May 2024 Book Reviews

Welcome to yet another installment of what Elaine read this past month. In May, we wrapped up our school year & started settling into a summer routine. Reading hasn't been a huge priority, but I've managed to complete a few. Here they are!


Beautiful Freedom: How the Bible Shapes Your View of Appearance, Food, and Fitness by Stacy Reaoch

If you're looking for a Gospel-centered approach to body image, this book is a great starting place. It's a short book, so there's nothing in-depth. However, that doesn't mean that it skimps on theological reasoning for how we should approach aging, exercise, & food. I especially appreciated how the author kept reminding the reader of God's good gifts & having a proper view of these topics as such is so important. In the appendix & notes, you can find other resources for deeper study or for analyzing if you need to seek professional help to manage disordered thinking. Overall, a great resource to have on hand when looking for direction in those ever-present body image questions.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch

This was such a enlightening & challenging book. Kristen is the founder of a non-profit called Mercy House. She went from living the average American life, filled with all of the trappings of the American dream, to giving up all the extras for a drastic change in priorities. Her family decided to forgo most the things we automatically assume kids should be given & questioning how they can live in a radically generous way. While not everyone is called to start a maternity home in Kenya, you are called to love God & love others. It really opened my eyes to ways I was allowing entitlement to creep into my own life. I hope to set a good example to my kids based on the ideas set forth in this book.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Bumford

My daughter & I read this together this term. While I have watched the movies that have been based on this book, I'd never read novel itself. I'm not a big animal lover, but this book kept us interested with the various adventures & misadventures of these three family pets who are determined to make their way home. They face starvation, predators, friendly & unfriendly humans, & so many miles just to find their family once more. If you have nature/animal lover in your home, this is a good option for a read aloud!

Betsy in Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace

It's the end of our schoolyear, so we're finishing lots of books right now. I won't include them all, but I have been tracking the Betsy-Tacy books. This is the 6th book in the series. Betsy's sophomore year includes a few more hard lessons & growing experiences for the title character. And, as always, the ever-faithful Tacy is right beside her. And we get to see Tib again! I do think these books are getting a little "old" for my daughter, so I might give it a little time before we get to the next one. In this book, Betsy has a less-than-stellar boyfriend. While it wasn't the conversation I was looking to have with my 9-year-old, we did use it to talk about what character traits are not OK for someone you might be interested in to have. Again, a pretty squeaky clean book, but maybe more of an tween/early teen girls book due to some of the subject matter.

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

I've started & stopped this book over & over for years. It just wasn't grabbing my attention or my oldest son's. So, we moved onto other series, but we tried to come back to this one recently. I ended up finishing it by myself because he lost interest. It's a really good story, & I think I might try it with my middle son who likes anything having to do with rabbits. I'm also hoping that the next book moves a little quicker since it won't have to do all the introductions that the first book of a series always does.

Does the Bible Affirm Same-Sex Relationships? Examining 10 Claims about Scripture and Sexuality by Rebecca McLaughlin

Compassionately written, this short book tackles a timely topic. McLaughlin summarizes some of the most common misunderstandings of what the Bible says about same-sex relationships. She also gets to the very crux of the matter--Jesus is better than anything else. Looking for satisfaction in anything other than him will only leave us empty & wanting more. She also highlights the call to healthy, loving, Gospel-centered relationships with those around us. This book is a valuable resource, giving Christians a basic understanding of how to reach out to those they know & love who are wrestling with these questions.


A little more on the fiction side of things this month due to our school year wrapping up, but still some thought-provoking nonfiction reads, too.

Now, I'm getting excited for some summer reading, too. Any & all recommendations are welcome!

Cheering you on!


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