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Battle Cry 

Battle Cry by author Jennifer Sara Widelitz is a peculiar and emotionally riveting short book of modern poetry. This thought-provoking book is divided into five parts: Before, Crash, Interlude: Nature’s Elixir, Relapse, and Resilience. The author’s writing is thoughtfully illustrated by herself, with fine-line artwork. The pieces revolve around several stages of life and aspects of human nature such as childhood, family, trauma, illness, and healing.

The author’s ability to engage the reader and invoke her own inspirations for the poems is a definite highlight of this piece of literature. Widelitz’s opening poem is certainly remarkable due to its capacity to transmit a feeling of belonging that is likely to captivate the reader in the very first verses. The following pieces, short poems which likewise capture the essence of their subjects, are specifically dedicated to some of the author’s family members and add to the collection’s authenticity.

The poem “RORSCHACH TEST: INKBLOT # 3, BEFORE AND AFTER” is worthy of an honorable mention. Named after the well-known psychological inkblot test in which the subject is asked by the examiner to describe what they visualize in the paper. This piece, which is accompanied by a gloomy illustration that can represent different objects when rotated, conjures verses that can be read from top to bottom and vice-versa. Imaginative and creative, Jennifer Sara Widelitz separates herself from the large majority of poetry anthologies with her ingenuity. Her artwork is simple but powerful as not each poem has art to go with it. However, when there is an image, even in black and white, it is striking and conjures up emotions, making the artwork as important as the words in the poem.

Battle Cry is an emotionally charged collection of poetry and drawings. However, the author displays a sensitive and empathetic side to dealing with chronic illness and the battles that those that endure must face. For those that love poetry or those that need inspiration, this collection is a must.

Pages: 156 | ASIN : B09Z7CSJ72

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God’s Greatest Miracle

God’s Greatest Miracle is the book you need to feel closer to God and connect with him. In the book, Jean-Michel Polyakov, through different tales, shares the actions of God and how he reveals himself through his people. God’s Greatest Miracle is a straightforward book and fun to read. The language in the book is simple, and the text is streamlined for young readers. Every sentence or phrase is precise and can be understood after the first read. I love how unambiguous the author made the text. Jean-Michel Polyakov’s simplicity with words inspires even kindergarten kids to embrace a reading culture.

In God’s Greatest Miracle: A Tale of Two Little Angels, we follow the story of a traveler who gets transported to a new country. This traveler meets an old man, and later a prince and princess. I loved the transition between the traveler’s transportation and his encounter with the prince ad princess. Jean-Michel Polyakov is a smooth writer, and every time a new character is introduced in the story, the reader feels like they have already bonded. The traveler is given tasks, one of them being sharing the tale of God’s Greatest Miracle. This is where it gets intriguing as the narration becomes more easy-flowing. The reader feels like they are part of the story thanks to the engaging nature of the writing.

The story of God’s Greatest Miracle was fascinating to follow and had dozens of lessons. The story of the two angels was touching. As a reader, you feel a shift in your thinking and get to be reintroduced to the love of God, knowing self, being kind, and living righteously. As you keep reading, you reflect on your life and resonate with the teachings. My favorite teaching in the story was about choosing good versus evil. Through this book, the reader can find pride in living morally and virtuously and ask for God’s guidance. I like that the author helped me connect with my inner child. In a way, the story of God’s Greatest Miracle makes the reader view everything with innocence and purity.

The concept of having a story within a story was genius. This helped with the comprehension and made the reading experience such a delight. I would recommend God’s Greatest Miracle: A Tale of Two Little Angels to readers that enjoy spiritual stories and anyone that wants to become closer with God.

Pages: 60 | ASIN: B09WJWKW2H

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Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Author Kaleb Thompson’s Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a poetry collection that aims to inspire others, offering sanctuary to readers going through life’s crises. This collection is based on religious beliefs and seeks to glorify God and exalt the human spirit. The writer captures the universal experiences of despair, stress, and not knowing where to turn while offering religious-based solutions to navigating these dark times in life.

These poems contain powerful and evocative images; the opening poem describes a peaceful place “my life will soon leap into.” I feel, at times, these poems would benefit from being simplified. Some lines are so long that the rhyme scheme is partially lost or muddled. Nonetheless, there is a promise of healing within these poems through moments of original phrasing and Thompson’s positive, supportive messaging. One message that stood out to me is that we are not who we were in the past, our future can be different, and we have the power to change our lives.

