NEW! A Linked Unit Study for Elise Broach’s “The Wolf Keepers”

Every once in a while, I read a book that I grabs all of my attention and screams to be used for fun with kids.  I love taking those books and turning them into fun unit studies for educational purposes, and Elise Broach’s new book The Wolf Keepers is just such a book.

Elise Broach

A high-stakes middle grade historical adventure through Yosemite National Park by the New York Times-bestselling author of Masterpiece.

Twelve-year-old Lizzie Durango and her dad have always had a zoo to call their home. Lizzie spends her days watching the animals and taking note of their various behaviors. Though the zoo makes for a unique home, it’s a hard place for Lizzie to make lasting friends. But all this changes one afternoon when she finds Tyler Briggs, a runaway who has secretly made the zoo his makeshift home. The two become friends and, just as quickly, stumble into a covert investigation involving the zoo wolves who are suddenly dying. Little do they know, this mystery will draw them into a high-stakes historical adventure involving the legend of John Muir as they try to navigate safely while lost in Yosemite National Park.

Elise Broach has written a fantastic novel around the real life story of John Muir!  I love the approach she takes with his mystery, and she deepens the story by adding layers upon layers of moral dilemmas.  While the story is suspenseful, it stays upbeat, even when there are large things afoot, making it the perfect book to carry deep, yet kid-friendly discussions.

Elise Broach

So what will you find in a unit study for The Wolf Keepers?

  • a vocabulary puzzle with answer key
  • discussion/comprehension questions by chapter
  • creative and expository writing prompts
  • research projects for history, science, math, and biographies
  • poetry and literature activities
  • art projects
  • a recipe

This work can be done individually or cooperatively.  You could assign all of it or just certain projects.  Students can work at their own pace, and safe links are provided to ensure a safe Internet experience.

The Wolf Keepers would make a fantastic book club book, as well!  

If you want to grab a copy of this unit study, you’ll find it here.

Happy reading!

 

“God’s Crime Scene for Kids” by J. Warner Wallace

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In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.
 
In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace has hit it out of the park with his newest book God’s Crime Scene for Kids.  The second in his apologetic series for kids, the book reads like a fiction story, but each chapter teaches the reader new investigative skills that help them to examine Christianity from a new perspective.

I love that this book is such a short, easy read.  The detective vocabulary is in bold print with definition bubbles off to the side.  The many pictures give it a friendly feel, and the accompanying printables and videos make the book even easier to understand – and to teach, too.

God’s Crime Scene for Kids may be short, but that doesn’t make it watered down or a preschooler’s book, either.  With real life detective strategies, real vocabulary words, and a deep premise (how did the universe come to be?), this book is real and deep.  The best part is that it teaches kids how to think in those real and deep ways so that they can examine the Bible and their own faith to see if it holds up to the test.

Wallace has created neat resources to accompany the book itself, too.  There are videos and pages to download for each chapter, as well as a printable certificate upon completion of the book (and the course).  With all of those resources, it should be easy for an adult to use these resources, along with the book, to teach a Bible study or detective class.

I love these resources!  They are deep, kid-friendly, and easy to use.  I’m definitely going to be using God’s Crime Scene for Kids with my own family.

Click here to read other reviews in this bloggy hop, or here to purchase your own copy now.

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

 

‘God’s Crime Scene for Kids’ Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.

“Gathering the Threads” by Cindy Woodsmall

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Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,
Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—
or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family? 
 
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall writes the most dramatic and hard-hitting Amish fiction ever, and Gathering the Threads is no different!  This conclusion to the Amish of Summer Grove series is a real page-turner.

I don’t know how Woodsmall thinks of the situations in which she puts her characters, but they are most unique.  She writes so realistically that you’ll examine the issues right along with Skylar and Ariana, and many of those same issues are just as relevant to the Englisch as they are to the Amish.

Some of those issues were particularly hard to read about.  For instance, while nobody’s perfect, it isn’t easy to read about some of the issues occurring in Ariana’s church; however, I did enjoy Woodsmall’s conclusion to those issues and the spiritual depth that she brought to the table in this storyline.

You’ll need it, because nothing about this book is light-hearted; there are weighty faith and relationship issues here, but it’s so realistically written that you’ll be completely caught up in it. 

If you like Amish fiction, don’t just buy this book, though; you’ll want to pick up all three, and start reading immediately.  They’re that good.

I received a free copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.

NEW! “The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key” by Jenny L. Cote

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My Big Helper loves to read.  She’s happy to read anywhere and for hours, and like me, she loves a good, thick book in which she can really fall in love with her characters.

That’s one reason she loves Jenny L. Cote’s books.  The Epic Order of the Seven series is lengthy, amazingly detailed, and deep – and yet she often laughs out loud while she’s reading.

The newest offering in the series, The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key is no different.  She absolutely devoured this book, and she’s eager for the next one. 

Why?

Here’s what she has to say:

    Watch out!  The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key will take you on the most exciting mission yet for the Order of the Seven.  It keeps the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for more.  This story is well-written and makes you feel as if you were a part of the action.

    Follow the intelligent and humorous group of animals called “The Epic Order of the Seven” through the years leading up to the Revolution as they influence some of the most important people in American history including Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.  Cote’s thorough research is evident on every page of this book, covering every aspect, including how the historical characters felt.  She makes brilliant connections through-out history that will leave you speechless.    

