Archive for Books

Bible Bravery for Brave Little Girls {Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway}


I am so excited to share two of the newest resources for girls from Thomas Nelson and its not just because I love pink ;). My first book to share this week is Brave Girls Bible Stories. This is a beautiful hardcover book with quality pages that will withstand frequent use. Good thing, too! My 4 year old claimed it as hers and reads it & talks about it constantly.

To bring each story to life, the book has 5 real girl guides (click link to read about them all!). Each has a distinct personality all her own. There is Hope, a down to earth farm girl, Glory, a girly girl whose parents just divorced, Honor, a brainy animal lover, Gracie, a girl who didn’t grow up with a faith background who found an awesome youth group & now sings at church, and Faith, a homeschooled girl who’s a bit of a perfectionist.

brave Girls bible stories - inside - review

The bible stories are all centered around a brave girl in the bible and each one is led by one of the guides. The header tells you where to find the story in your Bible and a bible verse related to the story (not necessarily from that book in the bible). The brave girl guide draws a parallel between a real life situation and the girl in the bible story to follow. Once the story is done, the guide returns to share more insights about the story and life. There is a short prayer at the end to ask God to make you more like whoever.

brave girls bible stories review inside

Brave Girls Bible Stories is aimed at girls ages 4-8. Sometimes, I think the guide commentary for the story is a little older than that age group, but kids are growing up quicker these days. I try to keep my littles, little. Nothing concerning, but I just had to explain some things, like beauty pageants.

Overall, this is an awesome book. My youngest adored it! My 6 year old would come while I read it aloud but didn’t read it on her own. I think the illustrations are gorgeous and learning about all the brave girls in the bible led to lots of talks on different ways to be brave. My youngest has even tried to BE more brave so yay! If you have young girls, I would totally recommend this book for them.

Interested in winning a copy of Brave Girls Bible Stories for a little girl YOU know?   Use the widget below to enter.  Please note that a comment answering the question is MANDATORY!


Good luck!

Jen S.

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Deceived {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support!

I read a LOT of books.  Sometimes for fun and sometimes for review.  Either way, I like to read suspense novels and Christian romance when I read fiction.   One of my absolute favorite suspense novelists is Irene Hannon.   If you’ve been reading a while, you’ve seen reviews of some of her other books — Fatal Judgement, Deadly Pursuit and Vanished.   I just finished reading her newest book in the Private Justice series, Deceived.

Oh. My. Goodness.  What a KILLER book, pardon the pun.   This is the third book in the Private Justice series and while I read the first one, I haven’t read the second and don’t feel like I missed anything.  While it shares characters, it’s totally an independent book.  Deceived is the story of a woman who loses both her husband and 4-year old son in a fishing accident.  She goes through her grief and moves to St. Louis.  A small boy catches her ear when she hears him use a phrase her son used to use in a crowded mall…poppysicle.  She looks up at him and yells her sons name.   She swore she saw some sort of recognition and her doubts about the “accident” make her crazy.

She visits a PI who cautiously agrees to take the case.  She hopes that it’s her son since his body was never found but is prepared to accept the dead end she assumes the PI will get to.  Except that he doesn’t.  Over the course of investigating the case, sparks fly.  And things get tense as a series of events lead them closer to discovering the truth.

What a good read!  I should have had this review up by the 8th, but for some reason I thought I had until yesterday.  I was torn between blasting through the book because I had a short deadline (some family stuff last week put me behind) and savoring it.  I chose to savor it and didn’t get it finished in time.   It was awesome.

I will admit, there were some things that would almost NEVER happen in real life unless it was an honest to God Miracle (capital M intended).  But it IS fiction, right, so who cares.  She did a fabulous job of weaving the story and tying the different elements and story lines together.  The motivation was masterfully unraveled and was totally enjoyable.  I liked the characters and really want to check out the middle one, which I missed.

If you like suspense novels, but can’t take normal mainstream fiction due to the level of gore and detail, you will LOVE Deceived or any novel by Irene Hannon.  She does a fabulous job of making suspense have umph without gore.  If you are looking for a new book to read, you should really check it out!


Jen S.

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A Charlotte Mason / Classical History Resource for Catholics – American Catholic Almanac {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; thank you for your support!

Recently, I caught wind of a possible opportunity to review The American Catholic Almanac from a homeschooling point of view. Since it was sitting in my Amazon shopping cart, I jumped at the opportunity ;).

I have long been jealous of the Protestants having books of people spreading God’s message all over the globe. We have the saints, obviously, but few modern ones and few from North America. When I heard about The American Catholic Almanac, I was pretty excited. The subtitle of ACA is A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States. It is, and it’s fabulous!

