Libraries Alive - National Church Library Association

Libraries Alive - National Church Library Association

What’s inside?

� Move your computer

mouse over the index to find

links to articles in this issue:

1 No Cataloging Police


3 More than Just

4 Sharing a Successful Idea

5 He Wrote the Book on

Church Libraries

7 Calendar

8 The Book that Changed

the World: Celebrating

the 400-Year Anniversary

of the King James Bible

10 Welcome New Members

11 Reviews

30 Promotional Dates

To further

the gospel


church libraries

Vol. 53, No. 2 • Spring 2011

Libraries Alive

Publication of National Church Library Association

supporting the unique needs of church libraries since 1958

No cataloging police allowed

by Sandy Sharps

“Help! I am a new librarian and I am

anxious about the right way to classify

books. Should we use Dewey, should we

use Library of Congress . . . something

else? What if we put the wrong Dewey

number on a book?”

I can assure you that the Cataloging

Police will not arrive at your church

doorstep, and that NCLA is here to help

you with decisions on cataloging and

much more.

We classify items

every day . . . It is simply a

matter of organizting and

managing information.

Let’s look at these two issues hindering

church librarians: classifying and

cataloging. We classify items every day:

birds, animals, languages, ethnic groups,

diseases, occupations and types of cars.

It is simply a matter of organizing and

managing information.

The Dewey Decimal Classification

(DDC) and the Library of Congress

Subject Headings (LCSH) are the

standard resources libraries use for

classifying information. Church libraries

use, for the most part, the 200 Religion

Class of the Dewey Decimal System. For

a broad overview of the numbers in the

200 Religion Class visit: http://bpeck.


If library users could only search for

an item by title, author or publisher, it

would take them an enormous amount

of time to find items of related subject

matter, and they would undoubtedly

miss items because of the inefficient

search capability. To help users easily

� continued on page 2

NCLA Board of


Kathleen Bowman, President

Moe Conley, Treasurer

Gordon Duffy

Bev Etzelmueller

Sandi Neal

Sally Onstad

Sandy Sharps

Kay Smith

NCLA Staff

Sue Benish, Executive Director

Heidi Koehnen, Admin. Assist.

Contact NCLA

275 South Third Street, #204

Stillwater MN 55082


“Concourse! What a way to go! It’s great software for the 21st

century. We thought MLS was perfect for the church media

library. Concourse has raised MLS perfection to Perfection plus!,

i.e., more fun, more color, more excitement and more

service-oriented features for both large and small libraries...”

Eva Nell Hunter

Director Church Media Library

Central Baptist Church

Decatur, AL

No cataloging police allowed

(continued from page 1)

find other items that are similar in subject

matter, subject headings are assigned to

every item in the collection.

The library catalog is simply an index to

the collection. Cataloging is the process

of describing an item and giving access

points to that material so it can be located

when searching the catalog.

When cataloging, librarians describe

information in terms of its bibliographic

elements as well as their physical format.

Those elements include:

1. Who is the author or

joint author?

2. What is the title of

the book?

The most Pre-eminent

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Circulation, cataloging, searching, inventory and more!

Prevent Errors with DoubleCheck

Anyone can input data, but you have the final approval.

Circulate All Types of Media

Books, records, videos, etc. may be filed, searched, and printed. (888) 512-5760

Book Systems is a corporate member of NCLA.


3. Is there a subtitle? What is it?

4. Where was the book first


5. Who is the publisher?

6. When was this edition published?

7. Is the book part of a series?

8. What is the ISBN?

9. Is there Cataloging-in-Publication

(CIP) for the book?

10. Is there a dedication?

11. Does the book include an index?

12. Does it have a glossary?

Cataloging is done according to rules

to ensure quality and consistency. This

results in users being able to locate items

readily, in automated libraries to share

records effortlessly, and in

� continued on page 6

Letter from our President Kathleen Bowman

More than “just!”

I recently met a

young lady who

said she was just

a runner for a law

firm, delivering

documents to

the courthouse.

I reminded her

that she played a

vital role to her

employer. When

she told me she was studying to be a

paralegal and felt this was a good first

step in her career, I emphasized to her

that she was definitely more than just.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I

am just…” in their library role? That

they just process materials, or just

shelve them. What about you and your

church library? Do you know what

an important part you play in your

congregation’s life? Do you sometimes

wonder if anyone notices? I am here to

tell you that no matter what you do for

your church library, it is important.

Your church library, also, is not just

a small area off of the coatroom, or

just a bookshelf in the basement.

It is important!

Do you know that NCLA has a lot of

resources to help both you and your

library be more than just?

I encourage you to visit the NCLA

website, and search out ideas for

promotion, a bulletin board display to

encourage library usage, or suggestions

to raise funds for your library.

Now that Libraries Alive is electronically

available, encourage other library

volunteers to become acquainted with

it and the NCLA website. Review past

issues of Branches to read articles that

might just be what you’re looking for!


Do you also know that NCLA

isn’t just about resources?

NCLA is about making

connections too.

NCLA spring chapter

meetings are wonderful times when old

friends reconnect and new ones meet.

Outside of chapters, more and more of

us are connecting through our NCLA

Facebook page, sharing details about

their libraries and encouraging

one another.

Your NCLA leaders are reaching

out to make connections too. Board

members have been calling and e-mailing

chapter leaders, our office staff provides

personalized help daily to church

librarians seeking advice and support,

and our office volunteer contacts every

new member to welcome them and

answer their questions.

In the last issue of Libraries Alive, I

asked readers to send in their tips and

suggestions. Mary Jane Dishion of Faith

Community United Methodist Church

in West Chester, Ohio, wrote in to share

what her library is doing with discards

and unwanted donations (see page 4).

Sharing ideas through Libraries Alive is

yet another way we can connect.

It’s exciting for all of us to connect,

whether it is across town or across

the country, so we are all more than just.

On behalf of everyone at NCLA, be

encouraged, knowing that your work is

important, and that we are all here to

help you and your library succeed

and grow.

Blessings! Kathleen

Get to know

your NCLA

Board of


Kathleen Bowman, President

Kaukauna, Wisconsin

Moe Conley, Treasurer

Hamburg, New York

Gordon W. Duffy

Santa Rosa, California

Bev Etzelmueller

Germantown, Wisconsin

Sandra (Sandi) Neal

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Sally Onstad

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Sandy Sharps

Prosper, Texas

Kay Smith

Green Bay, Wisconsin

For photos and more

information about the

NCLA Board of Directors, visit:



Get $10 off

when a new member

mentions your name

Refer one or more friends

to NCLA and receive a $10

membership coupon for each

new NCLA member you

refer. It’s our way of saying

thanks for spreading the word

about NCLA.

Anyone can earn free

membership dollars. With

several referrals, your

membership could even be

free next year!

Everyone wins when we reach

out to help one another.

� � � �

� Move your

computer mouse over

websites and email addresses

to find live links in this issue.

The Software Solution to Cataloging, Searching

and Circulating...Anything

Sharing a successful idea

The Big Give

Jaywill Software is a corporate member of NCLA.

Not sure what to do with discards and unneeded

book donations? Faith Community United

Methodist Church Library in West Chester, Ohio

holds a “Big Give” twice a year.

Materials given away include those weeded from

the library, but mostly come from the many book

donations that are left in the library anonymously by

the “Library Fairy.” Reuseable colorful signs guide

browsers to specific subject areas and let people

know items are free. At the end of the event,

leftovers are packed up and given to Goodwill. Librarian Mary Jane Dishion

wisely advises, “I recommend holding your Big Give outside of the library since

browsers might think it’s all right to take books from your shelves!”

Do you have a successful idea to share? Send your tips and ideas to Kathleen Bowman, NCLA

President, c/o the NCLA office:


He wrote the book on church libraries

by Laurie Blake, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Propelled by a passion for

books and learning, Erwin John

founded NCLA.



a former




the library

at Mount



Church in



went on

to start a

national church library association, died

March 15 at age 93.

The eighth child of German immigrants,

John was born in Mankato, Minnesota

in 1917 and stayed there through college

at Bethany Lutheran College and

Mankato State University. His father

was a Lutheran minister.

He started work as a teacher and had

begun a master’s degree in music at

Northwestern University in Evanston,

Illinois, when the Army drafted him

and sent him to India. He was trained

as a meteorologist to make weather

predictions to assist pilots of allied

warplanes during World War II.

“It really opened his mind,” said his

daughter, Linda John. “He had grown

up in this pretty narrow-viewed German

Lutheran family, and he said the Army

in India allowed him to see and touch

the world.”

When he returned from the war,

he worked as a forecaster for the

National Weather Service in the Twin

Cities, based in the green-windowed


tower at what was then called Wold-

Chamberlain Field.

He and his wife, Sherrill, an

accomplished pianist, built a house in

Richfield, Minnesota, and later moved to

Edina. They raised two children, Linda

of San Francisco and Spencer John, of

Kentfield, California.

John’s passion was books, his daughter

said. “He was a very inquisitive mind

and a thinker. He didn’t just accept

hand-me-down beliefs and theologies.

He was a searcher. He started the

library at Mount Olivet because he

wanted some good books on religion.’’

It began as a five-shelf bookcase in a

little closet that housed the church’s

telephone switchboard, but it grew

under John’s care. To help other

churches start libraries, John wrote

a book, The Key to a Successful

Church Library.

In 1958 he founded the Lutheran

Church Library Association, with a

newsletter that allowed librarians to

exchange ideas and book reviews.

That organization became the National

Church Library Association, based

in Stillwater, Minnesota.

His book “became the definitive

reference for church libraries and

provided guidance to church librarians

around the country,” said Sue Benish,

the group’s executive director. “The

book remained in print for 25 years and

sold 23,000 copies.”

Linda John said her father “felt huge

satisfaction in his life to see the growth

and evolution of the church library

� continued on page 6


are open

Nominatons are open for

the 2011 Erwin John Award.

Librarians may submit their

own name for consideration

or may be nominated by

another person.

The Erwin John Award is

named after NCLA’s founder,

and was created in celebration

of our 50 th anniversary in

2008. The award recognizes a

librarian who has demonstrated

faithful and excellent service

to church library ministry over

five years, has been an active

member of NCLA, and works

to build relationships with

other churches.

Recipients may be recognized

for their overall church library

involvement, a special program,

or significant contribution.

Innovation, advocacy,

partnerships, and creative use

of resources, regardless of the

size of the library, are taken

into consideration.

Nomination forms are available

from the NCLA office, email

or phone 651-430-0770.

The Spirit of God

may emerge

from a book

to take wings

in the minds,

the hearts

and the hands

of its readers.

~Erwin John

Founder of NCLA

He wrote the book on church libraries

(continued from page 5)

association.” He once wrote: “The Spirit

of God may emerge from a book to take

wings in the minds, the hearts and the

hands of its readers.”

John’s longtime friend and golfing buddy

Rod Olson of Golden Valley described

John as “an inquisitive person who was a

delight to know.’’

