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Esperanza Rising | Pam Munoz Ryan
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“Esperanza Rising” is a beautiful middle school novel based on a true story of the trials faced by Mexican immigrants to California in the early 1900s. The book portrays the struggles in a way that is easy to understand for this age group. It‘s one weakness is that it assumes students understand the various migrations of people groups and why they were coming to California.

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Fish in a Tree | Lynda Mullaly Hunt
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A friend once said she never gives 5 star reviews to a book unless it makes her cry. Well, this is a 5 star book. It‘s for a middle school audience about Ally, a sixth grade girl with dyslexia. It‘s a poignant tale of misfits finding hope in the midst of difficult struggles.

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wlpark7856
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Mehso-so

I read this book for a junior high literature class I‘m considering teaching next year. It‘s a Christian Young Adult dystopian fiction book and the first of a series. Without a doubt, the book is a fast-paced read, pushing forward the events without little nuances. The characters‘s emotions are stated, not felt. Overall, not a bad read for someone in that age category.

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Panpan

I‘m not a fan of giving bad book reviews, as I was really looking forward to this book. But the writers have not learned the first principle of grief: Do not put the dead person on a pedestal. More than half of it was written by people who never met Rich, but are sure he would still think this or that 20 years later. Most are random memories twisted to spiritualize them. There were, however, 3 wonderful chapters in a 267 page book.

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wlpark7856
Hunter and the Valley of Death | McPherson S Brennan
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In the words of the author, this novella is a “symbolic fantasy parable” of Psalm 23. It tells the gospel story through the lens of the Psalm. It‘s a haunting tale through death to joy. The symbolism is well done and brings great depth.

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wlpark7856
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“Deep Calling Deep” is a beautiful novella based on Psalm 42 and Paul‘s first imprisonment in Rome. The book also includes the story of Sextus Burrus, a man with a fascinating historical background, interwoven with the visit of Ephroditus from Philippi. But the story truly shines when the spotlight is on Timothy. This is truly a beautifully written book.

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Sold Into Freedom | Carole Towriss
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This is now my second favorite Biblical Fiction book on the church of Philippi. The novel tells the story of the slave girl who could tell the future and the jail keeper. Interwoven in the story are the various Biblical characters and how the church was built in those early days. Also included was political intrigue by the government of the city. Overall, a well done work.

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wlpark7856
Esther: Royal Beauty | Angela Elwell Hunt
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This version of Esther‘s story stands out to me for it‘s willingness to tackle the perspective of Xeres. While the novel itself toggles between Esther and a palace servant, the story also gives us thoughts and motivations that may have driven the king. This was my favorite book in the 3 part series.

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Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story | Jill Eileen Smith
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I read the book before watching the movie, and it is an amazing read. You are carried along through the agony of Paul‘s last days and his friendship with Luke. You cannot help but cry at the ending. A worthy read.

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“Like the blind, we grope along walls, trying to feel our way forward. We look for light in darkness, for brightness while we step along deep shadows. We look for justice from unjust men, for deliverance from those who cannot deliver us. We look for perfection in imperfect situations.”

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wlpark7856
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I quite enjoyed the retelling of Bathsheba‘s story. Angela Hunt doesn‘t pull any punches on this one. She portrays the ugliness without being indelicate. My only complaint is there a phrase she uses over and over again to the point that you cannot believe the characters would speak that way. It takes a little away from the realism, but overall a great book.

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Esther: Royal Beauty | Angela Elwell Hunt

“Never usurp the right of the Almighty to plan your future...HaShem is always at work, even when you can‘t see Him.”

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wlpark7856
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This was a fascinating view of the story of Samson and Delilah. It turns the typical black and white view on its ears which the author states was inspired by Samson‘s inclusion in Hebrews 11. What results is a far more sympathetic picture of both Samson and Delilah‘s actions. Since so little is known about either character, this book leans more heavily to the fiction side, but is a powerful tale of what bitterness can do to the heart.

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wlpark7856
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This book was the pick of a book club I just joined. I knew some generalities about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s life, but this book made his story come alive for me. You feel the characters wrestle with their doubts and fears in the face of the great evil. There is one scene I wish the author hadn‘t included. Finding out it never happened was a bit crushing. If you want a unique view of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this book is for you.

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“Guide me through this darkness, O Lord...In You, there is still light.”

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The Canary List: A Novel | Sigmund Brouwer
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This book was an out of genre experience for me. I‘ve never read something that officially falls into the Christian speculative fiction category. The story of Crockett and Jaime drew me in. This book is a high-speed, crazy ride until the end. The last chapter was completely unnecessary, and I think it detracts from the overall plot.

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Bread of Angels | Tessa Afshar
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A beautiful story delving into the life of Lydia. You experience her struggles as if they were your own. You feel what draws her to the gospel. You become a part of the birth of the Philippian church. An amazing work of Biblical fiction.

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The Wishing Jar: A Novel | Penelope J. Stokes
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I picked this book up at random from my local library. I had never read this author before, but the book title and synopsis intrigued me. 3 generations of women dealing with grief and struggling to trust God. What is the secret of the wishing jar?

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Thief of Glory: A Novel | Sigmund Brouwer
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I‘ve read a lot of books about the concentration camps, but I‘ve never heard of the Dutch being imprisoned by the Japanese in Indonesia. This work of fiction brings to life the horrific struggle for life these people faced and the aftermath. In typical Sigmund Brouwer fashion, he spins his tale, bringing you on the journey anxious to know how it will end. It is worth the wait.

