Monday, August 29, 2011

Elsie's Endless Wait by: Martha Finley

In Elsie's Endless Wait, you meet Elsie Dinsmore, a sweet, eight year-old girl who will one day inherit a vast fortune. To some, she may sound extremely fortunate, but to Elsie, this means nothing.

Not without the love of the father she has never known.

Long ago, her father placed her with his parents and siblings, and then left... disappearing from her life completely.

Until now.

When Elsie learns of her father's home-coming, her spirits rise and she is determined to be his perfect little girl. But her father is not going to make it easy for her. Every mistake is deserving of a spanking, every bold word is punished.

Elsie's schoolteacher, Miss Day, hates her and often mistreats her. Her aunts and uncles (most of them are younger than herself) despise her and are forever blaming things on her. Elsie's grandparents are no better.

Arthur, the worst of Elsie's uncles, especially dislikes poor Elsie and treats her cruelly. Clueless to this, Elsie's father believes the lies of his brothers and sisters and gives Elsie unfair punishment.

Elsie's heart is broken... her father does not love her! And she can take no refuge in her relatives, whom she has lived with all her life, because they all wish her gone.

The only person she can turn to is Jesus. At eight years-old, Elsie is an extremely mature Christian and realizes the privileges that God has given her. But can her faith help her endure her relative's taunts and teasings? And will she ever win her father's love?

Here's the book trailer, which I thought was very good, by the way.

My thoughts:

What a great book! It was simple and charming and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it!

I know a few people don't like this book, because they think Elsie is too easy to influence and gives in too much. But I think that she is sooo sweet! Of course, it did bug me a little, but she is just trying to live out what Jesus said to do, even if she does go a little overboard in one chapter.

Objectional Content:

Language: None.

Romance/Sexual Content: None.

Violence: None.

Drugs/Alcohol: None.
Eight and up
8/10 stars

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Princess Ben by: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

My gown suited me as well as I could ever hope, though I could not but envy the young ladies who would attract the honest compliments of the night. My bodice did not plunge as dramatically as some, and no man - no man I would ever want to meet, surely - could fit his hands around my waist. What I lacked in beauty I would simply have to earn with charm...

When Princess Ben's parents both meet tragic ends, she is sent to live with her aunt, the conniving Queen Sophia. She tries to put up with her aunt's haughty manner, and she tries to ignore her aunt's constant jibes about her etiquette, but one day it just gets to be too much. At the dinner table, Ben lets her feelings be known. The wrong way.

As a punishment, she is sent to live in in the castle's highest tower. Ben is miserable until she stumbles upon a mysterious, magical room.

And so begins her training, unknown to the rest of the world, in the arts of magic, giving Ben's once boring existence a little sparkle.

But it can't last. Ben is accused of being a witch and she quickly runs away. She is captured by the people who are believed to have killed both her parents and forced to work for them. Unknown to her captors, they have just imprisoned the princess.

And all this time, true love is waiting patiently for Princess Ben.

My thoughts:

I'm not quite sure what to say about this book.

To start with, there was a lot of magic in it, which I did not like.

When you hear the word magic, what do you picture? I picture a dusty room with a broom leaning against the wall, an hour glass, and a big thick book on a table. I also picture a man with a long white beard, blue pointy hat, and a blue dress covered in tiny yellow moons.

Some people might say there is good and bad magic. "Good" magic could mean something like Narnia, although some people might disagree with me on that. And "bad" magic could mean something like I just said: spells, pots of magic potion, wizardry and flying brooms.
And that is what Princess Ben is full of. Wizard-type magic. Maybe you don't have a problem with that sort of magic, maybe you think that since it's just a book that it's all a-okay. It's not real life, who cares..... right? Wrong!

Personally, I don't approve of that sort of magic, and I most likely would not have read this book if I had known that magic was in there.

When I discovered it, I wondered what I should do. Should I stop reading, or keep going? I was already half way through the story, and I wanted to find out what happened. But then I thought maybe I should stop anyway. In the end I continued, even though I'm still not sure whether that was the right thing to do or not.

You probably won't be affected by reading that sort of thing 'just once,' but that 'just once' can turn into 'just ten times.'

The writing is good, though. I enjoyed the descriptions and comparisons, and the story line was quite interesting.

So, in conclusion, if you do decide to read this book, just be careful and think about what your reading as you read. No one's going to blame you if the magic is just too much for you and you stop half way through.

Objectional Content:

Language: D*m*.

Romance/Sexual Content: Queen Sophia decides that Princess Ben must marry, and goes about finding a proper husband for her.
When Queen Sophia believes Ben to be under an enchantment, she says that whichever man's kiss awakens her, he may be the one to marry her.
There is one kiss between Ben and the man she decides to marry.
A prince, to spite Ben, dances with a lady whose "chest was only contained by goodwill."

Violence: I won't exactly call this violence, but Ben is accused of being a witch. She escapes quickly after this accusation can be put to the test, however.
There is also a fight near the end, Ben and a prince against a dragon.
A battle.
Nothing else that I remember.

Drugs/Alcohol: I'm pretty sure someone gets drunk at a feast, and there is hinting at the queen and a friend of hers getting a bit tipsy at dinner.

I suppose there really isn't such a thing as "good" magic, but if you've just got to read about magic, I'd stick to the Narnia series.

Not quite sure what to rate this book. It was good, but I just don't feel right about all that magic.
Ages: thirteen and up