Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Booksneeze Review: Compass The Study Bible for Navigating Your Life By Ecclesia Bible Society #grow4christ

About the Book:

Compass is about helping you find the answers you’re looking for in the pages of the Scriptures and allowing that truth navigate your life. Packed with Bible-reading helps and using an energizing, new Bible translation, Compass is a Bible designed with you in mind. Do you want to start reading and applying the Bible to your life, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Let Compass point you in the right direction.

Features include:

  • In-text notes that include cultural, historical, theological, and devotional thoughts
  • God’s Promises®—Thomas Nelson’s bestselling guide to Scripture for your every need Book introductions
  • Reading plans for every day of the year
  • Topical Guides to Scripture and notes
  • In-text maps

You can purchase your copy at Thomas Nelson or Amazon.

My Opinion:

I get nervous when I try out a new translation of the Bible and while the Voice isn’t new, it’s been around for a few years, I still get nervous and it’s impossible to go line for line against my KJV, ESV and other translations to check for inconsistencies in the time it takes to do a timely review.  With that being said I must say I do enjoy having the Compass study Bible on my shelf, the pages are thicker than usual allowing for highlighting or notes in the margins without fear of bleeding through (there isn’t a lot of margin room but if you write small and use abbreviations it’s fine).  When I get a new Bible I usually flip to Psalm 23 to see how it reads as that is my favorite Psalm and the one I first memorized as a child, part of it reads:

“The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.  He provides me rest in rich, green field beside streams of refreshing waters.  He soothes my fears.” Psalms 23:1-2 Compass page 643

Part of misses the way I memorized it: “The Lord is my shepherd…” but I still like the way this reads, it stays true to Scripture and doesn’t rewrite it as much as it is translated to more modern English.  The in text notes really give a good deal of information about what was going on or how that particular Scripture came about or who wrote it, which is great for this lay historian.  The topical guide to the notes and to the Scriptures has many topics that can be found if you’re wanting to do a word study or need help in an area, like circumcision, Day of Atonement, purity, restoration, courtship and more which is great and an easy way to find a specific Scripture.

The maps are wonderfully detailed but in black and white, which wasn’t an issue for me but could be for someone else.  Maps included are world of the patriarchs, the Exodus, Paul’s missionary journey’s, and several others.  The maps are located in one area in the back of the Bible or if you chose, you can also locate them within the text by using the index to find which pages they are on withing their respective books.  The road map to God’s Promises is a really neat feature in that it has Scripture related to “Jesus is Your…..Savior, Righteousness, Brother and so on” as well as “What the Bible Has to Say About…. The Grace of God, Satan, and more” and even areas for “What to Do When…”  Also included are reading guides on of which is a year reading plan and the other is a “40 Day Retreat with Jesus” plan – truly this Bible is a great one for study or just to get a bit closer to the Lord.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Booksneeze Review: Merlin’s Shadow by Robert Treskillard #grow4christ

About the book:


After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his old nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga.

But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin’s destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful evil.

You may purchase a copy at Zondervan.

My Opinion:

Thanks to my oldest daughter who has gotten me wrapped up into all things related to the BBC, this book about Merlin (who she also watches a BBC show titled as such) had me intrigued because of the Christian twist on an old story of Merlin and Arthur. I had not read book 1, Merlin’s Blade, so the first couple chapters in this book were hard to get through as I was sorting through the multiple characters and of course trying to figure out what happened in book 1 to bring us where we are in book 2.  I was truly worried because I was thinking if I have to slog through this I’ll just stop because it was so slow moving but then I got to about chapter 6 and I’m glad I didn’t stop!

Now I have to say once it picked up I was very engrossed in it and didn’t want to put it down and I want to backtrack and read book 1 and I so enjoyed the spiritual warfare that was added to this story about Merlin, who is often made out to be a sorcerer but there is much allegory to this book as well and it was written superbly.  Merlin is a Christian, but he’s still learning to trust in God and sometimes, like all Christians do, fails and leans on his own understanding but his struggles feel real unlike some books that it seems likes the character is struggling but their struggles aren’t real.

