive interviews with people who worked behind the scenes. The year-by-year format includes images from the movies, TV series, comic books, video games, and novels as well as movie posters, memorabilia, book covers, and more.


Pablo Hidalgo
An expert on a variety of genre obsessions, from classic animation to shape-shifting robots, Pablo Hidalgo started writing about fantastic subject matters professionally in 1995 as a freelance author for roleplaying games. In 2000, he changed careers from a visual effects concept artist and digital compositor in Canada to a full-time Star Wars authority at Lucasfilm Ltd., working in their online department. Since then, he has overseen the development of websites, co-authored several books and developed a number of online comic books and strips. He is currently managing editor for StarWars.com, overseeing daily publication of content as well as developing special online spin- off projects for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He lives in San Francisco.


Gus Lopez
Gus Lopez created The Star Wars Collector's Archive (theswca.com) in 1994—the first Star Wars collecting website on the Internet. He has written many articles on Star Wars collecting for various publications over the years including a column on Star Wars collectibles for Star Wars Insider. He has given talks on Star Wars collecting at many toy, science fiction, and Star Wars conventions in Europe, Asia, and North America. Gus ran the Star Wars collecting tracks for the four Star Wars Celebration events in the US, Celebration Europe in the UK, and Celebration Japan. He is coauthor (with Duncan Jenkins) of Gus and Duncan's Comprehensive Guide to Star Wars Collectibles published by Completist Publications, the largest Star Wars collecting guide ever assembled. Gus lives in Seattle with his wife, Pamela.


Daniel Wallace
Daniel Wallace is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters as well as a dozen more books that explore the underpinnings of the Star Wars universe, such as Star Wars: The Essential Atlas and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. He is a regular contributor to Star Wars Insider magazine and assembled the questions used in the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit game. In addition to his contributions to the galaxy far, far away, he has written for universes including Indiana Jones, Smallville, Supernatural, DC Comics, and Marvel Comics, with books including The Marvel Encyclopedia, The DC Comics Chronicle, and The Art of Superman Returns.


Ryder Windham
Ryder Windham is the author of over sixty Star Wars titles, including Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection and the New York Times-bestseller Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide. He has written junior novelizations of Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies and scripted numerous comics. An occasional freelance cartoonist and storyboard artist, he is an instructor and Certificate Program Advisor for Comics and Sequential Art at Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education.

© 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. ® & TM. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.


MY REVIEW

If you have a Star Wars fan in your house than this book will be a huge hit. My husband and both of my sons love it. They have all spent many hours engrossed in its pages. But that didn't really surprise me.

What surprised me was that I actually like it too! I found much of it rather fascinating. The pictures are great and there is a TON of information.

This book would make a great gift.



Thanks so much to DK Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vicious Cycle


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Vicious Cycle
Zondervan (February 22, 2011)
by
Terri Blackstock




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.



Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers’ online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatment, the interventionist is murdered, and the daughter disappears. Barbara, the mother, sets out to search for her daughter. Terri modeled Barbara after herself, and poured many of her own emotions and experiences into that character. As a result, many families experiencing drug addiction have written to thank her for telling their story and giving them hope. Vicious Cycle, Book Two of the Intervention Series, releases February 22, 2011. She’s currently working on Book Three.



Other recent books include a stand-alone novel called Double Minds, as well as Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn’s Light (from her acclaimed Restoration Series). She is also known for her popular Newpointe 911 Series and Cape Refuge Series. Terri makes her home in Mississippi, where she and her husband Ken are enjoying their empty nest after raising three children.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.







ABOUT THE BOOK



When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse.



His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan---the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies.



In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Vicious Cycle, go HERE.



Watch the Book Video:



Monday, March 21, 2011

No Safe Haven




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Haven
B&H Books (March 15, 2011)
by
Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse




ABOUT THE AUTHORS:



A devoted wife and mother, Kimberley Woodhouse is a third generation Liszt student, she has passed down her love of the arts to hundreds of students over the years.



About fifteen years ago, Kimberley began writing seriously. Songs, plays, short stories, novels, picture books, articles, newsletters - you name it - she's written it. It wasn't until a dear friend challenged her to "do something with it", that she pursued publication.



