Newtons Book News

Childrens Book Reviews

New Books for General Conference

Books can be inspirational and help you get your mind and spirit in tune with the upcoming General Conference speakers. Here are newly published books to help set the tone in your home. The first book is a picture book good for all ages. The next book is good for teens. The rest of the books are best for ages 16 to adult.

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Girls Who Chose God: Stories of Courageous Women From the Bible, by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, and beautifully painted by Kathleen Peterson, invokes inspiring stories celebrating amazingly strong women from the scriptures. Some are well known, while others may be less familiar. But all showcase examples of women who stood up for their beliefs or showed humility and charity. For example, the “Generous Widow” was poor and had very little money to give for her tithing and yet she gave all she had. Christ observed her humble sacrifice and taught that her sacrifice was greater than the rich who gave much more. There are questions after each story that helps promote discussions. The question after this particular story is “When have you chosen to sacrifice something for God?” The stories throughout the book are brief and each has a full page illustration showcasing the woman or women that each story is about. These uplifting stories, in this gorgeous picture book, are perfectly accessible for families of all ages! The authors are on to a great idea and hopefully Deseret Book publishes more of these types of picture books.

 

How Do I Know If I Know?, by John Bytheway, delves into important pre-mission questions as young people ponder if they are truly ready for a mission. This smallish-size book gives four sources to help understand our testimonies and how our feelings can be translated into actually being ready. The four sources are: “Feelings,” “Experiences”, “Evidences” and “Logic”. Each section has enriching information to guide you through how you’ll know if you’re ready for a mission. Along with these uplifting sections, there is an abundance of embedded attachments for quick access to conference talks and videos that go right along with each source. By book’s end, there will be no doubt that you will know if you know!

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The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith, by Terryl and Fiona Givens, helps us glory in God’s goodness and inspiration through faith. But how do we maintain these feelings if our faith alters, falters or seems to lessen in self-doubt? This book is like an instruction guide helping strengthen our souls and hearts to stay connected or to reconnect with the Holy Spirit. Some of the insightful chapters are: “Of Canons and Cannons: The Use and Abuse of Scripture”, “Spirituality and Self-Sufficiency: Find Your Watering Place” and “Of Silence and Solitude: Speak, Lord, for Thy Servant Heareth”. There are many sources to insure and motivate our faith. Poetry and paintings are just a few components to elicit a calming effect and evoke a faithful spirit. By the end of this well-written book, your faith and love of the Lord will be strengthened!

 

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track One Choice at a Time, by Noelle Pikus Pace, showcases how this extraordinary Olympic Silver Medalist and World Champion accomplished so much while maintaining a strong and happy family. Pace takes you through her life and how every choice you make affects your life. She emphasizes the fact that there will be difficulties along the way, and shortcomings, as well as failures that will seem to block you. But she points out that you can accomplish your goals if you stay close to the Lord, remain faithful and work hard, “One Choice at a Time”. There are colorful photos of the champion found throughout as well as inspiring scriptures and quotes from the prophet and various apostles.

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Christopher Columbus: A Man Among the Gentiles, by Clark B. Hinckley, brings out possible facts and motivations that helped this great explorer navigate his ships to the Americas. Hinckley points out many interesting parallels with Columbus and the scriptures. Lehi and his son, Nephi, identify only two people in future generations that would bring about the Restoration: Christopher Columbus and Joseph Smith. This wonderfully written book details a spiritual journey that Columbus embarked on in order to reach the shores of a new land. Columbus even wrote that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to come to this continent. The connection of Columbus and the prophecies in the Book of Mormon are brought out throughout this book.

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Surviving Hitler: The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish Woman, by O. Hakan Palm, is a retelling of two alternating lives that lived through the horrific injustices of the Jews in World War II. Gustav grew up in Norway. After Hitler invaded his country, he opted to work in a police regiment (thinking it just dealt with traffic laws). But he was assigned to be a guard at the horrible Auschwitz death camp.  He was trapped and couldn’t leave and was sickened at how the Jews were treated. On alternating chapters, you learn about Agnes who grew up in a wealthy Hungarian Jewish family. Even though her family members were Roman Catholics, it mattered not to the Nazi’s who arrested them and placed them in a death camp. Most of the book takes place during the war, but the last part of the book tells how these two came together, joined the church and have led courageous lives without carrying grudges and remorse. There are very interesting photos sprinkled throughout. Teens through adult members should all read this book of two very remarkable people!

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