Reviews by Jennifer Bardsley
On 3/27 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale is like “Steel Magnolias” for 2016. It tells the story of three best friends living in a small Louisiana town who share every heartache life throws at them. Funny dialogue abounds, as well witty zingers. Carrigan, the main character, is somebody ... Steel Magnolias meets 2016
On 12/20 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Ever since I binge-watched “Call the Midwife” on Netflix I’ve been intrigued by midwifery, and “The Mountain Midwife” by Laurie Alice Eakes did not disappoint. It’s about a midwife named Ashley Tolliver who lives in the Appalachian mountains helping a wide socio-economic-range of patients. Ashley ... Read it in one day
On 11/13 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: When I was a tween I had a hairstyle book that I memorized cover to cover. Now as an adult I realize that every single model in the book was white. I don't know why that observation never occured to me when I was younger, but now it annoys me. That's why I was so excited to read Best Hair Book Ever!: ... For All Hair Types
On 10/8 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams is a short but powerful story about twin teenagers named Sarah and Annie who rebuild their relationship when they hit rock bottom. Sarah has an anxiety disorder and has just been dumped by her longtime boyfriend Garret. Annie has shaved her head, gained 45 lbs., ... Powerful
On 9/17 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Doon fans everywhere will be thrilled to read Shades of Doon, the third book in the series. All the characters readers loved from Doon and Destined for Doon are back, and authors Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon write better than ever. In this latest installment, modern day teens Veronica and Makenna start ... Take me to Doon
On 6/6 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I can't remember the last time I read a novella--high school, maybe? So I had forgotten how much fun the shorter format is until I read A Heart's Danger (A Journey of the Heart) by Colleen Coble. A Heart's Danger reminded me of a spaghetti western. There was a beautiful heroine, a dastardly villain, ... made the dentist fun
On 4/30 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Heather Burch’s new novel Summer by Summer tells the story of two teens who get trapped on a deserted island somewhere near Belize. Summer is the consummate good girl, intent honoring her purity promise. Bray is a rich kid with a bad reputation. Together they face the elements–and their past. (*Warning* ... Purity gets trapped on an island
On 4/8 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I am very picky when it comes to historical fiction–and I enjoyed Deception on Sable Hill by Shelley Gray immensely. It has the perfection combination of great storytelling, good writing, and enough historically accurate detail to earn my admiration and respect. I detest historical fiction books that ... Highly Enjoyable
On 3/16 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Redo Your Room: 50 Bedroom DIYs You Can Do in a Weekend is a how-to book for jazzing up a tween girl’s bedroom. It’s full of bright pictures, easy projects, and good advice. At only 5 and a half years old, my daughter is not the target age for Redo Your Room, yet she was enthralled by the photography ... Fun and easy ideas
On 2/24 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: “You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.” is the memoir of pediatric neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful Ben Carson, co-written by Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis. It tells Ben Carson’s personal story of growing up on the streets of Detroit, being labeled a “dummy” by his ... A unique YA Book
On 1/30 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Still Life“ by Christa Parrish is a multi-view novel that bounces from the present to the past. Ada is a twenty-something woman who was raised in a cult and escapes when Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Julian feels called by God to marry her after a brief meeting. Katherine is a wife and mother ... Unlikable characters
On 1/2 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: BOTH OF ME by Jonathan Frisen is YA book with a unique concept. Clara is an older teen girl traveling around the globe, fleeing her past when she accidentally switches bags with the airplane passenger sitting next to her--a good looking but aloof guy named Elias who clearly has Autism Spectrum Disorder. ... Very different
On 12/9 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Rebels is book three of The Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson. (You can read my review of Outcasts, here.) The novels take place in a dystopian future where pleasure is promoted at the expense of real relationships and ethics. The heroes of the story are religious people from a patriarchal family ... Creepy
On 11/24 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is a deeply thought-provoking look into the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. But it’s also more than that, because it tells the story of how Bonhoeffer’s entire family was effected by the tumultuous years between World War I and World ... Deeply thought provoking
On 10/29 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Just Sayin': Write ‘Em, Draw ‘Em, Hide ‘Em in Your Heart by Carol McAdams Moore is a 90 day devotional for modern girls. The format is simple; for each entry there’s a Bible verse and one or two opportunities to respond through doodles, artwork or writing. A plus for me as a United Methodist ... Fun!