“Erwin was a continual learner. That

is what made him such an interesting

No cataloging police allowed

(continued from page 2)

non-automated libraries to easily

automate later.

“What if I put the wrong Dewey number

on a book?” Fortunately there are

no Cataloging Police, and there are

resources available to help librarians

classify and catalog materials. Many

books contain Cataloging in Publication

CIP), located on the back of the title

page. CIP is cataloging done by the

Library of Congress. WorldCat is a

global online network of library content.

Search on a title in WorldCat and the

results will show cataloging used by

other libraries (


The NCLA website has links to many

other online cataloging helps on its

Librarian Web Resources page


htm). NCLA’s A Handbook for Church

Librarians provides helpful instruction

and indexes of Dewey Classification

numbers and cross-referenced Subject

Headings commonly used in church

library collections.

person to be around,’’ Olson said.

A memorial service for Erwin John is

scheduled for 11:30 a.m. April 20 at

Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 50th &

Knox, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Memorial gifts in memory of Erwin John

may be sent to the National Church Library

Association, 275 South Third St., Suite 204,

Stillwater MN 55082.

Consistency and communication make

everyone’s job easier. Collect policies

and procedures in a “Local Cataloging

Decisions” manual. In it, list the library’s

mission, goals and objectives. Make notes

on resources you are using and decisions

you are making in regard to naming and

identifying collections, designating fiction

and biography, applying ownership

markings and any other library decisions

you make for your library. This

information will be helpful to you and

anyone working with you now, and

will be a valuable guide for future

library workers.

What a wonderful time for church

libraries today! No longer constrained by

physical space, church libraries can offer

patrons unlimited available resources.

Your church library catalog is important

because it gives the members of your

congregation a wonderful tool to find

the material that has been collected for

their use.

Sandy Sharps has over 40 years of education

and library experience. She is currently

librarian at Rejoice Lutheran Church in Frisco,

Texas, and serves on the NCLA Board.



All are welcome to attend the church library events listed here. National Church Library

Association sponsored events are in bold type.


May 13-15, 2011 Church Library Conference. VA

Baptist Convention. Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference

Center, Lynchburg, VA. Contact Joan Hite: jhite@

July 19-22, 2011 Annual Conference. Church and

Synagogue Library Association. Washington, DC.



April 26-28, 2011 Annual Convention. Catholic

Library Association. New Orleans, LA. Website:

May 7, 2011 Church Library Workshop. Central AL

Baptist Convention. First Baptist Church, Prattville,

AL. Contact Marty Woodall: 334-569-3854,

July 23, 2011 Church Library Conference. SC Baptist

Convention. Spring Valley Church, Columbia, SC.

Contact Sue Hardin: (803) 791-5218, chardin5@


April 30, 2011 Church Library Workshop.

NCLA IL Chicagoland Chapter. Grace Lutheran

Church, River Forest, IL. Contact Grace Puls:


April 30, 2011 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

Central Iowa Chapter. Mount Olive Lutheran

Church, Des Moines, IA. Contact Mavis

Herzberg: 515-277-8887,

April 30, 2011 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

MN Lake Superior Chapter. Concordia Lutheran

Church, Superior, WI. Contact Patricia Mattson:


April 30, 2011 Church Library Field Trip. NCLA

MN Twin Cities Area Chapter. MN Landscape

Arboretum. Contact Dulcie Campana: 763- 427-


Spring 2011 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

OH Buckeye Chapter. Date and Site TBA.

Contact Karen Lewis:

May 7, 2010 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

WI Fox Valley Chapter. Bethel Lutheran Church,

Green Bay, WI. Contact Anne Ierien: 920-494-




July 15-16, 2011 Church Library Conference. Pacific

Northwest Association of Church Libraries. Tokyo

University, Salem, OR. Contact Doris Howard: 503-



April 16, 2011 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

CO Pikes Peak Chapter. First Presbyterian

Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Contact Suzann

Alstrin: 719-594-4248,

April 16, 2011 Church Library Conference. TX

Baptist Convention. Site TBA. Dallas, TX. Contact

Wanda Tuley:

May 6, 2011 Church Library Workshop.

NCLA CA Mountain View Chapter. Pilgrim

Congregational Church, Pomona, CA.

Contact June Anderson: 909-981-0266,

May 14, 2011 Church Library Workshop. NCLA

CA Sierra/Central Valley Chapter.

Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, CA. Contact

Doris Beckert: 916-482-8674, bdbeckert@

June 27-28, 2011 Church Library Conference. OK

Baptist Convention. Oklahoma Baptist Building,

Oklahoma City, OK. Contact Lori Warren:


April 16, 2011 Church Library Workshop. Pacific

Northwest Association of Church Libraries Treasure

Valley Chapter. Boise Church of Christ, Boise,

ID. Contact Jackie Huffman: 208-283-7223

May 7, 2011 Church Library Spring Conference.

Church Library Association of Ontario. St. Paul’s

United Church, Orillia, Ontario. Contact Mary Ryan:

May 14, 2011 Church Library Workshop. Pacific

Northwest Association of Church Libraries Seattle

Chapter. University Presbyterian Church, Seattle,

WA. Contact Iva Sutherland: 206-523-1717,

May 21, 2011 Church Library Workshop. Pacific

Northwest Association of Church Libraries Metro

Portland Chapter. Canby Christian Church, Canby

OR. Contact Doris Howard: 503-775-6697,

Find more church library events at

You’re invited!

NCLA chapters invite YOU

to join them at their next

gathering. Regional chapter

workshops have educational

sessions, hands-on workshops,

speakers, forums for exchanging

ideas and resources and much

more at minimal cost to you.

Best of all, chapter events

provide fun opportunities for

socializing and networking with

other church librarians.

You do not need to live in the

immediate vicinity of an NCLA

chapter, or be an official

chapter member, to attend

these regional events. Dates

and locations for upcoming

chapter events are listed in each

issue of Libraries Alive, and


Contact the event organizer

listed for more details about

specific dates and for local travel

and lodging recommendations

if needed.

We look forward to meeting

you at a chapter event this year!

� � � �

Find a chapter



Our corporate


NCLA thanks the following

businesses for their support

through corporate membership:

Abingdon Press

Booksystems Software



Jaywil Software

New Generation Technologies

Oasis Audio

Surpass Software

Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing

For information about

corporate membership,

contact NCLA Executive

Director, Sue Benish.

or call 651-430-0770.

The book that changed the world

A celebration of the 400-year anniversary of the King James Bible

by Karen Flynn

“The noblest monument of English prose…”1

The King James Version of the Bible (sometimes called the Authorized Version)

is the most influential book ever published. The great British historian Sir Thomas

Macaulay called it “a book which if everything else in our language should perish,

would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.”2 It is still the

most heavily used version of the Bible in the world.

The quintessential act of writing by committee, the King James Bible was created

by 47 scholars, all men of the Church of England, appointed by His Majesty James

I in 1604. Their completed opus was published for the first time in 1611 by Robert

Barker, the King’s Printer.

In 2011 we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first printing of this magisterial

work with a compilation of new and recent books on the topic. Several eminent Bible

scholars have marked the occasion with new works on the KJV. It is a fitting time to

commemorate the genesis of an extraordinary work of scholarship and literature by

sharing one or more of these with your congregation.

New Publications

BIBLE: The Story of the King James Version. Campbell, Gordon. Oxford

University Press 2010. 354p, 9780199557592 [220.52]

Writing what he calls “An affectionate biography of a book that has had a long

life and has…given life to Christian readers,” Campbell takes as his subject

first the creation of the KJV, then spends more than half the volume tracing

the story of the KJV up through the present time. The author, a professor of

Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester, writes with authority and an enjoyable

dry wit. Paperback edition available Oct. 2011.

THE KING JAMES BIBLE: A Short History from Tyndale to Today.

Norton, David. Cambridge University Press 2011, 232p, 9780521616881


David Norton is Reader in English at Victoria University of Wellington,

New Zealand, and the author or editor of numerous other works of Biblical

Scholarship, including The Cambridge Paragraph Bible. His telling of the

King James Bible story focuses on the predecessors of the KJV and the monumental

translation challenges of the translation process.

THE LEGACY OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE: Celebrating 400 Years of

the Most Influential Translation. Ryken, Leland. Crossway 2011. 265p,

9781433513886 [220.52]

Ryken, professor of English at Wheaton College, examines the history of the

creation of the KJV, the philosophies and styles that governed its making,

and its stylistic and literary impact in England, America, and the rest of the

world. Ryken’s lifelong study of Bible translation enables him to write authoritatively

on these topics. For libraries that desire a more in-depth work of scholarship.


� continued on page 9

The book that changed the world

(continued from page 8)

THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE: The Remarkable History of the King James

Version. Wilson, Derek. Lion UK 2010, 224p, 9780745953519 [220.52]

Derek Wilson is a writer whose interests are wide-ranging and whose works

vary from histories of the Tudor monarchs to scripts for BBC radio and TV,

to a series of murder mysteries set in the art world. In this history of the

KJV, Wilson brings his crisp and lively storytelling style to the bizarre and

tangled world of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England and the commissioning of the

KJV. Good reading.

VERILY, VERILY: The KJV – 400 Years of Influence and Beauty.

Sweeney, Jon. Zondervan 2011, 224p, 9780310320258 [220.52]

In his cheerfully and informally written overview, Sweeney, a writer of a

number of other books on spiritual topics, breezes through the early history

of Wyclif, Tyndale, and other early Bible scholars, recaps some history of

the Tudor monarchy, then plunges in to the work of translating that became

the KJV. Favorite chapter: “Lo, the humor!”, which captures some of the KJV verbiage

which now strikes us as funny. Possibly not the best of the current crop of volumes, but

still worthwhile.


Story of The World’s Best Known Translation. Brake, Donald L. Baker

2011, 284p, 9780801013478 [220.52]

Adeptly written for the general reader and richly illustrated with photos

and other reproductions, this book covers the time from the first English

translations of Scripture through the publication and impact of the King

James Version and its descendants to the current time. A good companion volume to

Brake’s 2008 publication A Visual History of The English Bible: the tumultuous tale of the

world’s bestselling book, which despite its unfortunately too-similar title, is a different book,

focusing more heavily on early English Bibles.

Recent Publications of Continued Interest

GOD’S SECRETARIES: The Making of the King James Bible. Nicolson,

Adam. Harper Perennial 2005, 336p, paper, 9780060838737 [220.52]

Focusing on the political climate of the time of James I and the religious and

political challenges of creating a new Bible translation to weld the English

and Scots into a united Great Britain, Nicolson tells the story of the men who

worked together to create, in the end, a masterpiece. This primarily covers

the seventeenth-century history of the KJV; for its later impact, or for its literary legacy,

see other volumes in this list.

IN THE BEGINNING: The Story of the King James Bible and How it

Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. McGrath, Alister. Anchor

2002, 352p, 9780385722162 [220.52]

McGrath starts his compelling, readable story with the impact of the printing

press: for the first time, books could be put in the hands of the average person

at relatively low cost. No book was more sought than the Bible, and its

printing changed the English nation. McGrath is especially good on sketching the political

climate of the Reformation and the time of King James and on describing the impact of

the KJV on the English language.


