Mar 252015

518EdaBcrWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ To My Friends: Messages of Counsel and Comfort

Author: Jeffrey R. Holland

Publisher: Deseret Book

Published: December 1, 2014

ISBN13: 978-1-62972-029-6

Hardcover: 264 pages

Reviewed by Mindy


“If you need a burden lifted, I want you to imagine I am in a personal, private, closed-door chat with you.  I want to help you if I can.”  With those words, Elder Jeffery R. Holland invites every reader of his latest book to become a friend, to receive instruction and encouragement, counsel and comfort.

Elder Holland addresses these powerful messages “to my friends who love the Lord,” “to my friends who want to change,” “to my friends who face opposition,” and more.  Each chapter begins with a beautifully designed quotation to help convey the message in an artistic way, making the book a lovely gift for friends to share.  Throughout, Elder Holland’s powerful witness of the Savior shines through, for, as he writes, “I am grateful for the greatest friend any of us could ever have, in time or eternity, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

My Review

This book came right when I needed it.  I knew the material wasn’t new, but the messages within were still truly heartfelt and touching.  Elder Holland has always been a favorite apostle of mine to listen to at General Conference and during the year.  I even have a picture of a quote of his on my phone.  This book not only has beautiful messages, it is beautiful to look at.  Most of the chapters had me in tears, knowing the truth and power of the words I was reading.  Each chapter has a message with a lovely quote that I can imagine Elder Holland speaking himself.  I had many favorites, but this one struck me the most.

The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours (real or imagined) fall away in the abundance of the final reward. (page 26)

5 out of 5 stars.  This book is something your whole family can read and treasure together.  Maybe not all of the messages will apply to everyone, but I promise you it is worth the read.

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book


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Mar 212015



Product Description:

Title:I Hope They Call Me on a Mission
Author: Benjamin Hyrum White
Illustrator: Corey Egbert
Published: March 10th, 2015
ISBN#:13: 9781462115518
Hardcover: 38 pages
FTC FYI: I received a PDF from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Book Description:

It’s never too early to prepare! This charmingly illustrated picture book teaches children what it’s like to be a missionary, from riding a bike to studying the gospel to having a companion, and everything they can do now to be ready so that when the time comes, they’ll be the best missionaries they can be. Colorful and cute, it’s a perfect gift for baptisms and birthdays.

My Review:

This picture book is the perfect thing for LDS kids. It tells them in many ways how to prepare to serve a full time mission. In the story, two children write to their Uncle and they find out how what it’s like to be a missionary and how to prepare to go on a mission. I loved the engaging illustrations in the book because they were colorful and fun! I wish that this book had been around when my now teens were younger. I still shared the book with them because of the wonderful messages.

Some of the things readers will learn are… how you have companions on a mission and it talks about how to get along with others right now as a child. It talks about how some missionaries will go to different countries and will eat strange food and they should learn how to try new foods while they are young. The book covered how missionaries exercise and how kids can exercise right now to get in shape. The author used a great format of telling exactly what a missionary does, and on the same page of how children can prepare for that certain thing. As a teacher of small children, this book is easily understood and will also make for great conversations at the dinner table or at nightly story time.

I highly recommend this book for Primary age kids between the ages of 3-12. I would have loved this book to use in Sharing Time when I was Primary President several years ago. Grandparents need to remember this book to have at their house or to give as a gift. The messages about the spiritual and physical aspects of serving a mission are too good not to share this book far and wide.


Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Seagull Book

About the Author:
Benjamin White11

Ben White is the author of 10 Questions to Answer while Preparing for a Mission. He has been a Seminary Teacher from 2003 to the present. He has a M.A. in Religious Education from BYU, B.S. in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from BYU. He is an EFY speaker and has recorded two talks with the Mormon Channel on their “For the Youth” program.

Ben and his wife Keenan reside in Utah Valley with their five children.

Visit him at





Meet The Illustrator:

COREY EGBERT has always loved books and art, so when he discovered that he could create both at the same time by being an illustrator, he couldn’t have been happier. His illustrations can be seen in The Niuhi Shark Saga books and the album covers of recording artist Rob Taylor. He lives in Buena Vista, Virginia, with his wife Natalya, son Oliver, and their cat, Rex.

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Mar 202015

22343779 Silence

Author: Deborah Lytton

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: March 3rd, 2015

ISBN13: 9781609079451

Hardcover: 320 pages

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Love is blind, but it’s also deaf. Stella was born to sing. Someday Broadway. Even though she’s only a sophomore at a new high school, her voice has given her the status as a “cool kid.” But everything changes when a tragic accident renders her deaf. She can’t hear herself sing not to mention speak. She can’t hear anything. Silence. What happens when everything you’ve dreamed of and hoped for is shattered in a single moment?

Enter Hayden, the boy with blond curls who stutters. He’s treated like an outcast because he’s not “normal.” And, yet, Stella feels an attraction to him that she can’t explain. As Hayden reaches out to help Stella discover a world without sound, his own tragic past warns him to keep a distance. But their connection is undeniable. Can the boy who stutters and the girl who’s deaf ever find a happily-ever-after? Silence is a story of friendship and hope with a lesson that sometimes it takes a tragedy to help us find and appreciate beauty and love in unexpected places.