On 10/1 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: "Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It" is a 90 day religious devotional for boys by Carol McAdams Moore. It’s extremely visual-spatial, and only a little bit verbal. By this I mean Moore asks kids to draw pictures, doodle and mess around with crayons and pencils in order to journal ... Pretty darn cool
On 9/17 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers by Mike Berenstain is a mash-up of Brother and Sister Bear, Romeo and Juliet and the Beatitudes. The story hangs together okay, but not in a very engaging way. I was pretty disappointed by how the whole peacemaking thing was handled. This was such a rich ... Just okay
On 9/2 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon is the second book I’ve read in the Doon series. (See my previous review here.) Both books are YA meets Brigadoon the musical. Two modern girls from Indiana, Veronica and Mackenna, are magically transported to the world of Doon where dancing, fashion, ... Loved it!
On 8/5 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Need a go-to gift book? Mary Engelbreit’s new book “The Blessings of Friendship Treasury” is a fun find for kids and adults alike. It’s a beautifully illustrated collection of poems, sayings and Bible verses about friendship. As you would expect with any Engelbreit product, the illustrations ... Precious!
On 7/14 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel is like a Ladies Home Journal “Can this Marriage be Saved?” article in novel form. It tells the story of a Washington DC power couple rocked by separation and shady decisions. Two other storylines interweave the plot including a 28 year-old with ... A Compelling Read
On 6/19 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: There are several things I like about the Adventure Bible for Early Readers, published by ZonderKidz. (The publishers sent me a free copy in exchange for my honest opinions and review.) The 3D cover is really cool. I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but it’s a hologram of two kids heading ... Targets a Narrow Audience of Christians
On 6/4 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: King Rules: Ten Truths for You, Your Family, and Our Nation to Prosper by Alveda King was not what I expected it to be at all. I don’t want to be disrespectful of Dr. Alveda King or any of her family members. So I’ve had to think carefully about how to word this review. Alveda King and I are both ... Not what I expected
On 5/23 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard is the third book in his Merlin Spiral series. (For my review of book #2, Merlin’s shadow, click here. ) The premise of Merlin’s Nightmare is that Arthur is now 18 and just discovering that he is the rightful heir to Britain. Merlin struggles to let his ... Arthur is ready for new YA fans.
On 5/1 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Got a teen girl? If so, I have a great book recommendation for you. Body and Soul: A Girl’s Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life by Bethany Hamilton is an easy read full of pictures–and so much more. This book is about nutrition, exercise, and balance. The writers break down what it means to ... Got a teen girl?
On 4/6 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Outcasts, book two of The Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson, creeps me out for all the wrong reasons. The writing is strong and the character development excellent, but there’s a thread of borderline-abusive paternalism running through the book that really bothers me. The basic premise of Outcasts ... Creepy!
On 3/7 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I was expecting to be entertained--but not educated when I picked up the YA book "Merlin's Shadow" by Robert Treskillard. Lucky for me I got both! The premise of Merlin's Shadow is that Merlin, his fiancé, a baby Arthur, and a few Druid and Christian tagalongs, are on the run from the evil king Vortigern. ... I want to read all 3
On 2/21 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Firstborn: A Novel by Lorie Ann Grover is Dystopian Fantasy meets giant birds. It reminded me a lot of The Golden Compass. The hook is that Tiadone, a declared male in a society that kills firstborn females, must join the army, suppress her femininity, prove her worth and survive. Her greatest ally ... Loved the birds!
On 1/29 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Any Brigadoon fans out there? I just had a fun time reading Doon, by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. The hook is that two teen girls discover ancient rings and find themselves mysteriously transported to the magical land of Doon. The problem is, there’s an evil witch on the loose and only two weeks to ... Fun and/but a little racy
On 1/12 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Is there a troubled teen in your life? If so, here’s the book for you. Like Moonlight at Low Tide: Sometimes the Current Is the Only Thing That Saves You, by Nicole Quigley, is a stunning debut novel that tackles hard questions; underage drinking, bullying, social media, and suicide. When Missy Keiser ... Tackles Hard Questions
On 12/14 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: A twelve-year-old girl morning the loss of her parents discovers a mysterious trunk in her attic bedroom, spurring her to investigate a dark family secret the whole town hides. That’s the hook behind Andi Unexpected (An Andi Boggs Novel), by Amanda Flower. Andi Unexpected is published by Zonderkids, ... A good old-fashioned mystery
On 11/24 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Stones for Bread, by Christa Parrish, is about a hard-core baker who is so burnt by her past that she has no room in her kitchen for love…or so she thinks until a collection of misfits she meets in Vermont turn her bakery into their own little family. I had unrealistically high expectations for Stones ... A good read
On 10/24 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Last week I read The Daniel Cure: The Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health by Susan Gregory and Dr. Richard J. Bloomer. I’ve been telling people about it every since. The concept of the book is rooted in Daniel 1:11-13 and Daniel 10:2-3 when Daniel fasts, prays, and eats food from seeds. Susan Gregory ... Brilliant!
