Book Review: FaithGirlz! Whatever

Book Review: FaithGirlz! Whatever - The Deliberate ReaderFaithGirlz! Whatever: Livin’ the True, Noble and Totally Excellent LifeBook by Allia Zobel Nolan

A fantastic devotional for tween girls based on Philippians 4:8.

Why “whatever?” Zobel Nolan explains why in the first day’s devotional: despite it being used so often to express “who cares,” “whatever” was used by Paul in Philippians to emphasize that, well, whatever we use to fill our mind is important to God. And so it does matter, and isn’t a “who cares” thing at all. It matters because “you can change your life by changing your thoughts“.

Nolan’s devotionals are thought-provoking, even to a decidedly non-tween reader. The book is organized to follow the verse, and topics in each section include a wide range that will be applicable to her audience: friends, school, gossip, fashion, family, entertainment, and more.

For each day’s devotion, Zobel Nolan concludes with “food for thought” and “second thoughts,” which give more insight on the topic or related verses, or give a question to ponder, and “divine thoughts” – a brief prayer relating to the day’s topic.

The book is strongly targeted to it’s audience so even though the subject matter might be appropriate for older teens or boys, the language and examples make it a poor choice for any readers other than tween or young teen girls. That’s not meant as a criticism; I’d happily give the book to my tween nieces, but would search out another volume for my tween nephew.

One of the aspects that I most appreciate is the practical steps Zobel Nolan suggests for putting the principles she discusses into action, and I wish she’d included them for every day’s topic.

Recommended.

Publisher’s Description:
Did you know you can totally change your life by changing your thoughts? Well, you can, and WHATEVER can get you started. With examples based on girls just like you, each of these 90 devotionals will show you how to fill your head and your heart with virtues taken straight from Philippians 4:8, helping you grow closer to God and the totally abundant life he intended for you. Girls will learn how to shut out gross, crude, impure, stupid, and just plain dumb “stuff,” that leads to sin and estrangement from God and substitute what’s true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy and excellent. What’s more, this book will help girls look at the word WHATEVER in a fresh, new, and exciting way, so they’ll be able to live the 4:8 life, 24/7!

Book Details

Title: FaithGirlz! Whatever: Livin’ the True, Noble and Totally Excellent Life
Author: Allia Zobel Nolan
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction / Devotional
My Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2013

This doesn’t just include books to be published in 2013. My list includes books that I’m waiting on the library holds list because they’re still fairly new and popular. It also includes books that are new to me. And it also includes books that I simply haven’t gotten to, because my to be read list is out of control, but I am very excited to finally have a chance to read them.

So, in random order, my most anticipated books to read in 2013:

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Favorite Books for Budding Writers

As part of my “Favorite Books” series that’s been running, I’ve asked some other bloggers to share some of their favorite books. Today’s guest post is by Anne of Modern Mrs Darcy. I’ve read her blog since soon after it began, and while I love all of her posts, I admit to being especially fond of the ones about books and reading.

Do you have a budding writer in your life? These books feature characters who dream of growing up to write one day, too. These books are wonderful in their own right, but will be especially appreciated by young authors.

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Favorite Children’s Historical Fiction Books

Favorite Young Adult or Children's Historical Fiction books The Linden Tree by Ellie MathewsThe Linden TreeFavorite Young Adult or Children's Historical Fiction books The Linden Tree by Ellie Mathews by Ellie Mathews

Set in the 1940s on a rural farm, I loved this gentle story of 11-year old Katy Sue as she struggles to adapt to life after her mother’s death. There is an understandable undercurrent of sadness and grief (how could there not be with the setup for the story), but it’s handled delicately and the family’s healing is believable.

The characters are likeable and while the ending is predictable, I didn’t mind the way Mathews handled matters. I keep looking to see if Mathews has written another children’s book because I enjoyed this one so much, but so far this is the only one.

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Favorite Classic Children’s Books

Favorite Classic Children's Books - Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green GablesFavorite Classic Children's Books - Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

As many times as I’ve read Anne Shirley’s story, I never tire of it. She is charming and witty and sympathetic and everything you could want in a friend. The story draws you in from the opening – where on earth is Matthew Cuthbert going in the wagon? Will Anne have to go back to the orphanage?

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Book Review: The Blue Door

Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa KindeThe Blue Door (Threshold Series)Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa Kinde by Christa Kinde

I love fantasy tales, and I read lots of children’s and young adult books, so the first book in a new series by Christa Kinde sounded like a perfect fit for my tastes. Unfortunately, the book itself didn’t live up to my hopes.

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May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

May B by Caroline Starr RoseMay B.May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. Childrens' book review by The Deliberate Reader by Caroline Starr Rose

Beautifully written in verse, May B. tells the story of a young girl sent to help out on the neighbor’s homestead. “Just until Christmas” she is promised by her father, and she knows that they need the money she’ll be paid.

Long before Christmas May B. is abandoned and left to fend for herself on the isolated homestead, and she struggles to survive.

Her current struggles echo her memories of trying to read at school under a new teacher.

I didn’t expect to love the book as much as I did, but May B. is an engaging heroine and long after I finished the book I’ve thought about her and hoped for a sequel, to learn what happens to her.

This is a very quick read, and if you enjoy children’s historical fiction at all I think it’s worth trying.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

Book Details

Title: May B.
Author: Caroline Starr Rose
Category: Fiction / Children’s / Historical fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!