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A Grief Observed, written by C.S. Lewis*, is most definitely a book that embodies what so many other books can’t–unflinching honesty. And whether that’s due to Lewis’ candid and confessional writing style, or that he did not write it intending for it to be published, is hard to say. What can be said, however, is that the unguarded approach to such a topic breaks down personal borders that other attempts in the genre simply can’t.

A Grief Observed is a chapter by chapter walk-through of the author’s encounter with his wife’s death. I’m not married, nor has my spouse passed away, however I find that this particular book holds value whether you’re in the process of bereavement or not. Told in four parts–each section is more like a journal entry than a chapter–with time passing in between each one. Even among the thick sense of dread that fill such pages, it’s somewhat comforting to see the gradual process of healing in Lewis’ heart. It reminds us that even in times of emptiness, we can always hold tight to the fact that time truly does heal all wounds.

Throughout this short book, Lewis wades through questions of his faith, humanity, and the intense weight of love. As if fading in and out of consciousness, we see Lewis (for the first time in any of his works) truly question the faith and ideals that he had held and defended for so long. We see a man beaten, broken, and on his knees through most of the book. We can feel his weakness in the text, as he relives the nostalgic and bright memories that he shared with his wife, whom he refers to as “H.” These memories are rejoiced and delighted in by Lewis, only to be shot down by the heart-wrenching reality of loss–then denial, then loss again. A painful redundancy that many of us have felt the sting of.

There isn’t much detail given about their relationship, however what we do know is that Lewis and “H.” were passionate, intimate carers for each other. I refer back to chapter one here, as Lewis explains, “… her voice is still vivid. The remembered voice–that can turn me at any moment into a whimpering child.” This childlike tenderness isn’t one generally displayed by grown men–and it’s an example of the firm, overgrown, mossy walls that can shatter in an instant during those few times in life. The antithesis of our greatest moments and memories.

Like most trials in this life, we eventually see healing begin to take place. Even if it takes months, years, or the rapture, God promises that He will leave no stone unturned, which is a point that Lewis himself echoes in the later sections of the book. Overall, the text cannot be looked at in a vacuum, but is best used with larger and much wider perspectives. Scrutiny and analysis of a work like this will only leave you with confused ramblings of a discombobulated spouse–it is when you zoom out that you begin to understand it’s purpose.

Now most people can boil their lives down to their best and worst experiences, and even to specific moments within those greater contexts–but in this particular work Lewis concentrates the healing process of a tragedy to only the most necessary of thoughts and considerations. There isn’t a single word in this book that need not be there. Every sentence is essential to its greater message–one that I find crucial to any self-respecting adult, and one you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

*Note from Nancy: This classic was first published in 1961 under a pseudonym. After Lewis’ death in 1963, it was published under his name. A Grief Observed can often be found in libraries and is available on Amazon.com from several publishers.

 

Hey there! I’m David. I’m 20 years old but I feel a lot older on the inside because I was raised in a wonderful home, conversing with others older than myself. My parents and three siblings have always supported my interests. I film weddings for my day job, but I love the occasional non-fiction. As a Christian, I enjoy reading books about observations on God – however I can never deny myself a good thriller. English was by far my favorite class in school, and it seems as if three years later the love of essays hasn’t stopped. 

 

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Brush of Wings, written by Karen Kingsbury and published by Howard Books (2017), will be very difficult to put down. It is suspenseful and exciting in many ways. High school students and adults will want to keep reading to find out what happens in this third and final book of the Angels Walking Series. (The second book contains some material related to gang violence and may not be suitable for young teens.)

In the series four angels, Beck, Jag, Aspyn and Ember are commissioned to keep two couples and their future children alive and well. There are forces at work trying to break up these couples and destroy their friendships and relationships with each other. There are even threats to their lives.

One of the angels’ most serious assignments is to make sure these young people marry and have the children whom God has ordained will someday be great servants in His Kingdom. Throughout the books, the four angels come alongside these characters, praying and often intervening as helpful citizens.

