Archives For Children

 

Deeper into the the Way of Jesus

A Feature Review of

The Story of King Jesus

Ben Irwin
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
*** Kindle ebook Only $1.99!
(through July 7, 2015)

 

A Wolf At the Gate

Mark Van Steenwyk
Paperback: Mennonite Worker Press, 2014
Buy now: Amazon ]

 
 
 
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Simple Lessons from Small Talk

 

Why young mothers should read Amy Julia Becker’s newest book

by Jen Pollock Michel

 

Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most
Amy Julia Becker
Paperback: Zondervan, 2014

 
 
She kept a list. She wrote reminders. Something to ask. A story to tell. An opinion to solicit. My friend’s list was our only real hope for sustaining thought in the sitcom quality of life during the years when our children were young. We suffered the constancy of commercial breaks: to change a diaper, to zip up a jacket, to retrieve Buzz Lightyear who’d been mercilessly thrown into the toilet. To think that our friendship survived the bleary-eyed years of that episodic sanity, when we were cycling and recycling through the states of pregnancy and nursing and potty-training is a testament to the great mercy of God.

 

I’ve almost forgotten how harried those days actually were. My friend’s list of conversational prompts remind me, however, that it was once an Olympic feat to finish a sentence, much less see to the cohesion and conclusion of a conversation. I can take for granted the long stretches of quiet I now have to myself to write and study in the middle of the day when the children (all five of them!) are off to school. I even make uninterrupted phone calls.

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Today is the birthday of E. Nesbit, writer of delightful children’s stories, born 1858.

Nesbit is one of the lesser-known influences on C.S. Lewis’s Narnia:
“Lewis was deeply indebted to E. Nesbit, not only in matters of plot, character and image, but even in small details of phrasing. When he set out to write his Chronicles of Narnia, he though of them as being Nesbit books: as belonging to a type or genre practised by E. Nesbit. In many respects the Narnia books begin where the Nesbit books leave off: The Magician’s Nephew, the first of the series, begins with an allusion to Nesbit.”
– Mervyn Nicholson, “What C.S. Lewis took from E. Nesbit

 

For your reading pleasure, we have picked FIVE of E. Nesbit’s best books that are available as FREE ebooks…

Enjoy!!!

> > > >
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Five Children and It

 

FREE ebook download in a variety of formats including NOOK
from Project Gutenberg…

Like Nesbit’s Railway Children, the story begins when a group of children move from London to the countryside of Kent. While playing in a gravel pit, the five children—Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother, the Lamb—uncover a rather grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent sand-fairy known as the Psammead, who has the ability to grant wishes. However, the Psammead has been buried for so long, he is no longer able to grant individual wishes. Instead, he persuades the children to take one wish per day, to share amongst the lot of them, with the caveat that the wishes will turn to stone at sundown.(Wikipedia)

 

Love Makes for a Compelling Read

A Feature Review of

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character

Paul Tough

Hardback: HMH Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Joshua Neds-Fox.

 

With a subtitle like “Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character,” it’s hard not to think that How Children Succeed, Paul Tough’s second book, is being pitched to the politicized market of an election year. The contents, however, are hardly partisan; instead, Tough delivers a highly compassionate exploration of strategies to help impoverished children overcome the limitations of their circumstances. In many ways, this book is a natural followup to Tough’s previous title, “Whatever It Takes,” a profile of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone, the ambitious project Tough first chronicled in the pages of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Canada knew the devastating effects of poverty on personal potential, and he was no longer satisfied to save one in a hundred children from that fate. He wanted to save them all. Whatever It Takes examined Canada’s Herculean effort to cast a net over a handful of city blocks in Harlem, a net so fine that no child in the target zone could possibly slip through. In engineering his project, Canada employed — and Tough explored — a grab bag of scientific and/or data-driven techniques to try to effect change in children.

 

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An excerpt from journalist Jonathan Kozol’s new book:

Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America

Jonathan Kozol

Hardback: Crown, 2012.
Buy now : [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Publishers Weekly gave this new book a starred review, saying: “Eschewing social science jargon and deploying extraordinary powers of observation and empathy, Kozol crafts dense, novelistic character studies that reveal the interplay between individual personality and the chaos of impoverished circumstances. Like a latter-day Dickens (but without the melodrama), he gives us another powerful indictment of America’s treatment of the poor.”






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“A City Aflood in Color, Music and Life

A review of
Symphony City
by Amy Martin

Review by Chris Smith.

