Christian, fitness, health

Find Your Weigh (with Bible study)

Author: Shellie Bowdoin
Publisher: Source Publishing
Genre: Weight loss / Christian
ISBN: 978-971-503-442-5 / 978-9715034456
Pages: 251 / 111
Price: $13.99 / $12.99

Author’s website
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Buy the Bible study guide at Amazon

Would you like to be free of your weight issues? Do you believe that God can help you succeed? If so, Shellie Bowdoin has given us some pointers on how to let Him, as she encourages us to let go of the diet mentality, once and for all.

We all know diets don’t usually work. We go on a diet, lose the weight we want to lose, and then go off the diet, only to regain the weight. So instead of going on yet another new diet, Shellie gives us some new principles to follow – goals that redefine our process as healthy weight management. She also encourages us to journal what we’re feeling, and even provides special blank pages and some weekly reflection questions, along with her own journal as a model. The Bible study guide is accompanied by free Youtube videos, and throughout the study, Shellie shares Bible wisdom to encourage us in our efforts.

Losing weight can be a struggle, but God wants to help us in our efforts. Find Your Weigh provides encouragement and resources in making the changes we know we need to make.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement, writing

Writing for Bliss

Author: Diana Raab, PhD
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Genre: Writing / Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-61599-323-9
Pages: 238
Price: $21.95

Author’s website
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Writing a memoir strictly for your own eyes can be an interesting ramble down memory lane. But writing one that you plan to market and sell will involve some very different techniques. Whichever option you’re thinking of pursuing, Writing for Bliss is there to guide you.

The introduction offers the concepts of writing for healing, therapy, and transformation, as you allow yourself the blissful action of putting your thoughts on paper. The following sections lead you through the phases of preparing to write, cultivating self-awareness, speaking your truth, examining your life, finding your form, unleashing with poetry, and sharing your writing. Throughout the book, the author shares some of her experiences in writing her own story, along with several writing prompts to get you started. And once you have something on paper, she helps you decide what sensitive information to include and guides you through the process of organizing it into a format that readers expect to see.

Diana Raab has first-hand experience in writing about her own life and sharing it with the public. In this book, she’s written a wonderful guide for those of us who don’t have the faintest idea of where to start. If you’re thinking of putting the story of your life on paper, Writing for Bliss would be a great resource to use.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

adventure, fantasy, tween

Time Tracers: The Stolen Summers

Authors: Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Fantasy / Middle-grade
ISBN: 978-0-06-267142-4
Pages: 256
Price: $16.99

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Taj can hardly wait for the bell to ring, signalling the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. He has a plan to make sure he and his friends have the best summer ever. So he’s in total shock when he wakes up the following morning and it’s the first day of school. How did he lose a whole summer? When he meets his friends that morning, they are in even worse shape than him, as they struggle to get a grip on what’s happened.

Soon, an unexpected encounter with a time tracer explains the problem. Their summers have all been stolen! Now it’s up to Taj, along with his team of Eon and Syd, to track down the summers and restore them before it’s to late. If they’re unsuccessful in their mission, it could mean doom for everyone he holds dear. But the evil person behind the thefts knows Taj is after them, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop him.

The Time Tracers is action-packed, and kids will eagerly keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Gross bug-like creatures are splattered at every encounter, and there is chaos and destruction everywhere. This is a fun read for everyone, but boys will especially love Taj’s great adventure. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Aromatherapy for Self-Care

Author: Sarah Swanberg MS, LAc
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Health / Aromatherapy
ISBN: 978-1-64611-221-0
Pages: 210
Price: $16.99

Author’s website
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Aromatherapy has been known to have therapeutic effects when used for various ailments. But the average person probably has no idea where to start when presented with a long list of available essential oils. How do you know what combinations would work best? Aromatherapy for Self-Care provides answers.

Before diving into the various recipes, Swanberg explains some of the methods used for aromatherapy, and what kinds of tools will be needed. She also shares some of the more reputable companies who produce essential oils, along with pros and cons of using each. Several essential oils are described in detail, and these form the basis of most of the recipes for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. These will used in many ways, including with a diffuser, inhaler, or carrier oil.

Good quality essential oils are expensive, so it would be cost prohibitive to buy all of the recommended oils right away. But it would be possible to dabble in some of these recipes to get a feel for them first, and then continue to explore what feels right to you. Aromatherapy for Self-Care is a wonderful guide to using these essential oils in your own life.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature, science

Bright in the Night

Author & Illustrator: Lena Sjöberg
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65219-0
Pages: 48
Price: $17.95

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Even though it’s dark outside, there are many things with features that are bright at night. Either through reflected light or UV light, these shine brightly all around us. Bright in the Night shares some of these unusual objects and creatures with us.

Beginning with the night sky, Sjöberg shows us the moon, stars, and planets, as well as the northern and southern lights. Next are mysterious lights, and glowing stones and mushrooms. We also see animals’ glowing eyes and body surface areas that shine in UV light. Lights on land include lighthouses, neon signs, and safety reflectors.

Bright in the Night is written for serious science-minded kids, as the topic is covered in quite a bit of depth. Anyone who wants to learn more about the bright objects around them at night will enjoy this interesting and informative book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


The Luckiest Snowball

Author & Illustrator: Elliot Kreloff
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4105-1
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99

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Izzy is playing out in the snow when he decides to make a snowball. Before he can toss it, the snowball tells him to stop. Once Izzy realizes it’s alive, they make snow angels and build a fort and snowman together. But when Izzy brings it inside the house and introduces his new friend, Larry, to his mom, the snowball yells for help. Larry is melting!

Over the course of the year, Larry meets all kinds of interesting food in the freezer where he lives. And as each season rolls around, Izzy takes him out to see the scenery outside. Larry keeps reminding Izzy that he’s melting, and back into the freezer he goes. Finally, it’s winter, and Larry can play outside again. This time, he decides to stay outside when Izzy goes back into the house. Winter is his home.

Larry considers himself the luckiest snowball because he’s had the opportunity to see all of the seasons. Children can learn about the seasons also, as they explore the information provided in the appendix. The Luckiest Snowball is a fun read for kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

How Did You Miss That?

Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-45-7
Pages: 32
Price: $9.99

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Braden has a list of things to do before bed, and he’s sure he accomplished everything in record time. But when his mom checks his work, she shows him all the things he didn’t do. How could he have missed them all? Then his mom shares a four-step process to self-monitoring to be sure he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

At school a few days later, Braden is reminded of this problem when he misses a whole page on a test. His teacher goes over the process with him again, and this time he’s sure he’ll remember. He soon has opportunities to share his learning with his younger brother, and even with his parents!

Self-monitoring is an important skill for kids who want to live successful and productive lives. It helps them identify what they want to accomplish, stay focused, double-check everything, and ask for assistance when they need it. How Did You Miss That? shows kids these steps in action and also provides tips for parents and educators. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger