Tag Archives: adoption

The Benny and the Bank Robber Historical Adventure Series has new members in the family!

Just out for one more plunge into summer reading, or homeschool literature with history, mystery and adventure, check out the third book in the Benny and the Bank Robber series. Ben Carlisle’s longtime dream has been to travel west with his family. When he is offered a newspaper job in Detroit, he is forced to question whether moving west is really God’s will for him. Can he leave behind his grandfather, the girl he thought he loved, and an opportunity few writers could even dream about? Can he risk the life of one of his best friends, or face an old enemy head-on? What price will he have to pay just to make his writing live?


And don’t forget the other books in the series:

Benny and the Bank Robber


Benny and the Bank Robber: Ten-year-old Benny found the drunken cart driver who caused his father’s death, but he’s got bigger mysteries to solve. A long, sharp knife, a bag of disguises and a savage black stallion don’t reassure Benny about his traveling companion to frontier Missouri. Still, Benny can’t shake the Scripture’s promise that God “will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”


Benny and the Bank Robber 2: Doctor Dad

Benny and the Bank Robber 2: Doctor Dad: What could be easier than getting Benny’s mother remarried? Delay after delay of every one of Benny’s plans shows him he may have to wait for God to “Make all things new.” Identical twins Rose and Violet Mitchell make Benny’s head spin. A mysterious secret society at his boarding school might have deadly plans for Benny. Has Benny’s Doctor Dad prepared him for times as hard as these, even for the temptation of the privilege and comfort his grandfather’s wealth can give him?


The first book has student and teacher editions study guides. Homeschoolers be sure to check them out!

Benny Study Questions Student Edition


Benny Study Questions Teacher Edition





Filed under Excerpts from our Fiction Books, History, Uncategorized

Review of Sweet Love by Amy McGuire


Anjaline was born in Quito, Ecuador. That’s what drew me to the book, because I worked with a sweet young woman who came from Ecuador. We became good friends. From a festival of fruit and flowers Anjaline is pulled away to British Columbia by her stepfather’s work. Anjaline reacts in typical teenage fashion, storming and sulking the whole way. The author makes some engaging contrasts between warmth and cold, freezing and thawing, beginning with the festival mood in Ecuador and Anjaline’s cold withdrawal in British Columbia. This theme was nicely done.

I loved the references to Anjaline’s aunt’s fruit essence products. When I saw the cover, I thought this was going to be a foodie romance and was surprised to find no real relationship between the cover and the book. There are special meals mentioned and  traditional foods, and the significance of these, and of fruit in the book, might suggest a better future cover to the author.

I liked Gabriel, the main male in the book. He hand-carves beautiful wooden objects. He can handle himself in the wilderness, searching for the lost, but he’s not socially at ease, stuttering in moments of stress. I considered him the most realistic character in the book. This includes his bad handling at times of both his love relationship and an ongoing family problem. It was very realistic, the way he dealt, or didn’t deal, with this family issue. In fact, I think all the males in the book were very realistic and well-portrayed. The females, sadly, seemed pretty shallow and one-dimensional.

I was given a copy of this book for review by the author. I probably shouldn’t read teen romances because I tend to be turned off by the very introspective point of view. I went through my teens years focused almost exclusively on me, and that’s pretty much what the characters in this book do. I had hopes that there would be a growth in selflessness a little earlier in the book, though. There was quite an investment of time (more than half the book) before my hopes were rewarded. But in the end I thought the growth in selflessness was something I was told about by the author rather than shown by the characters.



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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

How Do I Fit In?


Henrietta Hexagon and the Triangles (Children's Picture Book, A story for kids about adoption, family, and shapes)

Review of Henrietta Hexagon and the Triangles by Mandi Tillotson Williams (link to her facebook page)

My kids are all in their twenties, but I have been a teacher, homeschooler and mom so I feel qualified to comment on this clever and fun children’s book. It deals with adoption and “fitting in,” and when you are a shape, that’s more than just an adorable pun.

Henrietta is adopted by a big family of triangles. Mom, dad and four kids. That’s important, but why is a secret you’ll have to learn by reading the book. The illustrations are sweet and bright. Henrietta’s search for “hexagons like her” is a little sad and just a tiny bit scary but still amusing and entertaining. She thinks she has failed by the time she drags herself home. Little does she know …

My husband and I were stuck at a Verizon store for quite awhile trying to get our aircard fixed. A man was there trying to get his account straightened out and also manage his two small girls. I was so glad I had this book on my Kindle Fire to show them. They enjoyed it (at least the one who could talk did) and I know other children, parents and teachers will as well. It’s a wonderful storybook cleverly written and illustrated.




Filed under Uncategorized, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging