Bergers Book Reviews

Stella Strawberry: The Fruit of Love

Stella Strawberry
Author: Yira Bernard Jones
Illustrator: David C. Rhoades
Publisher: Lightning House
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-0615632391
Pages: 32
Price: $12.00

Author’s website – buy it here

The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In Stella Strawberry: The Fruit of Love, children are introduced to love.

This is not a fictional work, but instead it offers children various ways to look at love. Each concept is presented along with the corresponding Bible verse as reinforcement of God’s word to us on this subject. The final page is a prayer of thanks for God’s love and a request for help in loving others.

Stella Strawberry is beautifully written and illustrated, with a powerful message of God’s never-ending love for us and His demands that we show others that same love. This book would be a wonderful addition to any Christian home or Sunday School classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 17, 2014 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment

Mom Goes to War

Mom Goes to War
Author: Irene Aparici Martín
Illustrator: Monica Carretero
Publisher: Cuento de Luz
Genre: Children
ISBN: 9788415503200
Pages: 24
Price: $15.95

Buy it at Amazon

The Queen is about to go to war and the two princes listen intently as she explains her predicament. She is battling breast cancer, and there will be allies fighting with her and villains to conquer. But she hopes to be successful and feel much better when she is healed.

Facing something as difficult as cancer is scary for kids, and Mom Goes to War attempts to present this battle in a somewhat less heavy manner. Using the images of a battlefield, it shows kids that there is good reason to hope and they should never give up. Beautiful illustrations lighten the feel of this story, and a wealth of information is provided. This would be a wonderful book for any family dealing with cancer.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 16, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Doon

Doon
Authors: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink Books
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
ISBN: 978-0-310-74230-2
Pages: 400
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

When Veronica begins seeing visions of a kilt-wearing teen boy, she wonders if she’s imagining him. But when he follows her to Scotland, she’s sure there must be something more to his appearances. After being transported to the magical kingdom of Doon, she finally comes face to face with him – as the formidable Prince Jamie. But after practically begging Veronica to come to him, he now rejects her, declaring that she and her best friend, McKenna, are in cahoots with the witch.

Thanks to the intervention of Jamie’s brother, Duncan, who is sweet on McKenna, the girls avoid a long stay in the dungeon, and begin to explore this new world. They have only a short time before they will be able to go back home, and they try to make the most of it. But will they both find true love before they’re forced to leave?

Doon is inspired by Brigadoon, and is more romance than fantasy. Although this story takes place in a magical world, it feels more down-to-earth as the girls discover modern plumbing and pizzas. Although Veronica and Jamie have a turbulent relationship, one hopes they can sort through their differences and work things out. But the reader may very well end up swooning over Duncan’s sweet and tender ways with McKenna. This is an enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 15, 2014 Posted by | romance, teen | Leave a comment

My Big Dinosaur Book

My Big Dinosaur Book
Publisher: Ticktock Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-78325-045-5
Pages: 24
Price: $9.99

Buy it at Amazon

The Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods of earth’s history saw numerous dinosaurs roaming the forests and waters. My Big Dinosaur Book showcases some of these fascinating creatures.

Two-page spreads of each period show the various dinosaurs that lived in those prehistoric times. More information on individual dinosaurs is then presented in additional two-page spreads. Fun facts and detailed illustrations fill this over-sized book, making it an ideal addition to any classroom, library, or dinosaur lover’s bookcase.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 11, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Engine Number Ten

Engine Number Ten
Author: Rose Ann Woolpert
Publisher: Graniterock
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-939341-01-3
Pages: 32
Price: $17.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

As folks moved westward in the late 1800′s, rock was needed to build houses and roads. Men and mules began the work, but they soon realized more powerful equipment was needed to move all the rock. Steam engines took over, until they also were not enough. Finally the diesel engine was used.

But one steam engine was called on for a last heroic effort, when the diesel engine got stuck in a landslide. After pulling it out, Engine Number Ten was retired and left to rust. But a man who was witness to the event determined to restore the old steam engine and use her in a train museum to give rides to kids.

Engine Number Ten shares some of the history behind the rock quarrying efforts in California, along with this sweet story about a special train. It promotes positive messages of the beauty in historical objects and the joy of helping others. But kids will especially love it because it’s a book about trains.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 10, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Dying to Know

Dying to Know
Author: TJ O’Connor
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3950-2
Pages: 384
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Detective Oliver “Tuck” Tucker has suddenly found himself in an unusual position – he’s dead and investigating his own murder. Finding his killer is important, but protecting his wife is his highest priority. Now if only interacting with the living wasn’t such a real challenge.

As Tuck figures out how to function in his new existence, he discovers clues about the events leading up to his own death. Those he always trusted have turned to suspects, and he doubts his own reasoning. But he has to learn the truth and somehow manage to stop his wife from being the next victim.

Dying to Know provides an unusual twist from the standard detective novel. As a ghost, Tuck is able to jump from place to place without any fear of detection, and can easily overhear conversations he normally wouldn’t, if he was alive. Yet his ghostly limitations provide drama and suspense, as the reader hopes he can step in to save the day. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to seeing more of this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 7, 2014 Posted by | mystery | Leave a comment

Copycat and a Litter of Other Cats

Copycat
Author & Illustrator: David Yow
Publisher: Akashic Books
Genre: Humor / Cats
ISBN: 978-1-61775-270-4
Pages: 160
Price: $23.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The letters “C-A-T” form parts of dozens of words in the English language. Using this as his premise, David Yow has combined his love of both cats and puns in Copycat and a Litter of Other Cats. This unique book shares a cat-inspired phrase with Yow’s drawings of cats in situations representing the pun.

Grumpy Cat, Felix the Cat, Top Cat and Sylvester the Cat make guest appearances, joining Alley Cat, Tomcat, and Bobcat in this parade of bright-eyed cats. Copycat is a fun and whimsical book that any cat lover will enjoy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 2, 2014 Posted by | cats, humor | Leave a comment

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back
Author: Howard Binkow
Illustrator: Susan F. Cornelison
Publisher: Thunderbolt Publishing
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9826165-2-9
Pages: 32
Price: $15.00

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Howard B. Wigglebottom is in trouble. He told a lie to cover his friend’s mistake. Then he lied when his baseball hit an angry man’s car. And he lied to hide the fact he didn’t want to play soccer. But when he lied to his dad, he knew Papa was very disappointed in him.

Howard doesn’t like to lie, but every time he lies, it seems to get easier. And the monkey on his back gets heavier and heavier. Howard realizes his lies are weighing him down, and vows to only tell the truth. As soon as he does, he feels so much better. Being honest is the right choice.

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey on His Back presents some very realistic scenarios kids might find themselves in, where it seems easier to lie than to tell the truth. The discussion guide offers opportunities for parents or teachers to go over these situations and ask kids what they would do. This is a great book to teach kids the importance of always being honest.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 29, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Secondhand Horses (S.A.V.E. Squad: Book 3)

Secondhand Horses
Authors: Lauraine Snelling & Kathleen Damp Wright
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Genre: Children / Horses
ISBN: 978-1-61626-569-4
Pages: 160
Price: $5.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

This sequel to Dog Daze and The Great Cat Caper features Sunny, who has an annoying problem of starting Great Ideas but never finishing. When she is sent to her Uncle Dave’s ranch, she is expected to help him clean it up while also making sure to keep up on her school work.

Luckily for Sunny, she has the S.A.V.E. squad to help her, especially when she finds herself the new owner of a small traveling zoo. But there’s something strange about this zoo, and she suspects that an intruder is lurking around the ranch, snooping in the barn. It will take a team effort to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to it.

The S.A.V.E. Squad series features four girls from different backgrounds who have become best friends and work together for good causes. Although they have their squabbles, they stick with each other, no matter what. Modeling faith, friendship, and service, this series is also a fun read for young girls.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 26, 2014 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation

The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation Author: Dr. Kim Chronister
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 9781493709830
Pages: 138
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Each of us has an underlying motivation for why we may or may not choose to exercise. In this book, Dr. Chronister attempts to dissect the thought process behind our fitness choices. However, this is not a book for the common person looking for motivation. Instead, it reads more like a doctoral dissertation full of typos and grammatical errors.

Focusing almost exclusively on the motives of depressed people, Dr. Chronister presents her own process in attempting to prod them into activity. This is done through a series of questions designed to root out the reasons why they’re not exercising, and then encouraging them to begin.

When I picked this book up, I was expecting a readable explanation of why we generally choose not to exercise, some sort of motivational pep talk, and a step by step guide to starting and maintaining a regular workout routine. If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it in The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 24, 2014 Posted by | fitness | Leave a comment

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