View sample pages from the book:
[ one ] [ two ] [ three ] [ four ] [ five-six ]

SYMPHONY CITY - Amy MartinSymphony City
Amy Martin
Hardback: McSweeneys/McMullens, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

The indie publishing group McSweeney’s, long heralded for their creative writing, has recently launched a children’s book imprint called McMullens.  The first book published under the new imprint this summer was the lovely Symphony City by Amy Martin, a noted graphic designer whose work has appeared in newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, and on concert posters for notable bands such as Death Cab for Cutie and Band of Horses.  The book tells the story of a girl who gets lost in the city on the way to see the symphony and follows the music on an adventure through the city until she eventually arrives home.  However, only a very small portion of the story is told in words, and the bulk of it, appropriately, is told through Martin’s superb illustrations.  The book is itself a symphony of line, shape and color, swirling through the streets and the air – a flock of golden birds is prominent motif that swoops through the book.  Martin’s depiction of urban life is undoubtedly a touch idealized – a city aflood in color, music and life – but like Peter Brown’s delightful recent picture book The Curious Garden, it is a hopeful book that reminds us of the best of urban culture.

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Browse the lovely pages of
(and trust me, it’s much more lovely to hold in your hands)

Brother Sun, Sister Moon:
Saint Francis of Assisi’s
Canticle of the Creatures
.
Reimagined by Katherine Paterson.
Hardback: Chronicle Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]



 

“Learning from the Children

A Review of

Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey:
Guidance for Those Who Teach and Nurture
.

By Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May.

Reviewed by Josh Morgan.


Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey:
Guidance for Those Who Teach and Nurture
.

By Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May.

Paperback: baker, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

As a child psychologist with a particular passion and speciality in spirituality, particularly spiritual formation, I was very excited to review Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May’s Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey. This book discusses the results from multiple projects exploring childhood Christian spirituality. Before thinking it may be boring, allow me to assure you that it’s not. While it could definitely be used in an academic setting (the publishing house emphasizes that), it really is meant for laity, not academics.
I recently began a spirituality group as part of my organization’s child partial hospitalization program for psychiatric problems. This book was helpful in developing some activities to initiate discussion on spiritual topics. However, it really is meant for a parents and church-based ministries rather than therapists. And it is focused on Christian spirituality. So if you’re looking for ways to explore the spirituality of atheist children, this book is probably not what you’re looking for (although I would also argue it’s techniques could be altered for the appropriate spiritual context).

 

A Review of

Children’s Nature:
The Rise of the American Summer Camp.

Leslie Paris.
Hardback: NYU Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Enstad.

I, more or less, grew up at a church camp. Starting in third grade you could find me up on the North Shore of Lake Superior at the church camp my congregation had the foresight to organize and build in the 1950’s. By the time I began attending “our” camp it was already well-established with cabins, a lodge, a chapel, and traditions going back decades. Every camper knew that the “biffies” stunk; but some stunk more than others. We knew that the “cool” kids figured out how to sneak out at night to meet a camper of the opposite sex at “the Rock” presumably to sit together scared of being discovered but, of course, the stories became embellished by morning. There were ghost stories and disappearing camper stories. Underneath it all we developed a deeper relationship with each other and, through twice-a-day chapel and daily Bible study, with God. I was the second generation of my family to attend that camp and it is amazing to know that there are third, fourth, and fifth generation campers up there as I write this.

It’s hard for me to imagine that as early as the late nineteenth century there was no such thing as children with leisure time. With the rise of urban life on the East coast came a desire to hold on to the pioneering, outdoor spirit of the recent American past. In Children’s Nature: the Rise of the American Summer Camp, Leslie Paris, Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, has written a part-historical, part-anthropological study of this phenomenon. In doing so, Dr. Paris gives great insight into how summer camping became such an important part of so many people’s lives and, indeed, American culture itself.

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A Brief Review of

Equally Shared Parenting:
Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents
.
Marc and Amy Vachon.

Hardback: Perigee, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jeni Newswanger Smith.

In Equally Shared Parenting, Marc and Amy Vachon, layout plans, ideas, and encouragement for parents desiring to make their lives (not just parenting duties) as balanced as possible. The book title is a bit of a misnomer because it contains little actual parenting advice, but is solely concerned with the “Equally Sharing” part.

The philosophy (which the authors unfortunately abbreviate ESP) isn’t about turning traditional gender roles on their head — it’s about balancing equally all the elements of partnership and raising children.  The authors define these as: child-raising, bread-winning, housework and time for self.  Additionally “equally shared parenting aims to create an equal partnership between parents and an individually balanced life for each.”

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