From the Family Bookshelf

After almost a month long hiatus, this column is back. North Carolina was wonderful. I worked some of the time promoting virtual book tour clients, read some great books, and wrote two chapters of my WIP along with almost two full chapters of my first ghostwriting project. Since I read the most while we were away, I guess I’ll start with me. This is the list of books I brought with me. I also had my Kindle: 

  • Lingering Spirit by Marilyn Meredith (romance with supernatural flare) *
  • The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins (Christian thriller)*
  • Keeping the Wolves at Bay Media Training  by Jonathan Bernstein (Business)*
  • Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (psychological thriller)*
  • Plan B by Steven Verrier (this review will appear at this blog) YA*
  • Bowdancer III: Warrior Women by Janie Franz (providing back cover blurb)*
  • When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie Johnson (Christian relationship book) – reading now
  • Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey by  Diana M. Raab
  • Harvest Moon by Chastity Bush (paranormal)
  • State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering (this review will appear at this blog) (Children’s)*
  • Evenings on Dark Island by Rhett DeVane & Larry Rock (Southern fiction with vamps)*
  • All the titles with an asterisk are ones I read while we were away. I also read the romantic suspense novel Capturing Karma by K.M. Daughters. This is the fourth installment of The Sullivan Boys series. I love these books.  Reviews of all those I’ve read are either posted or soon to be posted, so keep an eye out for them. 

    Dad finished the Christian historical, The Return to Zion, by Bodie and Brock Thoene while we were away and started a counterterrorism thriller by Vince Flynn, The Third Option

    The Lil Diva seems to be over her desire not to read anything and picked up one of The Boxcar Children books today. 

    The Lil Princess is moving along with her summer reading program. She goofed off while we were away, but she’s polished off 9 of the 25 books she needs to read by August 5th. We visited the library today and she’s already read all of those, so we’ll be going back tomorrow for more.

    That’s it for now. I would love to hear what you’ve been busy reading this summer.



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    State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering

    The Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS) returns in Book 3, State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering.

    The adventure continues with the third book in this fabulous series for middle grade students. When Matt gets a surprise visit from Jolene, they decide to use his Junior Geography Detective Squad video game to study for an upcoming test. As usual, they place their bets, and the loser has to do whatever it is the winner has chosen–in this case, Matt will have to carry Jolene’s dance bag and participate in warm ups at her ballet class or Jolene will have to come to the skateboard park dressed in grungy clothes and watch Matt’s team compete on Saturday. Neither seems appealing and they are both determined to be the first one to figure out the clues and correctly guess the state in question.

    I’ve been a fan of this series since it began. It’s a great way to help children learn interesting facts about the United States and it encourages them to learn more once the last page is turned. New characters pop up alongside the regular cast of characters in each book, which keeps readers eager to pick up the next book in the series.  The bets are funny and it’s entertaining to read along and see who ends up winning and witnessing the losers’ reactions. As with other books in the series, there is a section that includes additional facts about the state covered in the current book. There is also a set of discussion questions at the end.

    I have a couple of tiny nitpicks for this one. I wasn’t as pleased with the illustrations in this book as compared to the previous two. There was one illustration I didn’t understand at all and another where I couldn’t even identify what the object in the illustration was until I read the text. I also noticed that the back cover spells Jolene’s name wrong twice. The word “Detective” was also left out of the series name on the back cover. Perhaps I received an ARC, but the  book isn’t identified as one.

    Those small challenges don’t take away from a great story that will entertain and educate your children. State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering is just another reason for me to love the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. I’m looking forward to the next book.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 0984070869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984070862
  • SRP:  $12.50


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