� continued on page 28

Are you



Branches is NCLA’s email

newsletter, created to bring

you even more information

and support for your church

library ministry.

To see the latest issue visit




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your inbox, add this email

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� � � �

� Move your

computer mouse over

websites and email

addresses to find live links

in this issue.

Get connected

One of the most valuable

benefits of being a member of

NCLA is the ability to connect

with other church librarians

to share ideas, resources,

and solutions.

See a new member on this list

from your area? We encourage

you to reach out and get to

know one another today.

Interested in finding other

members in your area? We can

search our member database to

find out who your church library

neighbors are.

Want to join a local chapter?

We can help you find a local

chapter, or start a new chapter

if one does not exist in your

area. An added bonus: members

who start a new chapter receive

5 years FREE membership, when

just 5 new churches sign up.

Contact NCLA to make a

new connection today!

Call 651-430-0770 or email

Welcome new members!

Welcome to the following new members who joined NCLA during the months of December

through March:

Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church,

San Antonio, TX; Susan Lewis, Libr.

Anita Greene, Wooster, OH

Bay First Baptist Church, Bay, AR;

Tami Hamilton, Libr.

Bethesda United Methodist Church, Guyton, GA;

Clay Morgan, Libr.

Broad Street Baptist Church, Hawkinsville, GA;

Faye Owings, Dir.

Browns Mills United Methodist Church,

Browns Mills, NJ; Linda Vaughn, Libr.

Christ United Methodist Church, Ashland, OH;

Hildegarde Yanchunas, Libr.

Church of the Cross United Methodist Church,

Toledo, OH; Sharon Moore, Libr.

Colerain Baptist Church, Kirkwood, PA;

Jacquelin Stoner, Libr.

Columbus Baptist Church, Columbus, NJ;

Patti Donnelly, Libr.

Decatur Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA;

Ronald Johnson, Libr.

Derry Presbyterian Church, Hershey, PA;

Debbie Hough, Libr.

Dulcie Campana, Coon Rapids. MN

Falmouth Congregational Church, Falmouth, ME;

Scott McLeod, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Abbeville, AL;

Margie Bush, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Carthage, MO;

Vivian Love, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Columbia, SC;

Helen Ann Rawlinson, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, LA;

Kristi Reeves; Sec.

First Baptist Church, Lubbock, TX;

Rheba Herman. Libr.

First Baptist Church, Mayflower, AR;

Fayrean McCoy, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Mendenhall, MS;

Angela Jones, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, TX;

Patricia Smith, Libr.

First Baptist Church, Texarkana, TX

First Baptist Church, Winnfield, LA;

Claudia Machen McBride, Libr.

First Evengelical Free Church, Las Cruces, NM;

Violet Fountain, Libr.

First Presbyterian Church, Kenosha, WI;

Leslie Pottorff, Libr.


First Presbyterian Church, Green Bay, WI;

Nancy Siewert, Libr.

First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC;

Carrie C. Stringer, Libr.

First Presbyterian Church, Yuma, CO;

Carol Heltenberg, Libr.

Grace Presbyterian Church, Edwards, IL;

Tracy Mann, Libr.

Kingswood United Methodist Church,

Buffalo Grove, IL; Cherilyne Stark, Libr.

Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church,

Bloomfield Hills, MI; Sue Gelbach, Libr.

Long Grove Community Church, Long Grove, IL;

Elaine Harrington, Libr.

Lynwood Baptist Church, Cape Girardeau, MO;

Nellie L. McGill, Libr.

Macedonia Baptist Church, Petal, MS;

Sheila Harrington, Libr.

Mount Vernon First United Methodist Church,

Mount Vernon, WA; Anne Lundquist, Libr.

Normandale Hylands United Methodist Church,

Bloomington, MN; Judith Kersten, Libr.

North Bedford Baptist Church, Forest, VA;

Dayna Staples, Libr.

Paradise Hills United Methodist Church,

Albuquerque, NM; Edward Steinfeld, Libr.

Parma Baptist Church, Parma, OH;

Karin Kocel, Libr.

Peggy Smart, Spokane Valley, WA

Spirit of Joy Church, Sioux Falls, SD;

Josephine Spencer, Libr.

St. Peters Anglican Church, Courtenay,

BC Canada; Leslie Lindsay; Libr.

St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Atlanta, GA;

Mary Foster, Libr.

State Street United Methodist Church,

Bristol, VA; Anne Wallace, Libr.

Summit Baptist Church, Wiggins, CO;

Rolland Kenneson, Pr.

Third Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL;

Sandi Woodard, Libr.

Trinity United Methodist Church,

Fort Walton Beach, FL; Sandra Sears

United Methodist Church, Lenox, MA;

Jill Wehry, Libr.

Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata, MN;

Bruce Hesse, Libr.






Gansky, Alton. 255p,

Guidepost Books 2010,

9780824947743 [232]

This book is comprised mostly of twopage

vignettes on the life, teaching, and

friends of Jesus of Nazareth while he

walked the earth. The first section is about

discovering Jesus in the pages of the Bible

before his birth, and the last section is

about how Jesus changed the world. The

format is consistent throughout. Gansky

ties each article to a Bible verse and

ends with a feature called “Check Your

Understanding.” Other devices the author

uses are: Final Thought, Take It to Heart,

Myth Buster, Something to Remember,

Digging Deeper, and Points to Ponder. The

book is illustrated and attractive. The Table

of Contents is well done, but there is no

index. It would be more user-friendly if the

book were spiral bound as it is somewhat

difficult to handle. Everything here can

be found in the Bible, but a family could

use this book as a devotional guide and

everyone would benefit. Rating: 3 —AMB


How the Resurrection Changes

Everything. Warnock, Adrian.

262p, Crossway Books 2010,

9781433507168 [236.8]

The author believes we

live in a Resurrection World, and that

changes everything. He contends that

the resurrection of Jesus Christ should

not concern people just as something in

the future, but also as way to live their

lives every day. He says that God wants

mankind to be transformed by the power

of the resurrection. Sin will be killed and

all true followers will live as they ought.

One very interesting chapter is titled, “Did

Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?” He

tackles the questions that surround this

issue by quoting from numerous sources,

including the Scriptures. Warnock says that

he writes this book as an ordinary Christian

and not a theologian, but it should be noted


that he has been a regular

preacher at Jubilee Church

in London for more than ten

years. Although pedantic at times,

the book is an interesting read.

Rating: 3 —AMB


JESUS: To Repair and Renew

the World. Chilton, Bruce.

224p, Abingdon 2010,

9781426700064 [232]

What did Jesus want to

accomplish during his life? The short

answer is the subtitle of this book—”to

repair and renew the world.” Jesus

continued the tradition of the prophets

who came before him as he taught,

challenged, energized, and inspired his

followers throughout the ages to take up

this prophetic vocation in their own lives.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus spelled out this

prophetic vocation for us using seven key

concepts: Soul, Spirit, Kingdom, Insight,

Forgiveness, Mercy, and Glory. Professor

Chilton devotes a chapter to each of these

concepts which show how we can share

Jesus’ vision and become inspired by him

to repair and renew this world. Use this

book in your discussion group.

Rating: 3 —RO




GUIDE: Bible Background

with Maps, Charts, and

Lists. Har-El, Menashe.

114p, Abingdon 2010,

9781426707575 [220.91]

Menashe Har-El is

emeritus professor of Biblical Archaeology

at Tel Aviv University, a researcher of the

ancient geography and history of Israel

and the Middle East, and formerly a

lecturer at the teachers’ seminaries of The

Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel

Aviv University. His scholarly credentials

are strong and he has published 13 books

related to the land of Israel. It is, therefore,

disappointing that this book lacks some of

� Move your computer

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Topical index

11 Bible & Theology

11 Bible Geog & Reference

13 Biography & Inspirational

14 Children

16 Christian Life

19 Church & Ministry

19 Church History

20 Church Seasons

20 Death & Grief

21 DVD Ent/Drama

24 Fiction

21 Health & Wellness

21 Marriage & Family

22 Outreach & Evangelism

23 Prayer & Devotional

23 Religion & Culture

29 INDEX by Title

Rating system

4 = Highly


3 = Recommended

2 = Recommended

with reservations

1 = Not recommended

Teen & Young

Adult reviewer


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the features that would make it truly useful.

The book is organized in three sections:

Geography of the Bible, Understanding

the Old Testament, and Understanding

the New Testament. In many ways it is

much like a Bible atlas and could be used

by anyone with a similar type of question.

The maps included have several different

formats and levels of quality. Some maps

are rather fuzzy and not as easy to read

as would be desirable. There are some

interesting lists and charts – such as a

Chronology, a list of Peoples and Lands of

the Ancient Near East, etc. but the lack of

any index to the book’s content is a serious

flaw. For most libraries, a proper Bible

atlas, such as the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

also reviewed in this issue, will serve needs

better. Rating: 2 —KLF



JESUS. Ritmeyer,

Leen and Kathleen.

72p, Abingdon 2009,

9781426706943 [956.94]

This appealing guide to

the city of Jerusalem is organized by place

name or sight within the city.

Each entry is fully described

in text and extensively

illustrated with photos, line

drawings, and cutaway

drawings; most are in full

color. Valuable to those who wish to enrich

their Bible study by better understanding

the historical city of Jerusalem, or those

planning a trip to the Holy Land. There

is no index, but the table of contents is

quite complete. Overall, a useful reference.

Originally published in 2004 in Israel.

Rating: 4 —KLF


BIBLE. Walker, Peter.

