Interactive and encouraging.



From the Life, Love & God series

Biblical wisdom, humor, and straight talk combine to encourage girls to be the change they want to see in their families.

Minassian, founder of the popular website, flips the focus for girls struggling to relate to their families. Rather than studying the problems, chapters present solutions. Discussions focus on issues such as sibling rivalry, a desire for increased freedom, and self-acceptance. Numbered tips will help readers put the theories into practice. Minassian’s personal stories give life to familiar admonitions to nurture humility, forgiveness, gratitude, and integrity. However, she also is careful to point out that not all families are created equal. While difficulty and strife are common within close interpersonal relationships, abuse and self-harm are never OK. She advises readers to seek professional help for tackling these darker issues. The overearnest big-sister tone might be off-putting to some, but the promise of more peace at home should entice even reluctant readers. While the emphasis is on Christian values, the no-nonsense instruction has a broader appeal. Quizzes and suggestions for related activities are included in every chapter, making this resource appropriate for both group and individual study.

Interactive and encouraging. (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61291-630-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: NavPress

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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This fictional history of a church records not just the architectural changes it underwent over the years, but the links and connections with both the congregation that built the church and the culture that spawned it. A close collaboration between Otto and Lloyd (the team behind What Color Is Camouflage?, 1996) has resulted in a story told equally through pictures and text; it depicts how central a church was to the growth of community in early pioneer days. The first church was a log cabin constructed of trees felled from the hill where it was built. Meetings, weddings, births, and deaths were marked under that roof; when the church burns down, a sturdier structure replaces it. The landscape and the culture change around the church; eventually men and women share the pews, and the sermon is in English, instead of German. With the coming of electricity, the church is closed down, and only swallows inhabit its rafters. Several decades later, it is renovated and re-opened by loving restorationists who appreciate its history. In a style remniscent of American primitives, Lloyd records important storytelling details such as the pots and baskets used to carry meals to those building the church. By capturing such particulars, from the archaic sound of people’s names to the creeping suburban sprawl, Otto and Lloyd create a record of the larger picture of transformation in the landscape. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-2554-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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The co-authors struggle with only limited success to bring a variety of memorable stories of Hindu mythology together into...



Lakshmi, a pauranika (trained storyteller versed in the ancient Hindu epics), lives in a village in southern India and narrates legends and folk tales from various Hindu epics to its children.

Text boxes tinged with gray describe Lakshmi’s contemporary daily life. Interspersed on white-backgrounded pages are the stories she tells: authentic adaptions of well-known tales from Hindu mythology depicting the values, traditions, and culture of ancient India. These include a lively variety of gods and asuras (demons), fearless warriors, wise sages, arrogant kings, and clever children. Although the connections from story to story are bumpy, resulting in a fragmented feel, Lakshmi passes on life values, moral messages, and spiritual instruction as she recounts the drama of various incarnations of the gods and the constant fight of good against evil. A few full-page color illustrations authentically depict the dark-skinned heroes and villains of these stories, and a small, color illustration brightens the start of every new chapter. Some unfamiliar aspects of Hindu culture and society, such as the caste system that found Dalits at the bottom, and churning yogurt into butter by hand, are briefly explained. However, while some stories have distinct, easy-to-comprehend morals, others rely on an understanding of the concepts and philosophy of Hinduism that may be beyond a child audience.

The co-authors struggle with only limited success to bring a variety of memorable stories of Hindu mythology together into one cohesive tale. (authors’ note, story notes and sources, glossary) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55896-776-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Skinner House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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