Featured Reviews Faith Term 2 2024

Featured Faith-Based Reviews Term 2 2024: Have a sneak peek at some of the reviews for this month!

Featured Reviews from our Faith Christian Term 2 2024 mailout:

Author: Kathryn Joy Macdowell
Illustrator: Mark Kessler
ISBN: 9781922411464
Publisher: City & Vine
Release date: 06/10/2023
Reading age: 3 to 6 years

Book Description: "God spoke and stretched out the sky, The heavens above, and the clouds up high." Let there Be Light imaginatively points the reader to both the vastness and detailed handiwork of God's creation. The breathtaking illustrations will fill children of all ages with a deep sense of wonder. Readers will discover how God is intimately in the midst of His creation. The engaging narrative follows the creation story and draws from the Psalms and other Bible verses that describe God's creative and loving character. This exceptional work empowers parents and ministry leaders to introduce children to the wonder of creation and craftsmanship of God.

Representations: Written from a Christian perspective with a positive representation of Christianity. Contains the creation story from Genesis and references John 1:1-3. Contains diverse ethnicities in the illustrations.

Novel Insight Short Review: When there was nothing in the universe, God spoke. With God's voice, day and night were created. He created the heavens and clouds above, then called the water to fill oceans and seas. An uplifting reminder of the creation story with colourful illustrations.

Author: Shirley Raye Redmond
ISBN: 9780736987141
Publisher: Harvest House
Release date: 22/08/2023
Reading age: 7 to 12 years

Book Description: From the award-winning author of engaging historical nonfiction for children comes these fifty inspiring stories about courageous animals who accomplished amazing feats. Animals have a special way of connecting with kids. Your whole family will love these true tales of daring dolphins, plucky parrots, cunning canines, and other intrepid animal heroes who left their mark on history in inspiring and unexpected ways. Shirley Raye Redmond introduces you to fifty amazing animals who exhibited epic bravery under extraordinary circumstances, including&... * Roselle, the guide dog who helped lead her blind owner out of the collapsing World Trade Center on 9/11. Tommy, the shelter rescue cat that dialed 9-1-1 when his owner suffered a series of strokes. Simon, the "Able Seaman Cat" who helped boost the morale and preserve the food supply of crewmembers held hostage on their own ship for over one hundred days. Brave Animal Stories makes a great choice for family reading time or to give as a gift to a young animal lover you know.

Content Insight: Contains true stories about human suffering and animal rescue during war, natural disasters, freak accidents, and more. Contains references to death.

Representations: Written from a Christian perspective with a positive representation of Christianity. Contains a short prayer prompt at the end of each section.

Novel Insight Short Review: Animal heroes have had a significant impact on our world. Through this inspiring collection of fifty true short stories, learn about the heroic actions of animals who saved their human companions both at war and in everyday scenarios. A moving collection of true stories that show animals devoted to their owners in extraordinary circumstances.

Author: Kathryn Butler
ISBN: 9781433579479
Publisher: Crossway Books
Release date: 10/05/2022
Reading age: 10 to 14 years

Book Description: An Adventure Novel for Middle-Grade Readers Steeped in Magic, Mystery, and Glimmers of Hope--Book 1 in the Dream Keeper Saga Even though she's only 12 years old, Lily McKinley already feels the weight of the world's brokenness. She's seen it in her mother's exhaustion, her grandmother's illness, and the cruelty of Adam, the bully at her school. But most tragically, she experienced it two months ago when her father died in a terrible accident. As an artistic daydreamer, Lily has a brilliant imagination to help her cope, but that imagination often gets her into trouble. One day, it transports her to a fantasy world called the Somnium Realm, where her father's secret history embroils her in an epic quest. With the help of a dragon guide named Cedric, Lily battles evil shrouds, harpies, and other creatures to find her way through grief, rescue the world from evil, and discover the power of redemption. This thrilling novel by Kathryn Butler mixes fantasy with Christian themes, taking middle-grade readers on a quest through castles, forests, and caverns to help a young girl find hope and usher in restoration.

Content Insight: Contains magic and magical creatures. Lily encounters Cedric the Dragon, whom no one else can see. Lily also has crafting magic that allows her to make a ship from the clouds. Contains several near-death experiences and death. Lily and her friends are repeatedly attacked by shrouds, minions of the evil Eymah. Cedric and several other characters die, but Pax resurrects those who follow him at the end of the story.

Representations: Contains references to Bible characters and themes. Pax represents Jesus Christ (Pax is Latin for peace) and Eymah represents the devil. Pax defeats Eymah and casts him into a fiery pit and then Pax restores the world and his people, including those who have died in his name. These events are reflected in the Bible. Lily also repeatedly cries out for help and Pax answers. Written from a Christian perspective with a positive representation of Christianity. Contains Greek and Roman Mythology and legendary people, including Merlin and Robin Hood.

