I am sharing reviews to some of my favorite reads that you might be interested in. I am NOT compensated for these reviews. If I receive a free e-book for a review I will disclose that in my review. This are my own thoughts and views.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Good Morning, Superman!

Good Morning, Superman! Good Morning, Superman! by Michael Dahl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this fun book. It is drawn in a half DC Superman comic page and half real day adventure.
A little boy wakes up and needs to get ready for the day. He loves Superman, so this routine is done in that type of adventure mode. He needs to put on his secret uniform (clothes), get energy (eat), fight villains (toothpaste), gets help from another super hero (sister) and then show his fans (parents) how much he loves them.

Great story for children learning how to take care of themselves in the morning, learning what to do. Colorful and fun. Be a superhero everything is more fun to do when you are. pages and colorful, and small, yet effective amount of words.
Perfect for little ones -6 or 7 year olds.

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Review: Dalmatian in a Digger

Dalmatian in a Digger Dalmatian in a Digger by Rebecca Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun story to read with your Working Trucks loving child. It has different animals driving and working with dump trucks, cranes, digger, bulldozer. Little puppy hears and then finds trucks working around his house. He is in for a sweet surprise in the end.

Just a side note: Having a husband who works with these types of big trucks, we were happy to see the drivers wearing hard hats. All except Duck, who is wearing safety glasses, cool, but he needs a hard hat too. And who would let there children around these big working trucks with out proper attire (hard hat and safety goggles) and children aren't allowed to come around these trucks anyway with they are working.

Pages are colorful, full of fun truck sounds, forest animals and very entertaining for your younger children.

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Review: Lila and the Crow

Lila and the Crow Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lila has moved and now is attending a new school. She is very excited to meet and make new friends. That idea is soon devastated with one mean boy and a classroom of children that follow his led.
Lila goes to school day after day hoping to make friends but isn't given a chance. No one will befriend her. Every day she goes home a bit more depressed. Every day she also sees a crow and after a time sees how beautiful it is. She then realizes how beautiful she is. Yes, she may look different from the other children, but she is beautiful in her own right.
It isn't until the class Halloween party when she uses the insults as a costume and all the other children realize how fun, pretty and friendly she really is.

It is sad how one per person can turn a whole group of people against one new person. Even more when no one gets to know them first. This is a great story to share with your children and learning about acceptance and befriending the "new kid."

Adults: I would suggest reading this book first.  You will need time to come up with a meaningful discussion to have with your child/ren as you are reading. 

I love the pictures in this book light, autumn coloring. Would say perfect for your 7-6 independent reader. This would also be perfect for a family read together.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review: I Want That Love

I Want That LoveI Want That Love by Tatsuya Miyanishi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was having a hard time determining how many stars to give this book I liked the pictures. I feel that it maybe a bit to violent for younger children.
It took me a couple times of reading this book to myself to see if I really wanted to read it to my children. There is violence and I was having issues showing them to my children. Even though I know my children would be OK with the scenes of Dinosaurs eating each other. My little ones loved how the Dinosaurs look like lizards they see outside. The colors are bright and engaging. The message of "Love not Violence shows strength'" is an important one for children to learn. Of course, this lesson is learned by Tyrannosauruses as an old, weak, dinosaur, by a baby triceratops and his friends. We were able to have great conversation with my children.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had the pleasure to read this with one of my children for their English class. I loved it, it was fun but full of great advise. Basically if a teen can practice and hone in on good characteristics they will grow to be successful and more adjusted adults.
Most of the ideals are common sense that most, not all, of the adult now don't have. If we as adults would work on improving ourselves, our children would be much better off. I have every intention to better myself and use the advise from this book. Maybe I should read the Adult version his dad wrote.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret: 50 Recipes for a Healthy Diet

Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret: 50 Recipes for a Healthy Diet Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret: 50 Recipes for a Healthy Diet by Jonathan Vine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been interested in the Green Smoothies. Have friends that tell me all about their taste and health benefits, and hoe they make them feel. I have had the opportunity to review this book for free. Have to say, it is my first book about green smoothies. As I was reading through it, I did make a few of the recipes and they tasted great. At least I got my servings of veges in for the day.
My goal is to make a green smoothie every day for breakfast or lunch, and see how I feel after a couple weeks.

