Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society
Trenton Lee Stewart 

When I got this big, chunky book from the library, I couldn't wait tear into it.  Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed.  Juvenile fiction has been and always will be my favorite genre because the author is forced to be concise, clever and adventurous.  And I don't have to muddle my way through bad language or romance cheese (unless of course you're reading those vampire book).  

The Mysterious Benedict Society's action centers around four children with some odd talents -- such as the gifts of being contrary (I too currently have that gift), resourceful, good at solving riddles and speed reading.  My favorite aspect of this ragtag group of kids is their moral integrity--a huge surprise for a modern read!

Twists and turns, riddles and adventures make this book so amusing.  The author uses foreshadowing excellently--I patted myself on the back a few times for "guessing" what was coming next only to be nailed by a surprise at the ending that I should have seen coming all along.  

Monday, August 23, 2010


Patton:  The Pursuit of Destiny
By Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Bresslin

One hardly knows what to expect when cracking open this beautiful hardcover about the rough Army General George S. Patton.  While we know him for his military prowess in leading US troops in WW2, his contributions to the US military and personal accomplishments outside of warefare were astounding.  His life and lore--the scandalous as well as the sincere--are portrayed fabulously in this quick-moving epic of Gen. Patton's life.

Though famously controversial with character flaws as big as the moon, Patton's genius, work-ethic and amazing stories of cunning will not only awe but will command  immense respect. sent me this book to review!  Thanks, BS. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Same Kind of Different = Best Kind of Different

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver More, with Lynn Vincent 
A true story account that reads like a novel, Same Kind of Different as Me will move you to tears and challenge your faith.  This first-person account of the relationship between a street-dweller and art-dealer turns prejudice and expectations on their heads.  Too often, when we think we are ministering to the less-fortunate, it is they who are changing OUR lives and perspectives.  

The authors' trials range from Ku Klux Klan-type abuse to marital despair, from street violence to a millionaire's discomfort during serving at a soup kitchen. Without a doubt, these twists and turns lead two men into a bewildering, unlikely friendship that changes their lives and prepares them for the most shocking event of their lives. 

Though the book hinges on the lives of a few exceptional characters, the overwhelming presence of God permeates each vignette, constantly driving home His sovereignty in the divine choreography of our lives for His glory.  The story sticks in my brain and makes me look for ways that God will not only use me in others' lives, but use others to make me want to follow even harder after Him.