Novel Insight Short Review: Ever since Lily's dad died, her life has been full of sadness. When Cedric the Dragon appears looking for a missing steward, it turns out that Lily is the one. Before Lily can learn more, she is attacked by a shroud who wants to steal the stone. Lily and Cedric flee and are transported to a new realm. Cedric tells her to go to the Castle Iridyll, where the Council can help her go home. As she travels to the Castle and faces dangerous trials, a boy called Adam nearly dies. Lily cries for help, and a unicorn called Pax rescues Adam and heals his wounds. Pax also tells Lily that her dad is proud of her, indicating that he is alive. As they continue the journey, Lily encounters more shrouds who use deception and brute force to try and take the stone from Lily for their master, Eymah. After another battle with evil creatures, most of their travelling party are hurt and unable to travel. Lily creates a ship from the clouds that takes them to the castle. This reveals that she is a special steward who can craft things using her imagination. At the castle, she learns that her father is at the Cave of Lights, so she sets out to go there, but even more obstacles stand in her way. Will Lily ever find her father and be able to return home? An engaging tale of good versus evil with strong Christian themes. This is the first book in the Dream Keeper Saga.

Author: Hannah Currie
ISBN: 9798887090610
Publisher: WhiteSpark Publishing
Release date: 15/05/2024
Reading age: 13 to 18 years

Book Description: Sixteen-year-old Chloe Gabriels has dreamed of going on an overseas mission trip for as long as she can remember, so when the opportunity arises for her to go to Thailand with Teen Missions International she jumps at the chance. Working at an orphanage, learning new skills, experiencing a different culture, making lifelong friends—what better way could there be to spend her summer vacation? Of course, the trip will have its challenges—living in close quarters with seventeen other teens out of their comfort zones has a way of doing that—but it will be worth it. She’ll finally be serving God in a practical way. But while the orphans and their stories break her heart, it’s someone unexpected who has the biggest impact on Chloe’s summer and leaves her wondering if maybe there are just as many people who need her love back home as there are overseas.

Content Insight: Contains heart-breaking stories of young girls in Thailand who are orphans, suffering from poverty or sold by their parents. One of the characters in Thailand is struggling with infertility.

Representations: It is set in a Thai orphanage and contains lots of Thai culture though from the point of view of an Australian teenager. Written from a Christian perspective with a positive representation of Christianity. Chloe realises that God cares for the people in Australia, just as much as he cares for those in Thailand.

Novel Insight Short Review: Sixteen-year-old Chloe Gabriels is about to go on a short-term mission trip to an orphanage in Thailand. She has dreamed of being a missionary for a long time, hoping to make a difference in the world and serve God in a practical way with a number of other teenagers. As the group experiences a new culture for the first time, there are both confronting and exciting events. A moving and insightful representation of mission trips, including the challenges, such as hearing stories of children being sold and orphans, as well as fun things like bartering in the market and seeing the country.

Author: Tessa Ashfar
ISBN: 9781496458278
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release date: 11/07/2023
Reading age: 16 to 18 years

Book Description: Jemmah has always thought of herself as perfectly ordinary . . . until she faces extraordinary circumstances. When her mother, the Persian king's famous senior scribe, is kidnapped, Jemmah and her sister must sneak undetected into enemy territory to rescue her. But infiltrating their adversary's lands proves easier than escaping them. Fleeing through dangerous mountain passes, their survival depends on the skills of a stranger they free from prison: a mysterious prince named Asher. Asher is not who the world believes he is. Despite his royal blood, he has had to climb his way out of poverty to forge success from nothing. A manufacturer of some of the best weaponry in the East, Asher has only one goal: to destroy his father. But following his escape from prison, Asher is irresistibly drawn to Jemmah, unaware that she guards her own secret. Jemmah must convince Asher to give up everything he has worked for, all for the sake of a higher purpose he's not sure he believes in. The fate of the Persian empire--and possibly the Judean people--hang in the balance and in the persuasive power of one ordinary woman.

Content Insight: Contains very mild kissing. Contains a mildly violent war scene.

Representations: Contains Biblical history and Jewish characters.

Novel Insight Short Review: Jemmah's mother, Keren, served as the Persian king’s chief scribe since she was young. When Keren is assigned a task that involves travel during an escalating war, she is kidnapped by the Median king. With her father, Jared, unwell, Jemmah takes it upon herself to save her mother. Although fleeing the prison proved easier than expected, Jemmah and Keren are hunted by the enemy. Their survival depends on a mysterious prince, Asher, the son of the Median king. However, Asher is an illegitimate heir and was never treated as a royal. He had to forge his own path by manufacturing some of the best weaponry in the East. Now Asher's only goal is to kill his so-called father. As he travels with Jemmah, they fall in love. Asher also realises that his life can have more purpose than hunting down the king. A fascinating and well-researched historical fiction story that brings Biblical history to life.

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