I receives this book free in exchange for my honest review.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Raising a Young Modern-Day Princess

Raising A Young Modern Day Princess by Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting

Have you ever read a book that actually makes you feel worse about yourself and what you have done as a parent then when you began? I am a failure for my daughter, but it isn't too late.
I loved this book,  it made me stop and think of all the things I have not done for my daughter. I've tried to be a good mom and raise my daughter to love Christ and be the best daughter of God that she can be.  I'm obviously lacking....
This book is comprised of ten chapters that talk about the Fruits of the Spirit and how to instill them in your young daughter. Topics are faithfulness, peace, Joy, goodness, gentleness, kindness, patience, and love. You start out by finding you daughters personality type, my daughter is social butterfly/ leader (she actually tied, didn't think that was possible with only few questions asked) She is the only girl in the family.
I love the set up of the book. each chapter focuses on an aspect of mother,  a Princess attribute, and a  Fruit of the Spirit. The authors share stories from their life, talk to the dads and what they can do for their daughters. give mothers ideas for activities to do with the daughters. Activities are listed  that meet every personality type of our girls.
This book is Christian based with activities ranging from singing praises to the Lord to crafts and just having a good uplifting time together.  All along to your daughter how to act like a daughter of God. If you are not christian but still want to instill good character into your daughter you can still use the ideas in the book.
I need to go and get the book Raising a Modern-day Princess,  geared towards older girls. I would like to compare how the two are similar and different.

I received this book free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: Five Seasons in The Kitchen: Zen Inspired Vegan Cooking

Five Seasons in The Kitchen: Zen Inspired Vegan Cooking Five Seasons in The Kitchen: Zen Inspired Vegan Cooking by Avital Sebbag

This is a great book for anyone wanting or needing help with making food that is Vegan and good tasting food. I found the background information was helpful with learning about Zen lifestyles. Each section is set up to go with the growing and harvest seasons of food. You will be using food when they are in season, and cheaper at markets. Most recipes have pictures to go with them and the most ingredients are ones I can find at most stores I shop at anyway. I still have to make any of the recipes for my family but some of the recipes are on the meal calendar. My plan is to work healthier meals into the family diets. Colorful and easy to read. Can't wait to try the meals.

You can find this #FiveSeasonsinTheKitchen e-book on Amazon Here (I am NOT compensated from any purchases made through this link)

I received this book at a deep discount from Ebookpro in exchange for my honest review.

Review: If You Were Me and Lived In...the Middle Ages

If You Were Me and Lived In...the Middle Ages If You Were Me and Lived In...the Middle Ages by Carole P. Roman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was very excited about receiving this book. Which I received free from Cheshire Inc. for my honest review.

I have been looking for fun, historical books for my children to read, since I really want them to understand and learn History in a fun way this year.
This story follows a girl from the Middle Ages, and how she and her family lived day to day life. The pictures are drawn like a cartoon, but are nicely done faded colors.
My daughter loved reading about the clothing the family wears.
I like this book because though it tells a story from a land owner daughter view point, there is also detail of how peasants and upper nobles also lived.
You will also find a glossary of terms along with a page of pictures and descriptions of famous people of that time and place. These are great jumping off point to learn more about this time period.
This is a great book to give the general overview of that time period. If my children want to learn more in depth then we can then advance to more in depth history. I would recommend this to 6-9 year old children. My eight year old really enjoyed the story and learning what it would be like to be a child then. She is asking me for some more in this series.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Face to Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life

Face to Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life Face to Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life by Jayme Lee Hull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I get mentoring, I can see the benefits of it. I don't think it needs to be as formal as what this book has you believe.
The book is a great book, it has advise on why we need mentors, how to find a mentor, how to resolve conflict. At the end of each chapter there are response questions, that you can use during your mentoring session. I have the book marked up. It has great advice in it on how to be the best woman you can be.
I guess I just find myself lucky that in my church I can talk to and ask other women for advice and help to any problem that I have. Beside that I have a family that is supportive.

This book is written for women that are in their twenties and thirties. there is advise though for a woman at any age. If asked to be a mentor this is also a great resource.

I received this book free from Moody Publishing for my honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

FINALLY I am Done. This was such a long book. So much detail, I understand that detail is important to help visualize the story in ones head, but too much detail kills a story. I was reading so much detail that the story of Ben-Hur was choppy, to say the least.