320p, Lion Hudson 2010,

9780745952925 [220.61]

This is a very accessible,

easy-to-read and

understand introduction

to the Bible. It follows the structure

of the Old and New Testaments,

providing a chapter on each book

of the Bible containing a synopsis,

summaries of key messages, important

background, and interpretation. Many

full-color illustrations, charts, and maps


are provided. However, this volume does

not provide detailed exegesis, and does not

replace a scholarly commentary. What it

does do well is engage the general reader

gently and informatively on the Bible,

proving to be a very engaging companion

volume. Also recommended for youth. The

author, Peter Walker, has written a number

of other well-regarded companion volumes

to the Bible. Rating: 4 —KLF


ATLAS (One Stop

Series). Page, Nick. 128p,

Lion Hudson 2010,

9780745953526 [220.91]

Libraries who want an

easy-to-use, modestly

priced Bible atlas with clear maps and

diagrams and straightforward, readable

commentary will be pleased with Nick

Page’s One-Stop Bible Atlas. While not a

substitute for a more detailed, scholarly

Bible atlas such as the Zondervan Atlas of

the Bible, this book is designed to be very

approachable, even for youth. The writing

is informal and enjoyable, with a spice of

humor; there are some unique and useful

maps included, such as

Jesus’ movements within

Jerusalem day-by-day

during Holy Week. There

are place, person, and

general indexes, although

they are concise. There is no concordance

or coordinates given to locate specific

places on maps. Overall, well worth the

money. Nick Page is a prolific author, with

over sixty books to his credit including,

together with his wife Claire, many

children’s books. Rating: 3 —KLF

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Rasmussen, Carl G. 303p,

Zondervan 2010,

9780310270508 [220.91]

On all counts—accuracy,

usability, quality, and

comprehensiveness—this atlas scores

well. The atlas starts with a geographical

section that covers the physical geography,

topology, and climate of Israel, Jordan,

Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia. The

historical section that follows commences

with the Pre-Patriarchal period and covers

both Hebrew Bible and New Testament

history. There is also a separate chapter

on the city of Jerusalem. Maps are full

color, clearly labeled, and appealing to

the eye. Photos, which are sometimes

poorly selected and reproduced in Bible

atlases, are crisp and sharp, and all are in

color. A very nice feature of this atlas is

the comparative timelines that head each

section, with key events in the relevant

nations: for example, the chapter on the

Exile and Return shows timelines for

Babylon/Persia, Judea, and Egypt. Overall

timelines are also included at the end of the

book. There are a bibliography, an index of

Scriptural references, an index of persons,

and a combined geographical dictionary

and index at the end of the book. The atlas

was a sixteen-year labor of love for the

author, Carl Rasmussen, and it shows. For

the price, this is one of the best investments

your library can make. Rating: 4 —KLF

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Story. Alonzo. Nichols,

Rebecca. 278p, paper, Tyndale

2010, 9781414326597 [277.3]

This is an outstanding and

life-altering read for any church library.

Not only is the narrative a riveting story,

but also it brings to life a basic Christian

ethos—forgiveness. It is the inspirational

true story of a preacher’s family terrorized

for over ten years by one of their

parishioners. The book is written in the

first person and recounts how a young girl

conquers her fear when a murderous

neighbor accosts her. But even greater

than her courage is her ability to rise

above the all too human error of sinking

into hate for those who have wronged us.

Rating: 4 —GD



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Keith, Brooke. 16p,

Warner Press 2010,

9781593173982 [E]

Chrissie the turtle

felt she was not a real

someone living in her so empty shell. This

beautifully illustrated picture book then

takes you on a walk through the forest

as Chrissie compares herself to the other

animals. In her sadness over what she

feels she is missing, she whispers to God

to make her a real someone. God speaks

to her as she describes the other animals

that she thinks she would rather be, and

God leads her to understand what a special

creature she is. This is a wonderful way to

talk about self-esteem to even the youngest

child. Rating: 4 —KHB



What Happens

When You Push.

Bergman, Mara.

32p, Albert

Whitman 2010, 9780807547021 [E]

This wonderful book with beautiful

illustrations by Cassia Thomas is the tale

of how a chain reaction can happen among

a classroom of children after the first one

pushes another. It would lend itself well to

being read aloud to a group of pre-school

or elementary age children as a lead-in to

discussing the importance of treating others

with respect and caring. Its gentle rhyming

style and quirky illustrations are sure to

make it a favorite of any young child.

The author and illustrator have created

a book with universal appeal that allows

for a gentle but extremely effective way to

teach children about consequences. Lively

Elizabeth would be a welcome addition to

any church library for families to use as

well for church school teachers to read to

their classes. Rating 4 —AL

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BOOK: How God Led

His People and Me

Out of Egypt and Into

the Promised Land.

Zobel-Nolan, Allia. 32p,

Harvest House 2010,

9780736925433 [JUV 222.1092]

This Bible story book is intended for

children ages 3-7. In this tale Moses recalls

the adventures God led him on, including

freeing the Israelites, the miracles from God

and traveling across the desert. Illustrations

are delightful and capture the simple

text. Once Moses accepted God’s plan,

he changed and nothing was impossible

for him to achieve with God’s help and

guidance. A glossary of words used is

included for the young reader. My only

problem with this book is that it ignores

the early life of Moses as Prince of Egypt.

Without that essential background children

will not understand fully why God chose

Moses to lead the Israelites from slavery

into freedom. Parents and Sunday School

teachers need to be aware of this to utilize

this book most effectively as a teaching

tool. Rating: 2 —MF


Ado About Middle

School (DVD). 90 min,

color, Bridgestone 2010,

095163882945 [DVD E]

This is a well-intended,

but poorly executed musical attempt, to

address the fears of youngsters about to

enter middle school. The key characters

are a representative boy and girl who feel

like outcasts and become friends. As they

discuss their dread of starting middle school

with their parents, they direct confidential

asides to the viewers to show that their

parents “don’t get it.” They befriend a sage

musical street person, enlarge their circle

of outcasts, and find a worthy cause that

brings recognition. The pre-teens watching

with me found it obvious and predictable,

and only my granddaughter watched the

whole thing. Besides the unrealistic plot, I

felt the parents did a disservice by agreeing

with the assumption that middle school

is an experience to dread rather than one

preparing their children to have a good

experience. Rating: 0 —DKW



Chapman, Kelly. 32p,

Harvest House 2010,

9780736924351 [E]



Chapman, Kelly. 32p,

Harvest House 2010,

9780736928953 [E]

Both of these books are intended for

children ages 3-8. Princess with a Purpose

is about finding true identity in Christ’s

kingdom. What young girl hasn’t pretended

to be a princess and identified with all

the princesses in those fairy tales? Young

girls will discover in this book that as

daughters of the King (Jesus) they truly

are God’s princesses. A sweet and simple

story followed by a princess prayer gives

even the smallest little girl a royal feeling

of being a part of the family of God. And

what young boy doesn’t have visions of

being a warrior? A Warrior Prince for God

teaches young boys that a warrior prince

is a son of the King of Kings. His purpose

is to serve and obey the King. These books

present the God-design for princesses

and warrior princes. The author is an

experienced and sought-after speaker. She

and the Royal Purpose Ministries staff

present programs to groups across the

United States. A curriculum kit available

for both books contains an activity book,

music CD and curriculum DVD.

Rating: 3 —MF


STARFISH: One Person Can

Make a Difference! (DVD).

48 min, color, Bridgestone

2007, 9780740316586


This is definitely not a movie to show

children before they go to bed at night.

There are several scary parts, especially

for the target audience (3-7 years old) that

it is designed to reach. In the beginning of

the movie there is an evil monster in the

sea called El Diablo who stalks the ocean

floor trying to capture everything that

attempts to reach the Valley of Light. As


Sara’s family travels to the beach, they stop

at a drive-thru restaurant called Monster

Burger; then a scary storm comes during

the night and the evil Gorlock (an octopus)

frightens the baby starfish in the ocean.

The story line is good with the little girl

Sara, her brother and his friend doing the

right thing by returning the starfish that

have washed upon the beach to the water.

For church libraries, the only reference to

God is in the song where it says “there

is Someone watching over you and

me.” There does, however, seem

to be a balance between good and

evil with good being the overall

winner. Rating: 2 —ARG


The Kaka Story. Jones,

Jeremy V. 114p, paper,

Zonderkidz 2010,

9780310720034 [796.334]

This part Christian biography

and part soccer fact book tells the story

of how Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite,

nicknamed Kaka, becomes the FIFA World

Player of the Year in 2007. As a Brazilian

child, Kaka knows he wants to play soccer

in the adult leagues. His family is affluent

enough to send him to soccer training

programs. He plays in youth soccer leagues

where he excels. Raised in a Christian

family, Kaka is vocal about his faith as a

child and throughout his career. “I Believe

in Jesus” is printed on his soccer shirts

and “God is faithful” is on his cleats. When

he suffers a waterslide injury that could

have left him paralyzed, he attributes his

recovery to God. In addition to telling the

story of Kaka, this book provides sections

of information on the country of Brazil

and on the international sport of soccer.

Written for ages 8-12, this book will

especially appeal to boys who regard Kaka

as their sports hero. Rating: 3 —BM



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on Change, Grace, and

Learning the Hard Way.

Niequist, Shauna. 249 p,

Zondervan 2010,

9780310328162 [277.3]

The author brings us on her journey from

one place to another both physically and

spiritually. But this isn’t as easy as it

sounds. The title reminds us that through

the joys and excitements of life and faith,

come hard struggle and sometimes wobbly

conviction. Ms. Niequist has a talent for

bringing her thoughts out of the page; you

almost feel as though you are sharing a cup

of tea with her as she explains, clarifies,

expounds and draws out the meanings

of being a mother, a wife, a friend and a

grace-filled Christian. I had a hard time

putting the book down without re-reading

passages and dog-earing certain pages,

reminding me that there are things to

life other than the one-day-after-another

existence we sometimes force ourselves to

see. I would recommend this book to those

who are looking for answers (not that she

has them, but she can show you how to

look for them) and for groups who are

searching together to find God amongst

them. Rating: 4 —CP


The Power of Personal

Integrity. Dyer, Charles H.,

216p, paper, Moody 2010,

9780802439093 [241.4]

If ever the times cried out for

straight talk about integrity, surely it’s

now. In engaging, but forthright prose,

Dyer examines ten elements that integrity

demands, beginning with honesty. His

approach is solidly and refreshingly

Biblical, and decidedly contemporary.

I checked out his “modernized” Bible

passages about familiar characters like

Abraham, Solomon and Job, and saw

contemporary parallels. This modern

prophet does not scold readers; he

coaxes them to peek in the mirror as he

intersperses Bible tales with anecdotes

drawn from his own and others’

experience. Character does count, but

it must be developed and protected, so

Dyer tells what to watch out for and

how to maintain integrity. This would be

an excellent study book for an adult or teen

Sunday School class. “Reflect & Respond”

questions after each chapter provide

personal application. Rating: 4 —DKW

I QUIT!: Stop Pretending

Everything is Fine and Change

Your Life. Scazzero, Geri.

215p, Zondervan 2010,

9780310321965 [248.4]

Wow! Sometimes that is

the only word I know to use to describe

the writings of an author I have just

discovered. Geri Scazzero is such an

author. She writes about the boldness of

quitting things for the better—something

that most of us have only imagined doing.

She shows how to turn what seems to be a

negative into a positive, so that we may be

given the life God intends for us—one of

joyful living, not one filled with resentment

and burdens. I Quit! teaches how to align

with God’s will—doing the right thing

for the right reasons at the right time in

the right way. This is a book that I will

definitely return to for guidance as I too

quit some things in my life, so I can be who

God designed me to be. Rating: 4 —ARG


Journey to your Promised

Land. Shirer, Priscilla. 212p,

B&H Publishing 2010,

9780805464764 [248.843]

Author Priscilla Shirer,

daughter of pastor Dr. Tony Evans, weaves

the text between God’s chosen people, the

Israelites, and modern day Christians in

three sections: Deliverance (from our sin),

Development (learning to trust God in the

wilderness), and Destiny (experiencing

the abundant life in Christ). Recalling the

Biblical account of the Israelites’ journey

from Egypt to the Promised Land, she

reminds the reader that out of the original

two million Israelites, only two of that

generation actually entered it—Joshua

and Caleb (one in a million)—because

they wanted it bad enough to go for it.

