Non Fiction Review: Middle School Safety Goggles Advised

Middle School - Safety Goggles Advised by Jessica Speer

Middle School – Safety Goggles Advised: Exploring the WEIRD Stuff from Gossip to Grades, Cliques to Crushes and Popularity to Peer Pressure
by Jessica Speer (Goodreads Author)

2 out of 5 stars

This book gives advice about how to navigate the difficulties of middle school. There are chapters about not judging others, bullying, friendships and cliques, trying to be popular, having a crush on someone, gossip, social media, and peer pressure.

My main problem with this book was that it didn’t really go into WHY young people should avoid bad decisions and toxic behaviors. It didn’t talk about honor or morality or modesty. It didn’t talk about honesty or virtue. It just says lots of nice things about being kind to others, but the whole philosophy is very casual and lackadaisical. It even says at one point that “There are no correct responses.” You can do whatever and make whatever choices and nothing is right or wrong. The entire attitude is very amoral and toxic.

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Non Fiction Review: Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings

Tolkien by Lin Carter

Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings
by Lin Carter

4 out of 5 stars

This book was written only a few years after Lord of the Rings was published. It is like a little historic peak into what people thought of Lord of the Rings in the beginning, before it was established as the colossal modern classic we know it as today. Before the modern genre of fantasy was really defined, the Lord of the Rings was difficult to classify. It was like the epic stories of the Greeks and Romans, and some people called it “super science fiction” or a “giant-sized fairy tale”.

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Book Review: If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis by Alister E. McGrath

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life
by Alister E. McGrath

4 out of 5 stars

The author postulates what subjects might arise if you had lunch with Lewis. Taking quotes from Lewis’ written works, we can guess what direction the conversation would take and generalize things that Lewis would probably say. However, this is not a book of imagined dialogue. It is a compilation of generalizations and paraphrases about what the author thinks Lewis would be likely to think and say on certain topics.

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Non Fiction Review: I Begin With Spring

I Begin with Spring by Julie Dunlap

I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau
by Julie Dunlap, Megan Elizabeth Baratta (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars

When Henry David Thoreau was a boy, he explored the forests and meadows and ponds surrounding his beloved home in Concord, Massachusetts. This book gives us a look into his writings, his life, and the nature that inspired him.

The illustrations are beautiful. Some of them are sketches and maps from Thoreau’s own notebooks. The sketches of birds, plants, and animals are all beautifully and delicately drawn.

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Non Fiction Review: The Leadership of C. S. Lewis

The Leadership of C.S. Lewis by Crystal Hurd

The Leadership of C.S. Lewis: Ten Traits to Encourage Change and Growth
by Crystal Hurd

5 out of 5 stars

What are the character traits that make a good leader? This book explores ten important attributes that are essential for any leadership role, and demonstrates how C. S. Lewis displayed those traits through his life and his writing. Here we analyze the details of why Lewis’s influence still continues to inspire countless Christians through his fiction and apologetic books.

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Children’s Non Fiction from 360 Degrees

Children of the World by Nicola Edwards

Children of the World
by Nicola Edwards

5 out of 5 stars

All around the world, children in different countries have vastly different homes, languages, schools, games, and cuisine. This book explores amazing details about beautiful cultures across the globe, and how children live their everyday lives in such different ways. There are also chapters about food, kitchens, bedrooms, weather, pets, manners, celebrations, and superstitions.

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Non Fiction Review: Ornamentation

Ornamentation by Valery Lloyd-Watts

Ornamentation: A Question & Answer Manual
by Valery Lloyd-Watts, Carole L. Bigler, Willard A. Palmer

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives valuable information about how to interpret ornamentation markings such as trills, turns, and mordents in music. Each era of music had their own style of ornamentation with slight differences, so it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly how the composer intended their ornaments to be played. This book clears away all that confusion, and gives precise instructions about how to play ornaments in music from all the eras.

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Non Fiction Book Review: The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine
by A.W. Tozer

4.5 out of 5 stars

This book dives deep into spiritual truths and how we can strip away foolish lies we tell ourselves and truly pursue God with our whole heart. There are chapters about what real spiritual treasure is worth compared to earthly riches, how Christ has removed the barrier of our sin so that we can approach God, and the “universal Presence” of God and how we can be more aware of His Presence in our lives. I especially loved the chapter about “The Gaze of the Soul” and how faith is simply looking to God and turning our spiritual eyes to Him. There is also a lovely chapter about the meekness of Christ and how we can rest in Him.

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Non Fiction Review: Encyclopedia of Animals for Young Readers

Encyclopedia of Animals for Young Readers by Tomáš Tůma

Encyclopedia of Animals for Young Readers
by Tomáš Tůma

3 out of 5 stars

This book teaches you how to classify different animals as mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, or insects and other invertebrates. Each page has large cartoony illustrations of various types of animals, and small paragraphs with facts and information. This design is perfect for capturing the attention of a curious child!

I love the cartoony art style! It’s so cute and colorful. This book is really interesting, and it’s so cool to find out some new facts about rare species and also about common animals.

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Non Fiction Book Reviews: Atlas of Extinct Animals and Atlas of Endangered Animals

Atlas of Extinct Animals by Radek Malý
Atlas of Endangered Animals by Radek Malý

Atlas of Extinct Animals
by Radek Malý, Pavel Dvorský, Jiří Grbavčic

Atlas of Endangered Animals
by Radek Malý, Pavel Dvorský, Pavla Dvorská

4 out of 5 stars

The Atlas of Extinct Animals lists information about particular species that have now tragically gone extinct, and the Atlas of Endangered Animals gives information about currently endangered species.

I really like the design of these books; on one side there is a full-page illustration of the animal, and on the other side a page of text detailing in what type of habitat the animal lived, its main characteristics, and what it ate, and finally how it went extinct or why it is currently endangered. There is even a little map, showing where the animal lived or lives.

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