The Blessing


A few years back author Wanda Brunstetter wrote a short series of books about an Amish Women that decided to give quilting lessons.  (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, The Tattered Quilt, and The Healing Quilt).  In this series, Emma Yoder decides to begin teaching quilting to anyone that would be interested in learning.  It was a story line that I enjoyed, as it was fun to see how the seemingly unrelated people all became friends and were able to help each other out.  Now Ms. Brunstetter is doing it again but this time it is Emma’s niece Heidi Troyer that has decided to offer cooking classes.  This time instead of being an older lady whose children have grown, Heidi is a young Amish woman that longs for a family.  While she has been married for many years, she and her husband have not been blessed with a child.  Heidi decides to start offering cooking classes to take her mind of off her barrenness and also to give her something to do.  The Blessing is about her second class and the students that have signed up for this class.

I enjoyed reading about this new class of students and how Heidi is able to not only teach them how to cook but also helps them deals with situations in their lives.

A side benefit of the series is that the recipes that Heidi teaches during the 6 weeks of classes are included in the back of the book.  I can’t wait to try some of these.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series.


Because of You by T.K.Chapin

Because of you


I was recently honored to be contacted by a new to me author and asked if I would review his book Because of You.  Once I picked up this book, I was unable to put it down. The only thing that made me put it down was that I knew I would have to get up and teach the next morning (and that my kindle was dying). I will be checking this author out and reading more of his work.

I totally enjoyed reading this book by a new to me author.  Samantha is madly in love with her military husband Dakota.  While expecting their second child Dakota is deployed.  Sadly he never makes it home.  Samantha has to learn to go on with her life and be a single mother at the same time.  It seems that she has more than the usual share of troubles, but through it all, she keeps her Christian Faith.  This is a nice, clean romance book, one that I would have no problems handing to my young daughter or nieces.  It is refreshing to read a clean romance that doesn’t have the couple shacking up in bed before getting married, or go into detail about their sexual experience.

Top 3

Author #Juliette Duncan sent out an email this morning asking what your favorite three books were. She then broke it down into 3 categories, Childhood, Young Adult Years and Currently.  After she talks about her 3 favorite, she then asked what are your three favorite books. This got me to thinking so I am going to try and come up with some of my favorite books over the years.

Childhood: I remember a childhood filled with books.  Every summer we would sign up and then complete the summer reading program at the local library. I remember the librarian telling me that I wouldn’t be able to read books from a section that was a tad bit harder reading than where I should have been at age why.  At the time, I thought she was trying to make sure that I read books for my level, but looking back, she was really pushing me to read up a level.  Everytime she told me that I couldn’t read that section yet, I had to prove her wrong.   I remember being so excited to learn to read in 1st grade, and yes the Dick and Jane books were apart of that experience. So much a beloved memory that I purchased a compilation book years later. Other memories include not only having a fully stocked school library, but the public library had a book mobile and they would come to the elementary school every so often.  Each class would go out to the book mobile and we could check out one or two books from the book mobile.  One of the books I remember reading over and over was Especially Sisters by Fern Powell. I also remember reading as many of the Nancy Drew books as I could get my hands on.

Young Adult: It will be harder to narrow down choices for this time period in my life. I don’t remember reading any specific book, I do remember reading and reading and reading.  We were required to keep a reading log during the high school years with a minimum of 1500 pages (if I remember right) read each quarter.  I usually hit the required number of pages for the year every quarter.  I do remember reading more by genre’s.  I guess, I can say that I honestly do not remember any specific books from this time period in my life.

Currently:  I am reading a wide variety of books.  I am into reading most of the Amish Fiction books, I am still reading Young Adult lit (part of the job I guess, but I do really enjoy books from this category), I love reading Historical Fiction, I also read quite a few books that have been suggested by my students. I would say at the moment however, my favorites are more by author.  I will read anything published by Joanna Campbell Slan and Laura Bradford (Elizabeth Lynn Casey).  Their books are usually pre-ordered the minute that I see that the next book is coming out.

So what are your favorite books of all time?  Can you chose or are you more like me and have a hard time narrowing the list down?  I am not even sure if I could pick my favorites from the books I read in 2016.

The Goblin Crown


I was recently sent a review copy of this book for an advanced reader’s team.  Poor Billy, he was moved across the country, his dad has cancer and may be dying, and to make it even better today is his first day of high school.  Not just any high school of course, the exclusive Francis Drake Prep.  Billy is so nervous about everything that is going on his life, that within the first few minutes of school he not only manages to embarrass himself in front of the beautiful Lexi, but also makes an instant enemy of the school’s star quarterback. His day can’t get any worse correct?  Wrong, somehow he manages to get himself, Lexi, and Kurt into another world.  This world is full of goblins that don’t speak English.  The goblins are currently fighting a war with humans in their world.  The humans have but one goal, to completely wipe out the goblins.

I enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to introducing it to my reluctant readers. The Goblin Crown includes war, friendship, and magical worlds, in other words a book sure to please many different readers.  I am eagerly looking forward to the second book in the serious.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book, however the reactions to the book are my own.

The Seventh Wish

The Seventh WishThe Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a cute book about a young girl that learns that the easy way out is not always the best. She finds a fish that talks to her. She uses this fish to make wishes on, almost always on helping her friends do well. Sadly she discovers that is not the best way to go. A young friend that hates basketball and isn’t really good at it, struggles when he makes the basketball team, another friend has trouble in school after she passes the English test and is able to move into regular classes instead of English Language Learner classes as her English is not as good as she needs it to be. Did her well meaning wishes actually hurt her friends? In total there are 7 different wishes, but do they actually solve the problem or hurt it even more. A quick fix is rarely the answer one needs.

View all my reviews

Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your Ass


I found this book this past summer.  What a fun and timely read for young adults. In this book, Piddy has to move and start a different high school.  Sadly she is bullied almost right from the start by a girl that she has never even met.  Piddy tries to make friends at the new school but finds it difficult.  A great read for teens and adult alike that shows just how serious teenage bullying is now.  While I am aware of the seriousness of bullying this book really opened my eyes as it approached the situation from the victim’s viewpoint

From Amazon “One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.”

A Wrinkle in Time


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has been a favorite since I was in grade school.  I am not sure when I first came across this book.  I am guessing it was during my science fiction phase.  I so love this book with Meg and Caleb, the twins and of course Charles Wallace.  In my opinion, we need more books like this for kids to read and fewer Captain Underpants books.  Let’s get our kids reading right away, let’s give them good literature to read and keep them interested.

From Amazon “It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.”

The Vile Village


The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket.  Another book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. This is a really great series for 2nd-5th grade readers or even to get students from higher levels into reading.  Easy to read but yet interesting and they won’t feel like they are reading something beneath them.

From Amazon “Dear Reader,You have undoubtedly picked up this book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D. has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded in these pages.I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats.It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each detail of the Baudelaire children′s lives and write them all down, but you may prefer to do some other solemn and sacred thing, such as reading another book instead.With all due respect,Lemony Snicket”




Today’s book is a bit different than most of the books I have posted for this month.  This book was a devotional that we used in our Sunday morning women’s Bible Study.  This was a good study that brought about a lot of discussion regarding what not to get upset over.  Discussed learning to control the emotions no matter what was going on in our lives.  Much harder to do than it sounds.

From Amazon “God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it! Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has had experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or we react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how. Filled with gut-honest personal examples and biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended. Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your  communication. Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between. Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.”

Trapped on the Titanic


Trapped on the Titanic by Tammy S. Knox and Michael G. Knox. I read this book a few years ago when looking for some information about the Titanic for my LA 10 class so that I could add to what they were reading in class.  This is a cute story about a girl that has to go on a field trip with her class to a museum that was doing an exhibit about the Titanic.  There everyone notices that she looks like one of the passengers pictured.  As she starts to investigate as to why there was a passenger that looked like her she discovers that this girl is an ancestor and that there are many family secrets.  Not only did I enjoy this book, but it is one of the few that I have been able to get my daughter to read.  She actually couldn’t put this book down and got into trouble reading at school.

From Amazon “Trapped on the Titanic is a work of children’s historical fiction set in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The thrilling, chilling story begins with Callie Elizabeth, an eighth grade girl with a normal life. At least her life was fairly normal until she finds herself alone and staring into the eyes of a weeping photograph that is over 100 years old. Who is the girl in the picture and why does she look so much like Callie? Why does the phantasmic image of the girl keep appearing to Callie? What does she want from her? As Callie searches for answers about the girl in the photograph, she finds herself engulfed in family secrets, haunting visits, and espionage. What really happened that night of April 14 and the early morning of April 15, 1912 as the majestic Titanic sank to her watery grave? How can Callie solve the mystery and put to rest the ghosts of her family’s past? With the help of a good friend, her grandmother’s love for history and her own keen perception, Callie discovers that things are not always as they seem. Learning from the past, Callie is able to find priceless treasures that have been hidden away since the sinking of the Titanic.”