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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Saving Amelie

Saving Amelie description:
Increasingly wary of her father’s genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany—in the summer of 1939—will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.

Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father’s files may hold answers about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems “unworthy of life.” She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.

Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young—a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally—who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love.

My Review:

I was worried that this was going to gloss over the real aspects of the war and become a love story.  I am pleased to say that I was wrong.  Gohlke does a phenomenal job of bringing the atrocities that were inflicted during the war to life in a personal way.

Although Gohlke walks the reader through the fears that many citizens faced, and the bravery of others, she leaves a lot of questions unanswered.  Whether this was done to open the door to a second book, or because much of the questions truly do not have an answer I will not speculate.  I will say that this book has been added to my daughter's required reading list for the WWII time period, along with Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex.

a Father's Love review

A Father's Love (I Can Read! / Adventure Bible) Description:

A Father’s Love is a level two I Can Read! based on the NIV Adventure Bible. In it, young readers learn about how great a father’s love can be for his child. At this read-alone level, newly independent readers follow a young man who decides to go out on his own, with his inheritance. He wastes his money and makes bad choices but eventually realizes that home and family are more important than anything. When he goes home to make amends, his father welcomes his son home with open arms and joy.

Written for the newly independent reader, vocabulary and content is at a more advanced reading level, making this series appropriate for children almost ready for their first chapter books.

This I Can Read! series of Bible stories makes use of the unique features found in the NIV Adventure Bible such as “People in Bible Times” and “Words to Treasure”.

My Review:

As a fan of the NIV Adventure Bible I was eager to take a peak at this book.  It is my first expose to an I Can Read book based upon a Bible story and after going through this, I doubt it will be my last.

My youngest is probably at a level 1, simple sentences for eager new readers according to the back of the book, yet she was able to read this book with some help from mom or dad.  There were about 20-25 words per page and the words were spaced well to make reading easy.  The illustrations by David Miles fill the entire page, including the area where the words are written on some of the pages.  I was worried that this might be a distraction but my princess managed without a problem.

I liked that it included a key Bible verse at the end (Luke 15:32) and I especially liked the "words to treasure" section which helps to the reader on God's plan.  I do wish that the story had included the Bible reference for the story since the story is written with developing readers in mind.  This to me indicates independent readers and I am big on referring them back to the actual Bible text whenever possible.

That being said, I found that the story remained true to the Biblical account, and was written in an engaging way.  I like that this is a way to get God's stories in the hands of a child without handing them the complete Bible, which would definitely overwhelm young readers.