I wanted to read this book for years now, I heard it was a great one. It wasn't until I received Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ that I became more determined to read this original version. Out of the two I have to say the new up-dated one is better, if you want to read the story. Granted, she does take some liberties to make it more interesting. The newer version does stay true to the original story.

The one thing you get in the original is characters back stories and more about the life and time of Jesus of Nazareth.

Glad I read it, one book off my "I Want to Read" list. Please don't make me read it again though.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: Win! Expert Advice for Raising Successful Athletes

Win! Expert Advice for Raising Successful Athletes Win! Expert Advice for Raising Successful Athletes by Emily Baker Pavot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short and easy read book for both parents and children wanting to go into sports. Most advice I already know and try to do myself. Like supporting your child, instead of criticizing them from the sidelines. Letting the coach coach the team without getting mad at him. Having your children try many different sports, and not letting them quit.
Ms Pavot also has a section for the student that sells with practical advice bite hard under academics and keep the grades up. tried many sports don't just do one. and work harder than all the other athletes on your team.
The one thing I thought was cool was the interview questions in the end of the book, from all the different athletes interviewed from professional, college athletes, Olympians and coaches. The interviews was quite insightful for me as a parent.

I would have my child who's really into sports read this book, because they will be getting the information from other people instead of just from parents.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Ben Hur a Tale of The Christ by Carol Wallace

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the ChristBen-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've always wanted to read then her but the sheer size of the book has always scared me. When I came across this version I felt much more comfortable and gave it a try. I have to say it's one of the best books I've read.
the story of Judah Ben-Hur being betrayed by his best friend who is a woman. His trials as a galley slave. Saving his captain... living your life as a Roman and then taking revenge on Messala, his best friend, and on Rome itself. It was during this time that Christ was teaching in Jerusalem and the land around, Judah finds new meaning to his life and religious beliefs.

For the sub title being A Tale of the Christ I was disapointed that not more was said about Christ there is one incident at the beginning where Christ is a youth and help students as he's being taken to the galleys. A story of his first from a wise man, less than a chapter. Not until the last few chapters do we really see the Christ coming into the story... His baptism, miracles and triumphant entry for Passover, Crusifiction, a blurp about the Resurrection.

The flow of the story was a time line, first this happened... then next...last. No jumping back and forth which can be very confusing. Honestly, I like reading books like that. From the parts of the origianal story that I have read, many of the fluffy parts are gone too.
The characters in the story developed through out the telling. This is not overly done, but you can still get a good picture in your head of who they are and what they were like.

I have yet to finish the origanal version, maybe someday.

I recieved this book free from Tyndale publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits For Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead

Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits For Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People  You LeadRare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits For Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead by Marcus Warner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book from Moody Publishers, in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

This is another book that I read with a pencil in hand for marking and taking notes.
Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder co wrote this book and both give excellent advice and insight on how our brain/emotions work and how how to be the best leader we can be.

It is written for a Christian audience, congregational leaders or councilors, but the principles can be used in any aspect of life. One thing that really struck me about this book was the emphasize on our emotional side of leadership and use it along with the educated smarts.
The First section of the book deals more with describing the 4 Habits of Rare Leadership and the brain science used in RARE leadership:
1 Remain Rational
2 Act Like Yourself
3 Return with Joy
4 Endure Hardships Well

The second section breaks these Four Habits down and describes what these habits look, and feel like.
Each chapter is filled with real life experience from the authors and people they have worked with through the years. At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions and exercises that us as readers need to answer and work on. Basically putting into practice in our life what we have just read.

I love this book, and even though I have a long way to go it has helped me in my leadership skills in my family and other groups I am part of. Even though the Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder have PhDs and are very educated, they write so the common man/woman, like myself can understand and act on their expertise.

Side note: Try to read this when you don't have a bunch of screaming and yelling kids around you. It isn't a hard read but it isn't exactly a breeze through book either, you really do need a quite place to take it all in.