If we Christians today want more than

the “ho-hum Christian life as usual,” then

we too have to be willing to leave things

behind us that are keeping us from going

where God wants to take us (living life in

His abundance), yet not forgetting that

there is often the “wait and trust time” in

the wilderness. The appendix includes a


list of many characteristics intended to help

you see if you are truly experiencing the

abundant life offered by Christ.

Rating: 4 —ARG


A Search for Eden Among

Life’s Weeds. Cunningham,

Sarah. 221p, paper,

Zondervan 2010,

9780310292470 [277.3]

Written by a pastor’s daughter, this memoir

describes her feelings on being a pastor’s

kid, and moves on to her experiences at

college, her marriage, her teaching career

and the inspiration she found volunteering

at Ground Zero. Throughout runs the

thread of her desire to become more

Christ-like. She describes her prayers,

admitting to God that she hates some

people, telling God of the faults of others,

while asking Him to help her overcome

her shortcomings and to reflect Him more

fully. It’s a breezy sometimes funny account

I could relate to. She writes, “I try to get

things straight with God, to own up to

who I am and reflect on who I want to

be.” “This lasts for about half an hour,” she

admits. In one hilarious chapter, she tries to

heal her trait of impatience as she teaches

a class of inattentive, unruly high school

students. Rating: 3.5 —EB


Some Neglected Aspects of

Our Calling. Stott, John.

142p, InterVarsity 2010,

9780830838479 [248.4]

I wanted to really like this

book; I was looking for a “tune up” in the

New Year. And there are elements in it

which are instructive and helpful. But there

are also places in this book where I find

I disagree with the author and his views

of what it means to be a Christian today.

Included in its entirety is a document

entitled, “An Evangelical Commitment to

Simple Life-Style.” Again, I thought this

was insightful and interesting, but it seemed

to draw barriers between the “haves” (the

Christians as defined by Stott) and “havenots”

(those not), instead of bringing them

together. After reading this book, I believe

that John Stott needs you to believe his

kind of Christianity, which separates one

from another, instead of bringing them

together. I found many of his passages too


divisive, too much like the Sadducees of

Jesus’ time. On the whole, I found this to

be a confining and narrow view of what

a disciple of Christ needs to be. I think if

anyone were to read this, it would have

to be with an educated and discerning

eye. I would not recommend it to a group,

except to perhaps to encourage discussion.

Rating: 0 —CP



and Spiritual Approach.

Pierce, Pam and Chuck D.

Pierce. 197p, paper, Chosen

2010, 9780800794774 [241.4]

While there is much written and

discussed about the need we have in

this technological and very busy world

to simplify our lives both spiritually and

practically, this book does not aid the

reader in practical ways to accomplish the

task. Written by two authors, the sections

of the short book are extremely different

in style and approach. The first section

written by Pam was easy reading, but

cluttered with biographical tales that often

did not add to the subject. The second half

by her husband was wordy and contained

some disturbing ideas on theology and

prophesy. Though there were some good

thoughts on keeping the Sabbath and

not letting technology rule our personal

lives, these were not enough to overcome

a serious lack of content and practical

applications. There are many better books

on the subject of simplicity than this one.

Rating: 1 —AL


You’ve Been a Bad Friend

to Us. Moore, Beth,

352p, Tyndale 2010,

9781414334721 [248.8]

Beth Moore is a favorite author

of many Christian women, and this book is

a good introduction for those who haven’t

read her work. She frankly chronicles her

own battles with insecurity, adding other

women’s stories—and even surveyed men

for a perspective on their insecurities and

how they notice lack of self-confidence in

women. She closely examines numerous

reasons women feel they don’t measure

up, then suggests ways to replace

insecurity with dignity. Even women

who don’t struggle with this problem can

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book reviews

Reviews help take the

guesswork out of selecting

materials for your library. They

can inform you about new

titles, help you determine their

appropriateness, and help

develop your selection skills.

Will a highly recommended

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Maybe. The answer ultimately

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theological view of your church

and the selection criteria you

have set.





find insights here to address their own

occasional uncertainties and to refrain from

inadvertent trespass on another’s fragile

self-esteem. Moore’s writing style is sisterto-sister,

but her solid research and Biblical

foundation give an authority to her words.

I highly recommend it for church libraries,

classes and individuals. Rating: 4 —DKW


HOLY. Woodlief, Tony. 203p,

paper, Zondervan. 2010,

9780310319931 [277.3]

In this book you will find that

we actually have two homes.

Our earthly home is the more familiar

where we experience the joys and pain of

daily living. Our other home is the holy

and sacred place where we

meet God. He comes to us,

surrounding us with love and

grace that we then share with

others. The author, father

of four sons, finds grace in

everyday encounters in the


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most unlikely places. Every room becomes

a classroom; lessons are funny, thoughtful

and sad. All become opportunities to

appreciate each day without regrets, to

thank God for the good times and the less

than good. You don’t have to be a parent,

or even like children, to profit from this

story. Our two homes represent movement

from earthly cares to spiritual awareness.

You will laugh, maybe cry; but the book

will make you think. God’s presence is in

this book. Rating: 4 —CRP


(And There is No Plan B).

Robertson, Dwight. 217p,

David C. Cook 2010,

9781434764638 [248.5]

The author’s intent is to set

Christianity back 2000 years. Robertson’s

main theme is that today’s Christians

should act like Christ by really seeing

people. He asserts that Christians merely

look through ordinary people they meet

such as clerks, waiters, and bank tellers


without thinking about their lives and their

stories and without recognizing them as

individuals and showing concern. It all

adds up to each individual Christian being

God’s Plan A to spread his love in the

world. The device he uses to make his point

is a series of stories. The author especially

addresses people who have not gotten

involved in Kingdom building because

they think they can’t make significant

contributions. While the material is not

new, the stories are compelling and could

serve as a guide to a reader seeking to be

more Christ-like. Rating: 3 —AMB





BEEN TOLD: A Sociologist

Shatters Myths from the

Secular and Christian Media.

Wright, Bradley. 249p, paper, Bethany

House 2010, 9780764207464 [277.3]

The author refutes current Christian

leaders, teachers, and researchers who

say the American Christian church is

rapidly dying. Wright is an Evangelical

sociologist and focuses on Evangelical

Christians in this book. Understandable

graphs present statistical data on topics

such as youth, divorce, sex, giving, crime,

substance abuse, loving others and racial

attitudes. Data sources are included and

are discussed and evaluated. “After about a

year of reading the scholarly literature and

analyzing scores of data sets,” the author

comes to a much more positive conclusion

than that presented by the current prophets

of doom. His advice to readers is to be

“cranky and suspicious when facing all

manner of studies and statistics.” He’s a

great antidote to the Barna Group.

Rating: 3.5 —MS



Finding New Meaning in

Spiritual Practices. Hunter,

Todd D. 189p, Intervarsity

2010, 9780830837489 [248]

In this time of dwindling church attendance

and house churches comes a compelling

plea to give traditional churches a second

look. After 25 years the Rev. Todd


Hunter himself withdrew from church

attendance. He found he missed it, and

eventually returned to pastoral ministry.

One reason people are turned off by

churches, he realized, is that their members

tend to be heavy on belief and short on

putting those beliefs into demonstrable

action. This friendly book examines

such church practices and disciplines as

gathering weekly to worship, scripture

reading, tithing, and Communion.

He persuasively presents church as a

vehicle that enables faithful Christians

to live out Christ’s ways in the world

24/7. Readers who have only “attended

church,” may be pleasantly surprised to

discover how meaningful church can be.

A good church library choice.

Rating: 4 —DKW


Reviving Our Radical Pursuit

of Jesus. Underwood, Ed.

318p, David C. Cook 2010,

9781434700179 [269.2]

“I’m asking God to use this

book to show those of the Jesus Movement

generation how to finish what we started.

But more than that, I’m begging Him to

call Christians of every generation to the

radical commitment that fuels revival,”

states Underwood in explaining his

purpose in writing this book. The author

takes the reader back to the ’60s and ’70s

and explains how the Jesus Movement

started, what fueled it, and why it fizzled

out. He encourages those who were part

of that revival to rekindle their enthusiasm

and be part of a rebirth of those ideas. This

book is interesting as a history of that time.

The reader may agree that a revival of the

modern church is imperative, but disagree

about how that revival will come to today’s

Christians. Rating: 2.5 —AMB





Noll, Mark A. and Carolyn

Nystrom. 286p, IVP Books

2011, 9780830838349 [276]

This book introduces readers in the West

to notable Christians from recent history

in the non-Western world. Seventeen

2011 NCLA

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Confused by the vast number

of publishers out there? You

can find descriptions, contact

information, and links to over

100 Christian book publishers

in NCLA’s online Directory of

Christian Publishers.

Click on a publisher’s link to visit

its website and learn about new

and upcoming releases, current

catalogs, where to buy options,

and background information

about the publishing house itself.

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miniature biographies are included,

covering Christians from Southern, West,

and East Africa, India, Korea, and China.

Clouds of Witnesses is a companion volume

to Mark Noll’s earlier book, The New

Shape of World Christianity: How American

Experience Reflects Global Faith (2009). The

book is both historical and inspirational

in approach. It may best be purchased in

combination with Noll’s earlier book, so

that readers can access both the theory

and historiographical approach offered

there. However, the strength of this book

lies in its close attention to specific events,

persons and circumstances in regions

where Christianity is relatively new.

Furthermore, because the book is divided

into seventeen short biographies, small

groups may find it accessible to read just

one or two for discussion, and clergy and

church leaders may find them edifying as

stories to share in preaching and worship.

Rating: 4 —CS




David and Tom Winters, eds.

313p, WaterBrook 2010,

9780307729293 [394.2663]

This book is a gem. It

includes stories, hymns, poems, recipes,

Christmas memories, crafts, and giftgiving

ideas. Beginning with December

1 and ending with December 24, the

author takes readers on a journey of

longstanding traditions and introduces

them to some new ones along the way.

The family could use this as an advent

countdown, or an individual could

read a chapter each day. Another

way to approach this book is

through the excellent index.