I really enjoyed chapter 35 as a scene between Ganieda and “The Voice” is detailed (The Voice is to me a description of Satan and Ganieda is Merlin’s younger half sister) and she becomes thirsty and the Voice offers her several drinks and she doesn’t want to accept but ends up accepting as she sees all that the Voice is offering such as public praises, adoration and more but as she approaches the last she hesitates – I won’t give spoilers but this part spoke to me because we are all tempted with worldly wiles and some of us partake and then we realize what we really need is Jesus and some fall completely and take in all of what Satan has to offer.  If you’d like a new way to get into the story of Merlin with a Christian twist this is in, Robert Treskillard spins a wonderful web of suspense, spiritual warfare and ultimately triumph.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Booksneeze Review: The Rainbow Egg by Linda K. Hendricks, M.D. #grow4christ

About the Book:

Hope is a chicken who lives in the woods with friends not typically affiliated with chickens. She is happy there, until she finds herself with an egg. She has no place to rest the egg and is in search of help. A guardian red bird leads her to a chicken house full of chicken families. There she finds challenges and fear, ultimately leading to the most precious gift she could ever hope for. The Rainbow Egg is a colorfully illustrated, fresh look at adoption as a loving gift.

The book can be purchased from WestBow Press (e-book or print) and from Amazon.

My Opinion:

I thought this was a really cute book just choosing from the cover of it and occasionally I enjoy reviewing books that are for my children and as it deals with adoption and they have a couple of friends who are adopted I thought it would be a great way to talk about it with them.  Hope is a chicken who is alone in the forest and has no nest and she knows there is a chicken house nearby (never mind that chickens lay eggs without a male, but I digress) and she wants her egg to have a nest and she knows she’ll never have one so she sets out to find a home for her rainbow egg.  She finds a couple who has been unable to have an egg of their own so their nest remains empty – it just so happens they are rainbow feathered chickens – so the baby will grow to look like them.

I like the overall theme of the adoption, and the love that goes from both sides – the birth parent to want what is best for their baby and the adoptive parents who have struggled, unsuccessfully, to have their own.  However, even my 9 year old wanted to know why Hope had a rainbow egg if she wasn’t a rainbow chicken (all the other chickens have feathers that match their eggs).  I didn’t have an answer for her, but as I think about it – it is strange – most adoptive families do not adopt children who will look like them.  I know American families who adopt Asian children, Mexican children and so on – so their children don’t look like them at all.  Before Hope leaves she says “He will always be special and will grow up to have rainbow feathers just like you…” – to me, this gives the impression that children adopted will look like their adoptive parents when, in most, cases that isn’t what happens.

A cute book that I would suggest is bought as a physical book as the e-book version was quite hard to read at times and the illustrations would have been prettier in a physical copy.  Overall, the book was a great, short read on introducing the topic of adoption to children but as you can see even one of my children thought it odd that the baby was meant to look like it’s adoptive parents.  A good introduction but definitely not the final say so about adoption and there wasn’t any mention of God or Jesus (of course they’re animals, I know) except a little red bird who sang and directed their paths.

I review for BookSneeze®


(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Booksneeze Review: Messiah: Origin by Mark Arey and Matt Dorff #grow4christ

About the Book: 

Origin, the first adventure in the Messiah graphic novel series, was translated by Father Mark Arey exclusively from ancient Gospel manuscripts. Father Mark, who also translated the Book of Revelation, brings a lifetime of deep study and biblical training to this monumental endeavor. His work has produced a narrative harmony that weaves the four Gospels into a single continuous story, of which Origin is the opening chapter. The magnificence of this foundational literature is realized through the exquisite and enchanting illustrations of artist Kai Carpenter. Adapted and edited into graphic novel form by Matt Dorff (also the Book of Revelation), with letters and title designs by Carlton Riffel, Origin illuminates the story of Jesus’ birth and early life through gloriously detailed and inspiring imagery. In embarking on this journey through the pages of Origin, you will find that by pairing ancient verses with original imagery new life is breathed into the accounts of Jesus’ story as expressed through the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

You can purchase it at Zondervan ($19.99) or Amazon ($11.99).

My Opinion:

Graphic novels are a favorite in my house, however finding good, pure and most importantly, godly graphic novels is hard to do.  Enter Messiah: Origin which is a graphic novel version of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John telling the birth of Christ – it isn’t just the divinely inspired words but the images that come along side the words to give the reader a visual understanding of the Gospels that tell of the birth of Christ.  It is supposed to be directly translated from the Greek, and until I know how to read it, I will have to be under the assumption that that is the truth, even though it reads differently than my KJV.  The illustrations are rich and vibrant and see to come off the page, bringing the ancient words and the Truth to life – Kai Carpenter did a wonderful job in illustrating it.

