The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

The Hiding Place, written by Corrie ten Boom, is a true story about the author's experiences during the holocaust. Corrie ten Boom was a leader in the Underground. With the help of her family, she kept many Jews safe from the Nazis. However, she was eventually caught, and along with her family, thrown into prison and a concentration camp.

This inspirational story is about how Corrie found faith and held onto it for dear life. She witnessed many miracles, but the greatest miracle to me, is that Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were able to maintain such a positive outlook because of their unwavering faith in God. I mean, Betsie prays IN GRATITUDE for the fleas in the bunker, which do, amazingly enough, turn out to have a good purpose.

Here is a brief excerpt:

"Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner. "Oh, the poor woman," Corrie cried. "Yes. May God forgive her," Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed."

The Hiding Place is a life-changing classic. It is a quick read. Although it is about the holocaust, it is not deeply depressing but enlightening. I hope you enjoy it! It is one of the best books I have ever read.

The above review was published on this blog in 2008.

Grace's Note, 2019: What an incredible book. I'm 13 and I loved it. Have your kids read it! It's informational about WWII and uplifting.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

   All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

   Whoa. What a book!

   Here are some excerpts from Amazon's description:

"Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list...

 [T]he stunningly beautiful [story] about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

  Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

 In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another."

   Almost every sentence had me asking, How? how on Earth did the author think of that? It seemed that each of the words, sentence, and punctuation was carefully crafted. Beautiful and genius writing.

   It is a fat book but a capturing story that doesn't feel long-winded. 

   Definitely some inappropriate language. 14+. 

   Now go read it.


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor Book Review

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Incredible book! According to Amazon, it's book 4 of 6 in a series, but I didn't read the other 5, and it was fine.
Cassie Logan and her family live during the troubled time of racism and racial violence in Mississippi in 1933. Cassie is young and does not fully understand the events that start happening in her small town -burnings of colored men, the humiliation, prejudice, and hatred that her family and her friends have to face daily. As Cassie struggles to understand and to be strong, she learns of freedom, pride, and dignity. But in her family's fight for peace, they may lose their beloved land.
I learned a lot from it! For kids 11+.

Just David by Eleanor H. Porter Book Review

 Just David by Eleanor H. Porter

   From the author who wrote Pollyanna, another beautiful classic. I absolutely loved Just David! 
   Ten year old David has never known his last name or his father's name. As far back as he can remember, he has lived on the mountain in the house with his father and spent his days enjoying nature. So when his father takes him down the mountain on a journey, gives him money, and dies in a stranger's barn in the middle of the night, David is left in the care of the people of the strange town where his father died. He is taken in by Mr. and Mrs. Holly, who are hardworking, no-nonsense people.
   The whole town is astounded with the boy- the boy who doesn't know at all what money or death or hard work is, who knows Latin and French, who can identify every plant and animal in the forest, who is the best violinist they have ever heard, and plays what the world looks like to him. 
   His unheard-of ways, his talent, his determination and ability to see good in every single thing when a normal person could see none, and the mystery behind who his father is, makes him a misfit with the boys his age in the village. Despite all this, with time, his music and his kind heart touch the hardened hearts of the town. 
   I read The Good and the Beautiful version, which is completely clean, but I'm sure the normal version is as well. I thought it would be boring but it was a sweet story and super engaging. Anyone can read it, but it is probably geared toward ten or eleven year olds. Five stars from me! 

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray       
     Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is the historical fiction story of a young Lithuanian girl named Lina living during Stalin and Hitler’s reign. She was taken by the Soviet soldiers in the night, out of her home and out of her normal life, forced to get on a train with no idea where she was going and if she would live. Her mother and younger brother, Jonas, were taken too. Before the train left, she was able to get a glimpse of her father, who had been taken before them, and knew she would probably never see him again.
After six awful weeks in horrible conditions on the train, living like pigs, they arrived in Siberia, where she and her mother and Jonas are forced to work as beet farmers in a work camp. Workers were forced to sign a contract for twenty-five years of living and working there. Food was scarce and barely enough to keep the works alive. Diseases and sicknesses ravaged the camp. The workers lived in ten-by-twelve foot huts with the villagers and were forced to pay them rent, even though they had no money. Stealing was the only way to stay alive, but if they were caught the soldiers would likely shoot them. The NKVD (the Soviet soldiers) beat, starved, tortured, and killed the people without any purpose or a second’s hesitation or reprimand.
  Andrius, a boy Lina’s age, who lived in the same work camp, was able to give Lina information about her father. She learned that her father was living in a prison called Krasnoyarsk, far from where she was.
After months of living at the work camp, Lina’s group was taken to a freezing island, near the North Pole. The living conditions were even worse and many of the people died, including her mother and almost every person she knew from the train, and there she learned of her father’s death in the prison. She and her brother worked in that place for twelve years before they were released.
I loved this book. It was awesome. I loved the main character, Lina, and her mother. It was so interesting, definitely a page-turner, and really informative. Amazingly well written.
Definitely 13+. Andrius’ mother was forced into prostitution to stop the NKVD from shooting her son. This part is not detailed and leaves it very vague, but mentioned multiple times. The NKVD sexually assaulted the women in the work camps, including the main character, slightly detailed, and a worker makes a crude remark about this. There is some swearing. Also, very violent and graphic.

WINNER Of 3 Book Giveaway!


OK, first off, sorry this post is a day late. 
Second, thank you all so much for commenting and sharing! You guys are fantastic. Please make sure to follow our blog, and to come back for future book reviews/giveaways.
All right... the winner is...
Shyla Aaron!
Please email us your address here and we'll get those books to you soon!
Thank you everybody!

A Little House Picture Book Treasury, Adapted from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Little House Picture Book Treasury: Six Stories of Life on the Prairie, Adapted from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Many of the picture books I've been receiving for possible reviews have been...not my favorite. So many of them are based on characters, usually from TV, that I just don't care for. I don't do negative reviews, so many of them just go unreviewed.

When I opened the last box and found this gem, I was thrilled. Now, here are some characters I can really get behind!

I may have actually gasped with delight.

Reading this little treasury to my kids did not disappoint, either. It is living up to my expectations upon seeing the cover, and is quickly becoming a favorite.

The Treasury is a compilation of six little stories from the Little House books. The stories include A Little Prairie House, Going to Town, County Fair, Sugar Snow, Winter Days in the Big Woods, and Christmas in the Big Woods.

The artwork is beautiful and endearing.

You could use it as an early chapter book. As for us, we haven't read it without going all the way through in one sitting...and a couple times I've closed the back cover and been begged to read it all over again...and yes, I obliged.

Our giveaway of this treasure and two others ends tomorrow, so be sure to enter if you haven't yet!!!