Anna Alden-Tirrill introduces us to thirteen-year-old Annie who serves as a positive role model for middle grade and young adult readers. The messages of these books are inspirational and educational and are relevant for the entire Christian market as they have no denominational leaning. They are also of value as cross-over books as the themes and messages are universal.
The author introduces us to the concept of a family's daily breakfast roundtable that they call "Talk Up," a time of sharing, prayer, and Bible reading. Inspirational, educational, and uplifting, these books end with a few of pages of Bible verses that are also interspersed throughout the book to help readers understand the concepts in the book. She shows how Bible verses and prayer are applied in real life situations, as those are often concepts that are hard for young people to understand.
The author explains that these stories are intended as a vehicle for families to use to highlight such themes as prayer, faith, and trusting God in challenging times and does so by showing how readily her protagonist, the teen Annie, sees God as her guide and One who answers her every petition. Each book has a theme: The Miracle of FRIENDSHIP, the Miracle of TRUTH, the Miracle of FREEDOM, the Miracle of COMMITMENT, and the Miracle of LOVE.
Each of the books in the series is an enjoyable and fast read, perfect for a parent or a Sunday school teacher to read with a young person or for older children and young adults to read on their own. These books will help parents and children have a fruitful dialogue regarding the main spiritual issues outlined in the books. They will also help stimulate discussions about how everyone can trust God implicitly and expect answers to prayer. This shows up in the themes that form a thread throughout each individual book plot, such as friendship, truth, freedom, commitment, and love.
These books would be perfect for a homeschool family or group, parent/child book club, or a Christian school. Parents who wish to introduce godly concepts to their children through reading these interesting situational chapters, or to emphasize how prayer is answered and how Bible verses can be applied in life, would also find these books helpful. Another way to use them in lesson materials would be to have them read to younger children by young adults. Each book is fully illustrated, giving it great appeal to young readers.
Because Annie is homeschooled, these books are particularly appropriate for homeschooled students, having educational value as well as entertainment and inspirational value. Although the books are novels, some being historic fiction, there is much about United States history as well as the history of other countries, along with information about other cultures and languages, past and present, that could be discussed and explored.
These books contain no inappropriate language and some tackle difficult concepts that young people should know, but that public school curricula may bypass. They are appropriate for ages nine and older and will also help students increase their vocabulary. Boys as well as girls will appreciate the strong male role models, including a seventeen-year-old young man who is Annie's cousin and who is frequently cast in a protective role for her in several of the books.
Educational, inspirational, entertaining, and faith-building, these books will make a great addition to any family or group library.
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