Sami Dawson and Tyler Ames are introduced in the first book, Angles Walking. Tyler is a major league baseball player until he is injured. Through his life experiences, he returns to the Lord and to his high school sweetheart, Sami.

In the second book, Chasing Sunsets, Tyler’s friend and LA Dodger pitcher, Marcus Dillinger meets Mary Catherine Clark who is Sami’s roommate. For both Marcus and Mary Catherine, it is love at first sight. However, they are both reticent to become involved. Mary Catherine knows she has a heart condition and will someday need a valve transplant. Marcus admires Mary Catherine and is very attracted to her, but he is involved in a relationship with his coach’s niece, Shelly. Tyler, Sami, Marcus and Mary Catherine are involved in a local youth center. They want to help young people involved in gangs, hoping to keep them out of prison.

Lexy, whose mother is in prison, is one of the young women who comes to them for help. She is the girl friend of the gang leader of the West Knights, Dwayne Davis. Lexy wants to leave the life of gangs, but she is afraid that if she does they will hunt her down. Through her grandmother’s admonishment, Lexy seeks the Lord and accepts Mary Catherine’s offer to mentor her. Lexy’s boyfriend Dwayne ends up in jail. Before she is fully ready to surrender to the Lord, she begins a relationship with another gang leader, Ramon.

Marcus soon breaks up with Shelly who is quite young and very shallow. He admires the spiritual depth he sees in Mary Catherine. She relates well to young people and leads them to the Lord.

Mary Catherine’s story is at the center of the third book. She has dreamed all of her life of working in an orphanage in Uganda. Her doctor is against her pursuing that dream. Her heart functions too poorly. She needs a heart transplant, not a heart valve as was formerly thought. She promises him she will tell those in her family about the true condition of her health and that she will return as soon as she feels worse. Mary Catherine is determined to spend whatever time she has left serving the Lord. Her roommate in Uganda, Ember, turns out to be one of the angels. (When the angels show up in the lives of the young people, the young people don’t guess that they are indeed angels.)

In this book Lexy moves in with Sami while Mary Catherine is in Africa. In this way, Lexy hopes she can separate herself from the gang and from Ramon. Lexy has become pregnant by Ramon. She has the baby which she has decided to give up for adoption.

Mary Catherine does not follow through on her promise to her doctor. Several months into her trip, Ember is very concerned. Mary Catherine is getting much worse. Finally she sends her former roommate, Sami, an email, disclosing the truth about her condition. Sami alerts Marcus right away and he flies to Uganda to bring Mary Catherine home. She is  ready to come home. The trip is difficult, but the angels’ prayers are constant, and the Lord is with them.

Mary Catherine realizes she has made a grave mistake by taking her life and decisions into her own hands, against the advice of others. The angels work overtime to keep her alive. She is admitted to the hospital, and the doctor introduces her to a devise he has just discovered. It is called a LVAD–Left Ventricular Assist Device that can act as a mechanical heart in place of her own, which is rapidly giving out. She is intrigued and agrees to the surgery. She will need to charge the devise daily and be a little more cautious than usual. Her parents, Sami, Tyler, Marcus and Lexy are all there to support her. She apologizes for not being honest with them, and all is forgiven.

There are more events and exciting happenings in this final book of the Angels Walking Series, but I will leave you to discover them on your own. I really enjoyed this series, and was more thoughtful about how angels really do intervene in our lives. It is a blessing to know the Lord and His Angels are always watching out for us. His will shall be done in His way and for His glory.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”

 

Sir Maggie the Mighty is a very cute book about obedience for children, ages two to eight. It is written by Michael P. Waite, illustrated by Jill Colbert Trousdale and published by Chariot Family Pub (1988). It is still available at Amazon.com or perhaps you might find it in a church library.

Sir Maggie the Mighty, told in rhyme, is about a bug named Maggie who disobeys her mother while on an errand and experiences the consequences. The story includes a related Bible verse, “Children, obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.” When my children were young, this book was one of their favorites.

