The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds

Not what I was expecting… at… all.

And not a book my kiddos are interested in either unfortunately.

Not much of a surprise though – my daughter is much more interested in Princess stories and my son has such a high reading level, it’s difficult to find young adult books on a high enough level for him.

I do believe that many middle grade students will enjoy the story though. It highlights the type of things many kids deal with in their school career and amazingly enough, even I related (and I was in middle school… well more than a few years ago).

The irony is this; my son’s imagination is every bit as active as the main character’s… but he didn’t recognize it. Perhaps that’s normal for someone with an overactive imagination. It feels perfectly normal to them, so they don’t see where they’re different.

Of course, in Atticus’ case, his classmates have pointed out just how different he is so there’s no doubt in his mind. WHY it is acceptable to make someone feel like a freak when they’re clearly exceptional… I will NEVER understand. OK… OK… I won’t go off on that tangent now but you get the idea.



Here is a brief synopsis from Zondervan:

Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there’s more to Mr. Looney’s methods than he’d first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own name, he finds that his hyper-imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe—just maybe—discover that the power to face his problems was inside him all along.

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info about this book:






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Sorry I’m Not Sorry | An Honest Look At Bullying From The Bully

Not precisely what I was expecting…

But a very intriguing read all the same. I’m not 100% sold on this book being helpful for tweens or even teens… especially if they are actively being bullied but it could be a valuable resource for parents.

It is interesting to see just how differently people respond to the same sorts of stimulus – what causes some young people to become bullies is the same sort of experience that turns others into a victim of bullies.

It just goes to show that everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to stress and strain.

And for the young person who has a good relationship with Christ, this insight will definitely help them to forgive and love the bully… perhaps even giving them an opportunity to share God’s love with their bully!


Here is a brief synopsis from Thomas Nelson:

Bullies aren’t born mean—through the vicious cycle of mean, bullies are made.

According to the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, one out of every four students is bullied—and 85% of these situations never receive intervention. Parents, students, and teachers have amped up solving the bullying problem for a networked generation of kids.

Written by bestselling author Nancy Rue, each book in the Mean Girl Makeover trilogy focuses on a different character’s point of view: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. The books show solid biblical solutions to the bullying problem set in a story for tween girls.

Sorry I’m Not Sorry tells the story of Kylie Steppe, former queen bee of Gold Country Middle School. After bullying a fellow GCMS student, Kylie has been expelled—and she has to attend mandatory counseling. Without her posse to aid her and other peers to torment, Kylie focuses on the person who stole her GVMS popularity crown: Tori Taylor. As Kylie plots revenge on Tori, she attends therapy sessions, where she reveals a few details that might explain why she finds power in preying on her middle school peers. After a rough year with bullying backfire, will Kylie decide to become more empathetic with her peers?

It’s hard for tweens to imagine why a bully acts the way she does. Sorry I’m Not Sorry shows girls that they hold the power to stop bullying through mutual understanding and acts of love.

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info about this amazing book:


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The Good, The Bad, and The Grace of GOD: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness

WOW! I like Jess and Jep’s story!

I really had no idea what to expect… I like what I’ve heard so far – about the Robinson clan. And after reading this book, I feel like I know them much better. If you’re a fan of Duck Dynasty, you know Jep, the youngest Robertson son, and his wife Jessica. They tell their stories to give encouragement to those who have struggled.

I enjoyed reading about them… as they each take turns telling their story, beginning with their childhood and teenage years, not holding back on the bad stuff, but putting it out there to share with us. Most people will be able to identify with some of the problems that Jess and Jep went through.

They share their insecurity, secrets, addictions – even a divorce. Learning what they went through certainly made me feel like I knew them better; I could easily picture them at times, going through some of the same problems that many of us go through.

But the point is – Jess and Jep both overcame their problems – with the help of God and their families. Jep and Jessica tell about their insecurities, as well as their realization that God loves us all just as we are — even with all our secrets and sins.

Duck Dynasty fans should definitely read The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God.