My only reservation about this was the word “fetus” used on page 61 saying, “When Elisabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the fetus leaped in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Maybe the use of fetus back then was common, since Latin was still a spoken language – but for the modern pro-life Christian, fetus makes it sound like a person is denying the person-hood of the baby within the womb.  Regardless, of that I enjoyed this graphic novel and all three of my children have enjoyed it as well, including the non-reading one who enjoys the pictures and can tell what the story is about.  While some may take issue with the Bible turned into a graphic novel, I like that it reaches out to youth today who may not be as ready to read a KJV, ESV, or some other translation of the Bible.

In the back are also the genealogy of Christ according to Matthew and Luke – and this way was more easy to understand than reading it grouped together in my Bible.  Although my oldest still found it somewhat confusing – however it’s interesting to note who was in the lineage of Christ.  There is also an indexed list of Scriptural references so if you’re wanting to compare a side by side, it’s easy to do so.  I think this is a great way to get the beginning of the Gospels into the hands of young people today who may think that it’s just a ‘story’ with no real value to them today.

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I review for BookSneeze®


(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Desperate: Hope for the Mom who needs to Breathe by Sara Mae and Sally Clarkson


About the Book:


“I just can’t be a mother today.”

These words have been whispered to God in quiet desperation by mothers who love their children to the depths of their soul, but who are struggling with how hard motherhood is.

Motherhood turns you inside out. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by how tired you feel; the days go on and on, and you want to be a “good” mom, but you feel like a failure so much of the time. What happened to all your ideals? When did you end up feeling so…lost?

Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson have been to the edge and back. Desperate is the story of one young mother’s trials and one experienced mentor’s priceless exhortations. Desperate is not a book about despair, nor is it a rule-laden mothering manual. It is a bouquet from a friend who has been there, reminding us that we are not alone. Sarah Mae’s unvarnished account of her own struggles mothering three feisty young children is a lesson in learning patience, loving idiosyncrasies, accepting help, and—most of all—leaning on God.

Each chapter includes a brief Bible study with journal exercises to help you find your own quiet center, and get you back into the fray soul-filled and refreshed. Written with candor, empathy, and faith, Desperate is like coffee with a trusted girlfriend; one who knows how hard being a mother can be, and how to navigate the often turbulent road.


You can purchase the book at Thomas Nelson or at Amazon.


My Opinion:


I don’t think I was ready to be a mom – so my oldest was my guinea pig – I had to teach myself how to breastfeed after a horrible c-section because the only support I really had was my husband and my mom, most people were just like “give her a bottle”.  It was the only thing I had control of in those days, I lost my dream of a natural birth and with that recovery I had a lot of restrictions.  I still remember calling my mom one day and telling her, “Hannah hates me”, it seemed she only calmed when she was nursing or when my husband held her.  I felt used, of course I also had a ton of hormones that were doing a good job of clouding my judgement, but if I had had more womanly friends who had walked the path before me I think it would have been a blessing from God.


Don’t get me wrong, being able to call my mom and have the support of my husband (who was able to be home with us for almost 8 weeks!) is nothing to sneeze at.  What I needed, even though I didn’t know it at the time was a godly, woman mentor.  That is where Desperate comes into play.  Some moms are isolated due to geographic locations or maybe because they are only seeing woman who desire a career more than children and the church isn’t helping by continuing the lie that we can have children, a husband, a home and a career and nothing will feel left out.  Where do we turn?


Thankfully, we have a book full of knowledge in Desperate  Sally Clarkson gives us her years of knowledge and experience and Sara Mae gives us her raw emotions as she goes through bringing up her children.  I ended up joining a local but national moms group that really helped me and I’ve made some friends and wonderful, godly ladies who I am still in contact with – but oh how I wish I had had this beautifully inspiring book when I was crying on the phone to my mom that my newborn hated me!  I can laugh at it now, but at the time it wasn’t funny.  There are still days that I feel like “I can’t be a mother today”, maybe I’m overwhelmed, maybe the children are fighting like cats and dogs or I’m thinking “Lord, really?”.  Children are blessings but even with that realization being a mom sometimes is hard – and we need other moms who can mentor us through the hard times, get us over that hump, and get us to the other side – not false platitudes or an empty “I’m praying for you”, but a real hug while you pour out your soul to her.