Maggie McBuggins lives with her parents in a large yellow squash. One day, her mother sends her on a shopping trip to get bug juice and honey. Maggie puts on her favorite outfit, a baggy knight suit and boots. Her mother tells her the outfit is not practical and asks her to change. Maggie complies, yet she puts her favorite outfit in a backpack, and as soon as she is away from her mother’s sight, she changes into the clothes she loves. That is one area of her disobedience.

Another is when she uses most of the money for candy, instead of the bug juice and honey. On the way home, she feels sick from eating too much candy. She also has no  money for what her mother had asked for.  An ugly Drogg threatens her. While trying to get away, Maggie trips and falls in the mud because her boots are too big.

Mrs. McBuggins is shocked to find her sad, muddy little girl walking into the house. Maggie apologizes, and her mother forgives her, giving  her a nice bath. Mrs. McBuggins explains that the rules she wanted Maggie to follow are for her own good, and not meant to spoil her fun. All is forgiven, and Maggie is given another chance to obey her mother. She has learned a lesson, and follows her mother’s instructions to the letter.

This is a book that will explain obedience in a way that young children will understand. The illustrations are darling, and the rhymes are fun to read. I have loved this book for many years.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”

People can sometimes be foolish and sometimes they can even be mean. They can put labels on us. And we wear those labels, allowing  them to define us. School, sadly, can be one place where children acquire labels–sticky, icky labels that can last even into adulthood. School can also be a place where children become skilled at labeling others. Max Lucado in You Are Special, illustrated by Sergio Martinez and published by Crossway Books (1997), tells a simple, but profound fable about the Wemmicks, who are very good at labeling.

The Wemmicks are small wooden people. They were all carved by the same woodworker and each Wemmick is unique. But the Wemmicks have a poor understanding of the value of being unique. They spend their days giving gold stars to those they think are beautiful or talented or both and giving gray dots to those they think defective or inadequate.

Punchinello has been given many gray dots and it makes him afraid and sad. His life begins to change when he meets Lucia who surprisingly has no marks at all. She tells him that her daily visits to the wood carver enable her to stay free of marks. That Punchinello will eventually make a visit to the master carver seems inevitable for such a forlorn character, but what Punchinello learns on that visit will delight and soothe a child’s heart. It may even bless your own.

One story element that may surprise the reader/listener, and sets this book apart from other books with a similar theme, is that Lucado includes “stars” in the labels.  Aren’t “stars”  a good thing to receive? But Lucado puts them in the same category as he does gray dots.

It can make you stop and think. When you do, you remember that labels, even “good” ones, can wound or be troublesome. Beautiful children can become obsessed with their looks. Smart kids who want to keep wearing the “brilliant” label can retreat from asking questions and learning. Gifted children, trying desperately to live up to their talent, may lose their joy as they continually try to prove that they are indeed gifted. Lucado wisely offers a way to avoid those traps.

Martinez’s illustrations are subtly humorous, colorful and evocative. They capture the busy life of the village and the sadness that labeling can bring. I particularly like the depiction of the wood carver. He is kind, gentle and yet strong. The golden light present in his workshop and around him invites us into a warm, friendly, safe place.

This picture book for children, ages four to eight,  flows nicely, making it easy to read aloud. That should be good news because your children, I think, will ask you to read this wise, encouraging book again and again.

Older children also experience some “serious” labeling and some are even bullied. In an earlier post, Mean Girl Makeover, I talked about three novels for upper elementary and middle school girls that explore this topic. Written by Nancy Rue, one novel looks at the problem from the point of view of an onlooker. A second book tells the story of the girl being bullied and how she begins to overcome her labels. The third takes a deeper look at the bully. I thought all three were great reads.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) You can learn more about her and her mystery novels for pre-teens, I  Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, at www.nancyellenhird.com .

For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

The Ebb Tide written by Beverly Lewis and published by Bethany House Publishers (2017) is a good read for young women, especially for those who love to travel. I am not young anymore, but I certainly love to travel.