On 10/3 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Sweet Olive, by Judy Christie, is as close to “a Mitford” book as I’ve ever read that wasn’t written by Jan Karon. Christie manages to capture a cozy, small town feel, but she sets her story in Louisiana and includes more young people. The hook of Sweet Olive is that a community of artists ... A lovely read
On 9/7 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: This week was my son’s first days of third grade. The rhythm of Fall and the routine of life is picking up again. So it was fitting that I’ve been reading God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God, by Ken Shigematsu. Before ever reading one word, I was intrigued by ... Well written, and well said
On 8/9 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron had me laughing, crying and thinking for days. The only thing that’s bugging me is I can’t decide which of Cron’s books I like better. A couple of weeks ago, I read and reviewed Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale, and ... Outstanding
On 7/26 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: If you are a fan of Black Like Me or Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, then I have a book that you will love. It’s called Homeless at Harvard: Finding Faith and Friendship on the Streets of Harvard Square and it’s by John Christopher Frame. While Frame was a divinity student at ... A Book you have to read
On 7/16 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Btw, I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I've never read any of Cron's work before, but he is also the author of Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts. He is an Episcopal priest and a doctoral candidate studying Christian ... A Peace Making Book
On 6/11 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: “North of Hope” by Shannon Huffam Polson, is a book about grief set in the Pacific Northwest. It tells the story of Shannon’s rafting journey in Alaska, roughly one year after her father and step-mother were killed by a bear along the same route. Right off the bat the plot-line should tell you ... A book about grief
On 5/3 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Activities Carnival of Afterschooling Third Grade Reading Level on Up Afterschooling Over Spring Break A STEM Summer, Ages 2-10 03 May 2013 ~ 0 Comments American Phoneix, by Jane Hampton Cook Independent Reading American Phonenix, John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the ... Flowery, but well researched
On 4/13 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Steve Peifer and Gregg Lewis’s book A Dream So Big, Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger, is my new favorite book, and I haven’t even finished reading it yet. Have you ever read Tracy Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains about Dr. Paul Farmer’s work in Haiti? A Dream So Big ... I want everyone I know to read this book!
On 3/27 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Love No Matter What by Brenda Garrison is a Christian parenting book that goes against the genre in a radical way. Instead of promising that A + B = C, she says that sometimes parents can do everything right and that their kids might still turn out mixed up, screwed up, or worse. I think that’s ... Wake up to Reality
On 2/23 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I received a free copy of Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress by Lysa TerKeurst from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinions and review. I almost didn’t order this book because I had a lot of previously conceived notions about devotionals in general. Often times they seem to ... Not Old-Laydish
On 1/24 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I just finished reading Stumbling on Open Ground by Ken Mansfield last night. I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest opinions and review. I really wanted to like this book at lot. Ken Mansfield shares his Job-like story of living with not one, but two cancers. ... A Modern Day Job
On 1/11 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: My "Where to Start" page is for toddlers and preschoolers, and my "Afterschooling" page is for Kindergarten on up. My dream is to spark a national conversation about how massive parental involvement is the key to high quality education. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEEDS:ALL POSTS 12 January 2013 ~ 0 Comments The ... Not too long
On 11/27 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Chocolate-Covered Baloney, Confessions of April Grace is a novel for middle grade audiences, that the author KD McCrite has chosen to set in the 1980s. It is one of the tamest MG books I have read in a long time. For example, April’s family receiving crank phone calls is considered a BIG DEAL. One ... A Tame Book for MG Readers
On 10/18 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: When Your Parent Becomes Your Child by Ken Abraham is a book about losing a loved one to Dementia. But it is more than that. It would not be hyperbole to say that the author Ken Abraham has written his heart in book format. His words were an honor to read. This is one of those books that you can’t ... Wow!
