Bergers Book Reviews

Arbeit Macht Frei: Work Sets You Free

Author & Illustrator: Isaac Millman
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Children / Jewish History / Holocaust
ISBN: 9781456333522
Pages: 60
Price: $15.00

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Isaac Millman found himself alone in Paris in 1942, at the age of nine. Both of his parents had been captured and sent to Auschwitz, and he would never see them again. Now a grandfather, he journeys back to Poland to see the last place his parents were alive.

Bringing his two grandsons with him, he tours the facility known for some of the greatest atrocities ever committed. As the tour guide shows them around, Millman captures the images with watercolors. Some are bright, where flowers have grown to hide what happened so many years ago. Others are stark black and white, depicting prison cells, the crematorium, and his father’s death certificate.

Millman takes this journey for emotional healing, and he pays his last respects to his parents at Auschwitz before he leaves. And in honoring them and attempting to let go of the past, he shares his story with others, making sure that no one ever forgets the horrors of the Holocaust.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 31, 2011 Posted by | children, history, Holocaust, Jewish | Leave a comment

God & You

Author: Raymond Wolf
Illustrator: Briana Weekes
Publisher: GoldRay Publishing
Genre: Children / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-9832195-3-8
Pages: 40
Price: $14.00

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When God created the heavens and the earth, and all the trees, flowers, birds and animals, He was building the place he would put His most beloved creation. Then he made man in His image and placed him in the garden. In God & You, Raymond Wolf tells the story of this creation from the perspective of the loving God who created us.

Although God was surrounded by the angels and other heavenly beings, He wanted to feel the joy of sharing love with His creation. Man was given free will, and can choose to love God. And God experiences great joy in man loving Him as much as He loves us.

This poetic work demonstrates the love God has for us, and how much He wishes it will be returned. Briana Weekes, now eleven years old, created the illustrations over a period of seven years. Through the eyes of a child, God’s tender care is expressed. Jesus once said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your being. God & You is a gentle reminder that doing this will make God so very happy.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 30, 2011 Posted by | children, spirituality | Leave a comment

The Witch, the Cat and the Egg

Author: Joanne Lécuyer
Illustrator: Max Courville
Publisher: Baico Publishing
Genre: Children / Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-926945-02-6
Pages: 70
Price: $14.95

Author’s website

Julianne is a good witch, living in the magical forest of Ennyar with her cat, Magicus. She can communicate with the creatures of the forest, and she lives a simple and peaceful life. But one day the king sends his knight to see her about a journey through Ennyar, and Julianne discovers an unusual egg on her way back home.

This egg is important to the forest, and Julianne is entrusted with its care. But how can she complete her mission on her own? She will need to enlist the magical beings of the forest to help her.

The Witch, the Cat and the Egg is a gentle tale of a sweet girl and her friends who always want to do the right thing. The forest is a magical and safe place, and no danger ever lurks. But a dilemma, other than the care of the egg, might have added a deeper dimension to this story, creating some tension and drama. Overall, though, this story portrays really good and caring characters, and leaves the reader feeling that magic is possible in her own life.

Bergers Book Reviews spent some time chatting with Joanne Lécuyer. Please be sure to read what she has to say!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 21, 2011 Posted by | children, fantasy | 1 Comment

Mister Lemur’s Train of Thought

Author & Illustrator: Mister Lemur
Publisher: Ringtail Learning
Genre: Children / Poetry
ISBN: 978-0-9828866-0-1
Pages: 151
Price: $17.95

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Have you ever been to a petting zoo? Ah, but sometimes the animals have other ideas about what that concept could be. And what might happen if General Jack stepped on a tack? A tack you say? Well, that’s not quite what Hard of Hearing Harry heard.

In these clever rhymes, Mister Lemur takes somewhat ordinary situations and turns them around with a neat twist. Surprise endings keep the reader interested to see how things finally turn out. Dogs don’t normally play baseball, mice aren’t encouraged to hang out as house guests, and genies don’t grant unusual wishes without problems following soon after.

Mister Lemur’s quirky sense of humor and ability to see beyond the obvious keep kids guessing, while stretching their imaginations in a fun way. And the cute line-drawing illustrations artfully enhance these mind-bending poems. Kids of all ages (as well as adults) will love Mister Lemur and his amazing creativity.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 17, 2011 Posted by | children, poetry | Leave a comment

Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma

Author: Jim Randel
Publisher: Rand Media
Genre: Personal growth
ISBN: 978-0-9844418-7-8
Pages: 288
Price: $19.95

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Let’s face it – the diploma will get you off to a great start, but college most likely hasn’t provided you with all the information you’ll need to succeed in life. That’s why there have been so many good books written over the years on this subject. So if you don’t have the time to read them all, Jim Randel has summarized their main points in Street Smarts, a Skinny book on the rest of the important stuff they left out in college.