Kimberley and her family's story have been on the front page of newspapers, in magazines, articles, medical journals, and most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They were also asked to share their story on The Montel Williams Show and Discovery Health Channel's Mystery ER. She has recorded three albums, and has appeared at over 700 venues. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and their two children in a truly "Extreme" home.



Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It's news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna's husband (Andi's dad) in a car accident.



But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn't want to save them, but to kill them.



Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn't come easy to Jenna or Andi√Ďand they both sense Cole is hiding something.



A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna's late husband that some would do anything to possess.



Watch the Book Video:







If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Haven, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Caregiver


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Caregiver
Avon Inspire; Original edition (March 8, 2011)
by
Shelley Shepard Gray




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.

















ABOUT THE BOOK



Two lives converge one stormy night on a train headed to cleveland

Lucy is traveling by herself via train to Jacob's Crossing to help care for her cousin Mattie, recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Trying to overcome the sudden death of her husband, she's glad to get away and focus on someone else for a while.

The only other Amish people on the train are Calvin Weaver and his little sister, Katie. When their train breaks down outside of Cleveland, Calvin and Lucy band together to face the outside world. But Calvin also carries the weight of past hurts. When an altercation brings both their wounds to light, they question whether they can trust each other.

Once in Jacob's Crossing, Lucy is occupied with caring for Mattie, while Calvin does his best to run his family's farm. But they can't stop thinking about those special hours spent together. Will the bond they formed last? And will Lucy and Calvin be able to put away the pain in their pasts to recognize the happiness that is suddenly in their grasp?



If you would like to read the first chapter of The Caregiver, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In The Shadow of Evil




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Shadow of Evil
B&H Books (March 1, 2011)
by
Robin Caroll




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, one precious grandson, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else?



Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!



ABOUT THE BOOK



Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy plus devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil casts the modern day story of a building rebound scam exposed. It begins when the body of a property inspector is found among the ashes of a burnt out Homes of Hope house. Wrapped up in this mounting case of unethical practices, supply shortages, and murder, top Louisiana homicide detective Maddox Bishop is losing his heart to a charitable contractor, Layla Taylor, whose own sister is under suspicion. He’s also about to discover a deep secret about his tragic past.



If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Shadow of Evil, go HERE.



Watch the trailer:



Friday, March 11, 2011

Delirious & Meet Mrs. Smith * press release *

HIS SIDE:

For seventeen years, Martin Smith held the microphone for Delirious?—the mega-selling, Dove Award-winning, Grammy-nominated band that helped bring the modern worship movement into existence. Martin sang before popes and princes, cheered a generation of history makers into action, and saw his life change in ways he could never have imagined.

Yet Martin still wrestled with questions every Christian faces: How do I balance my ministry with my family? How do I know what God is leading me to do? Can I hold on to my first love for God while still holding onto the wisdom gained over years?

Martin reflects on everything from the craft of leading worship to the challenges of parenthood to how to find a place of compassion in our postmodern culture. Along the way, he challenges us to ask ourselves: Are we going to be spectators—or agents of change? Are we going to read history—or make it happen? Always personal and often surprising, Martin’s story will spur you to embrace the action God wants you to take.


Delirious: My Journey with the Band, a Growing Family, and an Army of Historymakers
by Martin Smith with Craig Borlase
David C Cook/February 2011
ISBN:9781434702371/224 pages/softcover/$14.99


HER SIDE:

Anna and Martin Smith live a life of deep reflection, artistic exploration, and intense compassion—in the middle of kids, craziness, and all the questions we all have about who we are and why we are here.

Now, for the first time, Anna chronicles her life as wife of the lead singer of Delirious?, the history-making band that launched the modern-day worship movement. A feast of behind-the-scenes insights about juggling family life alongside world tours, this book is also a profound look at one family’s quest to foster a rich spiritual life and care for others while living well in a consumption-driven world.

Anna reminds us that God never wants us to settle for less—in life, as a parent, or in our career—but calls us to live and work with all our soul, even when life gets messy. Take Anna’s words to heart and get ready to surprise the world with your gifts, your passion, and your desire to do great things for God.


Meet Mrs. Smith

by Anna Smith

David C Cook/February 2011
ISBN 978-1-4347-0203-6/240 pages/softcover/$14.99

A Heart Most Worthy


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart Most Worthy
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
by
Siri Mitchell




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.



But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.



Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.