On 9/15 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: It is rare that any new book I read prompts me to fire up the word processor, and start making charts. But if you are familiar with “Teaching My Baby To Read” then you know that I love a good token economy system. That’s why The Money Smart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides really sparked ... Right-on Advice
On 8/21 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Get ready, because I am going to make all of my Tennessee ancestors roll in their graves. My opinions about Jackson The Iron-Willed Commander by Paul Vickery, which I received a free copy of from Booksneeze, would probably make most Tennessee folks upset. The book itself is well written and informative. ... Well written
On 6/6 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: For those of you who are new to thinking about offering your child some semblance of a Classical Education either through Homeschooling or Afterschooling please beware. In my opinion your best guidebook will be The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. There is also another famous (or ... Be Careful Where You Get Your Advice
On 3/31 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: This weekend I've been cooking from Jennifer Chandler's new book, Simply Grilling, which I received a complimentary copy of from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinions and review. If I could write just one word about this book it would be WOW! If you are a fan of cookbooks with pictures then ... WOW! Great for GF Eaters Too.
On 3/21 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I really enjoyed reading Luci Swindoll’s Simple Secrets to a Happy Life. There is nothing in the book that is especially profound, but Swindoll’s writing is so positive and upbeat that I felt like I got a shot in the arm of optimism after each chapter. This is saying a lot because I finished the ... Makes you look on the bright side
On 2/9 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: If I could have a “dream book club” to discuss Larry P. Arnn’s The Founders’ Key I would invite the author himself, the late Ayn Rand (of Atlas Shrugged fame), Douglas Wilson (Classical Christian Education advocate and author of Southern Slavery, As It Was), and Sarah Palin (Tea Party darling). In ... Well Written
On 1/2 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: David Teems could write a book about dirt and I would find it fascinating. Quite frankly, he is an artist with the English word and much of prose he writes sounds like poetry. The author’s bio on the back of Tyndale, The Man who Gave God and English Voice says that David Teems is from Tennessee, ... Beautiful Writing Style
On 12/1 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Over a month ago I received The Voice New Testament free from Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest opinions and review. The subtitle for The Voice is “Step into the Story of Scripture”. That denotes the layout and organization of the book, which is somewhat like a play. Colloquial additions are ... Makes You Pay Attention
On 10/23 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: When I first started reading The book of Man, Readings on the path to Manhood by William J. Bennett I was mesmerized. It is a massive book, over 500 pages long that is chock-full of speeches, poems, narrations and letters from some of the most famous men in history; everyone from Plato to Seneca, Booker ... Wonderful Selections, Offensive Introduction
On 10/11 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I did not expect Pershing, Commander of the Great War by John Perry to be a tear-jerker, but half way through reading it I could not stop sobbing. Without giving away any spoilers, something very tragic befell Pershing midlife, and it is the type of story that makes you want to kiss every member in ... An unexpected tear-jerker
On 10/1 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I have to preface this review by admitting that although I am a lover of history, I would never in a million years call myself a “military history buff”. That’s why I was really shocked to discover how much I enjoyed reading Sherman the Ruthless Victor by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin. ... History Repeats Itself
On 9/21 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I’ve just finished burning the midnight oil to finish reading Fyodor Dostoevsky by Peter Leithart. It was very unexpectedly, a real page-turner! I was expecting a dry biography, and instead encountered a mixture pathos, sex, political intrigue, imprisonment, marriage, true love and faith. Leithart ... A real page turner!
On 9/14 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Este es una revista sobre el libro La oporunidad perdida, una fabula de descubrimiento personal por el autor Andy Andrews. Yo recibido este libro gratis de Booknseeze, y ahora voy a describir mi opinion del libro. La oportunidad perdida tiene muchos cuentos en uno libro. Tambien, hay un viaje por ... Muchos cuentos en un libro
On 8/31 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Wow! I really enjoyed reading Love You More, The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. The very witty author has a lot of shared jokes and insights to offer on general parenting in addition to telling the story of adopting her daughter from Guatemala. I especially chuckled at ... Loved it!
On 8/23 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: I just finished reading the New York Times bestseller Surviving Your Serengeti by Stefan Swanepoel. I found this book to be very thought provoking. The author writes about a couple from LA who travels on a three day safari in Africa, only to discover the survival skills they witness in the animal kingdom ... Helpful for Moms Too!
On 8/2 Jennifer Bardsley wrote: Surprised by Oxford is a memoir by Carolyn Weber of the first year she spends at Oxford University as a scholarship student working on her graduate degree in the early 1990s. It is also the story of her gradual conversion to evangelical Christianity. There are two really interesting ways to view this ... For the armchair exchange student!