Children and Youth Books

Bandana Acres; Nibbler and Captain Make Peace by Kathy Perry

Nibbler, a beaver, works so hard. When Captain, a river otter, comes to play in his pond, he causes damage and even more work for Nibbler. He tries to ignore the problem at first. Then he verbally attacks Captain. Fortunately, Ollie, the farm dog, hears the comotion and comes by to see what’s wrong. He listens to Nibbler and asks a few good questions. After a walk, Nibbler calms down and has a new perspective. He talks to Captain and they share a little about themselves. The beaver comes up with a brilliant idea and Captain eventually agrees. They work together to solve a problem and become friends as well.

Another good story by author Kathy Perry, this time about a beaver who is struggling with an otter in his pond. I love that Perry has a great solution to the problem, instead of just saying that Nibbler was wrong in his behavior. Our kids need solutions and alternative behaviors. And gaining a friend is always good, too.

Entertaining with a good moral, this book also contains fun pictures and maps, helping your child to picture what is happening and where. Add in some “what if’s” to think about and this is a book that will help any child navigate life. I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

If I could Ask Jesus by Donna Wyland

Children are curious about heaven and angels. These are some of the questions they ask.

Author Donna Wyland writes about questions children may have regarding angels. Done in a rather sing-song way, Wyland combines a child’s curious questions with cute, bright pictures depicting everyday angel life; at least to a child. Some of the questions may seem silly to an adult, but to a child they are honest questions. Children are inquisitive and that needs to be encouraged. And this book will encourage more questions so get ready.

This rhyming story is one any young child would enjoy and I recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Bandana Acres; Rascal’s Trip by Kathy Perry

Young, unthinking, and impetuous, Rascal gets swept away by a whirlwind into a forest filled with uncertainty. Injured, but able to walk, he secures a safe place for the night. Jasper, a rabbit, greets him in the morning. He provides breakfast and offers to get Ollie, the farm dog, to help him find his way home. But, Rascal doesn’t listen to Jasper’s instruction. He wanders away and gets into still more trouble. Fortunately, Ollie arrives in time to save his life. There’s a serious discussion about the importance of thinking ahead. Rascal promises to remember this lesson and Ollie leads him home where he shares his adventures, and what he’s learned, with his mom.

Has your child ever acted impetuously, or chosen not to listen when given instructions? Of course they have and so has Rascal. Rascal’s Trip will show the reader that it can be dangerous to do these things and help them learn to think more carefully with the help of his friends.

As with all of the books in the Bandana Acres series, you’ll find a map and delightful pictures that will help to feed the imagination. And there is a “what if” section of things to think about along with a glossary of words that may be a challenge, making this a great learning opportunity in more than one way. I highly recommend it for the young reader.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution by Shaylene King

A modern retelling of the book of Esther creatively reimagined for a younger generation.

The confident but often stubborn spitfire, Liberty Lane O’Shea strongly stands for what she believes in; from standing on tables at school to boycott the high calorie foods they are serving, to standing in the pouring rain outside Target to protest their lack of chic rain attire. When the reigning queen of the Royal Crown competition is fired, the “King” of Sir Frederick Preparatory School and his talent scout search for the next big star. Liberty Lane is discovered and asked to compete. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, she agrees to vie for the crown.

Everything Liberty Lane stands for will be tested when she encounters a malicious contestant intent to secure himself the crown by destroying his competition which just happens to include Liberty Lane herself!

This is a great read for tweens! Can you imagine if you were put in the place of Esther/Liberty? Because of course we are here for such a time as this and it’s great for our tweens to remember that. They aren’t an accident!

Liberty stands up for what she believes is right and often what she thinks is right is important to a tween. Esther was tested and so will Liberty be tested. And so will our teens. Let’s arm them with wholesome books like this, that follow scripture and characters who set a good example. With humor and fun characters, I’m sure your tween will enjoy getting to know Liberty Lane.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Feebs to the Rescue: Bandana Acres by Kathy J Perry

Can a kitten help a dog in trouble? She can if she has compassion and courage! 

Even though she’s new to the farm, Feebs’ willingness to help Ollie outweighs her fear of being in a new place alone at night. She leads a rescue after a storm causes a branch to break, fall, and pin poor Ollie to the ground. 