I love that this book makes it feel like you are reading a personal conversation between Sally and Sara but also that you are included, you are welcomed into their inner circle, so you can see the struggles and learn from them.  One of the things that jumped out at me was this, “Sally and I want to encourage you to keep going even when it feels like you can’t, and we want to help you.  We won’t offer you formulas, but we will offer ideas, perspectives, transparency, and wisdom.”  Formulas often times make things worse, especially when you fail to do every step, or skip something or your child fails to do what the expected outcome was – but by giving us ideas, being see through and using wisdom – we can take joy in our motherhood and enjoy the blessings that God has given us without fear or trepidation.  There were other quotes but I can’t share them all with you – what I can tell you is that whether you’re a new mom, a mom of 1, a tenured mom or a mom of 10 this book will inspire you and give you breath.


Before you think it’s all what Sally or Sara says – it’s not included are Words from the Lord and journal prompts or, if you don’t have time to journal, questions to ponder as you go through the day so you can focus on what God wants from you as a mom.  Also included are QR codes for those who have smart phones (apps can be downloaded as well for iPod Touches) that will take you to a video based on that chapter that Sally and Sara collaborated on – giving you further inspiration.  I also think that if you know of a mom who may need a pick me up get them a copy, send it to them for their Kindle as a gift, or give them a physical copy – but truly for every woman who desires to be what God wants and who sometimes (and admit it we all think it sometimes) thinks, “I can’t be a mom today”, needs a copy of this book.


**Disclaimer:  I was given an e-copy of this book through Booksneeze through Thomas Nelson in exchange for posting my own opinion, no other compensation was given.



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Confessions of April Grace: Chocolate Covered Baloney by KD McCrite


About the Book:


The last thing April Grace wants is more change in her life—but that’s exactly what she gets! Plus, April has a new mystery to solve when Myra Sue starts sneaking around and acting very suspicious!

From snooty new neighbors to starting junior high to getting a new baby brother to having her grandmother get a boyfriend, April Grace has had enough change to last until she is at least 87 years old.

But when it rains, it pours, and April Grace is in for the ride of her life when her prissy, citified neighbor Isabel becomes her gym teacher and a long-lost relative suddenly reappears and throws everything into a tizzy. On top of that, April’s sister, Myra Sue, has been hiding something and sneaking around. April needs to find out what is going on before her silly sister gets herself into trouble again. More important, will April find the grace she needs to handle her topsy-turvy life and forgive past wrongs?


Girls will fall in love with April’s humor and completely relate to her as she deals with family, friends, drama, and both the humor and the heartache that are part of growing up.


My Opinion:


I’m not sure where to begin with this review.  Honestly, as a mom who is very cautious what her children read and who is also picky what she reads – this book was hard to digest.  I couldn’t even see my young self reading this book years ago – maybe because I much preferred the classics to ‘on the grade level’ reading books.  I admit there were times in this book I was laughing out loud – like at April’s description of how her Grandma drives – but at other times I was like really?  April and her sister, Myra are at each others throats constantly and I do mean constantly – well up until a very climatic ending but I won’t spoil it for you.


There is something about books where they are calling each other drip, idiot or telling each other to shut-up, among other antics.  Some would argue with me that this is typical sibling rivalry, but I don’t agree and I don’t particularly enjoy reading about siblings who can only fight with each other.  I did enjoy the multiple plots going on through the book and how everyone eventually forgives and the issues are solved, including the humor but honestly I could have done without all the fighting.


I did let my 10 year old read this along with me and she also shared the same concerns, so before anyone labels me as old fashioned, it was just I who didn’t like the name calling.  I think the sibling rivalry could have been done without the name calling on every page and the point would have still been made.  I also didn’t like that the parents didn’t seem to be a strong presence – mom was there but she seemed distant, dad was almost never home since he had to work and it just seemed like the sisters were on their own unless one of the Grandma’s or a neighbor was there.  I guess I’d say if you think you might let your child read this book, read it for yourself first and make an informed choice.


**Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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You Be Sweet Sharing Your Heart One Down-Home Dessert at a Time By Patsy Caldwell and Amy Wilson

About the Book:

You know how those Southern dessert recipes go—a cup of sugar here, a stick of butter there, eight squares of bak­ing chocolate, or a pint of the season’s juiciest fruit. That recipe for blueberry cream pie—it’s been passed around the church for so long nobody can quite remember who made it first. Or how about the one for red velvet cheesecake you’ve been trying to coax out of your sister-in-law for years? She serves it every Christmas Eve, but so far her lips are sealed.

