Category Archives: Children & Teens

Fiction that is written for a younger reader (K to 12th grade) and / or includes content appropriate for all ages. Can include the same themes as Young Adult but without the added adult themes that may not be suited for some in the same age group depending on maturity or parental guidance.

Sydney’s D.C. Discovery by Jean Fischer

Publisher info: Sydney and Elizabeth are on-site in the nation’s capital when odd happenings occur at the Vietnam Memorial. The Camp Club Girls jump into action. They use their special skills to tackle an adventure that leads them not only to Baltimore’s Ft. McHenry, but also to the heart of a terrorist travesty! Can they decipher the clues and save the president before the dawn’s early light?

Sydney’s D.C. Discovery
Camp Club Girls
by Jean Fischer
Barbour Books
January 2010

Sydney’s DC Discovery is number two in the series of the Camp Club Girls. In this book Sydney and Elizabeth find out that strange things are happening at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The other girls keep in touch and help out because they all saved up and bought web cameras. Kate, being a genius and all, made the website they went on to talk to each other and put a secret password that only the girls know. Elizabeth’s uncle came to visit some friends in D.C. so Elizabeth came with him to visit Sydney. They follow men named Moose and Rusty around D.C. and try to find out who their boss, the Professor, is.

When Sydney and the girls think it might be Beth’s (the girls call Elizabeth, Beth) uncle she is very upset and doesn’t talk to Sydney for a while after defending him. They soon realize that it can’t be Beth’s uncle and they save President Meade. Sydney runs as fast as she can and saves the day.

I would tell you what/who she was running with but I do not want to ruin the surprise and the book. I thought that this book was even better than the first book Mystery at Discovery Lake!


Arieltopia is an 11 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult, Teen Fiction, along with adult fiction: an actual teenager’s perspective.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Mystery at Discovery Lake by Renea Brumbaugh

Publisher Info: When six girls from different parts of the country end up as roommates at camp, they also join forces to find out what’s really going on beyond the crafts and Bible quizzing. Where are the strange noises coming from? And what’s the “DanGer” warning all about? “Camp Discovery” indeed! The mysteries seem as thick as the woods surrounding the cabins!

The Mystery at Discovery Lake
Camp Club Girls
by Renea Brumbaugh
Barbour Books
January 2010

This in the first book in the Camp Club Girls series. This book was about a bunch of girls going to camp. They are put into the same cabin room. At first they do not know each other but they are soon friends and team up to compete in contests at camp. The girls know that they can not let a mean girl named Amberlie win. During the story, they play pranks and meet a stray puppy. Kate takes him in and names him Biscuit.

The main story starts when they find Sydney and Bailey running as fast as they can away from the golf course. They had heard some scary noises when Bailey was golfing. The girls team up to solve the mystery. The girls work together for both the contests at camp and solving the mystery. Kate uses her knowledge and amazing gadgets, Elizabeth uses her leadership skills and knowledge of the Bible, Sydney uses her speed and nature knowledge, McKenzie uses her knowledge of horses and other farm animals, Bailey uses her performing abilities, and Alexis uses her humor and Sherlock Holmes knowledge.

The girls work together to save the day. The girls end up calling themselves the camp club girls. This book was definitely one of the best books I have ever read! I am looking forward to reading the others in this series.


Arieltopia is an 12 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult, Teen Fiction, along with adult fiction: an actual teenager’s perspective.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Skid & the Too Tiny Tunnel by Jeffery Stoddard

-Reviewed by Scott Asher of AshertopiA

Skid, the smallest tractor on the job, wishes he was as big and mighty as the gigantic bulldozers and diggers. The large tractors dismiss the tiny Skid, telling him that he has a “putt-putt engine.” But when a cave in strikes and the only way to save Pillar, the biggest bulldozer, is to go into a tiny hole filled with darkness, Skid has a chance to prove himself.

Stoddard tells our children the same story that they’ve heard over and again: just because you’re little doesn’t mean you aren’t [special, big hearted, important, fill in the blank.] The only twist that the Skid stories bring is that the characters are all construction vehicles. The impact of that choice can’t be ignored though as every small boy will be immediately enthralled by the also-ran story… but with tractors!

My four year old son loved Skid. From the moment I opened up the brightly colored, whimsical pages he was mesmerized. I was worried that he wouldn’t sit still long enough on each page to get through the dense narrative (there are multiple paragraphs of narrative on each page) but he did. As far as little boys go, Skid is a hit.

As for adults – maybe not so much. The book is billed as a story of Deuteronomy 31:6,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV)

However, the verses don’t match the story well as not a single time did the concept of God or prayer, in any way, come up during the narrative. Skid faces his fears on his own and overcomes them under his own power. There is no indication that Skid acknowledges or understands or leaned on God going with him or not forsaking him. This isn’t much of a problem if taking the narrative on its own. But with the Bible verse prominently on the cover and the book clearly marketed to Christians the lack of anything about God in the content of the story is disappointing.

Overall, Skid is successful in entertaining young boys, but doesn’t cover any new ground and fails to live up to the promise of a Bible tie in. Tepidly recommended.

This book was supplied by the publisher via netgalley.com as a review copy.

If I Could Ask God Anything: Awesome Bible Answers for Curious Kids by Kathryn Slattery

Summary from Thomas Nelson: If I Could Ask God Anything is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand.

This book was very cool. It answered a lot of good questions that a lot of people even adults would want to know the answer to. It was funny too. It answered funny questions like why people carry certain memory verses to football games. The question I liked the best was was Jesus’s birthday really December 25th (the answer was it may or may not have been. So His birthday could be today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, or in a year. No one knows when His birthday really was. I wonder why nobody back then wrote it down.)

