Personal Writings And Book Reviews

The Noticer April 27, 2009

Filed under: reviews — novelized @ 10:06 pm


Andy Andrews, author of The Traveler’s Gift, has created another beautiful and challenging story.  The Noticer is the story of a town that becomes influenced and changed by the wisdom of an older man named Jones.  Jones is a drifter with perspective, a person who can offer insight to those around him and influence them for the better.  Whether it’s a down and out homeless man living under a bridge, or a suburban couple on the brink of divorce, Jones enables them to look at their circumstances from a different angle.

I read this book in one night.  I literally couldn’t put it down.  The Noticer challenged me, inspired me and spoke to my heart in a way that was refreshing and hopeful.  It’s one of those special books that rip at your gut and make you a better person for reading it.

The Noticer covers issues we all deal with in some fashion.  It is a thought-provoking, special read.

At the back of the book there is a reader’s guide with discussion questions to accompany each chapter.  Beyond that, there is a project associated with the book that can only produce good results.  At you can view project information and participate in the project by “noticing” the people in your life your life who have encouraged you or made you a better person.

We all have a Jones in our lives who says the right words at the right times and points us in the direction we need to go.  These special people inspire us and open our eyes to our full potential. Without them our lives would have taken a turn for the worst.  They are miracles and we owe them our gratitude.

The Noticer is a lesson in perspective, but it’s also a lesson in gratitude.  It teaches people to notice the value of those around them and praise them for their impact on our lives.  If we all lived with this mindset our world would be so wonderful.

I highly recommend this book.  Be sure to check out The  Noticer Project too. 

You can learn more about this great book and its wonderful author here.

The Noticer is available for $17.99 at the Thomas Nelson Site.

It’s also available here for $13.99.

Please do not miss this excellent book!


Write Shop Primary A April 17, 2009

Filed under: Homeschool Crew,reviews — novelized @ 11:32 am

Write Shop

Write Shop has been a wonderful resource that my kids have enjoyed learning from.  Write Shop Primary A is a workbook designed for little kids just learning to write.  It can be used by Kindergarteners/first graders or adapted for older children who are struggling with writing. 

Here is what I like about Write Shop Primary A:

This really inspired me to have a seperate time slot for writing.  We write across the curriculum very often and this gave us more focus on the art of writing itself. 

I like the worksheets that accompany some of the lessons.  The illustrations make the job very kid friendly and take the intimidation out of a writing assignment.  

We had fun making the published writing crafts.  They loved making story kites and were blessed with a day windy enough to make them fly. 

The lessons are the perfect length for this age group.  They are brief, but thorough.

Here is what I didn’t like:

The subjects they are expected to write about are sometimes too scripted or repetitive.  I would have liked a little more variation within a lesson topic.  

For example, in Activity Set 3 we wrote about weather for eight lessons.  This became boring after a few days.  The script doesn’t really vary and they get sick of writing the same basic stuff day after day.  If it wasn’t for the cool publication/ craft ideas we might have stopped at that point.

After reviewing other Write Shop poducts, this is not my favorite.  Sorry, but I just don’t think you can top their Story Builders.  (Check out my review of the Story Builders— they are great!) 

My suggestion:  Use Write Shop for children who really struggle with writing.  The occasional repetitive lessons will be reassuring to them and probably build their confidence because they’ll know what to expect and how to achieve completion.  

 Primary Book A is available in print editions or as an e-book.  The cost is $7 dollars less (when shipping is factored) for e-books. 

I’m not a big e-book fan, but in this case I think it could be an excellent option.  With the e-book you only need to print what you decide to and you will have a savings in your pocketbook and save space on your bookshelf.

You can order from Writeshop here.

The cost is $26.95 for the Print version.  It costs $24.25 for the   e-book (remember you save on shipping too). 

The worksheet Activity Pack is $4.95 and I highly recommend purchasing this as well.  It really adds to the fun.

To read more reviews of Write Shop Primary Book A visit here.

Happy Learning!


Uncompromised Faith (a book review) April 12, 2009

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews — novelized @ 10:43 pm

S. Michael Craven is an author who identifies himself as a speaker who “works to challenge the spiritual apathy and cultural indifference of the church. . .”  In his book, Uncompromised Faith Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity, He does exactly that through his intense look at our cultural decline that has lead us progressively farther away from God.

Readers will be convinced of the need to step up and be the people of God above being people of religion.  They will learn through Craven’s research and statistics the severe state that the American church is in.  They’ll be stirred up and angry, and different as a result.

Craven addresses issues in a thorough manner.  His book is an excellent call to action among Christians to produce true faith that isn’t laced with idolatry, post modernistic polluted views of God, or sin-tolerant complacency.  He encourages Christians to be the real deal.

Craven doesn’t just encourage Christians to stand against sin, but to reach out in love and compassion to the sinner.  This is such a refreshing view.  Craven in no way bends to the culture, but he loves the people as Christ did and doesn’t shut the door to their potential salvation with a jaded hypocrisy that can turn a heart away from God quickly.  Christians can learn and grow from his Godly example of balance as he hates sin and lovesthe sinner.  This book will challenge you to represent God intelligently, and in a way that is true and pleasing to God.

You can find Uncompromised Faith here.