Treasures of the Snow
Patricia St. John
Summary: Here is a beautiful story about a little motherless boy, raised by his older sister and father high in the Alps of Switzerland. Little Dani has a terrible accident that leaves him crippled--t'was caused by the mischievous, lazy, neighbour boy whom nobody really likes. Will Dani ever walk again? Can Annette forgive Lucien? How can Lucien show the proper amount of contriteness as proof of his guilt? The characters in this book seem to come alive on the pages as they grapple with those rich themes of forgiveness, kindness, guilt, shame and long suffering.
Personal Thoughts: There is a beautiful rhythm to the words in this story. You can see the tale unfolding before your eyes as you read, and my children were thoroughly gripped by the story. The author deals with the characters fairly, exposing the good and evil in the hearts of both the guilty and the wronged. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Matthew Muddles Through
Matthew Makes Strides
Summary: Matthew is just a regular kid with plenty of worries. He's got an older brother who picks on him and a younger brother who's just plain annoying. His dad's a preacher which earns him the dreaded title of 'Preacher's Kid' on the playground, and his mom always seems to be sick. On top of that, here's a giant neighborhood dog that seems out to get him. No life isn't easy for Matthew, but then he finds out that the coveted Cadet Camporee campout will occur this year...and he's old enough to go! But will his parents be able to find the money to send him to camp?
In this second book in the series Matthew grows in courage and confidence. Sometimes that entails meeting the new girl in town who always seems moody, or becoming a hometown hero, braving severe weather, or being that brother who really tries to get along with his siblings. Of course, Camporee is coming closer and there's so much to do. Add an exciting cub car race and a church proposal that could drastically change life for the Vos's , and you've got a great story full of adventures once again.
Personal Thoughts: This author understands kids and the way they think and reason through issues. This book talks to kids at their level. It's a story about daily life with all its ups and downs, struggles and joys, lessons and growth--from a kid's perspective. It's funny, it's realistic, it's suspenseful. I have to say, I loved it and so did my kids. We had great discussions after reading a chapter or two in the evenings. Even doubts about faith are tackled in a loving and understanding way. It's refreshing to read a book like this. My kids and I can't wait for the next book in this series.