A high-quality tear-jerker about man’s best friend.

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Good Boy, Achilles!

A moving children’s tale about the ineffable bond between a boy and a canine as they come to terms with God’s plan for them.

Jeremy, an 8-year-old who lives on a farm with his parents, is very excited when their family dog, Ginger, gives birth to five adorable puppies. He knows that the pups will only be on the farm for a couple of months before his parents give them away, so he tries to spend as much time with them as possible. What he doesn’t expect, however, is the connection that he quickly forms with the biggest of the litter, whom he affectionately calls Achilles. (Ginger, unknown to Jeremy, had already named the pup Thunder.) Achilles feels the same way about the boy; it’s a friendship unlike any other. Unfortunately, Jeremy’s parents make it clear that they can’t afford to have another dog, so Achilles will have to find a different home, like all the other pups. Heartbroken, Jeremy tries to thwart his parents’ efforts by dissuading would-be adopters while also trying to cherish every moment with his beloved pet. All the while, Achilles tries to accept God’s will for whatever he has in mind for him—even if it isn’t a life with Jeremy. Ellis’ debut switches smoothly between Jeremy’s and Achilles’ perspectives. The author masterfully uses crisp details to paint clear pictures of settings and emotions, and as a result, readers will likely become absorbed by the story. Ellis also takes several moments to expound on important life lessons, subtly touch on Christian doctrine, and even show genuine, positive parent-child interactions. Although it’s often a difficult feat to humanize animals, Ellis does it well, keeping things as realistic as possible; for example, the dogs don’t understand human speech, but they do sense their emotions. This book is sure to be inspirational for Christians, moving for dog lovers, and perfect for readers who are both.

A high-quality tear-jerker about man’s best friend.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5127-5526-8

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

From the Chronicles of Narnia series , Vol. 1

Although metaphysical rumblings may disturb adults, this wily symbolism-studded fantasy should appeal to children of an imaginative turn. While exploring an old English mansion, the four children—Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—discover through passing into a wardrobe, the strange land of Narnia, where it is winter without ever becoming Christmas. The children soon are swept up in the terror of the rule of the White Witch, fighting with the other subjects—all animals—and the glorious Lion, Asian, who brings spring and hope with him. In spite of the White Witch's terrific enslavement of Edmund, her horrid power, which changes living things to stone, and the sacrificial death of Aslan, the forces of light win, the children are made kings and queens, and Asian returns to life. The plot thickens to a pretty heavy pudding at the end, but the prose is witty and the novel action is fast-moving. Not recommended for adults!

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-06-171505-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1950

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