Review: Becoming an Woman of Excellence

I want to thank Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Honestly, I never heard of this book or author until just recently.  Seeing how this is the 30th Anniversary edition it has been around for quite awhile.
This book wasn't exactly what I was imagining, ended up being better. I am really glad I received it. The Cynthia Heald uses the bible story of Ruth and Boaz as her basis for the whole idea for this book. especially the scripture Ruth 3:11.  In the KJV it reads : "And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman."  
In the bible version she uses (which I am not sure which one it is) is says: " All my people in in the city know that you are a woman of excellence."

I know in the church and as a culture there is loads of pressure put on women to be PERFECT, and this is such an abstract idea, each view is so different.  I think, I know I put more pressure on myself than other people do. Here is an easy to read, self-paced, personal in-depth look at our self and becoming the very best Daughter of God we can become, most of the lessons that are talked about we already practice in our everyday life anyway, just be more conscious about our actions toward our relationship to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
 This is a "workbook" Bible self improvement book. There are 11 chapters and the written portions are short author views of the bible scriptures, books and speakers. After that she asks us as readers thought provoking questions that we need to ponder and answer for ourselves. We also are giving scripture references to read and write our impressions. Topics include What is Excellence, obedience, God's Character, Becoming like Christ, purity, along with more topics. This isn't a set down and read and be a better person book. You as a reader, if you want to get anything out of the book, need to do your own scripture study and be honest with yourself about you own thoughts. I like how Mrs Heald has added her views now that she is more mature and has lived a fuller life into each chapter, what a great insight for me who is younger and still has must to learn. Also, how she is helping us become better women not viewing us as bad and this is how you improve. She wants us to improve on our greatness we have already.
You can find this book on Amazon here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Putter and the Red Car: A Cross-Country Family Adventure Putter and the Red Car: A Cross-Country Family Adventure by Kate K. Lund

Putter and the Red Car: A Cross-Country Family AdventurePutter and the Red Car: A Cross-Country Family Adventure by Kate K. Lund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free ebook of this book from #wisemediagroup in exchange for my honest review.
My preschooler loves Cars and dogs. So when I received this ebook we sat down and read. Putter is a Airedale Terrier and the story is told in his voice. The family is taking a cross country drive, actually they are moving form the East Coast to the West Coast. Along the way they stop in well known cities to see the sites, visit friends, play. Was a great story to use with a USA map so my child could find the cities talked about and follow along on his map. US Geography, here we come.
The pictures were great, done in a style of children they helped convey the feeling of the story coming from a "child" going through some major changes and finding adventure in the ride.

I have been wanting to get more US Geography learning done with my children and books like this one really help my younger children grasping some of the concepts or States, National Parks,  and major cities. 

You can find it here on Amazon If you have Kindle unlimited it is $2.99 at the moment of me writing this post. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Book Review: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively

The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children EffectivelyThe 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively by Gary Chapman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishing Newsroom in exchange for my honest review.

A couple years (Jan 2014) ago I listened to the audio recording of this book and here is that review:
Loved this whole idea. Have a lot of work and changing that I have to do in order to show my children how much I truly do love them and fill them emotionally.

As much as I like to listen to audio books (they help when I have to multi-task), there is a change in my brain that just clicks when I read the written word. This is also a book I read with a pencil in hand. This idea for the 5 Love Languages has been around for a number of years now, and to me, they still make sense to use. Each of my children, have a different personalities, that is what makes life so interesting, and it would make sense that they would receive and give love differently. Each chapter is broken down to cover one of the Love Languages and how to use them effectively with our children. Mr Chapman even gives short personal accounts on how each has been used effectively and ineffectively.
One thing I do like is that fact that all 5 types of Love should be used and should be used alone, with no contingents.
I know I have a ways to go to be the perfect parent but I do hope my children know that I love them, and I hope that I can use these ideas to tell them that in their own special way.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Review: 8 Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child's Intelligences by Kathy Koch, PhD

8 Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child's Intelligences8 Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child's Intelligences by Kathy Koch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have heard about and know a small amount of information about multiple intelligence. During the past few years I have been doing my own research into this fascinating "idea" (can't think of the right word, more than an idea) . One of my children is having a hard time in school, they are brilliant and very smart, but struggles in the school environment. After some research I know why this is the case and it comes down to having some of the multiple intelligence's, that are not used or looked down on, in a public school setting.

I had the opportunity to receive 8 Great Smarts by Kathy Koch, PhD. from Moody Publishing for free in exchange for this honest review. All views are my own. 