I personally wouldn’t have picked up this book and read it on my own time for no reason. I think little kids would like to read it but definetly not people my age (10-11). The book was great but not a lot of kids my age are curious about this stuff. I think there are only a few who would pick this book up either. I am not trying to be mean or anything, I am just being honest. The simple thing I am saying here is I thought the book was okay for adults and kids. If you are wanting a pleasure reading book though you need to pick up a different book.


Arieltopia is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She is an 11 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult and Teen Fiction; an actual teenager’s perspective. Her blog is http://Arieltopia.blogspot.com.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

GiGi, God’s Little Princess: Gigi’s Big Break by Sheila Walsh

This is a 2-episode Christian live action & animated DVD about GiGi – an only child.

In The White Lie, GiGi gets herself into trouble when she accidentally breaks her mother’s vase and lies about it. She tells one lie to her mother and another to her father. When they inform her she needs to go to the police and tell them she saw a kidnapping, a burgery and how the cat broke the vase, she owns up to the lie. She asks her parent’s forgiveness and also God’s forgiveness.

In the Pink Surprise, when GiGi is told she is to be a big sister she is happy. However, she listens when one of her friends tells her that her parents will not love her as much, not have time for her and will spend all of their time with the baby. Thinking she will be second best, she decides to go live with her best friend. Her parents tell her there are other blessing in life than being first and there will only be more love in their home. Having a sibling is a blessing from God.

This is an excellent Christian video. Recommended for children of all ages. It can be used to teach a Sunday school class or just lessons about honesty and loving your siblings, as well as loving God. Lying is a sin, your heart will become heavy with guilt, but God will always forgive you – you only have to ask. Parents, as well as God, always have enough love for you. The video can teach our children to love God, their siblings and to always tell the truth.

This DVD was supplied by the publisher as a review copy.

Support BookGateway.com by purchasing this DVD from Amazon.com.

Fool’s Gold by Melody Carlson


Hannah is a missionary kid (otherwise known as MK) from the island of Papua New Guinea north of Australia. She is visiting her Uncle’s family in America for the summer while her parents crisscross the country raising money to return to New Guinea. Her cousin Vanessa and Aunt Lori are shopaholics – obsessed with the latest fashion, designers and brand names. They are embarrassed by Hannah’s ‘Aussie’ clothes. Hannah feels lost and out of place with
Vanessa’s friends and the whole shopping scene.

Hannah takes a job with her Uncle’s company supposedly to earn money for her continued education in New Guinea. Soon her coworkers have her spending more money than she has, getting a credit card, and buying expensive clothes she neither needs or can afford. She becomes obsessed with fitting in with the crowd. She seems to have left her faith as well as her Bible behind in New Guinea as she strives to fit in with the other wealthy kids – living for the moment. Hannah is soon finds herself head over heels in debt and doesn’t know how to cope with her situation.

A must read to learn how Hannah solves her debt problem and returns to her faith. Did she come to recognize what she valued most? Did she learn that all that glitters is not gold? Melody Carlson has a excellent command of the minds of teenagers, especially the rich, and what influence peers have on each other.

Highly recommended for teenagers and parents. You will become a fan of Ms. Carlson.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren

-Review by Scott Asher of AshertopiA.

God Gave Us Love is another new children’s book in the popular series “God Gave Us…” from Lisa Tawn Bergren with art by David Hohn published by Water Brook Press. The God Gave Us series of children’s books work through questions of faith and practice from the viewpoint of Little Cub and one of her adult family members. Is this story, Little Cub and Grampa discuss love in its various forms, including a great lesson on loving those who we may not want to love.

As I read this book to my three year old son I found him becoming impatient with the depth and breadth of information on each page and eager to move ahead to the next page and its colorful pictures. Some of the concepts seemed to me to be well above the heads of younger children as the author ambitiously attempts to break down three different types of love, grace and kindness into bites small enough to be swallowed by children. I’m not certain that many of the nuances, that frankly adults have trouble understanding, will in fact make sense to younger children.

Even if younger children miss some of the more in depth meanings of love, they will certainly understand that they should love everyone – even the otters who scared away the fish. This is another charming book in the series and well worth your time and money.

This book was provided free of charge by the publisher as a review copy. The publisher had no editorial rights or claims over the content or the conclusions made in this review. Visit RandomHouse.com for more information on this book.

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

-Review by Scott Asher of AshertopiA.

God Gave Us Christmas is a new children’s book in the popular series “God Gave Us…” from Lisa Tawn Bergren with art by David Hohn published by Water Brook Press. Is this story, as Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate Christmas, Little Cub asks questions like “Who invented Christmas?” and “Is God more important than Santa?”

The God Gave Us series of children’s books work through questions of faith and practice from the viewpoint of Little Cub and one of her adult family members. In this book, it’s Mama’s turn to work though the questions.

Many times, children’s books are no more than a few colorful pages with a couple sentences each page. Not so with this series though. In fact, many of the pages are so full of information that I sometimes felt it was hard to keep my children’s attention while I read through paragraph after paragraph.

That is a minor quibble, though, as my children and I enjoyed the book and its vibrant artwork immensely. The questions Little Cub brought up lead to interesting discussion topics for older children, while younger children seem to easily grasp the theme of the story. As Mama points out, “It is God and Jesus that we celebrate most come Christmas. Was always want to thank God for giving us Christmas.”

This book was provided free of charge by the publisher as a review copy. The publisher had no editorial rights or claims over the content or the conclusions made in this review. Visit RandomHouse.com for more information on this book.