Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Category: books (page 1 of 27)

Book Review/Giveaway: Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Journey to Jericho

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Journey to Jericho, M. J. Thomas, Worthykids/Ideals, 2018.

Peter and Mary return in the fourth book in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series. In this adventure, the children learn that Great Uncle Solomon used to be a spy during the war. Their uncle teaches them a few things about being a spy.

Mary and Peter’s adventure takes them to the days of Joshua, just before he leads the Hebrew people to march around Jericho. Like in the other books, the children have to solve the secret of the hidden scroll to return home.

The children use their new spy skills to help Joshua.

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Book Review: Harvey’s Hideout

Harvey’s Hideout, Russell Hoban, Plough Publishing, 2018. 

Harvey Muskrat and his sister, Mildred, find themselves in a continual feud.

Originally published in 1969, Russell Hoban’s classic, much like Bread and Jam for Frances or Charlie the Tramp, Harvey’s Hideouthas a hint of realism. Whether muskrats or humans, siblings fight. Both siblings have their lesser qualities, which seem to be the entry of frustration with the other. Harvey is inconsiderate, while Mildred is bossy.

But, as Father Muskrat reminds them, it does not mean that they are “stupid and no-good” or “mean and rotten.”

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Giveaway: Colors/Numbers in the Bible

WorthyKids/Ideals and the Museum of the Bible are partnering together to put out some new and creative books.  The Museum of the Bible is one of the newest museums in Washington, D. C., just a few blocks from the Capitol. The Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution with the goal of inviting people to engage with the Bible.

The newest additions to this collection are Colors in the Bible and Numbers in the Bible, ideal for little learners.  Both of which Toddler J enjoys.

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What I’ve Been Reading: From Batman to Michelle

I read a lot! From Batman comics to works of theology, current events to historical reflections. Here is a sampling of what I have read over the last several months.

The Time of Our Lives: Collected Writings (Peggy Noonan, Twelve Books, 2015).

A former speechwriter for President Ronald Regan, Noonan has been a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Her book pulls many of her pieces together in one collection. A gifted writer, Noonan is able to share critical observations about current realities without being overly political. But don’t let that fool you. She praises Regan as one of the best presidents and is overly critical of the Clinton’s and Obama. That said, it is important to remember that this collection of essays is being read out of context. Weekly columns deal with the present. Perhaps the best part of this book is the introduction. Noonan offers a glimpse into her writing process. For any person whose main form of communication is the written word, Noonan provides a primer in writing.   (3 out of 5 stars.)

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Book Review: The Lost Art of Good Conversation

The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life, Sakyong Mipham, Penguin Random House, 2017.

Have you noticed in this highly politicized time that it’s hard to have a good conversation? Among family members, in the workplace, and in churches, having a good conversation has become challenging. When you consider the conversations that the United Methodist Church is (and has been) having, particularity about human sexuality, it becomes even more challenging to have a good conversation.

Sakyong Mipham, head of the worldwide Shambhala community, uses his book to remind readers that in this hyper-connected time in which we live, we do not always communicate well. It is easier to make our point and refuse to hear another’s on Facebook and Twitter than it is sitting at a table, face-to-face.

By doing so, we no longer rejoice with those who rejoice or cry with those who cry. We lose any intimacy that a conversation would normally have. As Mipham writes, “We are at a dangerous crossroads because when we lose feeling, our exchanges with others lose value.” (11)

“It is a warrior practice of kindness using words.” -Sakyong Mipham (16)

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