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wlpark7856

“All human longing is really a longing for God.” Goethe

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Thief of Corinth | Tessa Afshar
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This book was such an original book of Biblical fiction. I loved the plot twists and turns. The character of Aridne draws you into her life story...her deep wounds and her need for healing that only the gospel brings her. In between the book is action-packed. Such an amazing work of fiction!

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The Novelist | Angela Hunt
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Love the concept of this book. A powerful allergorical novella within a novel. The struggle to accept trials in the midst of pain. The worst part of the book is that it came to an end.

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An unforgettable book. A book to rip your soul to shreds. A book to rip you out of your complacency as a Christian. A must-read.

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Brother's Keeper | Tracy Groot
Panpan

I really wanted to like this book. I loved the premise of it...looking at the lives of Jesus‘s family members. But most of the book careens from scene to scene with little to hold them together. The characters are one dimensional. It‘s as if their entire back story is missing. Most of the book leads you to be unsympathetic towards any of them. The redeeming grace of the book is one of the final chapters on James‘s outlook on joy.

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As far as I have been able to find, this is the only novel of the life of Jeremiah. In its pages, you experience the turmoil and passion of Jeremiah. You feel the burden he carried trying to bring God‘s Word to an unbelieving people. You experience the anguish of his sufferings. Through it all, you see the hand of God at work. This is a must-read.

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wlpark7856
The Masterpiece | Francine Rivers
Mehso-so

I have loved Francine Rivers‘ books for years. She is without a doubt, one of the finest Christian Fiction authors out there. However, I was highly disappointed in this book. The plot was incredibly predictable. You kept hoping you weren‘t correct about what was coming next, but you were. It‘s a nice enough story, but does not reach the heights of “And the Shofar Blew.”

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wlpark7856
Pickpick

Looking at the life of King Herod through the eyes of his sister is the profound perspective of this book. While the book never apologizes for Herod‘s violence, the author weaves in the historical narrative that provides a deeper understanding. Yet, the story never loses its way or become preachy. This book left you wanting more even though it is the last one in the series.

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wlpark7856
Pickpick

This is one of the most thought-provoking, soul piercing books I have ever read on teaching children the gospel. It has effected everything I do with my children and the children I teach in Sunday School. I've read the book twice and it still challenges me to do better.

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wlpark7856
Pickpick

This is a must-read book for understanding the background of the Galatian churches. The perspective it offers on Galatians chapter 4 is astounding. When you try to wrap your brain around the cult of Cybele and its influence on the region while examining the Galatians acceptance of the gospel and the Judaizers will forever change the way you see this book of the Bible. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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wlpark7856
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When I choose to read this book, I was afraid it was going to be 4 sappy love stories. It was not that at all. Instead, it showed the complexities and nuances of 4 of Solomon‘s wives and the impact each had on him. I especially loved the tie-ins to the book of Ecclesiastes. This book, at its heart, is not a love story, but a journey about wisdom. I highly recommend it.

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wlpark7856
Pickpick

Just finished reading this book for the second time (4 years between readings). This book does not fail to disappoint. Sheba‘s story will take you through the depths of a soul scarred by psychological abuse and how the love of God redeems that pain. Besides an amazing story, this story offers fascinating historical insights into Israel and Judah during the time period of Jezebel‘s life. This book is a work of art.

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wlpark7856

Isn‘t this video for the book amazing?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yHjIOE80bA0

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wlpark7856

“Every single day I have a choice of how to live my life. I can‘t choose what life will bring me, but I can choose whether I will live it in victory or defeat. Today I‘m choosing victory.” Page 50

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“Only by Yahweh‘s strength can we defeat this darkness.” Page 264

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“Yahweh and Baal battled for control of nations, rulers, and individual hearts. Was she to be the weapon or the prize?” Page 104

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wlpark7856
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Rereading this incredible book this weekend.

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wlpark7856

I have lived so much of what is written in this book. I wish all my family and friends had read this as I dealt with the death of my husband. If anyone around you has experienced a significant loss, this is a must read book.

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wlpark7856

To quote Paul Harvey, “This is the rest of the story” of the Waorani people. This book dives deep into the history of the Waorani from the martyrdom of the 5 to what happened next. It looks at the influence of Christianity on the tribe and the encroachment of the modern world. It‘s a non-fiction book that reads like a story. It‘s hard to put it down.

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wlpark7856

Best read after the first year of widowhood and young widows should read some suggestions with the viewpoint of they are meant for the older widow. The mending while intending section is very helpful.

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wlpark7856
Pickpick

This is an incredible retelling of the story of Daniel. The intricate history that is woven into the story teaches much while carrying you along in the plot. Giving Daniel a wife is a stroke of genius. This is not a story to be missed.

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Loved this book. I enjoyed the differing perspective of each of the wives. The story moved quickly and kept you wanting more.

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I gave this book to my husband for Father's Day one year and ended up stealing it from him. I re-read it every other year. This book makes Philippians come alive. You experience the people and culture of the Philippi church. You share in the joys, sorrows, and struggles of these early believers. No other book compares to this. It is also a commentary of the book, which allows you to dive deeper. It's an unforgettable read.