Here is a brief synopsis from Thomas Nelson:

A Moving Story of Redemption and Second Chances

Jep Robertson, the youngest son of Duck Commander Phil Robertson, and his wife, Jessica, open up about their personal trials, their early years together, and the challenges that might have destroyed them both had the grace of God not intervened. Jep describes being molested as a child and his reluctance to tell anyone until only a few years ago, his downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse, and the eventual intervention of his family. Jessica shares about the difficult failure of her first marriage while still a teenager and the hurt that came along with it, much of it from the church. Her insecurities spun out of control as she wondered whether she would ever be good enough or pretty enough. This book is their love story but, more importantly, their love story for God.

“We are desperate to let people know that no matter what you’ve done; no matter what you’ve lived through, you can come out of it.  You can be washed clean.  You are redeemed.”

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info about this amazing book:


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“Called to be Amish” | Marlene C. Miller

What’s it like to be one of the few outsiders to leave the Englisch way of life and join the Old-Order Amish—and stay? In Called to Be Amish, this rare memoir by Marlene C. Miller, she recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.


Called to be Amish

This is the first memoir that I have read from someone who grew up and then chose to become Amish… and to be honest, it really wasn’t even close to what I was expecting to read!

Marlene did what very few people have ever been able to do… join the Amish faith – and be accepted by the Amish community!

In her memoir, Marlene does nothing to gloss over the hardships she encountered while growing up, or the lifestyle she experienced during her adult life in an Amish home – with things we take for granted. She gives examples of things she had a difficult time adjusting to (for example – she continued to use kerosene lamps because of her fear of starting a fire with the newer lamps).

Although they had plenty of good times together, Marlene seems to dwell a bit more on the hard times her family experienced.

At times while reading, I wondered if she would have chosen the Amish lifestyle, had she known how difficult it would be…
Review © JCMorrows 2015



Marlene MillerMarlene C. Miller joined the Amish as an adult and has been a member of the Old Order Amish for almost 50 years. She and her husband of 48 years live on a farm in Ohio surrounded by their nine children, more than 40 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Find out more about Marlene at




Called to Be Amish(MennoMedia, February 2015)

Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.

In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheerleading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.

Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.

Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

YOU CAN FIND more about the book and how to purchase it by clicking the links below:




I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.




“The Heart of the Amish” by Suzanne Woods Fisher

WOW! Just WOW! This book could change your life!

As someone who spends a great deal of time reading Amish fiction and visiting with the plain folk… there was not much in this book that I didn’t already know or understand.

But even with that – it was a wonderful read! Suzanne has such a way with words and presentation, that brings a while new level of understanding and appreciation!

This is a book that EVERYONE should read… not just fans of Amish fiction!

Forgiveness is something that is lost much of the time in our modern world and we could all use a good reminder of why it is so important to forgive… every day!

As far as the book is concerned… there’s really too much to say – you would think I’m going just nuts.

I loved every bit of it and I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review it so you can have a chance to check it out too!



Here is a brief synopsis from Revell

We have all been hurt and we all have someone we need to forgive. But sometimes it’s hard to let go of our hurt and anger in order to truly forgive and move on.

For the Amish, forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. From daily annoyances to heartbreaking tragedy, they exhibit an incredible capacity for forgiveness that often baffles us. How do they do it? And how can we have the same attitude and ability to forgive?

Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows you how the Amish are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. You’ll learn how to invite God into your story, apply lessons from the Amish to your own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this last book:


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“Bella’s Gift” by Rick Santorum… with Elizabeth Santorum

How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation . . .

This is not a book about politics.

This is a book about love, grace, faith, respect, and family. This book is the Santorum’s way of sharing their love and devotion to their daughter, Bella! And they have the opportunity to reach many families with their story.

It greatly saddened me when I read that the doctors encouraged the Santorum family to give up on their daughter – just because of a disability. Well, I wasn’t really surprised – just disappointed.

Children – all children – are a blessing… and it doesn’t matter if they are “special” – as some wonderful people refer to those born with physical or mental disabilities. I love how Rick and Karen share their story about Bella – and how they see her as a blessing. Their respect for Bella, for all life – even before birth – is a blessing to everyone they touch.

Bella has enriched their lives and the lives of their family in more ways than can be recorded in a book. At her birth, Bella had already beaten the odds, and she continues to do so – thriving – at a miraculous seven years old!

If I knew nothing else about the Santorum family, because of their love and commitment to Bella, they are worthy of my respect – and my prayers. God bless you, Santorum family!

