Tag Archives: books

Book review: Bill the Warthog and the Tablets of Stone by Dean A. Anderson

A talking warthog detective who solves mysteries and accepts payment in the form of weeds that he eats?  Now that’s a novel idea.

Sorry about the bad pun, but it is fun to find interesting characters in unique books that draw in kids and make them want to read.  That’s what happened when my son discovered the Bill the Warthog mystery series by Dean A. Anderson.  He started with Quest for the Temple of Truth (Bill the Warthog Mysteries #4) (affiliate link) and quickly asked for more books in the series to read.Bill the Warthog Mysteries Quest for the Temple of Truth

Whenever my kids find a book they enjoy reading, I’m a happy mom.  Even better when it’s a book that can teach them something helpful.  With these Bill the Warthog books, kids learn Biblical principles from the mysteries Bill investigates with his best friend, Nick Sayga, the 6th-grade narrator of the stories.

The Bill the Warthog books are similar to the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, with a new case to solve in each chapter.  After reading the clues in the story, you have a chance to solve the mystery yourself before turning to another page to learn how Bill the Warthog figured it out.

Each of the books in the Bill the Warthog series addresses a different aspect of the Bible.  With Quest for the Temple of Truth, the solutions to the mysteries teach from Jesus’ parables, making them easily understood from a child’s perspective.  Just like Jesus taught by telling stories in parables, these cases make the same Biblical principles clear for kids.

The book features a variety of humorous, kid-friendly mysteries in 10 illustrated chapters.  It’s a quick read that makes it fun for kids to learn from the Bible.  As a bonus, my son’s book came with a compass attached to go along with the quest theme of the book.

If your child is quickly hooked on the Bill the Warthog mysteries like mine was, there are now 9 books in the series to keep kids reading.

 This post contains affiliate links, which help support this blog.

Book review: Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer by Ali Maier

While school’s out in the summer, it’s a great time for kids to read for pure enjoyment.  Because I encourage my kids to make reading a regular part of their lives, some of my favorite free summer activities for the kids are summer reading programs that help motivate them to keep reading throughout the summer.

We’re always on the lookout for good books that the kids will enjoy.  So I was happy to accept a free book recently to review on this blog.  It looked like a fun book for the kids.

The book, Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer (Max and Maggie Journal) by Ali Maier, has a unique concept.  It’s presented as a joint journal written by 10-year-old twins.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer by Ali Maier - book review on amerrymom.com                   Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer back cover - book review on amerrymom.com

I thought the journal format, complete with drawings, was a great way to experience the two characters’ different perspectives.  In the book, the point of the journal is for the twins to get along better by seeing things from the other point of view.

The story had a nice moral about family and sibling relationships in a lighthearted and lively tale of their summer adventures.

As a mom, I was happy to pass along the book to my kids after I read it.  I thought they would like it and may even learn something about considering other perspectives that they could apply to their own relationships over summer break.

My kids – ages 8 and 11 – both enjoyed reading Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer.

The twins’ journal entries have a handwritten font and drawings that make it fun for kids to read.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer inside page - book review on amerrymom.com

My son thought it was funny and said he could relate to the characters very well. He liked the journal format and felt like he was drawn into the story of the twins’ activities.  He read through the book quickly.

My daughter liked the drawings and enjoyed reading about the characters’ summer.  She could especially relate to Maggie, particularly because they both love the zoo, ice cream, and trips – and because they get stuck going to brothers’ sports events.  She enjoyed the journal style and said it made her feel like “the story was alive.”

The Mom Made Us Write This web site has more information about the book, which is the first in a series.  Two additional books are planned for future release.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is available on Amazon.

I received a free book in exchange for my review on this blog.  All opinions are my own (and my kids’).  This post contains affiliate links, which help support this blog.

Be awesome! Be a book nut! Dr. Seuss

The joy of e-reading

I’m not an early adopter for new technology. I don’t need to have the latest and greatest gadgets.

So when the other book lovers I know started getting e-readers, I was perfectly happy to stick with “real” books.

But then my mom saw a great deal on a Kindle and gave it to me for Christmas – as a joint gift that was also addressed to my hubby. Now I love the thing and the problem is that we have to share it.

Somehow he always manages to claim it in the evening before I can get to it.  *Sigh*  We may just have to get me my own!

We both love how small and portable the Kindle is while still being very readable. I’ve tried reading books on my cell phone a few times while I was stuck at my kids’ sport practices and didn’t like it very well because the screen was just too small. I find that the Kindle size is much better.

It’s also handy to be able to download books at any time without waiting for a delivery or driving to the store. I like that there’s less of a carbon footprint for electronic delivery.

Of course, one of the best advantages is that electronic books are less expensive than print editions and sometimes even free.  I’m trying to read through more classic literature so I love that I can get the classics inexpensively – some for free and some for just 99 cents.

I have to admit that I do miss having a physical book to flip through. Since we already have five overflowing bookcases, that’s probably a good thing though! It saves us from having to find more shelf space.

Have you moved to using an e-reader for your books?  What are you reading?

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