Christmas Giveaway

I love Christmas and GIFTS {buying gifts, giving gifts, making gifts, receiving gifts…just any kind of gifts} so that is why I will be doing some Christmasy giveaways.  The first giveaway will be for Max Lucado’s Christmas book, The Christmas Candle.  Simply visit the link provided below to enter.  The winner will be picked, announced, and notified on November 22, 2014.  Make sure you share this giveaway with family and friends so they will have a chance to win as well.  Wishing you success at winning this special little book!

christmas candle




What Should They Read?: Book List for Christian tween/teen Girls

A mother asked me to share a list of good books for Christian young ladies because it is incredibly hard to find suitable reading material for our tweens and teens.  With a world that promotes Harry Potter, Twilight, Vampire Academy, Shadow Kiss, and a thousand (actually a lot more than that) sexually-explicit and morally-damaging novels- where can our young ladies find uplifting, clean, educational, beneficial, and interesting books?

So, I tried to create a list of books, movies, and audio options that will keep our young ladies happy for awhile.  A lot of these on the list can be found in your local library or sent to your library if requested.  Other great places to pick up books, audio books, and movies are and and and and  I did not even begin to cover all the good books that are out there.  Keep your eyes open for quality reading material for tween/teen girls.  Also teach them to read with discernment and to pick good literature for themselves.  I was quite grateful (not only) for the trust my parents gave me when it came to picking books (but also) for their teaching me to compare what I read with the Bible.  Many times I threw books away or stopped reading certain literature because of its content.  I was not forced to do that, but I knew that I had God and my parents’ trust to uphold.  Enjoy reading through this list.  A few of the books, audio books, and movies are oldies and classics, but somehow they still remain timeless and enjoyable to the modern gal!

Items with a star are ones that I have not read/watched/or listened to, but have been highly recommended to me….


For Animal Lovers

Front Cover1.  Misty of Chincoteague– Marguerite Henry (Also a great movie)

Front Cover2.  Hope Rising and A Bridge Called Hope– Kim Meeder {Stories about animals that help abused children…use discretion concerning readers’ ages}

The_work_of_thy_fingers3.  The Work of Thy Fingers– Pablo Yoder {Excellent pictures to captivate young children, but also interesting content for the older ones as well}

Front Cover4.  Charlotte’s Web– EB White (Also a great movie)

Front Cover5.  Children’s Thrift Classics {There are a bunch of fun books in this series by Dover}

Front Cover6.  Stuart Little– EB White

Front Cover7.  Where the Red Fern Grows– Wilson Rawls (Also a great movie)

Front Cover8.  Stone Fox– John Gardiner (Also a great movie)

Front Cover*9.  Wind in the Willows– Kenneth Grahame

Stories about Girls Books

Front Cover1.  Caddie Woodlawn (Also a great movie)

Front Cover2.  Anne of Green Gables– Lucy Maud Montgomery (Also a great movie) {Be sure to check out all the sequels that Lucy Montgomery wrote}

Front Cover3.  Christy (Also a great movie)

Maria4.  Maria– Maria Von Trapp (Also a great movie known as- “The Sound of Music”)

Front Cover5.  Stories from Grandma’s Attic Series- Arleta Richardson {I loved reading the books in this series}

Front Cover6.  Dear America Series {Not Christian, but has interesting fictional stories set in historical times and events}

Front Cover7.  Daughters of the Faith Series- Wendy Lawton {Can’t recommend this series enough!}

Front Cover8.  The Journals of Corrie Belle Hollister Series- Michael Phillips {A fictional-type novel for older teen girl readers}

Front Cover9.  The Peasant Girl’s Dream– George MacDonald {Don’t stop reading after this one; George MacDonald has many more great books.  Recommended for older teen girls because of the harder-reading style}

Front Cover10.  Little Women– Louisa May Alcott

Front Cover11.  Little House on the Prairie– Laura Ingalls Wilder (Also a great movie series) {Laura wrote many other books in the Little House series; plus there are The Girls of Little House books which I enjoyed reading because it told stories about Laura’s mother, grand-mother, great-grandmother, and daughter}

Front Cover12.   Beezus and Ramona- Beverly Cleary  (Also a great movie) {I haven’t read them, but the other Beverly Cleary books are quite popular among tweens and teens}

Front Cover13.  Crying Wind– Crying Wind {Recommended for older teen girl readers; although I think I was about twelve or fourteen when I read this}

Front Cover*14.  Kisses from Katie– Katie Davis

Front Cover15.  Pollyanna– Eleanor Porter (Also a great movie)

