Twenty-Five Years in the Fourth Grade

Joseph L. Borowitz

Xlibris, 69 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781453573419
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

A grizzled college professor teaching Sunday School? To fourth graders no less? That appealing scenario is the backdrop for Twenty-Five Years in the Fourth Grade, the booklet-size guide by Purdue University pharmacology professor Joe Borowitz on why Sunday school counts and how to give a classroom of wiggly kids your best.

That’s the good and […]

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Cuauhtemoc: Descendent of the Jaguar

D L Davies

Xlibris, 231 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781462857746
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In Cuauhtemoc: Descendant of the Jaguar, the third in D L Davies’ fantasy series set in 16th century South America, readers learn more about Cuauhtemoc’s supernatural side and how the teen-aged emperor of Maya got his powers.

In the first two installments, the boy learned to fly a hang glider and became a birdman/messenger. He […]

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When the Jacaranda Petals Fall

David Barnato

Xlibris, 200 pages, (paperback) 13.99, 9781456894658
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Barnato’s adventure tale, which travels between Scotland and South Africa, begins dramatically in 1999 when Johannes, a young South African, sets fire to his neighbor’s house after catching him having sex with his wife. The next chapter rapidly shifts to a Scottish castle and is written through the eyes of Boysie, the new resident Jack […]

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Harry Meets Sam

Denise Britan

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781462867561
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

While riding a school bus for the first time, a six-year-old boy runs into bullies and makes a friend in this sweet but slow-paced picture book that, unfortunately, offers nothing new in the heavily visited premise about starting school.

First grader Harry lives at the end of a country road and can’t wait for school […]

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A Ranger’s Life

T.W. Strait

Xlibris, 243 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462863631
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

T.W. Strait’s own work with the Missouri Park Board no doubt fuels his fiction in A Ranger’s Life, the story of adventurous main character Jack Anderson’s tenure as a ranger at Osage State Park. Strait’s first-hand experience shines through as Jack Anderson tells believable tales about his time at Osage, which include funny run-ins with […]

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Home on the Big Salmon

Sid Bell

Xlibris, 183 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462862023
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Anyone who has ever considered opting out of the rat race will admire the journey author Sid Bell recounts in his novel, Home on the Big Salmon. Bell’s story of a veteran who moves to the Canadian wilderness teems with the first-hand knowledge of a Survivalist 101 course. But unfortunately, Bell’s saga, which spans decades […]

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Count von Ice de la Cream and the Golden Ice Cream

G.O. Martinez

Xlibris, 54 pages, (paperback) $27.99, 9781456865221
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In this imaginative but strange picture book, a count invents a flavor of ice cream from a princess’s golden locks and everyone who eats it grows hair all over their bodies.

When Count von Ice de la Cream sees how delicious Princess Clarisse’s hair looks, he asks her father, King Gustav, to waive a law […]

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Being Better Than You Believe

Philip Berry

Outskirts Press, 232 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781432756369
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Have the highlighter handy. One indication of a good self-help book is the amount of passages readers find thought-provoking enough to mark for future reference. Being Better Than You Believe has plenty.

Philip A. Berry’s advice is gleaned from his career as a “human capital improvement” leader and executive at companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and […]

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Canyons of the Soul

Charles L. Fields

Outskirts Press, 211 pages, (paperback) $12.95, 9781432769864
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

This sequel to Charles L. Fields’ first Charles Stone adventure, Sentimental Me, finds the lawyer, sculptor and amateur poet on the case once again for Franklin Life Insurance Company. This time, Stone must leave his Boston home for Arizona to investigate a renegade Mormon sect led by self-styled prophet Lucas “Luke” Simon.

Simon is an […]

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I Want to Know My Future

Linda Dipman

Outskirts Press, 285 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781432773526
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Elizabeth and Tori are young Christian wives and mothers in small town Kansas, who meet each other and fall in love during the late eighties. The pair battles fierce opposition, and even violence, from their families, friends, church, and the courts as they defy the law and flee to Colorado.

This earnest, well-intentioned narrative of […]

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