Reviews by Anastasia Vitsky

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Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

On 6/2 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Archbishop Desmond Tutu's name on this cover commanded my attention, and I was eager to receive the book for review. It may be the small size and the board book version, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd anticipated. However, it would be difficult for any book to live up the expectations of Tutu's ... A pleasant Christmas story

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables

52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables

On 6/2 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: This book is a mixed bag for me. I want to love it, and everything I usually rate would mean I love it. The introduction is well done, Bob Welch does a great job explaining his purpose and methodology, and the premise is a winner. I spent days in the basement of my childhood home, devouring a dusty library ... A mixed bag

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

3 Stars

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Bonhoeffer Abridged

Bonhoeffer Abridged

On 11/30 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy confused me in its title. Not having heard of the 2011 original by Eric Metaxas, I expected a sampler of Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings. Instead, the book is a condensed version of a much longer one published three years ago. I didn’t ... Lucid, accessible, and a bit too safe

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots

How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots

On 11/18 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots by Ron Bates (Zonderkidz) tries hard to be a combination of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and children’s science fiction about building robots. It ends with a rollicking change of heart and happily ever after, but the main character’s unlikability hampers the ... Book review: How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

2 Stars

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Andi Under Pressure

Andi Under Pressure

On 10/3 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: A while back, I reviewed the Samantha Sanderson books (Book one and book two) by Robin Caroll. I liked the premise, but I objected to the potential lessons from the book. Cheat, spy, eavesdrop, and steal information without impunity. Print inaccurate libel of a grown man’s business and be cheered as ... Book review: Andi Under Pressure, by Amanda Flower

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Love Letters from God

Love Letters from God

On 9/17 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Love Letters from God This book, directed at children ages 4-8, takes a lovely approach to telling Bible stories. Each section tells a familiar Bible story, and the life application lesson is introduced as a love letter from God. It’s a sweet concept, and lifting the flap of each letter is a nice ... http://governingana.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/book-reviews-adventure-bible-for-toddlers-and-love-letters-from-god/

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Adventure Bible for Toddlers

Adventure Bible for Toddlers

On 9/17 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Adventure Bible for Toddlers “Toddler” Bible is really a misnomer for a collection of picture Bible stories. The slightly puffy cover and sturdy board book construction are great. It would be nice to have a dedication line (to write a child’s name) on the inside front cover, though. The illustrations ... http://governingana.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/book-reviews-adventure-bible-for-toddlers-and-love-letters-from-god/

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

3 Stars

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Goodnight, Ark

Goodnight, Ark

On 9/3 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Book review time! Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi and illustrated by Jane Chapman, is a pleasant children’s picture book. The illustrations are quite nice, and the text encourages children to anticipate the next page. The rhymes and rhythms are a bit awkward for reading out loud, but it’s still a ... Nice illustrations but mediocre text

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Blessings of Friendship Treasury

The Blessings of Friendship Treasury

On 9/3 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: The Blessings of Friendship Treasury, by Mary Engelbreit, has some gorgeous illustrations reminiscent of the old-style Golden Books. I especially like that one girl (in a cheerful red gingham dress) pushes herself in a wheelchair while chatting with a friend and cat who walk beside her. There’s a nod ... Sweet and old-fashioned

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Snap Decision

Snap Decision

On 7/30 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Snap Decision by Nathan Whitaker should have been a five-star book. The book is filled with tidbits about football scouting, professional play, and Florida (I could feel the hot, humid weather as I read the book). Also, the premise is great: an eighth grade boy playing football has to decide between ... Falls flat but shows potential

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Game Changer

Game Changer

On 7/30 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Today, I’ll review two football-themed books, Game Changer by Kirk Cousins and Snap Decision by Nathan Whitaker. As serendipity would have it, reading the books together allowed me to enjoy them more. I had no idea about “playbook” or “scout team,” so I was glad I read Game Changer first. ... Great message, clunky writing

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Framing Faith

Framing Faith

On 7/11 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: I was excited about the newest book for review, Framing Faith by Matt Knisely. Combining photographic expertise with discussions on faith sounded perfect, and I couldn’t wait to get my copy. I was disappointed, however, by two points: The book lacks structure, and it also lacks concrete detail. The ... Lovely idea, but lacking in execution

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

2 Stars

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Teen Study Bible, NIV

Teen Study Bible, NIV

On 7/8 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of specialty Bibles. Unless it’s a different translation, there’s no need for a new Bible every few years. However, receiving free review copies gave me a chance to “test drive” a few different Bibles. I would rate the Teen Study Bible as adequate. If your teen does ... Serviceable

