Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Boy Soup

Boy SoupBoy Soup by Loris Lesynski

Big G. the Giant woke up with a terrible cold. He reaches for his copy of the Giants Home Medical Guide for a cure. The best thing to fix a cold - Boy Soup!

Lesynski weaves a rhyming tale that offers humor, danger, and heroism. Humor in the secondary silly soup and the restaurant outcome at the end. Danger in the stolen children and the primary soup. Heroism in the great escape! Boy Soup would be a great read-aloud for elementary students. It also lends itself to additional activities about reading recipes, following directions, and cooking food together.

Readers might question if Boy Soup is by Robert Munsch, but Munsch and Lesynski share the same illustrator: Michael Martchenko. If readers enjoyed Munsch tales, they will enjoy Boy Soup as well.

Reviewed from a NetGalley copy. Thank you, Open Road Integrated Media!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Review: The Cadence of Grace Series

The Cadence of Grace Series by Joanne Bischof
#1 - Be Still My Soul
#2 - Though My Heart is Torn
#3 - My Hope is Found

Be Still My Soul (The Cadence of Grace #1) The Cadence of Grace series is three separate books that are closing linked together. Each one flows swiftly into the next one. They are best read together in order, since they pick up so quickly.

Be Still My Soul features the beginning relationship of Lonnie Sawyer and Gideon O'Riley. Gideon is the playboy of the Appalachian hills and pressures Lonnie for a kiss. Lonnie's father discovers them together and a shotgun wedding takes place. Gideon resents Lonnie while Lonnie is seeking a refuge.

Though My Heart Is Torn (The Cadence of Grace #2)Lonnie finds a refuge in the Lord and Gideon begins to turn his life around when his past returns to haunt him. Though My Heart is Torn shares the grief of love being torn and lives being changed. The answer to peace rests in the Lord. Faith's journey is never an easy one, but the Lord will never forsake those who seek Him.

My Hope Is Found (The Cadence of Grace #3)My Hope is Found wraps up the series with rebuilding trust and repairing relationships. Consequences and broken trust cannot be fixed over a day or a month. Healing takes time, but the Lord is sufficient and He watches over His children.

I was so happy to read these books one right after the other. It would have been difficult to wait between books. Bischof wrote a captivating, emotional, and faith-filled series that amazed me.  I thought I would be able to predict parts of the storyline but every twist and turn brought new insights and layers. Gideon had his storyline, while Lonnie had hers and then their relationship together was a whole different storyline. Those three components are only the beginning - add in their families, neighbors, bosses, and enemies into the mix and it is a powerful load of information. These are stories that beg to be read quickly to find out what happens next, yet read ever so slowly to relish every detail.

I would highly recommend Bishof's trilogy. Her Appalachian books are books that you can sink your teeth into and savor for moments to come. They take the reader on a journey that follows the ridge line - the ups and downs of life - of sin and grace. It brought to mind the Bible story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel.

She also does not leave the reader hanging at the end of My Hope is Found. More adventures would be welcome to read, but it's an excellent pause for Gideon and Lonnie's journeys, trials, and celebrations. I am content as are the O'Riley's. I would love to hear more about the other people who came into the lives of Gideon and Lonnie, especially Toby McKee and Cassie Allan. Perhaps a follow up will be coming in the future? I will be waiting to hear!

Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1900
Location: Appalachian hills, Virginia, USA

Reviewed from a library copy (#1), a library copy (#2), and a free book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review (#3).

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