These are the types of food traditions that inspire You Be Sweet—a celebration of Southern dessert recipes and the people who cherish them. In this compilation of stories and sweet treats, Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson peek in on those occasions special enough to demand something decadent, and memorable enough to be repeated time and again. You’ll find the strawberry jam bars that always make an appearance at the neighborhood picnic. The German chocolate cake roll that pulls in the big bucks at the charity bake sale? That’s here too. The blackberry jelly recipe that has graced Mason jars all over the South for decades? It’s here, and it’s just about the best hostess gift you can offer up. Be sweet? You won’t be able to help it!

You can purchase the book at Thomas Nelson.

My Opinion:


YUMMY!  That’s what this book is, it’s yummy wrapped in loving and endearing stories of women who have baked for years.  I often say I’m a southerner at heart – maybe part of that is my dream of having a plantation house and owning and wearing a hoop skirt (yes, I know Northern women wore them too) but there is something about the South, even though I hate the heat!  Sweet tea, use of sir and ma’am, and just the hospitality of the South and of course the accent – then there are the recipes that taste better south of the Mason Dixon line.


The stories included will warm your heart just like baking some of these treats will warm your kitchen and those around you – whether it’s a holiday or just because, these recipes will be sure to please even the most picky cook – North or South.  There are several I plan on using for our Christmas celebrations both as just a way to enjoy the season and also to bless others from my kitchen – what could be better love baked into a cookie or a pie – that can’t compete with even the best electronic gadget.  If you want a cook book that serves up something sweet and does it with a bit of humor and love then You Be Sweet needs to be on your shelf or on your e-reader.


**Disclaimer:  I was given an e-copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter By Dave Stone


About the Book:


Creative ideas, real-life stories, and Scriptural guidance for being the family that loves being together.

Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter is the second in the Faithful Family series where Dave applies his practical, conversational, and humorous approach to the challenge of building strong spiritual ties to each other as a family. Topics include: Contentment, Security, Loyalty, Gratitude, Spontaneity, Communication, and more.

Preaching is his gift, but Pastor Dave Stone’s family is his life’s blessing. And after raising three kids of his own, as well as shepherding the diverse families of his congregation, his heart and passion for building strong families rings louder than ever. He knows that raising faithful families is a key to the future of the church.


My Opinion:


There is always something we can do to make our families stronger and more bonded – and that is what Dave Stone has set out to do in his book, Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter.  In 10 chapters he lays out ways that are simple and inexpensive to make your family more full of joy – and that doesn’t include getting the new electric gadget.  Most Christians realize there is a break down of the family both in the church and in society – and some of that can be traced to the use of technology and Dave Stone addresses that in the first chapter, “Endangered Species”, and he doesn’t hold back.


As a Christian parent we are seeking to instill God’s Word in our child’s heart, not just so they can follow a set of rules but so that when they are confronted by Satan and his evil ways, they know how to respond.  I like in the part about parenting, we can start trusting our children but we still don’t want to put them into temptations way the goal is that we can trust our children without literally testing them.  As I’ve become a mom to an older child, I realize how carefully one must tread between being a hovering parent and one who gives their child responsibility.  I have began to let my oldest have more room to breathe away from me and she knows she must accept responsibility for her actions, whether good or bad and I like what Dave Stone has to say about that, “Quakes will rumble and buildings will sway, but if you’ve laid the right foundation, they need not fall.”  I’m not saying that I’m going to let my children hang out with people who do drugs or who are into witch craft – but I can rest assured that if I’ve built a good, strong foundation my child will continue to stand on.


My only thing about this book was in the chapter that dealt with word power, while a very powerful chapter, it’s assumed that you are a Believer married to a like-minded Believer.  That isn’t that simple for some of us – when clean words are discussed he points out that vulgarity is wrong and children need to be shielded from it – but he doesn’t realize that some parents, even those who are Believers may use this language.  Thankfully, I’ve been able to stem the tide and my children know acceptable language and find curse words tasteless.  Besides that, this is an excellent book to get some ideas on how to build the joy in your house and it’s generously sprinkled with Scripture to back up each idea and topic that he gives.


**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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The Lily Series: Here’s Lily by Nancy Rue


About the Book:


Grow with the spirited, sometimes awkward, but always charming Lily as she learns what real beauty is.