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

3 Stars

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Adventure Bible for Early Readers, NIrV

Adventure Bible for Early Readers, NIrV

On 6/22 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Children’s Bibles are tricky. When I was in third grade, I was given a Good News Bible (with a few line drawings every 100 pages or so) and expected to read at an adult level. Since then, publishers have put out illustrated story Bibles for toddlers and preschoolers. Those are terrific, but most children’s ... Great cover and color, but difficult for suggested age range

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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NIV Fast Facts Bible

NIV Fast Facts Bible

On 6/22 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: NIV Fast Facts Bible: Fascinating Trivia From the Most Read Book in History was, quite frankly, a disappointment. Considering the price ($29.99) and blurb/advertising, I expected a great deal more information and sturdier construction than it offers. First of all, a Bible should be able to withstand ... Flimsy and disappointing

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

2 Stars

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The Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook

The Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook

On 6/7 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: I ordered Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook: Recipes and Stories to Celebrate the Bounty of the Moment planning to give it to one of my cook friends. However, I was so impressed with this book that I’m keeping it for myself. What other recommendation do you need? :) The book is not without ... Gourmet Southern-influenced recipes based on seasonal produce

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

5 Stars

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Defending the Line

Defending the Line

On 6/7 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Defending the Line by Alex Carpenter earned the distinction as the second review book to put me to sleep. Literally. At only 98 (small) pages with large print, this is quite a feat. No, it’s not because I don’t know a lot about soccer (football) or didn’t who David Luiz was before reading the book ... Defending the Line and Third Thursday Comunity Potluck Cookbook

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

2 Stars

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A Mother's Secret

A Mother's Secret

On 6/1 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: The writing is more tell than show, Clipston relies heavily on cliches, and the paper-thin plot is no more than a series of romance novel tropes cobbled together. Still, the book is charming. In the world of Christian fiction, this is the equivalent of the new Avengers movie: you know you are being manipulated ... Pleasant and formulaic

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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Take This Cup

Take This Cup

On 5/30 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: I wanted to love this book. I really did, but it fell so flat that it took me two weeks to finish. I fell asleep for the first five or ten times I tried to read the book. I only managed to finish by using the text-to-speech feature on my Kindle and listening to large chunks of the book while ironing. It ... Slow-moving with no character development

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

3 Stars

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Samantha Sanderson On the Scene

Samantha Sanderson On the Scene

On 5/17 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Because I have already reviewed the first book, Samantha Sanderson at the Movies, at length, you may want to read that review first. Title: Samantha Sanderson on the Scene Author: Robin Caroll Print length: 244 pages Publisher: Zonderkidz Publication date: May 6, 2014 Sold by: ... Disappointing second book

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

2 Stars

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Samantha Sanderson At the Movies

Samantha Sanderson At the Movies

On 5/16 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Picture a Disney family movie, Cam Jansen for a slightly older audience, and a Christian setting. That’s Samantha Sanderson at the Movies, with a dash of 21st-century technology. Seventh-grader Samantha, who prefers to be called “Sam,” divides her time between cheerleading, writing for her school ... Cam Jansen for an older, Christian audience

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Rainbow Egg

The Rainbow Egg

On 5/5 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: Rating: 0 gingersnaps (out of 5 gingersnaps) for content(1) 0.5 gingersnap for craft(2) 1 gingersnap for its handling of Christian themes(3) Comprehensive score: 0.5 gingersnap (strongly not recommended) Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers, a subsidiary of HarperCollins Christian ... Trite, inauthentic, and insulting

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

1 Stars

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Where the Wind Leads

Where the Wind Leads

On 5/4 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: If you don’t mind spoilers, check out this book trailer for Where the Wind Leads. You’ll get to listen to an interview with Vinh Chung and view some of the photos from the book. The book: Where the Wind Leads tells its three-generational story of the Chung family based on “dozens of hours of ... Humor, adventure, and life affirmation

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

5 Stars

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Becoming Home

Becoming Home

On 5/2 Anastasia Vitsky wrote: The first book I received for review, Becoming Home: Adoption, Foster Care, and Mentoring–Living Out God’s Heart for Orphans, would have been a DNF (do not finish) if it had not been a mini-book consisting of 91 small pages. The topic, caring for children at risk, is one that is close to my heart, ... Becoming Home: Adoption, Foster Care, and Mentoring--Living Out God's Heart for Orphans

Anastasia Vitsky's Rating:

1 Stars

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