At the Beach


We’re taking a two week break to rest and relax on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I brought some books with me, as is my usual practice. Only one of them ended up being for the youth market.

Corrie ten Boom and her family are watchmakers in Haarlem, Holland, where they give what little they have to spread God’s love and help others. But everything changes when World War II erupts and Hitler’s army takes over their country. As the Nazis round up Corrie’s Jewish neighbors and send them to deadly concentration camps, she knows that something must be done to stop them. But what can one small family do in the face of such great evil?

Read the amazing true story of Corrie ten Boom, a Torchlighter® hero of the faith, and discover how her obedience to God saved lives and continues to inspire others today.

Paperback: 85 pages
Publisher: Christian History Institute (May 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1563648733
ISBN-13: 978-1563648731

My hope is to blog a few times while we’re away, so don’t go far.

Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann

So engaging it could be fiction, Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann should be in American classrooms everywhere.

The story of Robert Smalls begins in 1939 with his birth into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina. A favored servant, Smalls has a decent life for a slave, but he witnesses firsthand the cruelty of this Peculiar Institution. As he grows from child into man, Smalls falls in love and longs for freedom for him and his family. Seven Miles to Freedom shares how he leads a plot to steal a Confederate steamboat and pilots it into Union held territory.

What a fascinating story! My Civil War collection is the most extensive in my home library. I have numerous non-fiction titles about a variety of topics on the War between the States. I will proudly add Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann to my collection.

Having enjoyed Halfmann’s Good Night, Little Sea Otter and Fur and Feathers, I knew the writing would be superb; but it can be difficult to make history interesting for young readers. Halfmann makes it look easy. It’s a true historical action adventure on the Atlantic. I wasn’t sure how I would like the impressionistic artwork for this book, but in the end I decided that Duane Smith’s creations were the perfect complement to the story. His style allows the reader to imagine this being any African-American slave’s story. Granted it is Smalls’s story, but the fact remains there were many brave African-Americans who helped the Union win the Civil War.

It’s no wonder that Seven Miles to Freedom has won so many honors and awards.  If you want to teach your children history in an engaging manner, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this one.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Lee & Low Books
  • ISBN-10:9781600602320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600602320
  • SRP:  $17.95

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation to provide this review.

Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! by W.S. Martin

 An engaging historical narrative for boys is what you’ll find in Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! by W.S. Martin.

King James II runs away from England and soon ends up in France with his friend Louis XIV, plotting and planning the downfall of England. The army in Ireland was committed to restoring King James II to his throne. The residents of Londonderry, however, were making preparations for a prolonged siege. 

The French officers that followed James on his journey to Dublin decided that it wouldn’t be long before Londonderry was in their hands, if the residents put up any type of fight at all.

Wouldn’t they be surprised?

The Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! is a true historical narrative that shares the story of the 1689 siege of Londonderry, where thirteen brave apprentices planned to close the city gates and resist the conquest led by the deposed King James II of England.

The city was never intended to withstand a siege and traitors were among them. But the residents of Londonderry stood firm, despite potentially starving to death. Victory would be theirs!

In this engaging historical narrative, young readers will learn a part of England’s history.  While the Preface says this is a story that boys and girls of the present should know about, it’s definitely more of a boy story for those without ties to England. Nordskog Publishers has reprinted Martin’s story that celebrates victory. The original was written around 1900. Martin actually ends the book by telling the reader about his visit to Londonderry in the early 1900’s and also includes a poem written by Mrs. C.F. Alexander about the siege.

What I truly enjoyed about Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! is that it is written in a style that pulls the reader in, even though the narrator is definitely telling a story. I could definitely see children around a campfire listening to this story being read aloud.

If you’re looking for a book that will educate and entertain, Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! fits the bill.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0982707401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982707401
  • SRP:  $14.95

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    Author Spotlight: W.S. Martin and Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender!

    The story of the 1689 siege of Londonderry proclaims the power of God in the incredible resistance of the City of Londonderry against the attempted Jacobite conquest of Ireland by the deposed King James II of England.  While the city leaders vacillated, thirteen bold and brave young apprentices took the initiative to close the city gates.  “No surrender!” became the rallying cry.  Faith in Christ gave the people of Derry the courage to resist in the face of extended siege, blockade, starvation, and disease.  Liberty lovers—young and old—should read this book.

    Read the Excerpt!

    It was now clear that the city was not to be taken by assault.  Other means must be tried.

    It was not only the enemy outside the walls that the brave defenders had to contend with; remorseless foes, in the shape of hunger and fever, came to the aid of the Irish, and it was now evident that the besieged would have to be starved out of their position.  The most extraordinary means were adopted to prevent any food being taken into the town.

    Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender! Tour Schedule

    Monday, November 1

    Book spotlighted at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

    Tuesday, November 2

    Book spotlighted at Broowaha

    Wednesday, November 3

    Book reviewed at Giveaway Lady

    Thursday, November 4

    Book reviewed at My Favorite Things

    Friday, November 5

    Book spotlighted at The Writer’s Life

    Monday, November 8

    Book spotlighted at The Hot Author Report

    Tuesday, November 9

    Book spotlighted at Examiner

    Wednesday, November 10

    Book spotlighted at Thoughts In Progress

    Thursday, November 11

    Book reviewed at Book Reviews by Molly

    Friday, November 12

    Book spotlighted at American Chronicle

    Monday, November 15

    Book spotlighted at Paperback Writer

    Tuesday, November 16

    Book reviewed at Lynn’s Corner

    Book reviewed at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

    Wednesday, November 17

    Book reviewed at RBC Library

    Thursday, November 18

    Book reviewed at Just One More Paragraph

    Friday, November 19

    Book reviewed at Carpe Libris

    Monday, November 22

    Book reviewed at 4 the Love of Books

    Tuesday, November 23

    Book spotlighted at Review from Here

    Book spotlighted at Lori’s Reading Corner

    Wednesday, November 24

    Book spotlighted at Writing Daze

    Friday, November 26

    Book reviewed at Ellis

    Not much is known about the author. Mr. W. Stanley Martin was a stationer and was partner in the City of London firm, Martin & Purnham.  He spent his last days in Felpham in Sussex, England and used to attend services at the Chapel of the Bannister, Theological College in Felpham.

    You can visit the publisher online at to learn more about the Brave Boys of Derry or No Surrender!

    America’s Black Founders by Nancy I. Sanders


    For an educational and fun reading experience look no further than America’s Black Founders: Revolutionary Heroes and Early Leaders by Nancy I. Sanders.

    In this engaging book geared for ages 9 – 12, Sanders brings America’s black Revolutionary hereos and early leaders to life with stories, historical photographs, and special features. While this book covers a variety of heroes and leaders–John Marrant, Lucy Terry Prince, Crispus Attucks, Salem Poor, Harry Hosier and many more–the story of Richard Allen, from his birth to his death flows through the entire book, weaving in and out of the times in which Allen lived.

    Also included are 21 activities that youngsters will enjoy. From stuffing a straw mattress to making a stamp, from how to pen a patriotic poem to designing a flag, and from reading the Declaration of Independence to exploring your family tree, these activities will keep your children or students entertained while they learn.

    The photography in this book is outstanding. It is also obvious that Sanders put a great deal of effort and research into America’s Black Founders.  Classes that are studying Colonial America and Revolutionary times will definitely want to have this in their library. It is also a great read for Black History Month.

    I highly recommend America’s Black Founders by Nancy Sanders. You can find many more books by Sanders by checking out her website.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
  • ISBN-10: 1556528116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556528118
  • SRP:  $16.95 

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