It is divided into: Crafts and

Decorations; Dinners, which gives

menus from around the world; Gifts;

Memories, Letters and Reflections;

Poems; Quotations listed by author;

Recipes; Scriptures; Songs, Carols,

and Hymns; Stories; and Trivia and

Humor. The book culminates with

the birth of the Savior as told in Luke’s

gospel. The attractiveness, with

borders and decorations in muted red and

green, adds to its appeal. Rating 4: —AMB




Flamming, Peter James. 113p,

paper, Abingdon 2010,

9781426702211 [248.866]

The author tells us what steps

to take in turning our grief experience

into a healing experience. Flamming

speaks of the positive wisdom of grief that

seeks to take the pain of our loss, and in

time, recycle it for our good. He closes

every chapter by giving us a “This I can

Do Today” and “This I can Remember

Today” bit of advice. The last chapter

on turning points and beginning again

takes the reader to a time of healing. The

wisdom of grief may be saying the worst

is over and beginning to look forward as

well as backwards. This I can do today—

remember that God works in all things,

past, present, and future. It is time not to

forget the past, but to realize that healing

has taken place to get you where you are. It

is a hopeful and positive book for a church

library. I have read a number of books on

grief and knew immediately that this writer

was talking to all who had experienced

grief and that it is written in the language

of a layperson. Rating: 4 —SV


Christian Journey Through

Miscarriage. Barrett, Elise

Erikson. 165p, Westminster

John Knox 2010,

9780664235208 [248.8]

The author, an ordained clergywoman,

does not write just about her own physical

and emotional experience with miscarriage,

but seeks to console other women who have

had pregnancies that ended too soon. This

book is a map to a better understanding of

miscarriage. It is divided into three parts:

The Journey through Miscarriage, which

has an outstanding chapter on the medical

basics of miscarriage; The Journey with

God; and The Journey Forward. Each

chapter ends with reflective questions and

an exercise. At the end she includes a wide


variety of resources and how to get help. If

your library does not have a book on this

subject, this would be an excellent one to

add to your collection. Rating: 4 —AMB





90 min, color, Bridgestone

2009, 9780740318689

[DVD 791.437]

This family film deals with the

subject of death of a sibling. Jake Cooper’s

brother is killed in a car accident just after

graduating from high school, and the family

is devastated. At the funeral the pastor said

that Bobby is alive in Heaven and that they

are not saying goodbye forever. Bobby

is in a place where there is no more pain,

fear, or death. They are rejoicing Bobby’s

graduation to his new life in Heaven.

Jake visits Bobby’s grave and tells him

how he wishes the two of them could go

to Crawford Mountain camping one more

time. This inspires Jake and his older sister

Trish to ride their bikes on a search for

Bobby in Heaven. The story becomes an

adventure tale of survival on a mountain

while also teaching us about the importance

of helping each other grieve. A highly

recommended movie for all who struggle

to understand death and God’s plan for us.

Ages 10 and up. Rating: 4 —BM


When Life Becomes Reality

(DVD). 90min, color, Pure

Flix 2009, 893261001844

[DVD 791.4372]

As in the lives of many young

women today, an unplanned, out-ofwedlock,

pregnancy happened in the life

of Sarah Collins (played by Rebecca St.

James) just as the doors of opportunity

were opening up for her in her career.

Having been raised in a home with strong

Christian principles, but not living in her

faith at the time, Sarah knew she would not

have an abortion even though there were

very strong influences to the contrary all

around her. Through visions Sarah believes

were sent to her by God, she sees what

her life would be like if she does have this

child…and she likes what she sees. Sarah


stands strong even though, at the time, her

faith was weak. As with many crises in

our lives, we are drawn closer to the Lord,

and in the end, Sarah was able to help a

friend and coworker deal with and come to

forgive herself for having had an abortion

in her teen years. Rating: 4 —ARG




(DVD). Allen, Karen Joy.

Color, Bridgestone 2009,

9780740319150 [613.715]

This is a dance fitness DVD

featuring the use of “joystix” which

are weighted sticks of less than one

pound each. By using these sticks, the

participant gains a more strenuous upper

body workout along with the simple

dance movements. This provides a good,

basic fitness routine. The praise music is

hardly noticeable as the instructor, Karen

Joy Allen, is calling out the moves over

the music. She does begin the routines

with credit to God for the power in

the workouts. This workout would be

appropriate for those wanting to work

out in privacy at home. Simple weights

could be used in place of the “joystix.” If a

workout DVD were to be included in your

church library, this would be adequate.

Rating: 3 —JD






Nancy. 288p, paper,

Zondervan 2010,

9780310284741 [248.8]

The author, Nancy Rue, has her pulse

exactly on today’s Tween Girl World.

Tween girls are ages 8-12. As we all know,

today’s preteen scene has many challenges.

Ms. Rue includes personal anecdotes,

insights and emails from girls who have

emailed her which add to this book’s

authenticity. The guide is divided into 4

parts composed of 2 or 3 chapters each.

Some examples are: helping the young miss

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One should not

pursue goals

that are

easily achieved.

One must develop

an instinct

for what one can

just barely achieve

through one’s

greatest efforts.

~ Albert Einstein

“find herself,” anorexia, bulimia, personal

care, healthy parenting, peer pressure,

and dealing with bullies. She closes every

chapter with a prayer and gives the book a

Christian flavor throughout. Ms. Rue has

published 36 previous books for tweens and

teen girls about authenticity, beauty, the

changing body, relationships and spiritual

formation. She gives helpful insights and

true examples for dealing with all the

touchy subjects facing tween girls today. I

would like to have read this book 25 years

ago with my own daughter, but now it

will be helpful for my 2 granddaughters.

I recommend this book for mom study

groups and every church library. It would

make an excellent gift. Rating: 4 —RE

TEEN-OLOGY: The Art of

Raising Great Teenagers.

Burns, Jim. 221p,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764207044 [248.8’45]

The premise is that raising

teenagers is tough. Although this is

certainly not a new idea, Burns uses his

extensive experience in working with teens

to explore the questions that every parent

struggles to answer. The book is divided

into two parts. The first is how to parent

teens to become responsible adults. Some

of the subjects he covers are: correcting

behavior without crushing character,

learning the developmental stages of

adolescence, creating a media-safe home,

teaching the purity code, the spiritual life

of a teenager, and others. In the second

half he discusses common problems and

solutions: eating disorders, drug and

alcohol abuse, tattoos and body piercing,

coping with tragedy, cyberbullying, driving,

choosing a college, depression, dinnertime,

obesity, self-injury, sleep, sexual abuse,

suicide, and homework hassles. He gives

symptoms to look for and suggestions for

solutions. The book is straightforward

with up-to-date material, including sample

contracts parents can make with their

teenagers. It could be used by individuals,

but would be most beneficial in a discussion

setting with several parents.

Rating: 4 —AMB



TELLING YOU: Unlocking

the Secret World of Teen Boys.

Ross, Michael and Suzie

Shellenburger. 190p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764207495 [248.8]

According to the authors, a father must

understand his son’s heart and mind

in order to provide the support and

connection he desperately needs. The

authors’ experiences teach three of most

boy’s essential viewpoints: “Please Clue

In: I’m not You!”, “Trust me, and I’ll

Trust You”, and “Stay Close and Let Me

Breathe.” They suggest that your son’s

world is nothing like the world which

you recall. Every teen boy struggles with

constant pressure to prove himself. Advice

offered here is for the parent to forget his

world and concentrate on listening and

trusting. Crucially, their closing chapters

deal with tendencies toward rejection of

Christianity. Rating: 3 —JT




Living and Speaking the

Gospel. Stiles, J. Mack. 128p,

paper, InterVarsity 2010,

9780830833504 [248.5]

Mack Stiles is a dedicated American

evangelist who moved his family to the

United Arab Emirates to spread the

Gospel. His concern in this book is that

many people offer a weakened or confused

version of the Gospel, which leads to

people assuming they are Christians

without realizing what being a disciple

of Christ actually entails. The book felt

“preachy” to me, though he backs his points

anecdotally as well as Scripturally. Stiles’

bold conversations with non-Christians

frequently expose a muddled understanding

of the Gospel. Theologically liberal readers

might disagree with his focus on hell and

his narrow interpretation of “the Gospel,”

but he rightly calls for a more honest

proclamation. And I wish his “16 Ways

to Demonstrate Love and Unity in the

Church” could be printed as a pamphlet

and distributed in churches.

Rating: 2.5 —DKW




(With Answers). Mittleberg,

Mark. 306p, paper, Tyndale

2010, 9781414315911 [239.7]

I really like this book. The writing is

precise and the explanations are clear and

well documented. Of equal importance,

the author supplies the answers. Some of

the questions explored are: “What makes

you so sure that God exists at all?” “Why

do you condemn homosexuals?” “Why

should I trust the Bible—it’s full of myths?”

“Why is abortion such a line in the sand

for Christians?” and “How could a good

God allow so much suffering?” Each

chapter also provides a subsection entitled

“Evidence for the Answer” as well as tips

for talking about the issue and questions

for group discussion. This is a valuable

book for any Christian. Rating: 4 —GD



Patsy. 196p, Thomas Nelson

2009, 9781400202706 [248.8]

This book consists of reflections

on various verses from the

book of Proverbs which the

author compares to a kaleidoscope, the

child’s toy that when turned and looked

through reveals beautiful geometric

designs. She refers to “colorful verses with

their direct wisdom, clear understanding

and their snappy offering of divine

instruction.” Each chapter covers one verse

followed by questions that lead the reader

to think more deeply about the verse and

a section that contains other Bible verses

on the same subject. The reflections and

stories are given with a light touch, but

the message can be profound. This book

is quick reading and is not heavy. It offers

another way of looking at God’s Word.

Rating: 3 —JC

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DYLAN: The Old, Old

Story for Modern Times.

Gilmour, Michael

J. 195p, paper,

Westminster John Knox

2011, 9780664232078


Michael Gilmour,

associate professor of New Testament and

English at Providence College in Manitoba,

Canada, and author of other works on rock

music and religion, focuses on Bob Dylan

in this new book. Dylan, one of the most

important rock music figures of all time,

notably went through a conversion phase

from his family’s Judaism to Christianity

in the late ’70s, and then later appeared

to distance himself from organized

religion. Gilmour traces Dylan’s musical

development, commenting on Scriptural

relationships and analogies, but this book

should be understood to be primarily

about Dylan, and only secondarily about

Scripture. It also comments as much on

Old Testament as New Testament or

Gospel imagery; Gilmour has written

an earlier book entitled Tangled Up

in the Bible: Bob Dylan and Scripture

(Continuum, 2004), and though that

book was not available for comparison,

this reviewer wonders what the overlap

between the two might be. For only the

largest church libraries. Note: The book

clearly states that it has not been prepared,

approved, or licensed by any person or

entity associated with Bob Dylan.

Rating: 2 —KLF


Comfort for God’s People.

Stapert, Calvin R. 173p,

paper, Eerdmans 2010,

9780802865878 [782.23]

There may be no more wellloved

musical work for Christians than

Handel’s Messiah, which is performed

every year by countless church choirs

in Advent and in Lent. Few, however,

have the opportunity or take the time to

familiarize themselves in depth with the

libretto and score of the work. Calvin

Stapert’s book Handel’s Messiah: Comfort

for God’s People aims to meet this need. The

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Inside you’ll find valuable

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library with special information

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customized for church library

use. Order your copy today.

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is taking

the first step

even when

you don’t see

the whole staircase.