The main character of the story is Sallie Riehl, a nineteen-year-old Amish girl who lives in Paradise Township, Pennsylvania. She has not taken her vow yet to join the Amish Church and remain in the fellowship of the People for life. She figures she will splurge with her hard-earned money from waitressing and take a two-week trip to Australia. She has been dreaming of far away places since she was little and for several years she has been saving money to travel.

She makes arrangements to leave, but then she learns that her two-year-old nephew Aaron has a heart murmur and needs a valve repair. His surgery will cost much more than is available in the Amish Medical Fund. After much prayer and angst, Sallie decides to donate her trip money for his surgery.

Sallie wants to keep what she has done for her nephew a secret, but word gets around and the family is very grateful. Her mother wants her to join the church right away, but Sallie just isn’t ready. Soon she hears about an intriguing opportunity through her boss, Lyman Sullivan. Len and Monique Logan, friends of Lyman and frequent customers to the restaurant, have a nine-year-old daughter, Autumn, and a newborn son, Conner. They need a nanny this summer at their home near the ocean in Cape May, New Jersey. Lyman recommends Sallie.

Sallie is thrilled with the turn of events, but she doesn’t think she will gain her parents’ approval for a trip like this. She is also becoming interested in Perry, a kind Amish man. After prayer and discussing the opportunity with her parents, Sallie is permitted to go with the Logan family. She has always dreamed of seeing the ocean. Although Cape May is not the Great Barrier Reef that she had studied and dreamed of, she is thrilled at the prospect of seeing the ocean for the first time.

During her first few weeks with the Logan family, Sallie and Autumn take a boating trip to view fish and birds. A marine biology student, Kevin Kreider, helps lead the trip. He is a Mennonite and takes an interest in Sallie. In the weeks that follow, they meet at the beach and become friends. They have much in common, including their love of travel and marine life. During this time, Sally and Perry are communicating by letter, but soon Sallie realizes that her relationship with Perry pales in comparison to the one she has with Kevin.

As the time draws near for Sallie to return, she feels she has no other choice but to break off her friendship with Kevin. She is starting to have stronger feelings for him, but can’t see how it could work out.  She is planning on returning to the Amish way of life.  On one of their last times together, Sallie accompanies Kevin to the Mennonite church service, where she hears the pastor mention that God leads each person’s life individually. He explains how others may not understand the way He is leading us. Sallie takes this to heart, and wonders if she will ever be ready to join the church at home.

Back home, Sallie and Perry begin seeing each other, but Sallie quickly realizes that she does not care for him in the way she would need in order to marry him. He is more of a friend to her. She also comes to see that with her love to explore God’s creation and travel, perhaps God has another plan for her that may just lead her away from the Amish lifestyle. She is eventually honest with her parents about this and is surprised to hear that they really do understand. They are disappointed, but they know that only she can make this decision.

Other events come to pass, and the story ends on a very happy note. Sallie’s questions are answered and the Lord leads her on a wonderful path, one she could never have imagined had she not waited on Him and listened for His leading. She realizes how important prayer has been to the entire process.

This is a very helpful book for young women, ages 18 to 26, who are wondering about their own futures and what God has planned for them. With all the choices available, it can be confusing at times. The book will encourage young people to seek the Lord above all other voices. It will show them the vital role prayer plays in their own lives. I enjoyed it very much. BTW, my favorite place to be is at the ocean.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”

 

Shadows and Shining Lights (G.T. and Halo Express, No. 1) is a story about guardian angels. It was created by Doug and Debbie Kingsriter and Ann Hibbard. It was illustrated by Ann Neilsen. This thirty-six page book was published by Focus on the Family Publishing (1990).

A cute and beautifully illustrated story, it is about a brother and sister, Michael and Christy, who are having a backyard camp out. At first the children, ages ten and eight, are a little nervous; they are afraid of the dark. When they drop their flashlight, and the light goes out, they imagine scary monsters joining them. Michael and Christy talk and encourage one another in the dark.

