"As a rallying cry, Ditchfield’s book has some thoughtful observations about helping developing countries with a “hand up” instead of a “hand out”. The book will inspire readers to want to do their part to become better citizens of the world, so they have an answer to Noel Cunningham’s endless query, “What have you done for the world today?”
"Some readers will no doubt connect with her voice and vision. The book remains in need of editing for clarity and of proofreading to eliminate typos, but the optimism and encouragement come through loud and clear."
"A highly engaging plot, well-drawn, articulate main characters, a literary, yet accessible style, and plenty of action all conspire to make readers turn the page. However; the novel makes judges and police officers rather unsubtle villain which may turn off some readers. Nonetheless, this is a captivating read overall."
"Collected letters can offer a window into place and time, as well as memorialize their author. Late in Gwynneth Knowlton Wallace’s life, she began writing about her early childhood in letters to her family. “Dear Railway Children” is the tag Wallace begins each of her letters with, and her stories are unique and filled with detail."
"My Summers in West Africa is a living, breathing, vividly written guidebook into the heart of the African continent. It succeeds in its ambitious aim to provide a clear-eyed view of what to expect should one choose such an important expedition."
"This well-meant novella is fueled by Christian faith and deploys familiar tropes about hard work, perseverance and redemption...It’s a pity the author didn’t confine himself to the story of a teacher finding his way. The horror-tale theatrics he forces into these pages only confuse it."
"Despite an overly simplistic writing style and some poor grammar, the book has a promising start with many imaginative ideas introduced. Unfortunately, the rest of the book fails to live up to these expectations and becomes a standard and predictable good versus evil fantasy with archetypical characters."
"Duren has kind things to say about a few of the people she’s met, but much of the book reads like a list of personal grudges she’s been waiting to air."
"Women interested in learning how to parlay volunteer work into career gains may find Callan’s example useful. But without broader insights to engage an audience, the book seems best suited to the author’s inner circle, rather than readers at large."
"A young Colorado man’s aversion to collective authority is vividly illustrated in Off the Grid...[The book] touches on provocative ideas that may appeal to readers who appreciate such dystopian fare."
"While her observations are important, the author’s litany of problems—students talking back and threatening her; corrupt administrators and inept union reps—borders on overkill. Hearing the same basic scenarios over 400-plus pages tends to numb readers, who also may feel an element of ax-grinding in the narrative."
"A chorus of voices and perspectives brings small-town Nigeria to life in this debut collection of short stories...In its relentless focus on the inner machinations of small-town Nigeria, the collection unfortunately ends up missing the forest for the trees."
"In this Christian-based romance novel, the protagonist must decide if she can forgive herself for her past actions and re-connect with her faith, her family and her first love...For those involved in their own struggles, Anna and Drake’s story will likely resonate in a positive way."
In this gently told picture book, a little boy enjoys his first day of baseball practice. Stylistically, the blocky, colorful illustrations feel a bit dated. Nonetheless, Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is an effective way to excite kids about athletic play, providing an accessible, easy-to-follow introduction to the sport.
"These stylish and evocative stories from Australia focus on exiles in their own homeland...This compelling book will appeal to those interested in a neglected part of Australia’s history as well as to anyone curious about how any collection of outsiders must battle against neglect, rejection or indifference to find its place in the wider society."
"The plot as a whole is akin to a roller coaster ride in complete darkness; the reader can’t predict what is coming but the anticipation is intoxicating and highly enjoyable...The Merry Heart of Madness will appeal to braver readers looking for an intelligently written erotic thriller."
"It appears that the author has also seen too many spy movies. There’s the obligatory love scenes between spies and more than one B movie character: '(The Iranian leader) laughed an evil, throaty laugh that came from deep in his chest…we shall return to the glory of long-ago Persia… The oil fields of the north and west shall again be ours.'"
"Without a moral to reap or puzzle to solve, An Adventure with Doogleby turns into a charming but directionless series of events—and provides a cast of characters who spark more questions than answers."
"A lack of believability extends to much of the book’s narrative and its cast of thinly drawn characters. The book is replete with stereotypes and weighed down by its predictability..Despite these shortcomings, readers outside of Australia may be charmed by the slightly exotic setting of the Australian outback."
"Overall, while the book offers an interesting glimpse at a UAE woman’s conflicts regarding life and love within strict societal rules, its uneven execution ultimately leaves readers with many frustrations."