    Jenny L. Cote is an amazing author.  The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key shows how much effort and research she put into this book.  Readers of all ages will adore this thrilling, action-packed adventure.

Jenny L. Cote

The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key released today, and Cote is speaking and conducting writing interviews all over.  Check out her website for up-to-date information, and put this book on your TBR list – soon.  You won’t be sorry.

Does the name Jenny L. Cote sound familiar?  It should!  She’s the amazing author behind the Epic Patriot Camp that my Big Helper and Little Man attended last summer, and she’s as kind and creative as she is brilliant.  Her book is worth reading – or the travel worth making to meet her – just for that.  Read my review about our camp experience here, or find out more about Epic Patriot Camp in general here.

“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White

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Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

Roseanna M. White

Wow!  Roseanna M. White’s newest book A Name Unknown is a book like no other.  I love historical fiction, and White has reached new heights of excitement and suspense in this story. It’s not just a story of love in the midst of war, although it is – but it’s about political loyalties, chosen professions, the role of faith in our lives, and how money affects our integrity and place in society.

I love those unique angles.  I’ve never before heard of internment camps for Germans living in England when World War I was declared, but that reality plays a large role in this story.  The fact that popular fiction writers were asked to put certain themes into their work during this time does, too – and who knew?

A Name Unknown contains deep theological themes, too.  White writes about redemption and forgiveness, but also about the importance of prayer and the way that we share our personal faith.  I enjoyed the way that she made Peter’s faith real and alive and natural so that just overflowed out of him onto everything around.  Isn’t that a great example of how we should internalize our faith, as well?

White has written a story that’s exciting and suspenseful – enough for me to speed through it in a single afternoon – but that’s clean enough to share with my tween daughter.  She’s going to love it, too – and I love that I can share it with her.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction at all, put A Name Unknown on your TBR list now.

Click here to read other reviews on this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.

 
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.
Find out more about Roseanna M. at http://www.roseannamwhite.com.
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

 

‘My Daughter’s Legacy’ Blog Tour, Author Chat Party, and Giveaway

Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould’s new book, My Daughter’s Legacy. Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained-her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past. 

Celebrate the release of Mindy and Leslie’s new book by entering to win the $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on August 1!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of My Daughter’s Legacy
  • One $75 Visa Cash Card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 1. The winner will be announced at the My Daughter’s Legacy Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Mindy, Leslie, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

‘Grounded Hearts’ Giveaway and Blog Tour

What do you get when you mix World War II, a brave midwife, a wounded pilot, and a risky secret? Jeanne M. Dickson’s new historical fiction novel, Grounded Hearts. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.

Join Jeanne in celebrating the release of her new book by entering to win the Celtic Knots Giveaway!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:

 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 31. The winner will be announced August 1 on the Litfuse blog.

“My Daughter’s Legacy” by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

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A thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God’s leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last
Virginia, 1864
Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love-whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor-ever fit in her broken world?
Virginia, present day
Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained-her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.
My Daughters Legacy
Clark and Gould fascinate with My Daughter’s Legacy!  I loved the parallel stories happening in this one, and these authors are masters of this technique.  Intertwining the historical story with the modern-day component keeps the interest high and the pages turning.
I absolutely loved the historical element of this story.  As a Northerner living in the South, the effects of the Civil War remain obvious, and so reading about the beginning of this conflict was fascinating.  I especially liked reading about the issue of slavery from a different perspective, and I thoroughly enjoyed Therese’s.
Nicole’s story was interesting, though, too.  Her story began in the book before this one, so reading the earlier books in the series is helpful.  Nicole grows a great deal in these books,  She’s becoming a strong and independent woman, and she makes my favorite kind of lead. 
Clark and Gould have been favorite authors for years, and their books never disappoint.  My Daughter’s Legacy is no exception.

 
About the authors:
 
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com.
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Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including “Beyond the Blue” and “Garden of Dreams.” She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.
 
Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

“Grounded Hearts” by Jeanne M. Dickson

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A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.
 
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.
 
Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.
But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dickson’s written a most unique story in Grounded Hearts The setting is colorful, and if I didn’t know it was based on real stories and situations, I’d think it total fiction!  I enjoyed the way that Dickson brings the setting to life.  Her cast of characters is most colorful, and while Nan’s situation is dire, it is almost comical the way that the worst always, always seems to happen to her – until she finds her final resolution.
 
The ending was not unpredictable, but it did come about in a most unexpected way.  The journey to this ending was a fun one, and I didn’t want to put the story down.  I found myself turning page after page with increasing speed, needing to find out if Nan was able to stay out of trouble.  I liked this aspect of the story much more than expected.
 
Despite the unusual situations in which Nan finds herself, there is much depth to this story.  With internment on the line, Roman Catholic rules, and marital grief, sadness abounds.  Dickson writes deep spiritual lessons into this story with each twist and turn of the plot.
 
If you like WWII historical fiction, Dickson’s an author to watch.
 

About the author:
 
Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling. Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer’s conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.
Find out more about Jeanne M. at http://www.jeannemdickson.com.
 
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.