Review: Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans

  Title: Evolving in Monkey TownAuthor: Rachel Held EvansPublisher: ZondervanReleased:June 26, 2010Source:I purchased this book.Find it on:    I'm not sure there's much I can say about Evolving in Monkey Town that hasn't been said already (and much more eloquently). So this is probably more of a response than a review.As Rachel Held Evans takes us through her personal crisis of faith, she offers insight into why some fundamentalists feel, believe, and act the way they do. She says in the preface: "I'm judgmental of people I think are judgmental." That resonated with me personally. But I think she encourages readers to keep an open mind, to try to understand others even when we disagree or feel judged by them.As I look back through the book, I highlighted so much, but wrote only one note,…

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Review: The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola

Today is Epiphany! Last night La Befana came to our house and brought C some sweet treats. Since I'm busy reading for Bout of Books, I thought I'd repost one of my first reviews on the blog, updated with a picture of the delicious cookies we made last year.  Title: The Legend of Old BefanaAuthor: Tomie dePaolaPublisher: HMH/SandpiperReleased:1980Source:I purchased this book.Find it on:    We've read The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola several times in our home. In Italian folklore, La Befana is an old woman (in some regions, a friendly "witch") who visits children on the night before Epiphany, leaving candy and/or small gifts. Befana represents all people who are seeking Jesus.The stories about La Befana vary greatly from region to region, but…

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Children’s Poetry: Over the River and Through the Wood

  Title: Over the River and Through the WoodEditors: Karen L. Kilcup and Angela SorbyPublisher: Johns Hopkins University PressExpected Release:January 5, 2014Source:I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.Find it on:    Oh, what a gem this book is! I'm ordering a copy first thing tomorrow. 592 pages of high quality children's poetry from 19th century America. Who knew there was so much out there?! The introduction is a brief but fascinating look into how we define "children's poetry," the advent of children's publishing, and the various ways in which children find poetry relevant to their lives.Over the River and Through the Wood is cleverly organized by topic: TWENTY of them, in fact. Talk about an educator's…

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Bout of Books 9.0

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda at On a Book Bender and Kelly at Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.I enjoyed this event last year. It's such a fun, low-pressure read-a-thon, I can't think of a reason not to participate…

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Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

  Title: Prayers for the StolenAuthor: Jennifer ClementPublisher: HogarthExpected Release:February 11, 2014Source:I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.Find it on:    Prayers for the Stolen is set in a tiny village outside of Chilpancingo in Guerrero, where poverty and alcoholism are the least of these characters' worries. Drug traffickers rule the area. People are kidnapped on a regular basis. Girls are either disguised as boys or made "ugly" in a seemingly vain attempt to prevent being abducted and sold. Doctors and teachers appear intermittently, sometimes only with armed guards, because they are too afraid to venture into the area. Law enforcement and the justice system are corrupt. And on and on and on.If a cartel…

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Classic Children’s Literature Event

Amanda at Simpler Pastimes is hosting this Classic Children's Literature Event. It's simple: During the month of January, read as many children's classics as you wish.I mentioned yesterday that one of my goals this year is to read aloud at least 6 children's novels with C. This event will get us started! Plus, most of you know how I feel about twaddle, so when I saw Amanda's post announcing this event, it didn't take any convincing for me to sign up.I've chosen Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods, but we cheated and started a few days ago. Once we finished The Trumpet of the Swan, C could not wait to start on a new book. When a 4-year-old is begging…

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