Review: Liked by Kari Kampakis

Liked by Kari KampakisLiked: Whose Approval are You Living For?
Kari Kampakis
Thomas Nelson
Published November 15, 2016

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Maintaining an online presence through social media can be tricky to navigate no matter your age. Author Kari Kampakis presents advice to teen girls about using social media in a way that’s godly and healthy, too. She discusses ways to keep priorities straight—making sure life doesn’t become about how many “likes” you accrue on a post or photo. She discusses how to handle relationship issues that can arise from miscommunication or thoughtlessness on social media. Through each page, Kampakis shares her wisdom like a cheerleader, making the reader feel like she’s totally on your side and wants … Continue reading

Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things
Jenny Lawson
Flatiron Books
Published September 22, 2015

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It doesn’t seem possible to write a hilarious book about depression and anxiety, but that’s exactly what author Jenny Lawson has done in Furiously Happy. Her wacky adventures fill the pages and her unique view of herself and the world around her challenge readers to embrace their own weird. She has a keen sense of irony and writes in a rambling-yet-engrossing way. She takes readers through the highs and lows of book tours, a trip to Australia, and the challenges of depression and anxiety in daily life.

I think I read this book at exactly the right time. I’d seen it … Continue reading

Review: Girl Talk by Lois Walfrid Johnson

Girl Talk by Lois Walfrid JohnsonGirl Talk: 52 Weekly Devotions by FaithGirlz
Lois Walfrid Johnson
Zonderkidz
Published May 4, 2010

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A while back I reviewed a girls’ bible study that left me disappointed—both in the appropriateness of the subject matter for the age group and in some of the teaching. Since then I’ve been on the hunt for a devotional or study that my eleven-year-old and I could do together, something that addresses some of the issues she faces on a daily and weekly basis.

Girl Talk is set up in chapters, one for each week. Each chapter begins with a story in which the main character faces an obstacle or choice. Sometimes the story ends with … Continue reading

Review: Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Irena's Children by Tilar J. MazzeoIrena’s Children: Young Readers Edition
Tilar J Mazzeo
Translated by Mary Cronk Farrell
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available September 27, 2016

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During World War II, Irena Sendler worked with an underground network to rescue 2,500 Jewish children from Nazi occupied Poland. Her unwavering commitment to human rights began long before the war, and endured through her own incarceration and torture. She worked tirelessly to save as many as she could, and through it all insisted that she was not a hero. She’d only done what any ordinary human would do.

Though it’s nonfiction, I could not put this book down. I was so captured by the life of this incredible woman … Continue reading

Review: 30 Days of Goodness, Love and Grace by Susie Shellenberger

30 Days of Goodness, Love and Grace30 Days of Goodness, Grace and Love: A Faithgirlz Bible Study
Susie Shellenberger
Zonderkidz

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This Bible study contains three parts. Part one explores the power of goodness through the book of Colossians. In part two, the author explores love via the story of Ruth. Part three teaches about the power of grace through the book of 1 Peter. Each part is broken down into sections, one for each chapter. Each section contains “bites,” smaller, more focused portions. The author suggests completing one bite per sitting. Each section closes with a review to complete with a friend or Bible study group.

I’m not sure why the title says 30 Days. I expected the … Continue reading

Review: Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland

Every Falling Star by Sungju LeeEvery Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
Sunju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland
Amulet Books
Available: September 13, 2016

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From Goodreads

Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; … Continue reading

Review: I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz

I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle SchwartzI Wish My Teacher Knew
Kyle Schwartz
De Capo Lifelong Books
Available July 12, 2016

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When her Twitter post became a social media sensation, Kyle Schwartz realized that her classroom exercise asking students what they wished she, their teacher, knew about them was something other teachers and students needed in their classrooms. In her book, Schwartz explores what led her to performing the exercise with her class. She explains how it has changed her experience as a teacher. She breaks down her approach to building a community within her classroom and how important that is to supporting a successful learning environment.

The chapters also connect current research about trauma, … Continue reading

Review: Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism by Ron Suskind

life-animatedA Life Animated: A story of heroes, sidekicks and autism
Ron Suskind
Kingswell

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When the Suskind family moves to a new home, they begin to see startling changes in their youngest son, Owen. He loses the ability to communicate with them and seems to retreat inside himself. The family embarks on a journey to find ways to reconnect with Owen via one of his favorite things: Disney movies.

This is an amazing, truly inspiring story. I’m awed by the courage it must have taken for both Owen and his family to continue pressing forward without giving up, even in moments when field experts were at a loss as to how to help, when specialized programs proved disappointing. … Continue reading

Review: Faithgirlz Best Hair Book Ever!

Faithgirlz Best Hair Book Ever by Kelsey HaywoodBest Hair Book Ever!
Faithgirlz (Kelsey Haywood)
Zondervan

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Best Hair Book Ever! is packed with tips on classic and new hairstyles as well as recommendations for hair care and styling products. Each section shows full-color pictures of various styles and steps that are easy to follow. The book also contains how-to instructions for making hair accessories and DIY hair products. The earlier pages recommend different hair styles for different face shapes and some helpful information on how to blow dry while minimizing heat damage.

Many of the styles are simple enough that an older child can manage them solo. My daughter is ten and has devoured this book almost from … Continue reading

Checking Out the NKJV Faithgirlz Bible Edited by Nancy Rue

NKJV Faithgirlz Bible Edited by Nancy RueFaithgirlz Bible (NKJV)
Edited by Nancy Rue
Zonderkidz

The Faithgirlz Bible is a Bible with additional devotional and study content specifically focused on teen and preteen girls. This edition is the New King James Version (NKJV), but a New International Version (NIV) edition is also available.

When I saw that Nancy Rue edited this version, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited. I love the way she relates spiritual and moral principles in her novels, so I felt like she’d do a great job bringing that insight and excitement to scripture and make it even more accessible to girls.

Each book of the Bible begins with a short introduction naming important characters and giving a brief context for when and why the … Continue reading

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