In this fun, entertaining story, readers meet awkward sixth grader Lily Robbins who, after receiving a compliment about her looks from a woman in the modeling business, becomes obsessed with her appearance and with becoming a model. As she sets her sights on winning the model search fashion show, she exchanges her rock and feather collection for lip gloss, fashion magazines, and a private “club” with her closest friends. But when the unthinkable happens the night before the fashion show, Lily learns a valuable lesson about real beauty.

This best-selling, Biblically based fiction series for girls—with a fresh new look and updated content—addresses social issues and coming-of-age topics, all with the spunk and humor of Lily Robbins as she fumbles her way through unfamiliar territory. As readers come to love Lily and her stories, they’ll also benefit from the companion nonfiction books that will help them through their own growing pains.


My Opinion:


Okay, I started out really not liking this book, but my daughter asked if I’d request, so I did and had to read it.  From the get go, the reader is introduced to Lily and her school mates, one is a boy who is a cruel bully.  The teacher doesn’t seem to want to curb the bullying and when Lily goes home she is teased mercilessly by her brothers and even sometimes by her parents, under the guise of “we’re just kidding.”  As a victim of bullying, I find it hard to read books where it seems nothing is done about it, and yes having children call one another ugly is a form of bullying.  I also found some of the children to be very disrespectful to their parents.    I have other concerns such as young girls hanging model posters, reading Seventeen magazine (even my 10 year says she wouldn’t touch it), and make-up.


So as much as these things bothered me I kept reading, since I agreed to read it in it’s entirety to review it.  I am actually glad that I did keep reading, and I won’t provide any spoilers, but when something occurs that changes Lily’s opinion of beauty we see a truly confident girl who grows in her faith.  She doesn’t get rid of her make-up and still reads fashion magazines but I do believe that even with these things this book can be a great discussion starter for young girls and their moms to discuss what their family believes.  Would I let my 10 year old read this, yes but I’m not so sure I’d let my impressionable 7 1/2 year old read it just yet.


**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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Farm Fresh Southern Cooking Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table By Tammy Algood

About the Book:

Is there anything better than a kitchen countertop spread with the spoils of a Saturday morning at the farmers’ market? Every trip yields some new assortment of old favorites and newfound treasures. One week, you’re tempted by the sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes and the Mason jars brimming with orange blossom honey. Another week, it’s the slabs of milky Havarti cheese and the Red Haven peaches heavy with juice, enticing you to spend just a little more than you planned. Kentucky pole beans, silky ears of sweet corn, and sacks of stone-ground buckwheat flour may find their way into your basket on another visit.

Whether you shop with a list or purely on impulse, you’ll always find the truest taste of home at the local farms, roadside stands, and produce markets in your community. These are the places that offer up the native flavors of the South and all its seasons. They are your portal to the fields, the waters, and the vines where your food is cultivated. Get to know the origins of what you eat and the people who produce it. Tammy Algood’s Farm Fresh Southern Cooking celebrates this experience with delicious recipes that will enhance the natural flavors of your latest market haul and stories of the South’s most dedicated growers and culinary producers

My Opinion:

I’m not in the South, but I do enjoy all things Southern (well almost, I don’t like sweet tea, all may be too strong of word) so imagine my delight when there is a cookbook that combines farm fresh ingredients and Southern cooking.  Like most cookbooks this is divided into appetizers, soups, salads, desserts, etc but unlike other cookbooks it features farm from the South that are worth looking into (physically or on the internet).  Don’t think you have to have  a garden to use these recipes, visit your local farmer’s market and pick from the wide array of food selections and prepare to be surprised at what you’ll find – sometimes even cheaper than the grocery.  Some recipes I want to try are time honored cheese crackers (using a cookie press!), cheddar muffin pan biscuits, show-off grilled cheese sandwiches and grilled pork loin with fresh tomato marmalade – there are many, many more.

There are a lot of full colored pictures through out of the various foods which lends a very cozy touch to the cook book and it’s easy to tell which picture belongs with what recipe.  I really, really enjoyed the spotlight sections which feature a farm of some variety, either for bees, catfish, veggies, fruit, etc – with information about location and website, if available.  The author also gives a description of her visit and a little history of each farm.  This makes me want to take a road trip to visit farms!  This cookbook is not only a trove of recipes but also a fun trip down South to some great farms that makes one want to take advantage of those local farms in their area.

**I was provided an e-book copy from Booksneeze through Thomas Nelson in exchange for posting my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.


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