Her ninth novel, A Heart Most Worthy, follows prior Bethany House releases: A Constant Heart (October 2008), Love's Pursuit (June 2009), and She Walks in Beauty (Apr 2010). She Walks in Beauty won the inaugural INSPY Award for Historical Fiction in Dec 2010. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. Love's Pursuit was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.



Publishers Weekly proclaimed, "Mitchell delivers the historical goods."



ABOUT THE BOOK



The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times.



Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client.



Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heart Most Worthy, go HERE.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hearts Aglow


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hearts Aglow
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
by
Tracie Peterson




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.



In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.



She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.



Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.



Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books





ABOUT THE BOOK



The future should be bright for Deborah Vandermark, who is now pursuing her interest in medicine alongside Dr. Christopher Clayton, who is courting her. But the lumber town is resistant to the idea of a woman physician, and she feels thwarted at every turn.



A more devastating blow occurs, however, when Christopher breaks off their relationship to return home to his troubled family. Despite her own love life going awry, Deborah is still intent to be a matchmaker for both her widowed mother and her brother, who has caught the eye of the spit-fire daughter of the local pastor.



But what will Deborah do when faced with the truth about Christopher's family? Is there hope for the two of them...or will Jake Wyeth's attentions finally catch Deborah's eye instead?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Hearts Aglow, go HERE.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Name is Not Isabella



Description


Now a New York Times Bestseller!


Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?

Ask Isabella…
She takes a wild ride—and discovers the sky's the limit!

“This story…speaks frankly about self-identity and self affirmation as Isabella decides at the end that she is actually herself…because she possesses the best parts of all of the women she looks up to.”
—ForeWord Magazine

“The colorful mixed-media artwork reinforces the fanciful, upbeat tone of the book. Use this story to ignite young readers’ interest in women’s history.”
—School Library Journal

Who Is Your Hero?

Isabella’s include U.S. Astronaut Sally Ride, activist Rosa Parks, and sharpshooter Annie Oakley—but there’s no bigger hero than Isabella’s own mommy!

Join Isabella on an adventure of discovery—and find out how imagining to be these extraordinary women teaches her the importance of being her extraordinary self.

A rollicking read-aloud and terrific “read-to-myself” story, My Name Is Not Isabella is capturing hearts and awards, including:
  • Silver ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Picture Books
  • Gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award
  • Gold Independent Publisher Book Award
  • Amelia Bloomer List
Jennifer Fosberry is a science geek turned children’s book writer. Until recently, she worked as a project manager in Silicon Valley in the high-tech electronic field. She currently divides her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Costa Rica with her husband and three children.

Mike Litwin combines a variety of media to create scenes that serve the imagination and education of women. A graduate of the East Carolina University School of Art and Design, he plays both designer and illustrator with an often wacky, always delightful style that uniquely blends playful innocence with devilish mischief. Illustrating and telling stories for children is his passion, his entertainment, and his dream. He currently lives in Greenville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters.



MY REVIEW

This is a delightful book. It is the perfect way to teach young girls about a few of the amazing women in our past. The book includes a handy little reference at the back that gives a brief overview of each woman so even the most sleep deprived parent can answer their little girls' questions  :). The illustrations are fun and colourful. The story is totally kid-friendly. I have read it several times with my 4 year old daughter Olivia and even though she has no real idea who the famous women are she still loves the book. She loves that Isabella changes her name all the time. I am happy to recommend this book to anyone with a little girl around.


Thanks so much to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Bond Never Broken




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bond Never Broken
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
by
Judith Miller




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Word from Judith:



Most readers want to know how authors 'got started' writing. My first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when I was commuting sixty miles to work each day. I wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. When the book was completed, I tucked it away. I had absolutely no idea how publication of a book occurred and had given no thought to the concept. However, through a co-worker, I was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from me. Having never met Tracie, I was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history...



With a graciousness that continues to amaze me, Tracie agreed to read my story, directed me to a publisher, and gave me information on a Christian writers conference. Since that first encounter many years ago, I have been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, Tracie and I had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, we have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy. In addition, I have continued to write several solo series.



ABOUT THE BOOK



For many years, Ilsa Redlich has helped her parents run a hotel in South Amana, but as the United States enters the Great War, she can feel her world changing. The residents of the towns surrounding the Amana Colonies used to be accepting of their quiet, peaceful neighbors, but with anti-German sentiment running high, the Amana villages are now plagued by vandalism, threats, and insults.