Front Cover16.  Heidi– Johanna Spyri

Front Cover*17.  Lightkeepers Girls Series- Irene Howat {I have never read this Christian girls’ series, but I wished I would have…there are some interesting-looking stories in this set}

Front Cover18.  Sarah, Plain and Tall Series- Patricia MacLachlan

Front Cover*19.  Elsie Dinsmore Series- Martha Finley

Front Cover20.  The Secret Garden– Frances Burnett (Great movie and audio version as well)

Front Cover21.  A Little Princess– Frances Burnett (Also a great movie)

Not_regina22.  Not Regina– Christmas Carol Kauffman {A really good book for teen girls}

Front Cover23.  Treasures of the Snow– Patricia St. John (Also a great movie)

*24.  Sisters in Time Series- Norma Lutz

Joy Sparton and the Mystery in Room 7 / New edition - eBook25.  Joy Sparton Series- Ruth Johnson

Light Romance

Front Cover1.  Classics for Girls Series- Janette Oke

Front Cover2.  Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen {If you like this one, be sure to read some of her other works}

Front Cover3.  Song of Acadia Series and the Love Comes Softly Series- Janette Oke {I never read very many romance novels and do not recommend girls to do so because of the impossible expectations and fantasies it produces.   But if looking for something on the more romantic side of life, Janette Oke does write clean, Christian “love stories” that are much better than most on the market}

The Inheritance4.  The Inheritance– Louisa May Alcott {I have not read the book, but I loved the movie!}

Front Cover10.  Jane Eyre– Charlotte Bronte


Front Cover1.  Sherlock Holmes Series- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Front Cover2.  Father Brown Series- GK Chesterton {Recommended for older teen girls because of the reading style}

Front Cover3.  Sadie Rose Adventures Series- Hilda Stahl

Front Cover4.  Nancy Drew Series- Carolyn Keene (I also enjoyed the old and new movie versions of Nancy Drew)

Front Cover*5.  The Red Rock Mysteries Series- Jerry B. Jenkins

Mom and Daughter Partner Reads:  Excellent books to read and discuss together

Front Cover1.  Les Miserables– Victor Hugo

Front Cover2.  Screwtape Letters– CS Lewis

Front Cover3.  Lies Young Women Believe– Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Front Cover4.  Silas Marner– George Eliot

Front Cover5.  The Scarlet Letter– Nathanial Hawthorne {Excellent lessons in this book…although recommended for older teen girls}

Front Cover6.  The Ultimate Gift– Jim Stovall {Check out the sequels to this book!}

Adventure Series

Front Cover1.  The Cooper Kids Series- Frank Peretti

Front Cover2.  The Riverboat Adventures Series- Lois Walfrid Johnson {One of my favorite fictional series when I was a teen}

Front Cover3.  Trailblazer Books Series- Dave and Neta Jackson {Fun and interesting to read about fictional kids joining up with true missionary/and other great Christians’ adventures}

Front Cover4.  Real Kids, Real Adventures– Deborah Morris {True stories of kids who survive all kinds of disasters}

Front Cover5.  Christian Heritage Series- Nancy Rue {There are the “Salem Years”, “Williamsburg Years”, “Charleston Years”, “Chicago Years”, and “Sante Fe Years”…although the “Charleston Years” were my personal favorites}

The Mayflower Adventure (The American Adventure, #1)6.  The American Adventure Series

A Way Through The Sea7.  The Young Underground Series- Robert Elmer {Another favorite series of mine when I was a teen}

Adventures in the Northwoods Vol. 4: The Vanishing Footprints8.  Adventures in the Northwoods Series- Lois Walfrid Johnson


Cloister and the Hearth9.  Adventures in History Series- A Beka Book

Madame Roland—Abbott Series10.  Abbott Series- A Beka Book

Front Cover11.  Boxcar Children Series- Gertrude Warner

Front Cover12.  The Railway Children Series- Edith Nesbit

Front Cover*13.  Baker Family Adventures Series- CR Hedgcock

Christian Fantasy and Allegory

Front Cover1.  At the Back of the North Wind- George MacDonald

Front Cover2.  The Princess and the Goblin– George MacDonald

Front Cover3.  Chronicles of Narnia Series- CS Lewis

Front Cover4.  Pilgrim’s Progress– John Bunyan

Front Cover5.  Hind’s Feet on High Places– Hannah Hurnard

Adventures in Odyssey Passages ® : The Marus Manuscripts Books  4-6, Volume 26.  Passage Series- Paul McCusker