This is most definitely a book I’d highly recommend!


Review © JCMorrows 2015

More about this wonderful book from Thomas Nelson:

Rick and Karen Santorum’s inspiring story of life with Bella, their special-needs youngest child.

Four days after Rick and Karen Santorum welcomed their eighth baby into the world they were given the devastating news that their little girl, Bella, was going to die. The full story of life with Bella has never been told until now. This inspiring family memoir explores what it means to embrace and celebrate the life of each person, and find hope, even in the midst of painful challenges.

“Bella’s Gift” is the story of how the entire family came together to love and care for Bella and how God strengthened them during the storms and blessed their family with grace, peace, and joy.

Searchingly honest, faith filled, and surprisingly joyful, “Bella’s Gift “is a loving, lived-out testimony to the truth that everyone counts, even the least of these. “

Click on the links below to find more info and where you can get your own copy of this GREAT book!


I was blessed to receive a copy of this free in exchange for an honest review!




Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…


A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.


shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.


My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!


Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.


Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!


© JCMorrows 2015

You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Ben Carson MD




Ben Carson is not only a gifted surgeon, he is a wonderful writer – funny, interesting and this book is exceptionally difficult to put down.

Even the descriptions of brain surgery, which should be nothing but gross, had my complete attention because they were phrased in such a way that made them interesting but not at all gross or disgusting.

And the stories about Dr. Carson’s mother… WOW!

No wonder he is such an intelligent and learned man – she is clearly a GENIUS!

I refuse to spoil the book for you but please take my word for it – it is a FANTASTIC book! A MUST READ! And not just for teens either… parents will get so much out of this book too!


You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Ben Carson MDTweet this!



You have a brain… but do you know how to use it?Tweet this!


© JCMorrows 2015


Here is a brief synopsis from Thomas Nelson:

Throughout his life, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson has needed to overcome many obstacles: His father leaving the family; being considered stupid by his classmates in grade school; growing up in inner-city Detroit; and having a violent temper. But Dr. Carson didn’t let his circumstances control him, and instead discovered eight principles that helped shape his future.

In You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Think Big, Dr. Carson unpacks the eight important parts of Thinking Big–Talent, Honesty, Insight, being Nice, Knowledge, Books, In-Depth learning, and God–and presents the stories of people who demonstrated those things in his life. By applying the idea of T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. to your life, and by looking at those around you as well, you too can overcome obstacles and work toward achieving your dreams.

Includes discussion questions at the back of the book.

In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this last book:


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Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

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Have you ever considered adoption?

I met Jody not too long at a workshop she held in one of our local libraries.

I admit, I had never stopped to think about the roller-coaster ride that can be the road to adoption…but The Eye of Adoption has shown me.

It has also shown how having an amazing attitude can make the journey one that will change you – yes – but for the better.

Even the cover shows this unique contrast. You see the wind whipped clouds above a relatively calm sea of soothing blue and white and all you have to do is step in…

Once upon a time I considered the idea of adoption (as I was told by several doctors that I would never have children naturally) but God had other plans for me.

But… WOW! Am I glad I read this book!

Jody Cantrell Dyer has a wonderful outlook and a delightful sense of humor about the whole experience.

Whether you are considering adoption or not… read this book!

Jody takes us through every step of her journey with humor and helpful advice and she does it in such a way that shows us all the difficulties of the journey while making us laugh and feel joy with her!

What a wonderful gift this book would make for anyone in your life who is considering adoption!

Here is what GoodReads has to say about “The Eye of Adoption”:

“No one just adopts.” From the very first steps of acknowledging adoption as a choice to the final document that seals the deal, Jody Cantrell Dyer paints a raw, warm, heartbreaking and eventually triumphant portrayal that narrates the entire adoption process through compassionate and humorous prose.

Dyer’s candor and soul color each page of The Eye of Adoption. She directly addresses the sorrows of infertility and the demands of adoption while consistently word-weaving a life rope of assurance, humor, and optimism for her readers.

A middle-aged wife, mother, and teacher, Dyer “tells it like it is” in hopes that waiting adoptive parents, birthparents, adoptees, and those close to them will find kinship through her story.


You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.








Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange
for an honest review from the author.


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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.