Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review - Callie’s Contest of Courage

My daughters and I were recently blessed with the opportunity to preview Jan May’s latest book, Callie’s Contest of Courage.  Both avid readers, my girls had high expectations for a story about a Christian girl’s life.

Annie’s Opinion (13 years old)

This was a touching story that I could easily relate to.  I liked how Ms. May incorporated scripture throughout the book.  I also appreciated that she showed a real picture of kids going through a rough time in their lives and showing good character though the experience.  As an oldest sister in a family with a military dad, I could sympathize with how Callie was feeling.  I would recommend this book to any girl, whether she’s going through a rough time or not. 

Cece’s Opinion (10 years old)

Twelve chapters was just the right amount to pack in a great story with a lot of information.  I loved that Callie was so much like me.  We both like nature and creatures.  We also both missed our dads while they was gone and our moms took us on road trips.  Even though I liked the story, my favorite part of the book was everything that came after it – the recipe and activities for me to do with my family.  It’s like I got to live the story even after it ended.  The town where Callie’s grandparents live reminds me of the little town that we moved to when my dad was in Iraq.  I’m looking forward to reading more books from Ms. May.

Mom’s Opinion

This is a story that most girls can relate to in some way.  Whether it’s having to give something up, missing someone they love, or just making the right choice in a difficult situation, we all face those circumstances throughout life.  The last thing I expected from Ms. May’s story was to cry, but it happened often (I also laughed and smiled in case you wondered).  This was our story a few years ago when my husband served in Iraq.  During that time, my girls and I packed up and moved from California to Missouri.  Ms. May perfectly captured our anxiety, fears, loneliness and joys during that experience.  She also gave us a great example of a family’s faith in God through a difficult time.

I also loved that Callie was a very real girl with a strong foundation.  Those don’t often come hand in hand, but it happens with this character.  Like my girls, she is passionate about the world around her and loves her family.  She also struggles with her faith and feelings and experiences a positive outcome that girls need to see.

The activities at the end of the book were a great bonus.  As a homeschooling mom, I’m always looking for ways to extend the story.  Ms. May gave us a wonderful variety of hands-on activities with something to please everyone in my family (the pie is super-yummy).
Eleven-year-old Callie Fleming is a passionate animal lover! She’s been waiting all year to enter photos in the I Love Nature Photo Contest. Her dad, who is the coolest dad in the world, is an award winning photographer and Marine Corps Reserves Sergeant. She is leaning on his help to win. But when her father is untimely deployed overseas and becomes strangely silent to her emails, she finds her whole world crashing down on her. Can she muster up the courage to step out on a journey that whisks her away from all the things she loves? Join Callie on a journey of hope, trust and the power of prayer.
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I received a free copy of Callie's Contest of Courage in exchange for an honest, unbiased review on my blog.  All opinions expressed are our own.  We received no compensation other than a free copy of the book.