Interesting Biographies and Missionary Tales

Front Cover1.  Christian Heroes:  Then and Now Series- Janet and Geoff Benge

The Hiding Place2.  The Hiding Place– Corrie ten Boom

A Chance to Die: The Life a...3.  A Chance to Die– Elisabeth Elliot {Recommended for older teen girls because of the reading style}

Mimosa: A True Story4.  Mimosa– Amy Carmichael

I Dared to Call Him Father:...5.  I Dared to Call Him Father– Bilquis Sheikh {Recommended for older teen girls}

They Would Not Be Moved6.  They Would Not Be Moved– Harvey Yoder {Excellent true stories in this book}

Tears Of The Rain7.  Tears of the Rain– Ruth Ann Stelfox

The Cross and the Switchblade8.  The Cross and The Switchblade– David Wilkerson

One-woman_s-quest*9.  One Woman’s Quest to bring Christ to Tibet– Harvey Yoder

Trailblazer-new*10.  Trailblazer– Rachael Lofgren

Amalyah*11.  Amalyah’s Search for Love– Harvey Yoder

Journey_to_joy*12.  Journey to Joy– Rachael Lofgren

A_heart_to_belong*13.  A Heart to Belong– Johhny Miller

Elena*14.  Elena– Harvey Yoder

Hidden_riches*15.  Hidden Riches– Romaine Stauffer

Sandi's Anchor of Hope16.  Sandi’s Anchor of Hope– Romaine Stauffer

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915): T...17.  Heroes of the Faith Series


Mountain Trailways for Youth1.  Mountain Trailways for Youth– Mrs. Charles Cowman

Grace for the Moment: Inspi...2.  Grace for the Moment– Max Lucado

Operation World: When We Pr...3.  Operation World– Patrick Johnstone {Perfect for increasing tween/teen awareness of how other Christians are living and showing ways to pray for them}

His Princess Warrior: Love ...4.  His Princess Warrior– Sheri Rose Shepherd

5.  Strong’s Concordance {Every tween/teen girl should have a “Strong’s Concordance.  I have used mine countless times}

Armed and Dangerous6.  Armed and Dangerous– Ken Abraham {A little book which holds verses and references on all types of subjects}

Teen/Tween Spiritual Input

It's Not About Me Teen Edition*1.  It’s Not About Me (teen edition)- Max Lucado

To Save a Life (To Save a L...2.  To Save A Life– Jim and Rachel Britts (also a great movie- but recommended for older teen girls)

In His Steps3.  In His Steps (What Would Jesus Do?)- Charles Sheldon

The Book of Virtues4.  The Book of Virtues– William Bennett

A Treasury Of Great Christi...5.  A Treasury of Great Christian Stories– Stephen Fortosis

The New Answers Book: Over ...6.  The New Answers Series- Ken Ham {Lots of great reading in this series…older teen girls will really appreciate learning what these books hold}

Don't Check Your Brains At ...7.  Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door– Josh McDowell (for high-schoolers)

The Case for a Creator: A J...8. The  Case for a Creator The Case for Christ– Lee Strobel (also in children’s and student’s editions)

Set-Apart Femininity: God's...9.  Set-Apart Femininity– Leslie Ludy {Very highly recommended!}

The Lost Art of True Beauty10.  The Lost Art of True Beauty– Leslie Ludy

The Princess and the Kiss11.  The Princess and the Kiss– Jennie Bishop {May seem like a little girls’ book, but is good for tween/teens to read as well!}

The Way Home: A Princess Story12.  The Way Home:  A Princess Story– Max Lucado {Another short story which seems for younger ages, but I have read this to tween and teen girls because of the power in the story}

Random Books

Letter Art1.  Letter Art:  American Girl– Becky Higgins {Just a fun little book on cool writing skills}

Personality Plus. Florence ...2.  Personality Plus– Florence Littauer

The-celestial-message*3.  The Celestial Message– Morris Yoder


Feature Films for Families/Stepping Stones

{Check out their website for lots of family-friendly, teen-approved films}

1.  Inventor’s Specials (A series about historical inventors)

2.  Artists’ Specials (A series about historical artists)

3.  Composers’ Specials (A series about historical composers)

4.  On Our Own

5.  Alan and Naomi (Good for teaching children how to relate to those with mental/emotional disabilities)

6.  The Best Bad Thing

7.  The Penny Promise

8.  Hiroshima Maiden

9.  Rigoletto

Walmart Family Movies

{There are a lot of great, clean, family movies in the Walmart Family Series which even teen girls will find interesting}

