This thoughtful collection will be useful for Christian families or for teachers in church school classes, best for dipping...



A petite trim size and an inviting cover design in soft aqua invite readers in to peruse this wide-ranging compendium of Christian prayers, meditations and Bible verses.

The collection is divided into thematic sections that organize over 200 selections for easy access. Many are actual prayers, including original compositions by the author as well as familiar short devotions suitable for younger children and well-known pieces by St. Francis. Many short Bible verses appear, including the expected choices, such as Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer. This British import presents quite a few prayers and some poems from the British Isles, but the collection attempts inclusiveness with a prayer from Japan, a meal blessing from Africa (the specific region or culture is not identified) and two Native American prayers, among others. Some of the prayers, especially the original ones, are really for children, while others, such as two selections by Gerald Manley Hopkins, are for more sophisticated readers. There is an index of first lines but none of authors, which can make finding a particular prayer again a challenge. 

This thoughtful collection will be useful for Christian families or for teachers in church school classes, best for dipping into over time. (Religion. 9 & up)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6347-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A rewarding story, low-key despite its frank heroics.



Astronaut and physician Hilmers’ life has been one of great variety, color and faith—and even a few missteps.

It is breathtaking to read of what Hilmers has achieved since he left the small town in Iowa where he was born. From college, he becomes a naval flight officer in the Marines, goes on to gain a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, joins the corps of space shuttle astronauts, becomes a doctor and academic, then partakes in fieldwork around the globe, tending the poor and in need. Houston spools this out in Hilmers’ first-person voice in matter-of-fact fashion and with a generous helping of humility. The humility comes in part from his religiosity, which he doesn’t overplay—except, perhaps, in the last few pages—but comes in sincere-sounding, deep-running bursts: “God knew exactly what was best for me and my life. He worked it out for his purpose and glory….” But don’t sell Hilmers short when it comes to personal drive and reflectiveness; he was brought up with an ethic of hard work and curiosity, with the desire to do things well, “but not at the expense of someone else. I was competitive, yes, but only to take away the clouds of doubt in my heart and see how far I could push myself.” And it is plenty far—his energy level is exhausting to witness—despite a few sojourns down wayward paths (“I was a sinner in need of salvation”); it now finds him tangling with the spoils of suffering every day, making a difference.

A rewarding story, low-key despite its frank heroics. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-310-73613-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

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Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted.

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An in-depth account of a harrowing real-life mission that succeeds against all odds.

This book logs the 18 days that elapsed in the summer of 2018 as 12 boys—all members of the Wild Boars soccer team—and their coach were trapped inside Tham Luang Nang Non, or the Cave of the Sleeping Lady, after it flooded in northern Thailand. The world watched as a daring rescue ensued. Instructive on many levels, the present-tense narration re-creates the hair-raising suspense and tension, rendering details of the extreme dangers of dive rescues and the seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges created by the landscape and heavy rainfall. The text recounts the events, techniques, and diverse individuals involved in this struggle while retaining an urgency that propels page turns with bated breath despite the foreknowledge that the trapped team will survive, but one retired Thai Navy SEAL sacrifices his life. Color photos abound, and interspersed text boxes, diagrams, and maps pace the flow of information with salient data, distilling contextual background on related topics including cave formations, makeshift hydraulic engineering, Buddhism and spirituality, local geography, and the plight of Thailand’s stateless people, which included the coach and several players. Masterful storytelling fleshes out the complex human emotions behind key decisions, illuminates diplomatic and political negotiations, and underscores an unwavering faith—in maintaining hope and in harnessing powers of the mind.

Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted. (author’s note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0945-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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