~Martin Luther

King Jr.

book opens with three chapters on the

history of the oratorio, of Handel himself,

and of the work Messiah; it is followed

by detailed commentary on each segment

of the work. Stapert’s book suffers from

the challenge of any book written about

music: words about music are only a pale

reflection of the music itself. The writing,

while knowledgeable, tends a bit to the

pedantic side. It’s a worthwhile book, but

recommended only for church libraries that

have many serious music lovers in their

congregations. Even then, I’d advocate

for buying a couple of CD’s of the actual

oratorio first. Rating: 2 —KLF



Gospel Music from Early

Spirituals to Contemporary

Urban. Turner, Steve. Lion

Hudson 2010, 208p,

9780745953397 [781]

This book reviews gospel music from its

foundations to the present time, focusing

on the great performers of each era. It

is heavily illustrated with photographs,

mostly in black and white, but a few in

color as well. The book will appeal most

to those with an interest in the recorded

performance of gospel music. Those

interested in composers of gospel, or in

analysis of the works themselves, or with

a focus on gospel music in worship must

turn elsewhere. There are indexes to

songs cited, and to persons named, but no

general index. A bibliography is included.

Recommended only for libraries where

there is extensive interest in gospel music,

and even those libraries may wish to seek

something with a more comprehensive

scope. Rating: 2 —KLF



Bethany. 320p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764208508 [FIC]

Amy Gallagher quit her job at

a publishing house to pursue

a life of writing. To pay the bills she took

a low-paying job as an adjunct instructor

at a local college and had friend Zoe move

in to share the rent. But after two years of

teaching she is still unpublished. To top it


off she has perpetual writer’s block, unlike

Zoe who writes prolifically and has had

lots of articles published. Amy’s boyfriend

dumps her and on the verge of turning

thirty, she wonders if she’ll ever marry.

Many emotions are explored through

Amy’s relationships with her family, friends

and students. Bethany Pierce does a good

job with character development, making

them seem real and likeable, so you care

about what happens to them as Amy

becomes inspired to write and becomes an

inspiration to others. Rating: 4 —VJ

THE CHASM: A Journey to

the Edge of Life. Alcorn,

Randy. 120p, Multnomah

2011, 9781601423399 [FIC]

This book is a short allegorical

tale written in a science

fiction genre that tells the journey of Nick

Seagrave on his way to the shining city of

Charis. Nick’s full story is told in the novel

Edge of Eternity while this book is a short

synopsis of his experience. The Woodsman

accompanies Nick through untold

difficulties and experiences offering him “a

joy that will cost you everything you have

but gain you everything that matters.” He

also speaks of salvation and redemption,

and tells Nick “I’ll be there to welcome you

when you arrive.” The book has a Readers

Guide at the end to elicit discussion. Randy

Alcorn has written over thirty books with

more than four million in print.

Rating: 3 —RE


LIGHT. Robertson, Paul.

414p, paper, Bethany House

2010, 9780764205699 [FIC]

This engrossing historical

novel, set primarily in Paris,

encompasses the period of the Franco-

Prussian war of 1870-71. The main

character is an attaché to the Austrian

ambassador to France. The impending

war carries the thread of the plot, but it’s

as much about the strained relationship

between the attaché and his two grown

children. Secrets, silence and lies heighten

the suspense and are masterfully unveiled.

A final extraneous, but very interesting

“historical note,” separates truth from

fiction and relates the Paris of that time

to its modern counterpart. Aside from its

fleeting references to God—and none,

I think, to Christianity—and the clean

language, I’m surprised it found a Christian

publisher. The book is very well written,

and I recommend it, but I see little reason

to add it to a church library.

Rating: 3 —DKW


(Striking a Match, Book 1).

Peterson, Tracie. 351p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764208195 [FIC]

The story begins in 1885

in Philadelphia as two young women,

Deborah and Lizzie, graduate from college

and begin their adult lives. Lizzie is

engaged to be married to a wealthy future

politician, but she decides that she does

not love him and flees with Deborah to

Perkinsville, Texas, which is Deborah’s

hometown. Texas is where the adventure

really begins. There were interesting points

made about the issues of slavery, women’s

rights, the environment and some medical

advances that were being discovered at

that time in history. This is the first in a

new series, Striking a Match. Although

very predictable, this type of fiction is very

popular in our church library.

Rating: 2+ —JD


(Winds of Change Series,

Book 1). Lessman, Julie.

505p, paper, Revell 2010,

9780800734152 [FIC]

The 1920s is the setting for this

latest novel by author Julie Lessman. As

the era draws to a close, smart and feisty

Katie O’Connor is looking for a husband.

But it will not be easy for her to choose

between her good-looking, well-connected

and wealthy boyfriend Jake, and the man

she swore to despise forever. The reader

will discover what happens when the boy

she loved to hate becomes the man she

hates to love. Although well-written, this

book was entirely too long and may be

daunting to read for many. Although this

is the first book in the Winds of Change

Series, readers will first want to read

Lessman’s other books about the O’Connor

family (Daughters of Boston Series).

This book could have been written more

concisely by eliminating some historical

information that was not essential to plot

and character development. Rating: 2 —MF



HEART. Sawyer,

Kim Vogel. 347p,

paper, Bethany

House 2010,

9780764205095 [FIC]

Desperate and without a dowry,

Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural

class of Wyatt Herdsman School in

Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. This school

teaches young women from the East skills

needed to become a rancher or the wife of

a rancher. Abel Samms wants nothing to

do with the potential brides his neighbor

brings to town. But he discovers something

he likes in bumbling Tressa that forces him

to reconsider his position. Readers will

need to discover for themselves whether

or not Abel Samms will risk his own life

and his heart to help this eastern girl

when her life is endangered. Author of

numerous other novels, Kim Vogel Sawyer

has written a story replete with plot twists,

mystery, suspense, humor and inspiring

characters. Throughout this tale the reader

will see how God works in mysterious ways

to bring comfort, faith and hope to His

people. This book is for all readers who

enjoy historical western fiction.

Rating: 3 —MF


Meissner, Susan. 336p, paper,

WaterBrook 2010,

9780307458834 [FIC]

Susan Meissner does a

wonderful job of telling the

dual stories of modern day Jane Lindsay,

the manager of a Manhattan antique shop,

and sixteenth-century Lady Jane Grey,

age 11 and fourth in line to the British

throne. Jane Lindsay’s husband of twentytwo

years announces that he needs some

space and moves out. She is shocked and

devastated, but after unpacking a box

purchased from an English jumble sale,

she finds a beautiful ring with a Latin

inscription and the name “Jane” engraved

inside. She is curious about the identity

of the other Jane. The story alternates

between modern day Jane and Lady Jane

Grey, as told through the eyes of her

dressmaker and confidante, Lucy Day. As

Jane seeks to find who owned the ring, we

see the similarities between the two. Both

have let others make decisions for them

and had to look inside themselves and find


Kathleen Bowman


Faith Lutheran,

Appleton, WI

Audrey M. Bruner

Retired English Teacher,

First Presbyterian,

Myrtle Beach, SC

Elinore Bullock

Librarian, Fairmont Presbyterian,

Califon, NJ

Janet Condon

Seabold United Methodist,

Bainbridge Island, WA

Pat Daly

Vicki Jackman

Mount Olivet Lutheran,

Plymouth, MN

Jean Duffy, Co-librarian

Gordon Duffy, Co-librarian

Jim Tennyson

First Presbyterian,

Santa Rosa, CA

Rhoda Ebersole

Christ the Servant Lutheran,

Las Vegas, NV

Bonnie Ehrke, Librarian

East Koshkonong Lutheran,

Cambridge, WI

Reviewers (continued)

Karen L. Flynn, Librarian

Richard M. Flynn, Corporate

Scientist, 3M Company

White Bear Lake United

Methodist, White Bear Lake, MN

Melanie Freese

Librarian, St. Peter’s Lutheran,

Baldwin, NY

Amy R. Gamble

Librarian, Chapman Grove

Baptist, Kingston, TN

Amanda M. Grell

Clint Schneckloth, Pastor

Good Shepherd Lutheran,

Fayetteville AR

Nancy Smith Kilkenny

Book Sel. Chair, Divinity

Lutheran, Parma Heights, OH

Ann Leighty

Mount Cross Ev. Lutheran,

University Place, WA

Paula Livingston

Delores Klinsky Walker

Pioneer United Methodist,

Walla Walla, WA

Patti Martin

Librarian, First Christian Church,

Malvern, OH

inner strength to fight for the things they

wanted and believed in. The characters and

plot lines were well done and the history

seemed accurate. Includes discussion

questions at the end. Rating: 4 —VJ


Wingate, Lisa. 360p, paper,

Bethany House 2011,

9780764208218 [FIC]

Imagine your dreams come

true. Your husband is a

well-respected pastor and you thoroughly

embrace the life of caring for others

through the church and through charity

work. Now, imagine your dreams coming

to a screeching halt as you discover your

husband is not what you always believed

him to be. So, you pack up and attempt

to make a new life back in your childhood

family vacation home learning to be

self-sufficient and independent. Oh, the

challenges! Now, throw in the fact that

you have a young teenage son and the

challenges are overwhelming. Despite these

obstacles (and more), Andrea is determined

to succeed with or without the support of

her parents and sibling. Wingate does a

good job glimpsing into such a life. Though

the outcome is rather predictable, it is still

an enjoyable and relatively quick read.

Especially enjoyable is walking among the

“natives” in outback Texas. Rating: 3 —PL


I REMEMBER (Homelanders,

Book 1). Klaven, Andrew. 346

p, paper, Thomas Nelson 2009,

9781595545862 [FIC]

Charlie West is a normal high

school kid who leads an above average life.

He has good grades, a loving family, a

talent in karate and a budding romance.

But he just woke up in a nightmare and

can’t figure out where his old life left

off and this new horror began. Now he

is on the run from the law and from a

group of terrorists who want him dead.

Discovering why he is a wanted man

and staying true to his faith is becoming

increasingly difficult while avoiding his

pursuers. The Last Thing I Remember is

a genuine thriller with a Christian theme

that doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Its nonstop

action is sure to appeal to many

readers, particularly the young males in

your congregations. I was hooked from


the beginning. Be warned that the book

ends with a cliffhanger, so if you commit to

purchasing this book, you should plan on

buying the next two books in the series.

A fourth will be released this year.

Rating: 4 —NSK


Brunstetter, Wanda E. 376p,

paper, Barbour 2010,

9781602600638 [FIC]

The setting is an Amish

community of kind, loving

people who deal with fear, prejudice and

loss of ordinary life with a strong faith in

God. Lydia King, a widow with a young

son, loses her job and decides to move

to Charm, Ohio, to live with her mother

and ill grandfather. She and her mother

have a strained relationship. Lydia finds

a part-time job as a waitress, but after

her grandfather’s death they are almost

destitute. She meets two men who both

are attracted to her. One is a widower

with four sons, who is interested in her

as a mother for his children. She also

meets Levi Stutzman, the only “normal”

member of a family of little people who has

determined never to marry because of his

family history. Who will she choose?

A pleasant light read. Rating: 3 —DM


Nancy. 400p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764207518 [FIC]

A rich English society girl

sets off for America for an

arranged marriage. On the way she and her

companion maid decide to switch places.