The poem “Blame” really struck me. The lines “A mature young man in the midst of grown adults who don’t know how / and when to grow up is not only surprising, it’s disturbing.” I see this attitude almost every day, at work, in stores, and even at children’s sports games. How can children learn to live in a Godly way when the example set before them is the exact behavior they are told to correct?

This collection is for those passionate about their religious beliefs and who have a strong faith background. The poetry is religious; there are explicit calls to prayer, alongside a sense of owing life’s successes to God. Through God, readers will find a path to overcoming anxiety, fear, a broken and troubled spirit, and an uplifting message of hope. The uplifting energy of this collection and Thompson’s attempt to reach out to the downtrodden are admirable.

Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a collection of poetry that will help guide readers into the light from the darkness that has built up inside them. This inspirational anthology will give readers hope and encouragement to find the best inside of themselves with the help of God.

Pages: 88 | ASIN : B09PSTJPH8

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A Life’s Tapestry

A Life’s Tapestry by Patricia Stanway is a collection of poetry pertaining to the lifelong pursuits and themes of sensuality, love, family, music, searching, loss and pain, discovery, and so much more.

This poetry collection was crafted in such a way that only someone who has lived life to the fullest can capture in words the deep emotions that are experienced and portray them in a manner that readers will connect with. A Life’s Tapestry was structured in a way to illustrate the different seasons of life. The seasons of sorrow and joy are interwoven together to tell a beautiful, fascinating, and complete story. In these poems, Stanway paints vivid imagery and writes poignant thoughts, detailing moments lived and imagined in order to fully captivate the reader, drawing them into the moment. 

The selection of poems that the author has chosen to include in this collection is exquisite in artistry and refreshing to read. When reading through the poetry, the themes that are revealed show Stanway has experienced much in her life. Her works of poetry act as a reflection upon those defining moments. Even people who are new to reading poetry will be interested in reading through Stanway’s collection by stepping into her shoes and experiencing life through the eyes. Readers will be delighted by Stanway’s insight into her life and the colorful wording of her pieces. Simply put, this collection of poetry is a work of art, highlighting moments of pure joy and sorrow, causing the reader to smile, cry, and laugh as they read through each entry. 

A Life’s Tapestry is a raw emotional collection of poetry that highlights the vulnerability and genius of the poet. The writing is thought-provoking and addresses many situations that all human beings experience in the journey of life. 

Pages: 134 | ASIN : B09B3CJG9L

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The Adventures of Super Obi: Nothing to Fear

When Obi’s mom forgets to turn on his nightlight at bedtime, he becomes afraid, thinking there is a monster in his closet. Then there is a monster downstairs! Finally, the monster comes upstairs and is standing at Obi’s door. Can he hide from this monster? What will happen to Obi?

The Adventures of Super Obi: Nothing to Fear by author Dominique Okonkwo and illustrated by Mariana Hnatenko tells the story of a little boy that is afraid of the dark but realizes, with his dad at his side, that there is nothing to be scared of and how to be brave. At the beginning of the story, Obi is afraid of the shadows in the dark, but his dad helps him see things as they really are and helps him find his courage. This allows him to overcome his fears.

This heartwarming picture book examines the concept of fear, courage, being brave, and family relationships, and it does all of this while also touching on faith and trust in God. This educational kids book is told from a perspective that preschoolers and kindergarten children will be able to comprehend.

The fantastic artwork is a mix of bold colors, comic style accents, and expressive character designs. You can really see the emotions on the father’s face as he listens to his son’s fears. The idea of being afraid of the dark is something many children can relate to, so this is the perfect book to use to teach the lesson of God’s love and that you can always bring your fears to God.

The Adventures of Super Obi: Nothing to Fear is a beautifully written picture book that will captivate young children and teach them that fear is normal and that you can overcome your fears through prayer and trust in God. The charismatic character of Obi will spark children’s imaginations and encourage them to face their fears.

Pages: 39 | ASIN : B09MNLPVHR

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Grandma, Granddad, We Want to Praise God

Grandma, Granddad, We Want to Praise God is the third book in the Families Growing in Faith series. This beautiful children’s book follows children as they question their grandparents about how and when they should praise God. They want to know what praise is and how they should go about offering praise to God. The answers they get sometimes surprise the children, and they are astonished at all the ways that they can show God thanks and praise each and every day.

