From the Family Bookshelf



It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted this column. Year end school activities and preparing for our son’s wedding hasn’t left me a lot of blogging time. It’s taken a tiny bite out of the reading time too, but not so much since I read every night before bedtime.During that time, I’ve managed to read some great books:

Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy. This book brings you up close to the dark underbellies of insurance companies and law offices as seen through a builder’s eyes when he is sued by a client for construction issues.

More Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias. While the stated genre is contemporary thriller, it is definitely a Christian novel. I loved it!

America’s Black Founders by Nancy I. Sanders (Review will be posted here soon). This is a book for school-aged children. Every third and fourth grade classroom in America should have one, though younger and older grades would enjoy it too.

I’m currently reading The Wildcat’s Burden by Christopher Hoare. This is the fourth book in his Iskander series.  I’m also reading A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women’s Rights by the husband and wife team of Sherry Penny and James Livingston.  This last book, sadly to say, was left out in the rain during last night’s huge thunderstorm. I was reading it while I grilled on the deck, but forgot to bring it in. It rained on my beautiful book for about 30 minutes before I realized where it was. I am so upset.

Okay, now on to Dad. He just finished up Prayers for the Assassin  by Robert Ferrigno. I assume he’ll be starting on the second in this series soon.

The Lil Diva is back to reading her two, Katie & Kimble books: Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story and Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish. She’s anxiously awaiting the third book in this series.

The Lil Princess has been enjoying books by Lynn Plourde: Book Fair Day, School Picture Day, and Teacher Appreciation Day. She really wants to read without assistance, but she isn’t totally there yet. She’s making good progress, though, and these books are so fun that she wants to read them over and again. She has trouble with some of the names, like “Josephina Caroleena Wattasheena the First” from School Picture Day. But it is also those silly parts that entertain her.

Until next time, keep reading!

The Kids Book Connection Got Tagged!!!

hove_outsideA talented author named Linda Thieman over at the Katie & Kimble blog tagged us today! That means that I have to play tag by answering a few little interview questions! Then I have to blog tag someone else! So, here are my answers and here are the bloggers I am tagging! I guess I’m it!  By the way, we reviewed the first two Katie & Kimble books here, so take a look at what they’re all about (Book 1 and Book 2).

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?

If I could just stop using “just” when I’m writing I would just be thrilled.

2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

Tags such as “she said”, “he replied” and “she asked”.  Arg, give me an action tag for crying out loud!  Kids are smarter than we give them credit for.  Unless we’re talking books for children under the age of three, they’ll figure it out.

3. What are your other favorite blogs?

There are “just” so many!  🙂 I’ll have to limit myself to three.

Hook Kids on Reading by my friend and fellow G.A.P. author Margot Finke.  If you have a reluctant reader or know one, you need to check out this blog!

Just a Mom’s Take on Things by Deb Steenhagen.  In addition to being an excellent virtual blog tour host for Pump Up Your Book Promotion, Deb reviews books and runs numerous contests and giveaways at her blog.  You have to stop by there because it’s an amazing place!

The Crypto-Capers Review by Renee Hand.  Renee is one of my former clients, whose Crypto-Capers books we’ve also reviewed here.   This is an engaging and fun interactive children’s detective series where readers solve cryptograms to help the detectives solve the crimes.  Renee has spent the summer visiting libraries, reviewing children’s books, and creating Book 3 in the Crypto-Capers series, which is coming out soon.  You’ll want to stay plugged in to her blog so you don’t miss the new release!

4. Name a favorite word:

“Plethora”, meaning to be full or to have an abundance of.  I have a plethora of decorations for Christmas because it is my favorite holiday.

5. And a word you’re not so keen on:

 “Union”, when it is coupled with the word “credit”, as in a credit union.  I cannnot say these two words together.  I worked at two different credit unions when I was in my 20’s, and I was never able to speak these two words clearly when answering the phone.

A credit union is a financial institution where all the members  are shareholders who have voting power.

6. What would you like to improve about your writing and/or blog?

I would actually like to have more time for more own writing and to research interesting things to add here.

7. What’s your writing ambition?

To use the gifts God gave me to bring enjoyment to readers.

I now blog tag the following blogs / bloggers:

LadyD Books by piano teacher and book blogger Diane Rogers

On Words by children’s author Janet Ann Collins

Reviews by Donna from children’s and inspirational author Donna Shepherd

Rooter and Snuffle by children’s author Shari Lyle-Soffe


* The picture is of Hove Library in the U.K. where one of my fellow Little House on the Prairie chums works.

Katie and Kimble: The Magic Wish by Linda Thieman

The Magic WishKatie and Kimble are back with a new adventure in Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish, Book 2 in the Katie & Kimble chapter book series.

When Katie finds a magic coupon in a box of cereal, Katie and Kimble decide to use their free wish to make Kimble human again. The wish will only last for two days and it’s a bit scary for Kimble to know that Katie’s parents will be able to see her and that she won’t be able to float through walls for a while. But the girls plan to make the most of those two days and hope that everything will be back to normal once the wish is over.

Katie & Kimble is an entertaining series for young readers. After discovering Kimble in Book One, Katie and Kimble have become more like sisters than friends. While Katie’s mother, Mrs. Russell can’t hear Kimble when she’s a ghost, she still allows Kimble to call her Mama. And once Kimble becomes human, Mrs. Russell not only hears her, but she hugs Kimble tightly and cries for joy.

One of the best aspects of this book is the complete acceptance of Kimble into the Russell family from Katie’s parents, her two-year-old brother, Toby–who has always been able to see Kibo (as he calls her)–and even the family’s dog, Twinkle. While young readers might not make the connection, this could be a book that parents use to show adopted children that they are accepted and loved just as much as natural born children.

 An interesting admission comes from Mr. Russell in The Magic Wish and this helps pave the way for him to believe in Kimble and to welcome her home after she becomes a ghost again and goes off to rest. The cover art uses the same color scheme as the first book to make it easily identifiable, and as the mother of a child who struggles with reading, I appreciate that the plot is interesting but not too complex and that there are words to challenge my daughter but many sight words too.

Katie & Kimble is a charming and fun chapter book series that kids will love. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Pale Silver Rainplop Press
  • ISBN-10: 0979439620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979439629
  • SRP:  $5.95 (U.S.)