His Gift by Joan C. Benson

His Gift by Joan C. Benson

His Gift: This historical novel is suitable for all ages, but the main character is in her late teens. This book is written to appeal to the YA audience, the NA audience, and every adult who has ever cared to dream.

Brace yourself for a thrilling race with twists and turns as a young woman is determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be.

As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. With Molly, the reader will discover the hope and peace found in a life yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

 

Here’s a review from Joy Haralick, reprinted by permission:

This is a story of a young girl with enormous talent, potential and a once in a lifetime chance to fulfill her dreams. Then the Great Depression came crashing down, changing the course of her life. How does she reconcile her faith that God is good with the despair she is facing? The author makes the story and her characters come to life and makes the book hard to put down. The book personalizes an important period in American history. It also deals with coming of age, at a time when dreams are changed, crushed or deferred, and with a maturing of faith and an increase in understanding the goodness of God’s will. Our gifts and talents are given to us for the glory of God and the building up of the church universal and not for our individual glory. So our true success is not always the same as our fame or wealth. This can be a hard lesson for anyone, but especially so for adolescents, trying to figure out the complexities of their lives and their relations to the world around them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and stayed up late to finish reading it in an evening. I think it would be a particularly good book for young adults, for Christian home school reading and home school co-op libraries and for church libraries. The book, based on the life of the author’s mother, is a lovely memorial to her and the values for which she stood.

~ Joy Haralick, PhD

 

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Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife a mother of four adult children. She enjoys traveling to spend time with her eight cherished grandchildren who live in various parts of the nation. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com, written numerous magazine articles (most recently for LifeWay’s ParentLife and Regent University’s The Christian Leader). She developed children’s Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. In addition, Joan continues to write for an array of educational publishers (K-12), developing both teacher and student facing materials, including fiction, nonfiction, and assessments. Joan’s debut historical novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.

 

 

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Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

A book review for YA novel—Freerunner

Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.

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Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?

And here’s the book review, reprinted by permission of Tracy Bradford . . .

“Everything you need in a great story.”

There are those rare, magic moments when you pick up a book, read the first few lines and immediately know you’ve found a gem. Freerunner is one of those stories.

Kiana’s unique circumstances and passions grab you, hold you, and never let you go. Coupled with a cast of characters you’d love to know in real life, such as Kiana’s friend Thorn, and a very real personal struggle with something too many have had to face, you find yourself drawn into not only Kiana’s story, but her world.

If you enjoy books that keep you ripping through the pages into the wee hours, Freerunner promises not only a great read, but a book you’ll want to share with friends and family. If you treat yourself to any books this season, make sure Freerunner is at the top of your list.

~ T.E. Bradford, author of the Divide Series and Six World Saga books.

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Kathy Cassel

Kathy Cassel

Author Kathy Cassel grew up in northern Indiana, lived in three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have four grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.

In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at skydiving.

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