This unique summary provides snippets of information on the following topics: Seeing yourself as a marketable company, Communication skills, Career advancement and networking, Time management and productivity, Sales and persuasion techniques, Financial literacy, Savvy, Investing, and Personal development.

As with all the Skinny books, a comprehensive bibliography is provided on the topics covered. If a particular idea strikes you and you want to learn more, you’ll know exactly what books to check out. Old-school masters like Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Brian Tracy are featured, as well as new and hip author, Ramit Sethi.

You’ve spent four years mastering your subject matter and you’re ready to face the real world. Now you have the rest of your life to develop yourself. Read through these 125 suggestions and explore the bibliography. Your life is waiting for you, and you want to be prepared. Now go out there and be successful!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 12, 2011 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment

Fatal February

Author: Barbara Levenson
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-1-933515-52-6
Pages: 253
Price: $22.95

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Mary Magruder Katz, a half Jewish, half Southern Baptist Miami lawyer, has just taken on the case of the year. While defending Lillian Yarmouth on murder charges, she makes a stop at a car wash and proceeds to turn her life upside down. Suddenly she’s involved with Carlos, a new and very exciting man, left her old law firm, and finds herself being sued by her former fiance on ethics charges.

While everyone seems to adore Lillian and can’t imagine that she’d ever kill her husband, it doesn’t appear that her family is anxious to clear her name. And the evidence Mary uncovers makes things look even more dire for Lillian. It will take quick thinking and legal savvy to outwit the prosecutors and get Lillian off the hook.

Carlos is a distraction all his own, and their new relationship sizzles. A powerful man with friends on call whenever he needs them, he is determined to woo Mary. But sometimes duty calls, and she reluctantly concedes that work must come first.

Fatal February is the first in the Mary Magruder Katz series by Barbara Levenson. A humorous, light-hearted, and romantic mystery, it’s just the right combination for an enjoyable read. I’m adding this new series to my list of favorites.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 8, 2011 Posted by | mystery | 1 Comment

Touched By the Light

Author: Linn B. Halton
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
Genre: Paranormal fiction
ISBN: 978-1-84624-531-2
Pages: 248
Price: £16.99

Author’s website
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Mya isn’t quite sure where she is, when she suddenly realizes she’s no longer in her body. She remembers a hospital and workers scurrying around her, but then she makes her way toward the light and reaches what she thinks is the other side. But where is everyone else? Why isn’t anyone around to help her adjust?

Laurel is able to communicate with spirits, and she and Mya become friends. Drawn to Laurel’s relationship with Dan, Mya is convinced she’s in this purgatory of sorts in order to help them. But then she loses touch with Laurel and begins a new friendship with Dan – this time without the benefit of speaking.

It’s impossible for me to tell much more about this story without giving away all the intricate plot twists that make it such a fun read. Romance, good friendships, and the paranormal blend together so nicely, with a cast of believable and well-developed characters. Everyone grows as a result of their experiences, and the reader is rewarded with a happy ending.

Touched By the Light is Linn B. Halton’s first work of fiction, and it’s a dandy. I look forward to reading more from this talented new author.

Linn B. Halton shared her thoughts with us in an interview.  Please be sure to read what she has to say!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 3, 2011 Posted by | paranormal | 2 Comments

I’m Having Twins!

Author: Paris Morris
Publisher: New Year Publishing
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9760095-4-2
Pages: 24
Price: $12.95

Author’s website
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Paris is three years old, and her mother is expecting twins. Being an inquisitive little girl, she wonders what it will be like once her baby siblings arrive. But Paris is determined to be the best big sister ever.

Over the course of a couple of months, we see the family adjusting to Mommy carrying the twins. Daddy and Paris sometimes have to go out alone while she rests. Paris handles this well, enjoying the time she has with her father.

The first child has no idea how life will change once a new baby shows up, so kids will relate to Paris and all her questions. Colorful and fun illustrations bring this cute and very real dilemma to life, as Paris figures out how she’ll need to adjust to the twins’ birth.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 1, 2011 Posted by | children | 1 Comment