Author Vanessa Fortenberry, with illustrator Sharon Grey, tells the heartwarming story of children, from all ethnic backgrounds, asking their grandparents about God. Each page shows a different family and asks a different question. The rhyming stanzas will engage and entertain young readers and make for fun family reading. Each situation can be read and discussed as its own topic, making this a great study book for young children as well. Kids will love seeing how things they love to do each day, like singing, dancing, and attending church, are all ways that you can praise God.

The illustrations are done in a soft portrait style using a combination of bold and muted colors to create dynamic images that will capture the attention of children looking through this book. The diversity of scenery and subjects makes it so that each child can find a situation they can personally relate to in this fantastic book.

Grandma, Granddad, We Want to Praise God is a beautifully written picture book that captures the meaning of faith and love for God. The lyrical story combined with the memorable images create a children’s book that preschoolers and kindergarteners will love to read over and over again. Adults will find the story meaningful and will want to read it as much as the kids. This lovely book will teach praise and worship in a gentle and engaging manner.

Pages: 30 | ASIN : B08SJ1N7M6

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Á Deux

At one time or another, we have all questioned our purpose. The story of Job is one of the first recorded instances of humans posing these same questions. In addition, it is likely the most well-known account of an exchange between friends that goes far beyond the standard existential crisis. Job and his friends tried their best to understand the ways of God as they questioned why humans are allowed to suffer. The story of Job contains everything from sarcasm and rhetorical questions to innuendo and what amounts to a battle between God and Satan.

A Deux, by author Alexey L. Kovalev, is a new and fresh take on the biblical story of Job. The dialogue between Job and his friends and God takes on a whole different look in Kovalev’s work. Prefaced by a thorough prologue, this book exists as an exchange between Job and God as it would happen today–quite a modern spin on the age-old tale.

I was blown away by the beauty of Kovalev’s style of writing. What looks on paper like a straightforward narrative is actually a dialogue that reads like the most intricate of poetry. The flow of the text is phenomenally stunning, peppered with modern references and deep, philosophical discussions that read more like an exchange between two strangers seated on a bench waiting on a long-departed bus.

There is almost a comical banter at times between the two main characters. Expecting a more serious tone, I was pleasantly surprised at their familiarity. What could easily have been made into a very difficult read has been shaped into a much easier and more pleasurable read. 

I was expecting a much different read when I picked up this book and ventured into the text. Instead, I was truly overwhelmed and surprised at the unique take on Job’s story. This book, written primarily as a dialogue, will capture readers’ attention and keep them enthralled from cover to cover. In addition to creating a conversational tone, Kovalev has also given readers a trip through history. It’s a truly fantastic read from beginning to end.

A Deux will entertain anyone who enjoys reimaginings of Bible stories. In addition, this modern telling will make the traditional story more accessible to younger readers and more relatable to a modern audience.

Pages: 110 | ASIN : B09MPKZDFK

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Colleen’s Confession

Colleen is an orphan who has taken up a job as a laundress for the Clark family at the Comfort Island house. Colleen meets new people, some of whom are nice to her for what seems like the first time in her life. She dreams of becoming a wife and artist.

This eloquent story takes place in 1914, on the cusp of World War 1, where men run things and women are meant to support them. There is also a great divide between those who have and those who have naught. Jack Weiss is an Austrian immigrant who befriends Collen but is torn between his possible love for her or returning to Austria to fight in the war for his homeland. Will Colleen’s dream of being an artist come true, and will Jack finally woo the girl of his dreams?

At the beginning of this fascinating book, I felt that Colleen was a difficult character for me to root for. Yes, she had a horrible upbringing with abusive nuns and forced child labor, but she did not help me sympathize or empathize with her. Instead, she was continuously unfriendly to Jack and her roommate Tara. However, as the story progressed and Jack kept battering down her walls, I found myself really liking her character, and that slow evolution of her character was all the more enjoyable.

The author has done an excellent job at taking Colleen’s character through tremendous growth. She also created a fantastic villain that you love to hate, Mrs. Marshall. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jack is trying to boost Colleen’s morale when he talks about how Colleen’s skill with art has nothing to do with being rich or poor that, in fact, being poor allows them “to be rich in what really matters.” As a result, they might be able to appreciate the little things more than those who have everything. I thought that that was the book’s central theme—the dichotomy between rich and poor.

Colleen’s Confession is a heartwarming novel of healing, hope, and forgiveness. With the time period set at the beginnings of WWI, there is a historical element to the storyline. The love story is sweet and keeps a Christian focus throughout. This is the perfect novel to read when you want a great period piece to sit down with.

Pages: 163 | ASIN : B09K4XKQXS

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