I have to saw there have been only a handful of books, that I have read with a pencil in my hand, this is now my most marked up, note written book I have.
Dr. Kathy Koch, uses information from both Dr. Howard Gardener and Dr Tom Armstrong, in writing this book. She writes in a "every man way" (thank you) so that we, as parents and teachers can understand and help our children with their SMARTS. We are all smart and not all in the same way, how boring would that be.

This book is written from a Christian based view point, so if you do have problems with that you may want to skip over those parts.

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the 8 smarts. Word Smart, Logic Smart, Picture Smart, Music Smart, Body Smart, Nature Smart, People Smart and Self Smart. One thing I did find sort of annoying, yet helpful to was that each chapter used exactly the same format and wording, just with the different smart written in.

I would have like a bit more information about each smart and how to develop it in my children, and myself, but the information given was great and a very good jumping off spot for me.
She has a web link in the book for your children to take a quiz and find out what their Smarts are. One thing Dr Koch, drills is "Smarts don't work alone and each person will have more than one smart to draw from in any given situation" I have found that my Smart Child is strong in Body and Nature Smarts. We need to develop, awaken interest in the others. I have an other child who has strong Smarts on 5 different ways. A third child is strong in 3 Smarts.

You may be asking, does these Smarts have any thing to do with Learning Styles? I had the same question. Yes and No. Learning styles are how a child learns best using their dominate Smarts, but just because a child in a Visual Learner doesn't make them Picture Smart. Tactile Learners aren't necessarily, Body Smart. Dr Koch does explain the differences in this book also.

Reading through this book I have been able to better understand my spouse and myself also. For as Dr. Koch also says, "it is never to late to awaken a God given smart"

I am looking forward to reading more from Dr. Kathy Koch.

You can find more about this book here at 8greatsmarts.com

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & TreacheryThe Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Growing up I heard the stories of all the great American Revolutionaries, Benedict Arnold was one of these great men. He became a tragic hero to me, someone I looked up to but pitied at the same time.

My son brought this book home from his school library wanting to read it, so i downloaded the audio book so he could read along with it. I admit I did finish it before he did. It was well read. I liked how the author used first person account through out the book, to tell the tragic story of Benedict Arnold.

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Review: Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you read this for the story, it makes a great adventure, coming of age, Greek mythology story.
This story is of young Helen (of Troy) growing up and her determination to live the way she wanted. not the way everyone expected her to.
I liked the fact that the author told her story as a young girl, teenager, so we could see a part of Helen, we have never seen before.
fun book of fiction.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Review of Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

Hokey PokeyHokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jack lives in the land of Hokey Pokey but today strange things are happening to him. Things are changing. Games that were fun and as fun as they used to be. He starts to get the urge that he must leave Hokey Pokey once night comes. Jack's friends try to think of was to keep him on Hokey Pokey but their efforts prove fruitless

Jack is growing up and moving out of childhood into adolescence, he can't stop it and Jack really doesn't want to either.

Great story about the emotional changing of a child. Mid-grade readers. I personally didn't like it all that much. It was entertaining and I am sure my children would like reading this book.

One thing I like about Jerry Spinelli is his ability to paint a picture in my mind of the book I am reading. He is also really good about evoking emotion in the reader. Even though I didn't care for the story/book it was well written.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution by Joseph J. Ellis

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been in the mood to read more about US History and learn more than what I learned out of textbooks in school. I have other books from Joseph E Ellis, but have not read them as yet. After reading this book I will be reading the others. Mr Ellis is a great writer and makes history fun to learn, I wasn't bored reading, I wanted to just sit and read.

I really liked what Mr Ellis says in the beginning that we can't judge the Founding Father by our modern standards, anymore that they can judge us from their standards, it was a different time and our morals and character lessons/up bring are different.

I have a better understanding of this nation and our beginnings that I never had before. Still, I am in the camp of wishing that the main federal government had less power and the state governments have more.

I love the fact that Ellis brings out the idea that Madison, during his post convention, starts to view the Constitution as a living document and that it has a political perspective of half federal and half Confederate thoughts. That it provides ambiguity 2 answers of who actually rules the United States. I love the quote that the Constitution " provide an argumentative arena for it can't contine. ... is less resolved arguments but is to make argument itself the solution."

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