Tuesday, May 7, 2013

April Analysis - my reading and what I thought

NOTE: I was given the following book free on the grounds that I would write a review for it on Amazon. I did not, however, promise a favorable review. I also did not promise a review on my blog but I always review the books I read for my personal reading each month. I did not allow my getting this book for free to influence my review. The opinions are my own and truthful.  

Started reading Apr 25, 2013 
Finished reading Apr 30, 2013
My rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it

These are great little stories. I felt such a kinship with each person. The stories are written in such a way that you really get into the story. You can tell the author, Marilyn Boyer, really understands and likes the subject/people she writes about. You can feel a passion in her writing and it makes you excited to read the next biography. I have read a number of books by the Boyers and recommend their products all the time.

Each chapter starts with a character trait, definition of that trait and a verse of scripture. There are 14 little stories in the Kindle book. The characters in the stories come from all over the world and are from a variety of time periods. The stories are short but full of interest. Some of the people are familiar characters, others I had never heard of.

One of the things I liked the best are the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Have your child talk over the answers with you or write them down. The questions include comprehension questions for each chapter, digging deeper questions that will really make your child think. There are also life application questions so they think about their own life and how they could do things better. Some chapters had spiritual questions as well, digging into the word of God is always a good thing. Questions dealing with the character trait for that chapter were also good, causing your child to think about their character is a wonderful thing. In each chapter the questions were varied and really make you think.

The chapter called "Resourcefulness: Lieutenant William Overstreet" contains some content I cannot ignore. I am not against having the content in the book but I was glad that I read it first so that I can discuss the chapter with my son when I have him read it.

Lieutenant Overstreet was resourceful in many good ways. He needed to be resourceful in such a time as WWII. During a mission, he thought that they had passed a point where they would be likely to meet any more enemies. While their planes were being refueled he found some alcohol. He bought it and emptied his ammunition out of the plane and put the alcohol in its place.
"Then over Romania, the Fighter Group ran into a pack of ME 109’ s. But when the Germans saw the Americans, they turned tail and sped for home. Bill was close on the tail of an ME 109. Suddenly the German pilot jumped out in a parachute. His plane was not on fire. It had not even been hit. Bill didn’t know what had scared the man. Later, at their debriefing, one of the officers asked: “Who was the closest one to him?” Everyone grinned. It was Bill, only he didn’t have a single bullet on him— his ammo bays were filled with alcohol."
I do not like what he did. He put himself and his comrades in danger. Now, I know no one is perfect, but this is a book called Portraits of Integrity. The dictionary says that integrity is an, "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty."

I would not say that Lieutenant Overstreet is a man of integrity but I don't mind him being in the book. I do mind that there are not questions regarding this characters actions. Now that I know, I can discuss the choices Bill makes with my son, but I wish Marilyn had added questions about it.

These are some of the things I will discuss with my son: Was it is a wise thing for Bill to do? What could have been some of the repercussions of his choices? Do you think Bill's quality of resourcefulness was misused and made into a weakness in this instance?

In spite of this one part of one chapter I think these books would be a great addition to any homeschool curriculum. Now that you know you can read that chapter ahead of time and be prepared to discuss it with your children if you choose to do that. They would be good for any Christian parent to buy too, homeschooler or not. Read the book aloud for school or to your whole family for devotions even. Great for all ages Middle Elementary and up.

Read in one day on Apr 30, 2013
My rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating)

A book so good that I read it in one day. I could not put it down and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I have book 2 and 3 on reserve from the library.

Abram and his wife love each of their girls. Each very different. Leah helps her dad out on the farm because they don't have a brother and dad needs her help. The other girls help mom and run their family fruit and vegetable stand. Sadie is in her rumspringa and is seeing an Englisher. She gets into a LOT of trouble. Leah is very worried about her and thinks of telling her parents about it. There is also a single aunt that lives near them and a grandfather that moves in before the end of the book. They both add a lot to the story.

Spoiler alert... I am putting this next part in because I don't want more sensitive friends to read this book and wish they had known about this part before reading. Read more of my review at your own risk. If you don't want to know what happens stop now. If you want to know what I think may be objectionable to some then read on.

Sadie becomes pregnant by the Englisher and neither she nor her sister, who finds out quite far into the pregnancy, tell their parents. The Englisher will not marry Sadie.

There is more that happens but I at least wanted you to know about this before you read it. I do not agree with the girls hiding this from their parents. I do not think it was a good thing for Sadie to fall into sin in this way. But, we all sin. God doesn't see any one sin as worse or better than another. There are, and will be, ramifications of her choices. I don't know what they all will be however because the story continues in book 2. Even with this 'questionable' content I like the book, a lot.

According to Goodreads I have read 13 books toward my goal of 55 books that is 24%.  At my current pace, I'm 5 books behind schedule. I hope to catch up soon. I know I keep saying that but I do hope I will. We are done school so MAYBE that will help, probably not though... I am always busy. I may be able to get some reading done while my hubby is having his heart catheterization on the 14... if I can concentrate enough to read.

note: my star reviews are out of a possible 5 stars

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