Back to School Books for Kids

Brain Games: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42183016-brain-games
Beginner’s World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924686-national-geographic-kids-beginner-s-world-atlas-4th-edition
Student World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924683-national-geographic-student-world-atlas-5th-edition Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Brain Games

Brain Games by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Brain Games: Mighty Book of Mind Benders
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer,  Gareth Moore

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Warning: This book will melt your brain!

With puzzles, codes, optical illusions, and games, each chapter focuses on one aspect of how our brains process information, including spatial awareness, how our hearing affects our visual perception, and how our memory works (or doesn’t work).

I especially liked the chapter on Words and Language, which explores how our brains process language and reading. There are tons of word games with anagrams, alphabet codes, palindromes, crossword puzzles, and word search games.

Each chapter starts with an explanation of how the brain functions in particular areas, how the brain is mapped, and what scientists and physicians are discovering about the power of the mind. Then challenges and puzzles are introduced to show how your brain is fooling you, or how your brain is stronger and smarter than you realize. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Awesome Achievers in Science

Awesome Achievers in Science by Alan Katz
Awesome Achievers in Science: Super and Strange Facts about 12 Almost Famous History Makers 
by Alan Katz 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Do you remember who invented the Post It note? Or the Polaroid camera? You may know the name of the Heimlich maneuver, but do you know anything about Dr. Heimlich himself, who invented the famous move?

This book features twelve scientists, chemists, doctors, engineers, and astronauts whose inventions or actions are well-known, but the people themselves are less than famous. Including the inventions of Velcro, Teflon, Kevlar, the Polaroid camera, bionic limbs, laser eye surgery for cataracts, and the CPR method, this book gives short bios of the almost-famous inventors, along with a comedic poem or song written by the author in their honor, and sometimes a small comic sketch or personal anecdote.

This book is FULL of “Dad jokes”. There are cringey puns and wisecracks on every page that will make anyone remember their own dad and his terrible jokes. The humor might appeal to a 7-year-old boy, but I spent most of the book rolling my eyes at the ridiculous one-liners. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: 1,000 Facts About Ancient Egypt

1,000 Facts about Ancient Egypt by Nancy Honovich
1,000 Facts about Ancient Egypt 
by Nancy Honovich

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Everything you ever wanted to know about Ancient Egypt is in this book! There are facts, figures, and wild details about mummies, pyramids, the sphinx, the pharaohs, and the everyday lives of regular Egyptians.

I loved how the information is presented in small sections that would keep a child’s attention, and make it easy to read. Each two-page spread focuses on a category of Egyptian life: inventions, government, religion and temples, women rulers, games and art, food and trade, royal life, beauty and fashion, weapons and soldiers, the Nile river, and of course mummies and pyramids, along with a dozen other fascinating subjects. Continue reading

NonFiction Review: Student World Atlas

National Geographic Student World Atlas, 5th Edition by National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Student World Atlas, 5th Edition 
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This atlas is full of amazing maps and information! It’s got pictures and factoids and terrain and history, all with colorful lines and photos and interesting little details.

I like how the book is divided up by continent. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how countries that border each other have a lot in common. It has maps that compare the economics, life expectancy, refugee statistics, climate and precipitation, and population of the various countries in each continent and region.

There are maps showing the most prevalent languages on earth, the biggest cities, the most culturally diverse areas, the central religions, how the world grows and exports food, energy, and mineral resources. There is even a map showing the different types of world maps, and how a globe can get distorted by being projected onto a flat surface. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Never Go Back

Never Go Back by Henry Cloud
Never Go Back 
by

Henry Cloud (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book demonstrates ten life lessons that will teach you never to go back to your old patterns or make the same mistake twice. They include things like…
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Don’t trust the wrong people.
Don’t forget why you’re here.
Don’t take your eyes off the big picture.
Don’t try to please everyone.

I enjoyed reading this because it has a lot of commons sense approaches to problems that are universal, and gives real solutions to difficult situations. One of the good things about this book is that it focuses on the only thing we can control… ourselves. It gives real hope that our life can change, because we can change ourselves, our habits and patterns, our thinking, and our reactions and choices. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Jane Austen

Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin
Jane Austen: A Life 
by Claire Tomalin

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This biography of Jane Austen does a very thorough job of seizing on every letter, every mention, every tiny detail that can be gleaned about the famous author; unfortunately, that isn’t much. Jane’s sister, Cassandra, destroyed many of her letters after Jane’s death. Jane’s brothers and nephews and nieces didn’t preserve her letters as faithfully as they should have. The result is that there are few original writings left from one of the best-loved authors of all time, and little is known of her day to day life.

However, the author does a wonderful job of piecing together letters from cousins, diary entries of nieces and neighbors, along with the few portraits and tin-type photographs of her family and friends.
Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Journal Me Organized

Journal Me Organized by Rebecca Spooner
Journal Me Organized: The Complete Guide to Practical and Creative Planning 
by Rebecca Spooner

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I got so many wonderful and creative ideas for my planner from this book! I love how the information is organized, with chapters about different planning methods, notebooks, styles, and supplies, along with ideas for doodling, creating lists, using watercolors and acrylics, brush lettering, and even making your own notebooks from scratch.

The beauty of it is that you don’t need fancy paints, pens, or notebooks to use the ideas in this book. You could just as easily set up a planner or bullet journal in a simple lined composition notebook from the dollar store. And the author gives tips about how to set up in a plain composition notebook versus a dot grid notebook.

I love all the different styles of daily, monthly, and yearly spreads! Whether you want a minimalist style or an artistic style, there is something for everyone. Continue reading

Book Review: Book Girl

Book Girl by Sarah    Clarkson
Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life 
by Sarah Clarkson 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Sarah Clarkson delves into the qualities that a “book girl” possesses, and how she learns and looks at the world. And the author lists her favorite things about reading, along with her favorite books for every occasion in life.

I enjoyed this book, especially the lists of books. There is a short review with each book listed, so you can check off the ones you’ve already read, or look up the ones that sound interesting and put them on your wishlist.

Another wonderful thing about this book was the emphasis on reading as a way to know more about God through stories, and to connect with yourself by connecting with God. I really liked how the author explores various aspects of how stories can comfort, guide, and enlighten, always pointing us toward Christ. Continue reading

Book Review: Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe

Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne
Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe: Are Urban Legends & Sunday School Myths Ruining Your Faith? 
by Larry Osborne

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved how this book was organized. The writing style is clear and concise with a dry humor that kept each chapter interesting. I appreciated how the author carefully explained each concept with Biblical precepts and spiritual laws that are direct from Scripture.

I really enjoyed reading it, and now I want to read more from this author!