All of a sudden, they hear a noise. It turns out to be Good Tidings or G.T. He introduces himself, tells them he is their guardian angel, and that he has been watching over them since they were born.

He opens the tent and shows them a sky full of beautiful angels, then points out the Halo Express, a musical band of child angels. The band plays beautiful, soothing music. He assures the children that whenever they are afraid, they need to remember that God is always with them.

Christy then asks why angels are so bright, and G.T. replies that they get their brightness from Jesus. He is their light, and they shine because they have been with him.

This story is of course fanciful, but it does point out some basic truths about the angels God has sent to watch over children. The concepts are very simple. Children are sometimes afraid. God knows that and has sent angels to watch over them. Jesus is there for us anytime we are afraid or have a need. All we have to do is pray and call out to him.

Near the end of the story, G.T. hovers over the children as they say their prayers and drift off to sleep. The next morning they wake up and remember the wonderful night they had spent with G.T.  On the last page, there is a picture of adorable G.T. sitting on top of the tent with his halo, wings and red tennis shoes.

I often read this story to my children when they were young. It has been in hiding, and now that I have found it again I am excited to read it to my three-year-old granddaughter. It is especially suited for children, ages three to ten.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”

 

 

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition was written by Margot Lee Shetterly and published by HarperCollins; Reprint edition (2016).

Many of us cheered watching the film Hidden Figures, an amazing story until then largely unknown. Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition follows the lives and careers of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. In a time when few women entered professions in math or science and when African Americans were being actively excluded from many arenas of American life, these four women broke through barriers because of their intelligence, character, fortitude and vision.

Margot Lee Shetterly grew up in the community where these women’s names were familiar to all. Her unique perspective gives readers the inside scoop on an exciting part of American history.

This version is better for younger readers (ages 8 to 12) than the original book that inspired the movie. It condenses the story line, simplifying while explaining events for young readers in a way that might not be needed for adults who lived through that time or are familiar with the history.

The book begins by “setting the scene,” giving a summary of the kind of prejudice and injustice typical in the United States prior to World War II. It then talks about the opportunities open to women and African Americans in the aeronautics industry with the advent of the war.

We follow each of the four women as they make their way into the industry and eventually into that industry’s space race. We see how each woman finds an environment where her excellent skills become valued and rewarded, and how each makes contributions to the improvement of flight and the dream of sending astronauts to the moon.

Dorothy Vaughan was a teacher, a “computer,” and a manager, working first for NACA, then NASA. Mary Jackson was a mathematician for NASA. Katherine Johnson was “the girl” who checked the computations for John Glenn’s space flight. She did hours of analysis as a mathematician in support of the space program. Christine Darden worked in NASA’s wind tunnel.

This book weaves their lives together through the common factor of careers at NASA against the backdrop of a dynamic time in our national history. We see their education, their struggles, their family life, their sacrifices, and their determination. We see rich community life, mentoring, friendships, and love.

We learn to understand the kind of teamwork and stamina required to put a man into space. We see the quiet confidence of these women as they answer their country’s call to serve, using their exceptional gifts in math and science, while blazing trails for many who have followed in their footsteps.

Photographs, a timeline, and a glossary support the text. The book is just over 200 pages. It should be available in your local library. It can be purchased at bookstores as well as online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Also check online at the NASA website and you’ll find stellar biographies of each of the women in this book.

Donna Fujimoto’s children love to read. She is a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary. Her collection of short stories, 9 Slightly Strange Stories with an Uplifting Edge  is available as an e-book at Amazon.  The Shining Orb of Volney, a science-fiction novel, is her latest title. 

Are you trying to keep up with a voracious reader? and losing?  Are you feeling left out–in the dark–about the books your kid’s carpool buds are talking about? Do you need more info about the books your child will be reading and discussing in school this coming year?

