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Book Review: The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

Posted by Julie on June 29, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God’s Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they’ve learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials—ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.

The book starts out with transparency as Rachel shares their vacation experience. With each mishap and missed injury or worse, Rachel reminds herself to breathe. With that honesty, I’m captivated and I join her and her husband as they share their story. They have two children with special needs. They use their own stories, great visuals (I love explaining their situation is like receiving an orange for dessert when everyone else gets chocolate,) Scripture and thoughts that provoke the reader beyond the last page.

They are upfront that although their story is about their children, the book is for anyone looking for hope, and I believe that. It was easy to partner with their story and find the hope to cling to. When they admitted this is the book they needed, I agree with them. When our daughter was first diagnosed with special needs, I saw a lot of academic type books, but none that addressed the million thoughts I had racing in every direction at all times. Although I’m a few years past that time, I still found the book refreshing. I felt less alone.

I absolutely recommend THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED. In fact, I have one to give away (please remember if you comment, leave an email where I can reach you.) Please tell me why you should have this book. I’ll pick a winner July 5th.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

To purchase THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED, click here.

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0

Book Review: The Mighty League Volume 1, The Terrible Taunting

Posted by Julie on November 8, 2013 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

This is a new opportunity for me and I’m so excited to share this with you. It’s not quite a book review, it’s an app review of the interactive storybook The Mighty League, Volume I, The Terrible Taunting.

This is a sibling project written by sister Molly Murphy and narrated by the real JMan, Jonathan, who has Asperger’s. Together the two give readers the chance to customize and be a superhero or heroine clicking on different interactive objects, learning about Aspies through Mr. Redge and the Super Secret Notebook.

I absolutely loved this storybook. It’s visually beautiful and no matter the age, readers can find fun things to click on. For the child who can read, the secret notebook is a treasure trove of information for all to understand and raise awareness about what it’s like to be an Aspie’s kid. I think this would work for all levels of the autism spectrum to help classmates understand their friends who are on the spectrum.

I also loved the song. It was catchy and not annoying. It was completely appropriate considering the subject matter.

But since this was an interactive storybook on special needs, I brought in my daughter to see what she thought. She isn’t on the spectrum but has minor special needs. More than that, because of her history she’s spent a lot of time with friends who are on the spectrum and/or has Aspie’s.

First we looked at other storybooks that are interactive so she’d understand how they’d work. Once she mastered the concept, she opened up  The Mighty League, Volume 1, The Terrible Taunting.

Here’s her summary.

  • She liked the music.
  • She thought the hedgehog was funny, and she enjoyed the different animations and sounds she found by clicking.
  • The notebook was a little difficult for her. She has comprehension issues so we read it together, and then I explained what it said at her level. It was then a lightbulb clicked and she could see some of her friends in what I was explaining. She thought some of her classmates should hear what was in the book to help them understand why some of the other kids in her class act the way they do.
  • Finally she said this was her favorite in the interactive books I showed her because it had a lot to do and fun music.

So if my glowing review doesn’t convince you, hopefully a child’s review will. I think this is a fantastic storybook app. I found every way to socially connect with Geek Club Books. I can’t wait to see what else they create.

DESCRIPTION: The adorkable JMan and his plucky hedgehog sidekick, Mr. Redge are the unstoppable, secret superhero team who save a classmate from the poking pranks of Dr. Evil Touch! Join this quirky duo on their quest to stop a bully, make the school playground a peaceful place, and more importantly, make a new friend who likes crime fighting, capes and karate, too. Discover JMan’s hidden notebook on each page about what it’s like to be an Aspie.

ABOUT THIS APP: This INTERACTIVE storybook app is based on the real JMan, Jonathan Murphy, and his REAL LIFE adventures growing up with ASPERGER’S SYNDROME. Written by his sister, Molly Murphy, and narrated by Jonathan, the story is told by someone who sees his world from a very unique perspective. It promotes SELF-ACCEPTANCE, AWARENESS, and an UNDERSTANDING for others who are different.

AGES 5 – 11

SPECIAL FEATURES

– You can change the superhero, JMan, into super-heroine, Jaycee.

– Touch Mr. Redge on every page and a SECRET NOTEBOOK pops up with age-appropriate information on Aspergers Syndrome, being different, and bullying.

– Over 70 INTERACTIVE SOUNDS AND ANIMATIONS —including capes waving, speech bubbles, character movements, and more.

– Original “I’m Unique, I’m a GeekTHEME SONG by award-winning children’s performing artist, AndyZ.

Easy to use navigation, customization, and page turning effects.

– Narration with word highlighting, self-read, or record your own narration options.

PROJECT BASED LEARNING CURRICULUM aligned with Common Core State Standards available for FREE DOWNLOAD

 

FIND OUT WHAT USERS ARE SAYING:

 Smart Apps for Kids: http://bit.ly/1hibPr7

The iMums: http://bit.ly/1fJjhA0

To purchase the Terrible Taunting, please click here.

I received a free download of the app from Geek Club Books in exchange for an honest review.

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1

My Favorite Fiction Reviewed Read of 2011 (Say that Ten Times Fast)

Posted by Julie on December 29, 2011 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Each year I try to blog about my favorite reads of the year. This year my reading life took a backseat to editing my work in progress. When I read, most of it was for review purposes. So yesterday and today my posts will be about my favorite reviewed books. New this year I’ll post my favorite Free Kindle read from 2011. Stay tuned!

Today I tackle my favorite fiction reviewed read.

For me, it’s a slam dunk.

This was such a favorite book for me that I contacted the author, something I rarely do. It was well-written, topical, engaging characters, but more than anything, it struck a nerve. For readers, the controversial material was what did it. For me, it was how close the characters and their lives hit home for me.

Can you guess?

I reviewed this book for Bethany House in May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Kathryn Cushman and the book I still think about months later, Another Dawn. I hope all of you looking for a good book to read will not just find Another Dawn, but look up all Kathryn Cushman’s work.

Check out Another Dawn here.

 

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