Monday, November 17, 2014

imageNumber the Stars
Written by Lois Lowry
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

My Thoughts

We have a few novels based on the Second World War at home.  But I was always curious to read Number the Stars.  When I received it I immediately set myself to read it.   While reading it, I could see it would make a great book to study for my oldest son.  I purchased a literature study for the book and plan to do it with him in the new year.

The novel tells the story of two friends living during the Denmark occupation.   The Danish Resistance is trying to help the Jew population to save them.  The book is easy to read and brings life in the resistance more realistic.   Though it is an history novel, the book is based on what a friend of the author has experienced during the long years of the German occupation in Copenhagen.  In the afterword, you will get more information at what happened during the occupation of Denmark in 1940.

I find this book to be a good fit when studying the Second World War period in history.   It will give the reader a better understand of the risk taken by the Resistance throughout Europe to protect people in need.

Number the Stars is available at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.

  

The book is also available on Kindle.

  

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

_225_350_Book.1369.cover52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables
Written by Bob Welch
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Gold Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels, musicals, and films of all time: Les Misérables.

In 52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables, Bob Welch walks readers through Hugo’s masterpiece, extracting dozens of uniquely spiritual reflections from this enduring portrait of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. Welch reminds us that Jean Valjean’s life provides the truest example of why real love is found in the grittiest places, and that hearts are made whole beneath the crush of mercy. Most important, though, Welch keeps returning to the intersections of faith and reality throughout Hugo’s writing—those places where mercy becomes an inroad to the heart, and where love is only truly received when it is given without condition.

Discover again why life’s purpose is found not in attending to personal needs and desires, but in responding to the hearts of others.

My Thoughts

Once you have read and heard Les Misérables you can appreciate the story from Victor Hugo.    I have read the book, seen the play at the theater and even watch the more recent movie.   Since its publications more than 150 years ago, Les Misérables has been fashioned in theatrical productions, movies and many have written commentaries on it.   This book is different in many ways as the author extracts unique spiritual reflections from the book and its portryal of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and redemption. 

I find that the book is perfect for a weekly devotion.  It will guide you in discovering why life’s purpose is found in responding to the hearts of others and not by attending your own personal needs.  In each lesson the author highlights the spiritual themes that are woven inside Les Misérables.  These themes, like anguish, mercy, suffering and forgiveness in the face of adversity, are presented using the individual plights of the bishop, Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Javert, Marius and Éponine.   You experience the transformation of Valjean, the bishop’s compassion, and the redemption that comes afterward in a different way while going through this little book.

To be honest, the more I read 52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables the more it stirs me to read the book again.   In one of the lessons you read about the transformation of Monseigneur Charles François-Bienvenu Myriel (the bishop) and realize that Les Misérables has numerous pages about his past which I never realize or paid attention of.    Reading the book of Bob Welch gives me a newfound interest in reading the popular book of Victor Hugo with a different thinking process that I had when I first read it in my teenage years.   There are lessons to be gleaned through the pages of Les Misérables and the book by Bob Welch helps us to see them.   

So why not bless the fan of Les Misérables in your life this Christmas so the book can allow him/her to explore the story through a different angle with spiritual lessons.   

52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables is available at your favorite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.

  

The book is also available for Kindle.

  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

9780761169437Star Wars Origami
Published at Workman

About the book

Kids love origami—and what could be cooler than transforming a piece of paper into Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Yoda, or R2-D2? And not just any paper, but custom-designed paper illustrated with art from the movies. Star Wars® Origami marries the fun of paper folding with the obsession of Star Wars. Like The Joy of Origami and Origami on the Go, this book puts an original spin on an ancient art. And like Star Wars® Scanimation®and Star Wars® Fandex®, it’s a fresh take on Star Warsmania.

Chris Alexander is a master folder and founder of the popular website StarWarsOrigami.com, and here are 36 models, clearly explained, that range in difficulty from Youngling (easy) to Padawan (medium), Jedi Knight (difficult), and Jedi Master (tricky!). A front section introduces origami definitions and basic folds. Bound in the back is the book’s unique folding paper, two sheets for each figure. Illustrated with original art, it makes each creation—the essential lightsabers, the Death Star, and much more—true to the movies.

Star Wars Origami includes a foreword by Tom Angleberger, author of the New York Times bestsellersThe Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, and is scheduled to be published at the same time as Angleberger’s upcoming book, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee.

My Thoughts

This book is fabulous and will make a Star Wars fan really happy – particularly the crafty kind of fan.  In this out-of-the-ordinary book, you will have the opportunity to do origami but making projects based on Star Wars whether it is characters, spacecrafts, droids, weapons and more.   Each projects have a level of difficulty associated to them which will be easy to discover with a special index at the end of the book.  The levels of difficulty are the following:  easy, medium, difficult, and very tricky.  So wisdom suggest that you start at the beginning and slowly get more difficult items as you advance in your skills of origami.  The book also contains an alphabetical list of projects.  

The book starts by introducing the basics of origami in a special section.  In this section, the reader will discover the definitions, symbols and basic folds in origami as well as learn important origami bases.  Once this is mastered, the person can immediately dig into the projects covered in this book.  And the best part is that inside this book you will found unique folding paper (72 sheets) which were specifically designed in order to make your creations even more realistic.  The pages are somewhat perforated in order to detach them from the book.  However, I suggest that you go slowly in removing these from the book. 

Now you must be wondering what are the projects included in this book… well there is something for everyone in there.   Here’s a list of the projects:  lightsabers, Trade Federation Battleship, Naboo Royal Starship, R2-D2, Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine), Anakin Skywalker’s podracer, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda,  armored assault tank, Naboo starfighter, vulture droid starfighter, Jango Fett and Boba Fett, Slave I, Taun We, C-3PO, republic clone trooper, Eta-2 Jedi starfighter, droid tri-fighter, General Grievous, Naboo Star Skiff, Imperial Star Destroyer, Darth Vader, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Jawa, sandcrawler, landspeeder, Bantha, The Death Star, Millennium Falcon, TIE fighter, X-wing starfighter, Darth Vader’s TIE advanced fighter X1, and Imperial shuttle.

Each project details the steps very clearly and will guide the child in making beautiful origami based on Star Wars.   See below for an example.

This book contains 36 amazing paper-folding projects from a Galaxy far, far away…   It is a perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life who also likes origami.  

Star Wars Origami is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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