Things get even worse when Ilsa finds out her family won't be allowed to speak German in public--and that Garon, the childhood friend she's long been smitten with, has decided to join the army. Jutta Schmidt is shocked when several members of the Council of National Defense show up on her family's doorstep. Sure, the Schmidts once lived in the Amana Colonies, but that was years ago. She's even more surprised when the council demands that she travel to Amana and report back on any un-American activities.



Not daring to disobey the government agents, Jutta takes a job at the South Amana hotel, befriends the daughter of the owners, and begins to eavesdrop every chance she gets. When Jutta hears Ilsa making antiwar remarks and observes Garon assisting a suspicious outsider, she is torn at the prospect of betraying her new friends.



But what choice does she have? And when Garon is accused of something far worse than Jutta could imagine, can the Amana community come to his aid in time?



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bond Never Broken, go HERE.

Cool Stuff 2.0 and How It Works


Book Description

Chris Woodford - Author
Jon Woodcock - Author
8 - 17 years
Take an eye-opening journey from the engine of a hydrogen-fuelled car, jump into the virtual world of Second Life, and scale the earthquake-proofed structure of the world's tallest office building. Cool Stuff 2.0 reveals the science behind every machine and gadget, and details when and how things were invented along the way. 

MY REVIEW

I think that Cool Stuff 2.0 is a fascinating book. While I was looking through it with the kids there were a lot of comments like " is this REAL?" and " I didn't know that" and "oh I want that!". Both of the boys (ages 7 & 8) were very interested in this book and have looked at it dozens of times on their own. It is packed full of interesting gadgets and great pictures. I asked the boys what they thought of it and here is what they said :

Aiden: I LOVE it! But it is kind of making me jealous of stuff ... like I want the cool stuff in the book.
Owen: It is awesome! I totally don't know how they get all that stuff though.


Thanks so much to DK Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

My Child Has Autism, Now What?

My Child Has Autism, Now What?

10 Steps to Get You Started

Susan Larson Kidd


"Your child has autism"-four small words with the power to leave parents feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and confused. This concise, no-nonsense book will enable parents to regain control of the situation and take the first practical steps towards a calm and happy life with their newly-diagnosed child.

Dr. Larson Kidd's approach draws from the vast amount of information available on parenting a child with autism and distils it into ten manageable steps. It covers the key aspects of life with a child on the autism spectrum, including the basics such as sleeping, eating, and toileting, through adapting the home, creating routines, and exploring therapy. Ready-to-implement strategies are outlined simply and clearly, and are firmly grounded in the author's extensive experience of supporting children with autism.

This practical book will be essential and empowering reading for every parent whose child has recently been diagnosed with autism or for parents still struggling with where to begin to help their child.

Contents

Introduction: Beginning the Path.
Step One: Help Your Child with Sleeping, Eating, and Toileting.
Step Two: Help Your Child by Using Visual Supports.
Step Three: Incorporate Sensory Integration Strategies.
Step Four: Simplify Areas in Your Home.
Step Five: Use Music to Help Your Child.
Step Six: Create Routines.
Step Seven: Take Your Child to Speech/Language Therapy.
Step Eight: Start Educational Services.
Step Nine: Start with the Basic Biomedical Interventions.
Step Ten: Build a Support Team.
Afterword: You Are on Your Way.
Appendix A: Sensory Plan Format.
Appendix B: Samples of IEP Goals and Services.
Appendix C: Educational Services Information in the United States.
Bibliography.
Index.

MY REVIEW

I think this would be the perfect book to give to every parent right after they get the diagnosis. It is an excellent starting point. It is very practical and very user friendly. I wish I had been given this book after my son Aiden was first diagnosed with Autism! I had no idea what to do or where to start and this book provides that.

It is well written and easy to read. Even if not every step relates to every case it is still a very handy guide. I am in Canada so the only thing I would ad is more international resources instead of just USA ones. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone just starting out on the path of parenting an Autistic child.

Thanks so much to Jessica Kingsley Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Learning About Friendship

 

Learning About Friendship

Stories to Support Social Skills Training in Children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism

K.I. Al-Ghani
Illustrated by Haitham Al-Ghani
 

Description:


Making friends can be a challenge for all children, but those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) can struggle more than most. This collection of ten fully-illustrated stories explores friendship issues encountered by children with ASD aged four to eight and looks at how they can be overcome successfully.

