Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tyndale Kids/Teens Books that I Read

What are some Tyndale kids/teens books that I have read & reviewed?

Horse Dreams by Dandi Daley Mackall...This is a short, enjoyable read. It's about horses & receiving the answer to our prayers. While it is geared to younger readers, I enjoyed reading it as well.

New Kid Catastrophes by Bill Myers...I read this book to verify it would be fitting for my oldest nephew. While he may need to grow into the book a little (i.e. start by reading it with a parent), it should be a good series for him. There are lots of onomatopoeias for sound effects, although the "futuristic" (i.e. made up) words may be a bit difficult to grasp. All-in-all, a decent book.

Voyage with the Vikings is an Adventure in Odyssey Imagination Station adventure to teach about how we would treat our enemies with a bit of history of Leif Erikson. I found it to be highly similar to "The Magic Tree-house Adventures" It was a fun read & would open good dialogues between parents & kids about behavior & what it means to be a Christian.

Battle for Cannibal Island by Marianne Hering, Wayne Thomas Batson...This book is an Adventure in Odyssey Imagination Station adventure to teach James Calvert, a missionary to Fiji. It was easy to see God in the story even if it was short. It taught we should love our enemies & pray for me.

Challenge on the Hill of Fire by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders...This book is an Adventure in Odyssey Imagination Station adventure to teach about the meaning behind St. Patrick's Day. It is easy to see God in this story & bridges the gap between the secularized holiday & the Christian roots.

Problems at Plymouth...This book takes place right around the first Thanksgiving. It seemed disconnected from God & instead focused on a sub-plot of several books. Not my favorite Imagination Station Book.

Secret of the Prince’s Tomb...This book takes places at the start of the Hebrews’ slavery in Egypt. The children were reminded to trust in God even when things go badly & their adventure put their own problems in perspective.

Attack at the Arena...This book takes place around the last of the arena games in the Roman Empire. The children learned that it’s important to speak up for their beliefs, even when it’s unpopular. Other books in this series are more God-focused.

Peril in the Palace...This book takes place during Marco Polo’s travel. One main character tries to share the gospel & a Bible is eagerly received by another character. God is present in this story, but is more in the background.

Showdown with the Shepherd...This book takes place during the battle between David & Goliath. It encourages people to trust in God, but the sub-plot is the focus.

Revenge of the Red Knight is a fun short story, but God really isn't present in it, other than as the recipient of prayers. It doesn't teach a moral or show Christian values. A fun book, but not particularly Christian.

The Hunt for the Devil's Dragon by Marianne Hering, Wayne Thomas Batson
Although the title doesn't make much sense (I read about a dragon, but not about a "devil's dragon) and I would have preferred a title along the lines of Sir George and the Dragon, this is a good, fast-paced book with a moral. Kids can learn to stand up for right even in tough situations, to befriend & be kind to enemies, and to pray & trust God often. A good read.
 
Danger on a Silent Night by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
This is a birth of Christ adventure that examines gift-giving vs. helping the poor. It is fast-paced & deals with common misconceptions about the Nativity story. It also talks of earning money for gifts or making gifts. We are taught that we can help the poor & show our love to family too.
 
The Redcoats are Coming! by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
This book is a little too pro-American church & anti-seperation of Church & State. I found it to be unrealistic & cheesy. You can't really see God or learn life lessons in this book.
 
Captured on the High Seas by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
This is a decent book, but God is rarely visible. Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station should stick to faith-based stories with morals and not American history.

Death Trap by Sigmund Brouwer is an enjoyable book that is 2-stories-in-one. The plot takes many twists & turns. The characters face realistic dilemmas. The main character wrestle with the divide between science & religion and find a good balance.

Wild Thing by Dandi Daley Mackall is a decent book. The horse & animal comparisons are over-done, as the main character compares everything & everyone to horses and other characters follow suit. It’s a sweet story, but has unresolved issues for the series to handle.

Runaway by Dandi Daley Mackall is a nice story about finding God & love through people’s love & forgiveness. It’s a little cheesy at times, has unresolved conflict, & references another series by the author, but it’s a nice book.

Haunted Waters by Jerry B Jenkins & Chris Fabry is an intense, suspenseful book which you read from several characters’ viewpoints. The characters are realistic & face normal struggles & intense struggles. It starts with a spoiler & ends with a cliff-hanger.

The Vanishings by Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye introduces & follows 4 “kids” (teens really, 12-16 years old) at the start the Last Days. The book has tie-ins to the main Left Behind series. I expected this series to be stand-alone, but was disappointed at all the references to the adult series. The story stops right after all the kids meet each other & ends as a cliff-hanger. 

Night Mare by Dandi Daley Mackall is a decent book. It’s cheesy at parts, but God is visible in different parts of the story. A good story about God is always present & trusting God in hard situations.

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