My intent was to read the passages and then summarize them for my little ones during circle time. They are 6 & 4. It didn’t quite work out as I had hoped; there were quite a number of rogues :). I did share the reading for 10/9 (yep, I was reading ahead) about the nuns in New Orleans praying for the defeat of the British. We had been there and visited the church. Had I known it was that cool, I totally would have gone the extra few blocks to visit the old Ursuline Convent! I have a feeling that I will be making a wish list of places to visit as I read through it.

While my kids are not old enough for a lot of the stories in The American Catholic Alamanac, this would be a great resource for older students. Middle school and up, maybe? It would make a great Charlotte Mason resource because it has that short, engaging, living book feel to it. It could be used for classical history because all the events take place after the discovery of the New World.

You could also particularly interesting events to your timeline and look up locations on a map. I could see mobsters and other rogues being particularly appealing. In addition, it could also be a springboard for some church history, too. I know I tend to teach (and learn) catechesis and the bible, but church history has always slipped through my fingers. How are the Jesuits different from the Benedictines? Or the Poor Clares from the Ursuline Sisters? And why did Thomas Merton turn to Zen Buddism? What’s the rest of the story there?

Reading The American Catholic Almanac would be a great resource for Charlotte Mason or Classical homeschoolers. You could use it for history, church history, and geography. The stories are so interesting that they will whet the appetite for more if your children a love to learn. And if they don’t end up going past the days reading, they still know more than they did when they woke up. I would honestly recommend this to any Catholic homeschool family with older students. It’s a fascinating read!

Jen S.

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A Gift of Grace For Weary Moms – Finding God at the Kitchen Sink {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support.



Several months ago, I was approached by Moody Publishers about a new book by Maggie Paulus, Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: search for glory in the everyday grime. I hadn’t heard of her previously, so I visited her blog and poked around for a while. And I agreed.

Finding God at the Kitchen Sink is a beautiful gift quality book. The inside has glossy colored pages and photographs. It’s one of those books that is meant for a book aficionado. It smells good, feels luxurious and is pleasing to the eyes. And the content is meant to be a balm for the weary mother.

Inside are just shy of 200 pages of short, bite-sized essays about God and motherhood, children and mess, brokenness & bible verses. They are a little on the flowery side (think Ann Voskamp), but only 2-3 pages and all independent of each other. I have to admit, I personally need to be in the mood to read it. I’ve vacillated between enjoying it and scoffing at it. Yet today as I write this review, I find something contagious about Finding God at the Kitchen Sink. It’s even making my review more flowery than usual :).

It’s not a bad thing though. Anything that makes you step back and reflect cannot be bad. Paulus’s essays cover a myriad of topics from light to love to mistakes and the value of her daughter. Short and sweet and filled with God’s love.

While her style is not something I would frequently read on my own, it is a pleasant change given the right mood. The fact that its a beautiful book helps. I’m not just reading beauty; I’m holding it and seeing it and smelling it, too. It’s refreshing.

And the perfect gift for a mom who has just had a baby. I know just the recipient for my copy–it’s too good to keep to myself :). So if you know a mom who is a little down, in need of some encouragement, or who you just want to support in their vocation, Finding God at the Kitchen Sink would fit the bill nicely.

Jen S.

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A Baby Book for Catholic Moms {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher but was under no obligation to review. It was so awesome I had to share!! This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!



Have you given up on baby books for your kiddos yet? I literally worked on the baby book of my oldest while pregnant with number 3. I haven’t done much for #2 yet and only did handprints for #3. I had just resigned myself to never buy another one until I saw My Baptism Remembrance Book. THIS is a baby book for Catholic babies who have busy moms or lots of siblings.

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It’s a beautifully illustrated picture book divided into 4 sections. The first is about the baby’s birth, baptism, family & firsts. It even has a section for wishes from Godparents and others who attended the Baptism. There is also an explanation of the symbols of Baptism.

The next two sections are Stories from the Bible and My Prayers. Stories from the Bible contains 6 of the most important & common stories of the Bible, written in rhyme. The stories included are Genesis, Noah, Moses, Jesus’s Baptism, the Resurrection, and Pentecost. The prayer section includes all the Catholic basics like the Guardian Angel prayer, the Creed, and the Acts of Faith, Hope & Love, as well as the most common ones.

baby book for catholic babies

The last section contains sacramental records for reconciliation, communion, and confirmation. It also shares a short guide for celebrating a baptism anniversary. In addition, it contains short forms for basic info from 1st through 8th Grade.

I really loved My Baptism Remembrance Book and wish I would have had it for all my kids, but especially the boy. I may never get to his :). This would be a fantastic gift for a new Catholic baby, especially if he is not among the first. It would also be a great Baptism gift, but would need to be given at or before the Baptism so that attendees would list their prayers for the little one in the book itself. If the parent could bear to have the “baby book” played with, My Baptism Remembrance Book would be a fabulous and Catholic” story of me” to the child! I will be gifting this as often as I can; this is such an awesome find!!

Jen S.


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