Key problem areas are addressed, including sharing, taking turns, being a tattletale, obsessions, winning and losing, jealousy, personal space, tact and diplomacy, and defining friendship. The lively and entertaining stories depersonalize issues, allowing children to see situations from the perspective of others and enabling them to recognize themselves in the characters. This opens the door to discussion, which in turn leads to useful insight and strategies they can practise and implement in the future. Each story has a separate introduction for adults which explains the main strategies within it.

This book will be a valuable resource for all parents and teachers of children with ASD, along with their friends and families, and anybody else looking to help children on the spectrum to understand, make and maintain friendships.

Contents:

Introduction.
1. The Dinosaurs: a story about starting school and learning to share. Overview. Story.
2. Spit and Chase: a story about joining in playground games. Overview. Story.
3. Golden Hour: a story about winning/losing, taking turns and managing anger. Overview. Story.
4. Timothy Tattletale: a story about when to tell. Overview. Story.
5. Too Much Thomas the Tank Engine: a story about obsessions. Overview. Story.
6. Ablutions: a story about personal hygiene. Overview. Story.
7. Space Invaders: a story about personal space. Overview. Story.
8. Billy Blunt: a story about using tact and diplomacy. Overview. Story.
9. The Barbie Club: a story about being taken advantage of. Overview. Story.
10. The Beach Ball: a story about jealousy and what makes a friend. Overview. Story.
Appendix: Useful books and resources.

MY REVIEW

Learning About Friendship is an excellent book. My 8 year old son Aiden has high-functioning Autism so this has been perfect for our family. I really appreciated the user-friendly way this book is put together. The social stories included in each chapter were really easy for us to use as-is with our son. It has been so helpful that we actually sent it to school with Aiden for his Aid to use with him as necessary.

The stories are easy to understand and deal with stuff that we deal with daily. The illustrations helped to keep Aiden's attention focused on the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a kid on the spectrum.

Thanks so much to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.

When All My Dreams Come True * blog tour *


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When All My Dreams Come True
Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2011)
by
Janelle Mowery






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Beginning in 1998, Janelle Mowery coordinated and wrote for the Children’s Ministry of a Christian website called The Invisible Connection. When the holder of that site discontinued the ministry and website in the year 2000, she began writing inspirational fiction romance novels.



Janelle became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the year 2002 and is an active member and leader in one of their critique groups, which has provided many opportunities for growth and development. In 2003, she entered her first novel in the Noble Theme contest and was named one of the top ten finalists in the historical category. In 2004, she had a short story titled ‘A Fair Chance’ published in the e-magazine, Romancing the Christian Heart. In 2005, her third novel, entered in the San Gabriel Writers’ League ‘Writing Smarter’ Contest, won first place. Also, Janelle’s fifth novel made it to the top ten finalists in the Noble Theme contest.



In 2006, she signed her first contract with Barbour Publishing in their Heartsong Presents Mysteries line. The novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Elizabeth Ludwig, released in spring of 2008. The second and third mysteries of the series, Died in the Wool and A Black Die Affair, is set for release in 2011.



Janelle has signed with Harvest House for a historical series set in Colorado. Release of the first book is set for early 2011. She has also signed with Summerside Press. Her novel, Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho, released in October 2010.



Janelle has been married twenty-one years and is the mother of two sons. She is a member of Sandy Point Bible Church and serves as Treasurer. She also assists in the church’s teen program.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Bobbie McIntyre dreams of running a ranch of her own. Raised without a mother and having spent most of her time around men, she knows more about wrangling than acting like a lady. The friendship of her new employer awakens a desire to learn more about presenting her feminine side, but ranch life keeps getting in the way.



Ranch owner Jace Kincaid figures the Lord is testing his faith when a female wrangler shows up looking for work. Bobbie has an uncanny way of getting under his skin, though, and he’s surprised when she finds a home next to his heart. But when his cattle begin to go missing and his wranglers are in danger from some low-down cattle thief, can Jace trust God, even if it may mean giving up on his dreams?



An adventurous novel of faith, hope, and love in the Wild West.



If you would like to read the first chapter of When All My Dreams Come True, go HERE.
 
Design by Deluxe Designs
all rights reserved. 2011