She’s awarded an awesome red “bandana” that shows she’s part of the bandana buddies – a club created by Maddie for the animals as they learn important lessons or show valuable friendship qualities. Feebs is introduced to a new friend the next day: a barn owl.

I love a good children’s book, and this one is no exception. A book in the Bandana Acres series, this is perfect for the early reader. I love some of the special things about it. Things such as the characters thoughts being in red, making them easy to spot. There is also a glossary of new words and a what if section. All with great illustrations that are sure to draw your child into the story.

The animals are adorable and the lessons are valuable. Your child will learn about helping, being brave, and including others. Add in a cute little girl who gives out bandanas, this book is a good attention to your child’s library. I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Chased by M. Liz Boyle

It’s been a year since Marlee, her sisters, and the Miles boys survived an avalanche. Sure, it was a little embarrassing for them when all the neighbors saw them on the news, but they love being outdoors, and what are the odds that another tragedy would strike this adventurous group? Has anyone calculated the statistics of being hit with two natural disasters? It has to be low, so of course the two families planned to backpack again this summer. 

When the teens first meet Thad, a dehydrated hiker on the trail, they give him water and food and help him recover. He seems harmless until he tells them to hike a few extra miles at sunset. Then Lydie finds a hand-drawn map that Thad dropped, and they discover why he is so eager to get away from the Stanley girls and Miles boys. So eager that he starts chasing them.

Now they have to climb up unforgiving ridges, sneak through the night, and – is that thunder and lightning? To make matters worse, Marlee has a nagging worry that her older sister Ellie is preparing to move away from home.

What is God’s plan? How will they get away from Thad before it’s too late?

The second book in the Off the Itinerary series, it can be read as a standalone. But do read book 1 as it makes book 2 more enjoyable.

Author M. Liz Boyle pens a story full of adventure and suspense. The five teens are always in some kind of danger, it seems, but they have each other and their faith in God. That being said, I love that Marlee shares her faith without embarrassment.

These teens are written to be very mature; not silly and childish as you sometimes find in books. I especially enjoyed that the parents are involved to a point, and they are good role models. Strong families are shown, yet the story is about the teens.

A great plot, with good descriptions of the mountains and the woods, I would recommend this for any teen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

I Spy a Tiger by Clyde and Anne San Juan

Worship daily in rhyme, reading I Spy a Tiger with the young ones in your life. On this colorful journey, introduce them to Adam’s beloved naming of the animal kingdom, God’s awesome design, along with a bit of His humor too! I Spy a Tiger invites young and old alike, “There is so much for us to see and explore! Go on … have a look … it’s right out your door!”

Colorful pictures and fun rhymes will make this enjoyable for your child. I like that children are encouraged to go out and explore the world that God created.

The rhymes did seem rather silly and contrived at some points but young children won’t care. Grab a copy for a child in your life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Fear No Evil by Allen Brokken

Lost and alone in a valley of darkness, Lauren, Aiden and Ethan must call upon their faith to stand against the Dark One’s forces and prove they will fear no evil.

Across the land of Zoura, people and creatures alike continue to fall prey to the persuasion of darkness. The seeds of evil pollute not only those outside the Light, but those within it. Pitting neighbor against neighbor. Brother against brother. The Dark One gains ground in his pursuit to shroud the heathlands in eternal darkness. Zoura’s only hope lies with three children.

Twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, are determined to reignite the Tower of Light in Blooming Glen. But an attack by dark forces separates them, driving them into a valley of darkness. Without each other or their Knight Protector, the three siblings must navigate the wilderness while fending off creatures tainted by evil. They fight not just for Zoura, but for their own survival.

Will the darkness overtake Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan? Or will they prove their faith is stronger and that they fear no evil?

Book 3 in the Towers of Light series, first I would recommend your child read books 1 & 2 as it’s a continuing story. It will make reading Fear No Evil a better experience.

Author Allen Brokken writes a story of good vs evil, with children being the main characters. Along the way they learn to fight evil using God’s methods, including scripture, so there’s a valuable lesson to be learned. It was good to see what we classify as normal behavior from a child addressed and repented of.

