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Mixed Media

Beasts of No Nation

by Uzodinma Iweala

reviewed by Jim Romahn

In 21 countries from Africa to South America armies are ripping hundreds of thousands of children from their families, forcing them to become trained killers. Uzodinma Iweala of Nigeria tells the story of one child with such gripping language, emotion, and searing reality that readers will be shaken. (HarperCollins)

Three Weeks with My Brother

by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

reviewed by Otto Selles

Overwhelmed by work, novelist Nicholas Sparks decided to break out and go on a three-week trip around the world with his brother Micah. Part travelogue, part family album, this memoir skillfully weaves descriptions of various exotic locations with an engaging account of the deepening relationship between two brothers. (Warner)



by Casting Crowns

reviewed by Paul Delger

Casting Crowns makes another big splash with their new album, Lifesong. The song “Does Anybody Hear Her” prompts Christians to reach out, while “Praise You in This Storm” speaks to the hurting heart. Lifesong challenges Christians to love unbelievers as Jesus did and encourages listeners to take comfort in the Lord. (Reunion)

My Dinner with Bruce

by Steve Bell

reviewed by Ron Vandenburg

Facing difficulties and change, Steve Bell turned to his favorite Bruce Cockburn compositions, resulting in this celebration of Cockburn’s music. Bell’s gentle guitar playing and tenor voice artfully enhance Cockburn’s lyrics, bringing a fresh interpretation to each song. These artists lead us to walk with God, search out his world, and affirm our relationships. (Signpost)


The Michael Palin Collection

reviewed by Ron Vandenburg

There are no silly walks in this former Monty Pythonite’s series of global travelogues on 16 DVDs. Still, Michael Palin’s intelligence and self-deprecating humor make him an entertaining traveling companion. Armchair explorers can also check out for books, 3D maps, and video clips following Palin through all seven continents. (BBC Warner)

Making Choices: The Dutch Resistance During World War II

reviewed by Ron DeBoer

Filmmaker Robert Prince explores the lives of four Dutch citizens who resisted the crushing power of the Nazis during World War II. Intercut with footage of the Nazis marching into Holland, Hitler’s powerful speeches, and visuals that parallel the four stories, Making Choices recalls the sacrifices ordinary citizens made to protect powerless Jews. (Vision Video)

Youth Fiction

Show Way

by Jacqueline Woodson
and Hudson Talbott

reviewed by Jeanette Romkema

Soonie’s great-grandma was 7 when she was sold into slavery. Her journey of survival, courage, and creative expression is echoed in the generations of women portrayed in this moving historical picture book. With its brilliant fabric and quilt design, detailed watercolor painting, and musically poetic text, this book is a masterpiece. (Putnam)

Blood on the River: James Town 1607

by Elisa Carbone

reviewed by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

Traveling to the New World as the page of Capt. John Smith, young Samuel Collier is determined to make it on his own. He finds that surviving hunger, enemy threats, and disease requires help. More than a physical journey, this book relates Samuel’s internal journey toward trusting and loving others. (Viking)

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