My Review

Silence is a beautiful story.  I was intrigued with the way it was told, present tense first person.  I thought it was a perfect way to really get to know what the characters were thinking and I was immediately in the situation with them.  I loved Stella’s journey and Hayden’s as well, in finding their way back.  I loved how Hayden took care of Stella, and how he wanted to give her 17 days to teach her how to hear the world around her without sound.  Very sweet.  Hayden’s story was heartbreaking, but it helped me understand him even more.  He had a presence about him that was so kind and protective.  Both Stella and Hayden were hesitant to really admit they cared deeply about each other.  Hayden being hurt by his mother and Stella still upset about her parent’s divorce.  I felt for Stella too after her accident.  I couldn’t imagine losing my hearing, and being faced with that.

4 out of 5 stars.  Silence is a great story that you and your teen will enjoy.  It is a clean book, that will pull at your heartstrings.

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book 

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Mar 192015

23466874 Seek and Find: Book of Mormon Stories

Author/Illustrator: Jason Pruett

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Published: February 10th, 2015

ISBN13: 9781462115280

Hardcover: 32 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

About the Book

Featuring scenes from the Book of Mormon, this book will keep kids entertained as they look for their favorite scripture heroes and hidden objects in the colorful illustrations.

My Review

This book takes me back to when I was younger and Where’s Waldo was all the rage!  When my daughters were younger, we loved looking at Seek and Find books together.  I love that this is a Book of Mormon centered book that teaches kids about the scriptures and helps visualize them too.  I enjoyed how the pages are in order of the Book of Mormon, even the introduction and witnesses.  Then gives an introduction to each book of scripture and activities that go with each.  Very fun!  The illustrations are perfect too.  I know that my 10 year old will enjoy reading this book as we wait for church to begin.

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Seagull Book / Deseret Book




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Mar 182015

whatislost-finalcover What is Lost

Author: Lauren Skidmore

Publisher: Sweetwater Books (Cedar Fort)

Published: March 10th, 2015

ISBN13: 9781462116218

Paperback: 240 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy


Angry at his failure to exact vengeance on the prince, mask maker Joch flees Venesia to find his lost love. When a red-cloaked assassin promises answers, he has little choice but to trust her-though he may be walking into a trap. Unravel the deception in this dazzling story of second chances that will keep you guessing to the last page.

My Review

Very intriguing story and a real page turner!  I was immediately drawn into this world.  Although I have not read What is Hidden, the author did a great job of explaining the importance of masks in the Venesia region, and what happened with Joch and the prince in the first book.  I thought it was very cool to have the bad guy be the focus of the story.  I know he was villainous, but I felt sorry for him at times, and I could see a change in him developing.  Kit was instantly likable.  She had a presence that commanded attention and I loved her spunk and smarts.  The ending I saw coming, but the very last pages were a surprise and I am excited for what happens next.

4 out of 5 stars.  This is a book two, but I never felt lost (LOL).  I plan on reading book one as soon as I can.

Purchase Links

skidmore-authorphoto About the Author

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

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Mar 112015

2 Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to Jesus Christ

Author: Emily Belle Freeman

Publisher: Ensign Peak (Deseret Book)

Publish Date: March 3, 2015

ISBN13: 978-1-60907-977-2

Paperback: 86 pages

FTC FYI: Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Book Summary

Discover how the personal experiences of people who were closest to the Savior during the final week of His life can change the way your family celebrates Easter. Learn the meaning behind the wheat baskets, the forget knot, the red egg, and other traditions that will help Easter become a “High Holy Day” in your heart and in your home.

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Easter offers hope for an Easter filled with the Spirit of Christ as we offer our finest to Him in deepest gratitude for His sacrifice. Return to the spiritual roots of this holy celebration with this beautiful gift book that will help bring you and your family closer to Jesus Christ.

Personal stories include

  • Lazarus
  • Simon
  • Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus
  • Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome
  • Thomas
  • The disciples on the road to Emmaus
  • Jesus Christ

My Review

Another beautiful book focused on the Savior by Emily Belle Freeman.  I loved the scriptures referenced, the personal stories, and wonderful insight given by the author.  I love how this book is organized.  With the chapters listed above there is a scripture, and at the end of the chapter, my favorite part, the tradition.  With hymns, a story to tell and a lesson to share.  A perfect summary of each chapter to help us remember Him.  There were many passages in the book that I enjoyed, but this one especially.

As Easter approaches, we too must prepare.  Make ready your heart.  Make ready your home.  Make ready your celebration.  And then … remember. (page 73-74)

What I loved most about reading this book was the reminder to me to slow down, remember Him, make more room for Him in my life.  Yes, at Easter, but more so everyday.

Author Links

Daily Closer to Christ / Facebook  / Goodreads

Purchase Links

Deseret Book / Seagull Book / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

About the Author

EMILY BELLE FREEMAN is a coach’s wife, a mother to four children and a few others who have found refuge in her home, author of several bestselling books, and sought-after inspirational speaker. Her days are spent watching over teenagers, her flock of pampered chickens, and a rabbit that she adores. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. For a few minutes every day Emily forgets about the laundry, leaves the dishes in the sink, and writes. She coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good:

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