Mixing faith and fantasy, this book is sure to please especially the middle schooler who enjoys fantasy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Trouble Blows West by Monique Bucheger

Ginnie doesn’t always think…

…sometime she just acts.

Was it a mistake to stand up to the bully?

Gennie and the bully, Pierce, get sent to the principal’s office. It doesn’t matter if he had threatened her twin brother, Toran, they both are suspended. Two days off school isn’t the scary part.

What will her dad say?

Things get taken up a notch, next. When the West twins and Chandler brothers execute a prank to get back at Pierce, it doesn’t turn out like they’d planned.

What Ginnie sees is terrifying.

Pierce is being beaten by his father.

Bullying is wrong, but now Ginnie has to come to grips with understanding what he might be going through.

How will she handle it?

You’ll love this compelling story that deals with every teacher’s greatest fear…child abuse. For fans of Judy Blume, who like a book that doesn’t shy away from the hard problem in life.

Author Monique Bucheger writes a story that tackles some tough subjects head on. Bullying, child abuse, understanding, forgiveness. We plainly see right and wrong as well as consequences for our action.

Along with all the raw emotions Bucheger writes about strong family ties. Standing up to a bully. Growing up and maturing. All great lessons for a teen.

Well written and with good character development, this is a good book for your teen girl.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

Maylie and the Maze by M.L. Tarpley

Will Maylie’s dream be crushed by her own imagination?

Ten-year-old Maylie Montes’s dream is to become an author, but she has a problem. She can’t finish a story. Not a single one.

Her second problem is Camden, her annoying twin brother, who is determined to ruin their summer traveling through Europe with their famous photographer aunt and spunky grandma.

The first stop is England where a castle and maze, a new British friend, and a lot of weird words await Maylie—but the first item on her itinerary is to learn how to write, so she can finally finish a story. However, this goal may land her a one-way ticket home after her writing targets her brother in a spooky story involving a nighttime maze full of monsters. And Camden has his own plans, leaving Maylie to wonder if her imagination has actually become a reality.

Maylie and the Maze is a great story for your young reader. Author M.L. Tarpley takes us on an adventure, traveling through England with Maylie. Your reader will not only tour England, but will learn things about people and culture. So along with a fun story, they’ll be learning new things.

The characters, especially Maylie and Camden, are true to life. They may be twins but they still deal with sibling rivalry and other normal sibling challenges, while growing both individually and together. 

I highly recommend this book for your pre-teen, and look forward to the next one in the series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Petersen

Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, the Lost Jewels of Anniera, are hiding from Gnag the Nameless in the Green Hollows, one of the few places in the land of Aerwiar not overrun by the Fangs of Dang. But there’s a big problem. Janner’s little brother–heir to the throne of Anniera–has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows, he looks like a monster.

But Janner knows better. His brother isn’t as scary as he looks. He’s perfectly harmless. Isn’t he?

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, The Monster in the Hollows is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

Author Andrew Petersen continues his fantasy series for readers both young and old(er). This is part of his Wingfeather Saga series but could be read as a standalone. But don’t do it. Get the first two books and read them together as a family.

In The Monster in the Hollows Petersen writes about a little brother who people are assuming things about, based on his appearance. What a great theme for children as they are learning not to judge based on looks.

With delightful characters, great descriptions, and wonderful story lines, I highly recommend the entire series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Petersen

All winter long, people in the Green Hollows have prepared for a final battle with Gnag the Nameless and the Fangs of Dang. Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli are ready and willing to fight alongside the Hollowsfolk. But when the Fangs make the first move and invade Ban Rona, the children are separated.

Janner is alone and lost in the hills; Leeli is fighting the Fangs from the rooftops of the city; and Kalmar, who carries a terrible secret, is on a course for the Deeps of Throg. Monsters and Fangs and villains lie between the children and their only hope of victory in the epic conclusion of The Wingfeather Saga.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, The Warden and the Wolf King is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

The final in the Wingfeather Saga author Andrew Petersen, who is an incredible story teller, wraps up the series, tying up loose ends but allowing for the reader to imagine some things. I recommend grabbing the entire set for family reading time.

Rich descriptions, well done characters, along with a riveting story line make this a must read for those who enjoy fantasy and adventure.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

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