1.  A Walk in My Shoes

2.  Secrets of the Mountain

3.  Game of Your Life

Clean Family Series

1.  The Waltons

2.  Dick van Dyke (modesty is an issue in some episodes)

3.  Andy Griffith Show

4.  Herbie (The Love Bug) Series


1.  Akeelah and the Bee

2.  Silent Night (Great movie of how a woman has Christmas with opposing soldiers who sought refuge in her home)

3.  Mr. Magorium’s Emporium

4.  Hoodwinked

5.  Ratatouille


1.  Hachi (Perfect for dog lovers)

2.  Paulie (Fun story about a parrot…there are some language issues)


1.  A Princess for Christmas

2.  The Christmas Choir

Adventure and Drama

1.  Journey to the Center of the Earth (action-packed…modern-day film based on Jules Verne’s novel)

2.  Hidden in Silence (A captivating story of a young girl who hides Jews during WWII)

3.  Nim’s Island

4.  Last Chance Detectives

World-Wide Pictures

{There are lots of great Billy Graham films through World-Wide Pictures}

1.  Last Flight Out (some violence)

2.  Something to Sing About (some violence)


1.  Amazing Grace

2.  Though None Go With Me

3.  The Book and the Rose

4.  The Inn of 6th Happiness

Louie Giglio

1.  Indescribable

2.  How Great is our God


*Jonathan Parks

Adventures in Odyssey

*Boxcar Children

*Lamplighter Theatre

Little House on the Prairie

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

1.  Anne of Green Gables

2.  The Secret Garden

3.  Screwtape Letters

4.  The Hiding Place

5.  Chronicles of Narnia

6.  The Legend of Squanto

7.  Les Miserables

8.  Ben-Hur

9.  Little Women

Your Story Hour

*Kingdom Series

Children’s Bible Hour

Uncle Bob Devine

1.  The Fish with a Pole

2.  Colonel Corn

3.  Helicopter Bird

Sugar-Creek Gang

*Nature’s Corner

I would love to hear what books you would recommend for tween/teen girls!


Dear Cousin Judy,

Literate for a Day

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?


Dear Cousin Judy,

Today I can communicate with you and you can understand me.

Growing up, I would watch you as you sat in your wheelchair- unable to talk, move, or even eat by yourself.  I often wondered what ran through your mind.  I wished that I could say a prayer or wave my hand and make you like the rest of my cousins so that we could laugh and talk together.  The doctors thought that you would not live this long; they said that you do not have any understanding or thought process.  But your family knows differently because we hear your attempted laughs when something humorous is said.  We hear your cries when you hurt or are sick.  However, I still do not know how much you have understood over the years.

Now, I have this one chance.  A chance to talk to you through paper.  A chance for you to wholly understand what I am saying.

I want to first of all apologize for the way people have treated you.  You probably have felt the stares and noticed the way people fear you because you are different.  Those who do not understand mental and emotional illnesses either stay far away or laugh at those afflicted.  So I want to say that I am sorry for that.  Your kind heart has probably already forgiven them because you see things through a different pair of eyes than they see through.

I want to tell you that you still are valuable and precious.  Even though some “professionals” would say you should have never had a chance at life; you were placed here for a reason.  Your brothers and sisters have grown into beautiful men and women because of having you in their life.  They too had to work through the pain of stares, laughs, ridicules, and hardships; but it has formed deep character within them.  God thinks you are special, even if humans try to say that you aren’t.  I wish that you didn’t have to suffer so much in this broken world.  Have you ever wondered why you couldn’t play outside like the other children, why you couldn’t join in on Saturday-night pizza parties, why you couldn’t fall in love and raise a family like your siblings are doing?  I’m sorry for all that you have missed out on, but I want to tell you that one day everything will be made right.  Judy, one day you will be able to walk and talk and sing and dance because you will be perfect.  I can’t wait for that day to stand by your side as we sing praises to God for erasing all the wrong, hurt, and sin that was brought into this world and caused so much pain.

I want to let you know that you are loved very much by your family.  Your mom and dad spent many hours in feeding, changing, and bathing you.  They have faithfully taken you and your wheelchair with them wherever they go, but it is not just a chore or duty that makes them do it.  They do it because they love you very much.  Your siblings appreciate you and do not think you are worthless.  And I love you too, Judy.

I will probably never get this chance again to communicate in a way that you can fully understand here on earth; so I shall look forward to meeting you in Heaven some day where there is no barrier in communication.  Until then, thank you for being a part of our family.

Love Your Cousin,

MarJ, dailypost, postaday