Christian, memoir

The Audacious Molly Bruno


Author: Marie Armenia
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-5460-3320-2
Pages: 272
Price: $14.99

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Molly Bruno lived her faith in action, and was a powerful prayer warrior. In this memoir, her daughter, Marie Armenia, shares some of Molly’s life lessons, as well as stories about her life.

Some of the life lessons Molly conveyed to Marie include how to be a good daughter, wife, and mother. She shared her joy of evangelization and how every encounter could lead to an opportunity to witness. Prayer was very important to Molly, and she modeled it in everything she did. Molly lived a joyful life, full of love for her Savior, and she wanted everyone around her to share in that joy.

Molly is the inspiration for the character of Miss Clara in the film “War Room.” After meeting with the directors, she prayed that the film would reach many people in sharing the good news about Jesus. The Audacious Molly Bruno is an uplifting and inspiring look at the life of a strong woman of faith. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Babysitter From Another Planet


Author & Illustrator: Stephen Savage
Publisher: Neal Porter Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4147-1
Pages: 32
Price: 17.99

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Mom and Dad are going to the movies, so they call the babysitter. But the kids don’t realize she’s from another planet. After a little while, they realize she can do cool things, and soon the kids adore her. So when their parents go out the next time, they’re no longer content with a human babysitter. They make a quick call to the babysitter from another planet, and she has a new surprise for them.

This cute tale lets kids imagine the possibilities of interaction with an alien being. It would also be a great story for bedtime, since many of the activities the kids engage in are nighttime routines. The Babysitter From Another Planet is a fun read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

health, self improvement

Removing Your Shame Label


Author: Eddie Capparucci, LPC
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-68433-010-2
Pages: 155
Price: $15.95

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If you’ve spent any time in church, you may have come to the conclusion that you’re not as good as the people around you, and they couldn’t possibly have sinned the way you’ve sinned. So rather than risk rejection, you choose to keep those sins to yourself, and maybe even walk away. After all, how could they possibly accept you just the way you are? But is that really the truth, or it just your shame talking to you?

Removing Your Shame Label tackles shame from a Christian Biblical perspective. After introducing the Christian Shame Cycle, Eddie Capparucci tackles the shame of impure motives, carrying garbage, staying stuck, being distracted by distractions, contaminated thoughts, loving with conditions, uncontrolled pride, excessive worry, self-loathing, and a hardened heart. In each chapter, he explains the problem and then shows us several ways we can overcome it with God’s help.

Capparucci is a Christian certified addiction counselor who knows the damage shame can do when not properly addressed. He wants to help us see ourselves as God really sees us, and not just as the broken and worthless creatures we often think we are. But the deep concepts presented in this book will need more than one careful read as you learn to put the ideas into practice in your own life. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

Count to 10 With a Mouse


Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Kirsten Richards
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-68412-741-2
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

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A mouse decides he wants to learn to count, but he does it in the most unusual way. He gnaws a hole through a book and dashes through the pages. On each page, he discovers other animals that he can count. And when he is finished, he runs back through the hole to begin again.

Kids will be able to count the animals on each page, while also being able to join their parents in reciting the refrain that is repeated throughout the book. Adorable illustrations accompany this rhyming text. I highly recommend Count to 10 With a Mouse.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

tween

A Monster Like Me


Author: Wendy S. Swore
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Middle Grade
ISBN: 978-1-62972-555-0
Pages: 304
Price: $16.99

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Sophie believes she’s a monster because of the large hemangioma on her face. She’s also convinced there are other monsters all around her, based on the Big Book of Monsters that she carries with her everywhere. So when Harley-riding Kelsi starts dating her mom, she schemes to keep him away from her, knowing his monster secret.

Along with her new friend, Autumn, Sophie starts collecting items that she adds to a magic amulet. If only she can use it to make a wish on the night of a full moon, she’s sure she can turn herself back into a human. But what if the hemangioma goes away, and she hasn’t changed inside?

Just when it seems that Sophie’s behavior has gone completely wild, her world comes crashing down on her, and she needs to determine if she really is a monster after all. And when she makes an unexpected decision to use her amulet for someone else, she finally knows the answer in her heart.

A Monster Like Me is a fast-moving tale that will hold middle-grade readers spellbound. Kids will identify with Sophie’s questions about who she is, and how to make it in a world that can be cruel at times. But they’ll really love how she finds her humanity inside as she comes to accept herself at last. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

Five Hungry Mice


Author: Frances A.B. Dunning
Illustrator: Heather Lynn Harris
Publisher: Crisscross Applesauce
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-942483-58-8
Pages: 30
Price: $16.95

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Five hungry mice spy a box of full of rice. But in order to get to it, they need to cross the kitchen while avoiding the family cat! Atop the table, they find a bag of oranges that they use to distract the cat. Soon they’re filling their bellies with tasty white rice.

This cute retelling of a classic nineteenth century tale is accompanied by adorable illustrations. Kids will cheer for the mice as they reach their prize while narrowly avoiding danger. Five Hungry Mice is a delight to read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts


Author: Billie Pavicic
Illustrator: Susan Gaber
Publisher: Boys Town Press
ISBN: 978-1-944882-33-4
Pages: 31
Price: $10.95

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Parker Plum wakes up with a small green egg on his pillow. He’s used to strange things happening, so he puts it in his pocket. Then he gets grumpy when he finds out he’s not having his favorite breakfast, and the egg grows slightly. He misses the bus and arrives late to school. His grumpiness grows, as does the egg. As each thing happens that he doesn’t like, his mood becomes worse and worse, and the egg becomes enormous.

Finally, a lunch lady recognizes the problem, and explains to Parker that the egg is his rotten egg thoughts. He has the power to shrink it by changing his thoughts. She guides him by asking two questions: Can I change this? Are there any good parts hidden in the bad? After reviewing the miserable day he’s having, he sees that he can change his mood by changing his thoughts. And when Parker faces a new challenge later in the day, he is able to put these lessons into practice – BEFORE he causes a new rotten green egg to form.

Parker Plum and the Rotten Egg Thoughts explains how to handle disappointments in a fun and easy to understand manner. In seeing the oversized green egg, kids can laugh at the silliness of the situation, while also learning from Parker’s mistakes. This is a wonderful teaching tool for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger