The Stuck-at-Home Book Club

Hello, Gracepoint Family! It’s been awhile. I hope 2019 was a great reading year. I realize that’s a bit belated, since we’re now a quarter of the way through 2020. ūüėā

With all of us at home from school and work due to Covid-19, this can be an awesome opportunity to make headway in our 2020 reading goals. I’m apparently 3 books behind schedule in my goal to read 0202 books in 2020, but I’m determined to put a big dent in my TBR pile!

This is also an opportunity for me to revive this blog, and to post some recommendations for what you can read with your family, or on your own. There’s also been a call for a Family Reading Challenge, so we’ll see what we can come up with.

For my first Stuck-at-Home Book Club recommendation, I present to you The Green Ember series, written by S.D. Smith. There are four main books (with the fourth coming out April 14th!), plus four other novellas set in the same world.

The-Green-Ember

I don’t want to give away too much about the series, but I will say this: Do *not* let the fact that they are rabbits dissuade you from reading this book! It is a captivating adventure, and there are lessons and themes that are for everyone in the family.

Families have read these aloud together, others have listened to the audiobooks (which are excellent), and other pre-teens, teens, and adults have just read them on their own! This series is so beloved that one of the 7th graders just told me that in anticipation of the April 14th release of Ember’s End, she re-read the series as a refresher.¬†¬†More great news – the kindle version is only $2.99, and free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

If you’re still not quite convinced, there’s a Green Ember super-fan I’ve asked to provide an endorsement, so stay tuned for that!

What are you and your family reading during the next few weeks? If you want to write a recommendation, send it on over to me, and it might be featured here!

Recommended Read: The Action Storybook Bible

Hey, Gracepoint Berkeley church and beyond! You probably forgot about this here blog. I confess I kind of did too…until my *mom* mentioned to me that I hadn’t posted since last October. (Shout out to Mrs. Kim for reminding me to keep spreading the love of reading!)

I don’t want to make any promises, but I realize I should just write some posts about the books I most often recommend to people. Today I’ll start with a relatively new book from the super popular¬†Action Bible franchise. As many of you who have read and love The Action Bible know, there are some intense parts (Valley of Dry Bones, anyone?). It might not be appropriate for younger kids, but at the same time, it’s a great way to get kids excited about reading the Bible. It’s awesome to see kiddos who come to Bibliopolis devouring The Action Bible, and reading it cover to cover multiple times.

Action-Storybook-Bible-3D-coverEnter The Action Storybook Bible: An Interactive Adventure through God’s Redemptive Story¬†which¬†came out this past October. It is designed for children ages 8 and under, and it is, as the subtitle states, an interactive reading experience.

I have one testimonial from a mom of a kindergarten boy here at Gracepoint Berkeley who said that her son asks to read it each day! There are questions to stop and talk about at the end of each section, so it can become a devotional type of experience for you and your child(ren) to share together.

So if you’re looking for a good book to go through with your child, or a good gift to get for the child of a friend or relative, I recommend it! We are carrying a limited number in our bookstore now. ūüôā

Do you have an Action Storybook Bible testimonial to share? 

 

Heroes of Faith Challenge Winners (Get Inspired!)

The Heroes of Faith Spring Reading Challenge at Gracepoint Berkeley church is officially over. In all, we had 14 people finish, with some people completing twice.

Here are some noteworthy statistics/awards:

  • Most favorited Heroes of Faith: George Mueller (Christian Heroes Then & Now) and Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
  • Post-College finishers: 5
  • College Student finishers: 7
  • Elementary Student finishers: 2!
  • Female finishers: 12
  • Male finishers: 2
  • Most represented ministry: tie between Klesis and Koinonia Berkeley¬†with 3 each.
  • Double finishers: Seniors Emily Rah and Krystal Han, from a2f Berkeley and Koinonia Berkeley respectively
  • Most senior finisher: Sarah Kim (?? years old)
  • Youngest female finisher: Julia (9 years old)
  • Youngest overall finisher: Wesley (8 years old)

With their permission, I am featuring our youngest finishers and their mini-reviews. I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up some more books!


 

Julia (holding her favorite biography) celebrating her completed bookmark with two of her friends!

Hi, my name is Julia. I’m 9 years old and in 4th grade. The heroes of faith book I liked the most is about William Wilberforce. I liked that book the most because when he really starts to understand the true meaning of what it is like to be a Christian, lots of people are asking him to present a bill against¬†slavery to Parliament. After like a week he finally decides that he will present the bill. He decided to do that because this guy named Thomas gave him a copy of his essay to read. After he read all those words he started studying slavery. He learned all of these crucial facts about what people were doing to slaves, and that is what led him to the point when he presented the bill to the others.

Throughout half of his life he fought for others to have their freedom even though people kept on rejecting the bill. He still persevered, he brought up the bill several times, and had lots of supporters too. He eventually succeeded and it became a law officially.

This inspired me because he was a really bad person before. He would never study and his tutor would make fun of him if he studied or went to church or even read the Bible, so William would just gamble away and drink a lot. But when he met his old friend Isaac, he turned into a Christian and wanted to help all slaves get their freedom.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.


 

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Wesley not only reads¬†Heroes of Faith biographies, but plays baseball too. ūüôā

Wesley is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Here is his mini-review of his favorite book from the challenge:

 

My favorite Christian Heroes book I read is about Jacob Deshazer because he was stuck in jail for many years and then he told a lot of people about God in China. When he was in jail for many years, he got to read books and one of them was the Bible. He read it 15 times before he gave it to someone else. This is how he became a Christian. I also thought it was cool that he was part of the Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan with a B25 bomber.