Plugged In, on the Focus on the Family website, is not just about films and TV. Info on the site says they have more than 6,000 reviews of entertainment media– books, films and TV programs. I was told that the number of reviews/reports on the books grows by three books a week.

The books are listed alphabetically by title. Click on the title and it will take you to the report/review.

The info in the report/review is different from the usual info found in a review. Reviewers of books for Plugged In don’t give an approval or disapproval rating. A report/review offers a plot summary and then goes on to cover Christian beliefs (if there are any), other belief systems, authority figures, profanity, violence, kissing, sex and homosexuality. A link on the page will take you to discussion topics and questions especially created for that particular book. (I like this last feature a lot. Talking through a book with a child develops a child’s critical thinking skills.)

Here at Books 4 Christian Kids we love recommending books. We love imagining a young person discovering a terrific, uplifting book and being blessed by reading it, all because we let you know about it. We love being part of that chain. We strive to find and point you to worthy books; we recognize that a young person’s time and your money are limited. But we also recognize that there are a vast number of books available for children/young adults/new adults. I can imagine that you want more info. I think the Plugged In site will help.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) You can learn more about her and her books at www.nancyellenhird.com .

For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

This can be that time in the summer when your kids are saying they’re bored, bored, bored. They want something new, something to happen. They want to go someplace, have an adventure, make new friends.

So why not send them to Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? or have them choose their own sea adventure: Journey under the Sea? or visit a small town in the woods of the Sierra Nevada: The City Bear’s Adventures? or solve mysteries with Libby and her friends in Edinburgh, Scotland: I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue ?

Those are just a few suggestions. We have others. Check out and scroll through Book Lists on the menu at the top of this page. Titles are linked to the reviews.

And while you are at it, maybe you would like to go someplace too–this is, after the kids are in bed. Take a look at the list for College Age/Working Person. Ah, England! Ah, the American West! Ah, Hawaii!

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) You can learn more about her and her books at www.nancyellenhird.com .

For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

 

Nick Newton Is Not A Genius is a steampunk (science fiction set in Victorian times which emphasizes historical or imagined steam-powered technology) chapter book for middle grade readers. It is written by S.E.M. Ishida with illustrations by Dana Thompson. Published by JourneyForth (2016), it is 160 pages. Boys will especially enjoy its exploration into the world of robots and technology.

Nick Newton is the only one in his family who is not a genius. Upon learning that he will have to go to a new school, Nick decides to explore the attic filled with his grandfather’s belongings. His grandfather was a hero and general in the Last War and defeated his enemy, Draicot, with his military inventions. Nick discovers schematics and parts for one of his grandfather’s inventions, a clockwork bird. He names it Plink. Nick tries to put the clockwork bird together, but he is hindered by some of his wacky family’s escapades.

At Nick’s new school rumors abound about Mr. Volk, whose parents were founders of the school. Mr. Volk lives alone with his family of robots. Nick and his family visit Mr. Volk. While there Erma, Nick’s older sister, gets into dangerous trouble. Erma is saved but at great expense to Mr. Volk. When Mr. Volk is interested in buying Plink, Nick refuses even though he is grateful to him. Mr. Volk asks if Nick has found a clockwork heart.

Nick with his new friends, Elliot and Solomon, search for the clockwork heart. Nick believes the heart may be in his grandfather’s locked trunk. They think clockwork birds are the key to unlocking it and they must find all three birds. In the end, they discover what happened to the clockwork heart as well as what happened to Draicot, his grandfather’s enemy.

Stocked with quirky characters and creative inventions, Nick Newton Is Not A Genius is a fun book to read with your children. I can’t wait to read about Nick’s next adventure. You can see pictures of Plink, the clockwork bird, on the author’s Facebook page.

J. D.  Rempelhttps://jdrempel.com/ , is a graduate of Simpson College. She is endeavoring to pen a YA science fiction novel and an adult fantasy series. Currently, she is seeking a publisher for her middle grade fiction novel. J. D. loves to read, work with her husband in youth ministry, and play peekaboo with her turtle, Applesauce. 


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