History comes alive as one experiences

the great wealth of the Gilded Age and

the fantastic fashion of the day, while the

other experiences extreme poverty as an

immigrant. God works in the lives of these

two young women as they eventually find

love and purpose in life and learn to be true

to themselves. Discussion questions at the

end help readers focus on main points in

the book. Rating: 4 —BE


DAUGHTERS. Wangerin,

Walter. 272p, Zondervan

2010, 9780310327349 [813.54]

The book gives the reader a

vivid picture of life in Old

Testament times, explaining the customs

and way of life. I am glad I read the book,

but I did not enjoy reading it. The tale of

Naomi was told in a series of confusing

flashbacks and fast forwards. After I read

it, I re-read the book of Ruth, wondering

how the author came up with such a tale. I

was amazed that he could weave so much

imagination into the short, simple Biblical

account of Ruth. The Biblical account was

more meaningful to me than it would have

been had I not read this novel, with its

vivid portrait of the people and times. This

is not a book I will soon forget. It is a bit

easy to put down, but the conclusion makes

persistence worthwhile. Rating: 3 —EB


Hedlund, Jody. 379p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764208324 [FIC]

This, the author’s debut

historical romance novel, is set

in the mid 1600s and portrays the political

and domestic struggles of Puritans during

the waning years of Cromwell’s reign

through the restoration of the monarchy.

The heroine, Elizabeth, is strong, articulate,

and godly, but plain—a moth she thinks

to herself, not a butterfly. She keeps

house for the widower John and his four

children. Predictably, she falls in love with

John who is a tinker and a popular, but

unfortunately unlicensed, preacher. The

first three quarters of the book detail their

troubled romance. After their marriage

John is imprisoned for preaching, and

Elizabeth uses her capable tongue to defend

him. Only after the story has ended are we

told that it is a fictionalized version of the

life of the wife of John Bunyan, author of

Pilgrim’s Progress. The historical Elizabeth

really did travel to London to petition the

judges for John’s release as the author tells,

and the words during that trial are taken

from the actual trial transcripts.

Rating: 3.5 —MS

TAKE THREE (Above the

Line, Book 3): Kingsbury,

Karen. 336p, paper, Zondervan

2010, 9780310266266 [FIC]

Karen Kingsbury is a popular

author in our church library

collection. We were excited to review this

latest book in the Above the Line series.

The story follows several families, their


children and grandchildren, and the choices

they make and the effects on others in the

story. God is clearly at the center of all

of their lives. However, the book was

a struggle, as the reviewer had not

read the previous two books in the

series. Without the benefit of the

previous books, the reader literally

had to create a chart of who was who

and how they related to the others. A

book should be able to stand alone

with some review or flashbacks or

other mechanism to allow the first time

reader of this series to catch up. Those

in our church who are following the

series have warmly received the book. This

reviewer was simply overwhelmed with

people and plots. Rating: 2 —JD


Harris, Yvonne. 297p, paper,

Bethany House 2010,

9780764208041 [FIC]

Set in the Montana Territory

of 1884, this book introduces

the reader to orphaned Emily McCarthy

who has been expelled from the orphanage

and forced to become a mail-order bride

to a total stranger. But as she nears her

final destination, the stagecoach is robbed

and she is kidnapped. Luke Sullivan had

no intention of robbing the stagecoach or

abducting anyone—he just wanted the

money originally stolen from him. What

happens next in this fast-paced story

will definitely hold the reader’s interest.

Action, excitement and danger are expertly

co-mingled with trust in God who is

leading both Emily and Luke to a bright

future together. This book demonstrates

that God can take poor choices, disasters,

hatreds and jealousies and transform them

into loving goodness and forgiveness. This

book is an excellent example of Christian

romance fiction at its finest.

Rating: 3 —MF


APART. Austin, Lynn. 408p,

paper, Bethany House 2010,

9780764204975 [FIC]

It is Brooklyn, New York,

September 1943. For twentyfour

years Penny Goodrich has lived with

her elderly parents who fear everyone and

everything outside their neighborhood.

Penny has been brainwashed into believing

� continued on page 29

Reviewers (continued)

Berdine Mumper

Librarian, Our Savior’s Lutheran,

Oconomowoc, WI

Rod Olson

Mount Olive Lutheran,

Minneapolis, MN

Cynthia S. Page

Librarian & Adult Studies,

St. Mark Lutheran, Oaklyn, NJ

Nancy Ploeckelman

Librarian, Zion Lutheran,

Colby, WI

Dorothy Miller

Carol R. Powers

Shirley Vaughn

Good Shepherd United

Methodist, Hendersonville, TN

Milli Seyffert

Hillside Baptist,

London, ON Canada

Beverly Stickley, Librarian

William Stickley, Pastor

Christ Lutheran,

Linglestown, PA

Margie Wessels

Librarian, Ev. Lutheran of the

Epiphany, Winston-Salem, NC

Marilea White

Librarian, First United

Presbyterian, LeRoy, IL

Libraries Alive

Libraries Alive Staff

Sue Benish, Editor

Heidi Koehnen

Administrative Assistant

Barbara Livdahl


Berdine Mumper

Technical Librarian


One-year, 4-issue subscriptions to

Libraries Alive are available for $55

with membership. Back issues are

available to members online at


For advertising information and

rates, contact the editor:

Photos: ©

The book that changed the world

(continued from page 9)

THE KING JAMES BIBLE: Christianity’s Definitive Text. Corzine,

Phyllis. Lucent Books 2000. 96p, 9781560066736 [220.52]. Currently out of

print, but available from resellers.

Corzine has written a short, faithful, readable summary of the creation of

the King James Bible and its impact in the context of the times. The book

is suitable for youth and young adults as well as for the general reader; it

assumes less knowledge of history than most other works about the KJV. Well illustrated,

with numerous black-and-white photos, reproductions and drawings.

WIDE AS THE WATERS: The Story of the English Bible and the

Revolution it Inspired. Bobrick, Benson. Penguin 2002, 392p, paper,

9780142000595 [220.5] Currently out of print, but available from resellers.

Bobrick focuses on the turbulent times between the first English translation

of the Bible, sponsored by John Wyclif in 1382, until the publishing of the

King James Version in 1611. He writes a thoroughly engrossing political and

religious history of the era, showing that placing the Scriptures in the hands of laypeople

was indeed a revolutionary act.

Facsimiles of the Original 1611 KJV

THE HOLY BIBLE: King James Version, 400th Anniversary, 1611 Edition. The

complete Old and New Testaments without the Apocrypha. Hendrickson 2010,


HOLY BIBLE, 1611 KING JAMES VERSION: 400th Anniversary Edition. Zondervan

2011, 9780310440291.


EDITION. Thomas Nelson 2011, 9781418544171.

KING JAMES BIBLE: 400th Anniversary Edition. Oxford University Press 2010,


Karen Flynn is librarian at White Bear Lake United Methodist Church, White Bear

Lake, Minnesota, and a regular book reviewer for Libraries Alive.

Butterworth, Charles C. The Literary Lineage of the King James Bible 1340-1611.

University of Pennsylvania Press, 1941.

Opfell, Olga S. The King James Bible Translators. McFarland, 1982.



(continued from page 27)

she does not have the sense God

gave a green bean. Eddie Shaffer,

father of two, mourning the tragic

death of his young wife, enlists in the

army hoping to forget. Penny has

secretly loved Eddie all her life. She

volunteers to care for his children

while he is away; surely this will

win his love. Eddie’s apartment in a

Jewish neighborhood with a Jewish

landlord exacerbates her prejudices.

Making friends with a marine can be


Amy Inspired ............................................................. 24

Bible: The Story of the King James Version ................... 8

Bittersweet ............................................................... 16

Character Counts ....................................................... 16

Chasm, The ............................................................... 24

Chrissie’s Shell ........................................................... 14

Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites .......................... 19

Clouds of Witnesses ................................................... 19

Dark in the City of Light ............................................. 24

Devil in Pew Number Seven, The .................................13

Embers of Love .......................................................... 25

Essential Bible Guide, The ...........................................11

Everything Christmas .................................................. 20

Finding Cooper’s Heaven (DVD) ................................. 21

Giving Church Another Chance .................................. 19

God’s Secretaries ..........................................................9

Gospel According to Bob Dylan, The ........................... 23

Handel’s Messiah ....................................................... 23

Healing the Heartbreak of Grief .................................. 20

Hope Undaunted, A ................................................... 25

Hopeful Heart, A ........................................................ 25

I Quit ......................................................................... 16

Illustrated History of Gospel, An ................................. 24

In the Beginning .......................................................... 9

Indispensable Guide to Practically Everything

Jesus, The ............................................................. 11

Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus ................................... 12

JoyFitStix Cardio Praise Workout (DVD) ...................... 21

Kaleidoscope .............................................................. 23

King James Bible, The: A Short History from Tyndale

to Today ................................................................ 8

King James Bible, The: Christianity’s Definitive Text ..... 9

Lady in Waiting .......................................................... 25

Larkspur Cove ............................................................ 26

Last Thing I Remember, The ....................................... 26

Legacy of the King James Bible, The ............................ 8

Lion Guide to the Bible .............................................. 12

Lively Elizabeth .......................................................... 14

dangerous. Each character’s

story is woven into Penny’s

with a happy ending. An

important theme is learning

to accept who you are and

accept others as they are.

Of historical significance is

Nazi persecution in Hungary and the

inadequate laws concerning Jewish

immigration. Discussion questions are

available. Rating: 4 —CRP

� Move your computer mouse over the index to find links to reviews in this issue.


Lydia’s Charm ........................................ 26

Marks of the Messenger ......................... 22

Masquerade ........................................... 26

Mom’s Ultimate Guide to the Tween Girl

World ................................................ 21

Moses’ Memory Book ............................. 14

Naomi and Her Daughters ...................... 26

No Limit Kids (DVD) ................................ 14

One in a Million ...................................... 16

One-Stop Bible Atlas, The ........................................... 12

People’s Bible, The ...................................................... 9

Picking Dandelions .................................................... 17

Preacher’s Bride, The ................................................ 27

Princess with a Purpose ............................................. 15

Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ever

Ask, The ............................................................... 23

Radical Disciple, The .................................................. 17

Raised with Christ ...................................................... 11

Reborn to be Wild ...................................................... 19

Rewards of Simplicity, The .......................................... 17

Sara and the Starfish (DVD) ........................................ 15

Sarah’s Choice (DVD) ................................................. 21

So Long, Insecurity ..................................................... 17

Somewhere More Holy ............................................... 18

Take Three ................................................................. 27

Teen-ology ................................................................. 22

Toward the Goal ........................................................ 15

Verily, Verily ................................................................ 9

Vigilante’s Bride ......................................................... 27

Visual History of the King James Bible, A ..................... 9

Warrior Prince for God, A ........................................... 15

Way of Jesus, The ...................................................... 11

What Was Lost .......................................................... 20

What Your Son Isn’t Telling You ................................ 22

While we’re Far Apart ................................................ 27

Wide as the Waters ..................................................... 9

You Are God’s Plan A ................................................ 18

Zondervan Atlas of the Bible ...................................... 12


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Association is a non-profit

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backgrounds. Membership

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denominations who desire

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development. Contact NCLA

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Libraries Alive

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