Posts tagged ‘Mormons’

DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE

Agnes’s Rescue: A True Story of an Immigrant Girl

Written by Karl Beckstrand and Veara Southworth Fife

Illustrated by Sean Sullivan

This book is book one of a series for children about young immigrants.

Agnes was born in Scotland and lived there with her siblings. After her father’s disappearance at sea, her mother turns to the Mormon faith. When Agnes turned nine in 1856, her mother had saved enough money to sail to America and become a part of the Latter-Day Saints community in Utah.

Their journey contained numerous perils. After sailing to New York, they took a train to Iowa. There the hardships began. The family must walk pulling a cart with their possessions. Their food supplies became depleted, and the weather turned frigid. Agnes and her family faced frostbite and near annihilation.

The story is biographical and written by a descendant. Sean Sullivan does a marvelous job with emotive illustrations. I like the interactive aspect of the book allowing readers to revisit the story by answering questions and voicing their opinions. This series is sure to inspire readers in elementary and middle school.

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CHRISTMAS COLLAGE

Spirits Bright: A Christmas Collection

Written by Angie Lofthouse

SpiritsBright,pic

Interesting collection of four very different stories centered around a Christian theme. In “Spirits Bright,” the reader meets Jacey Morris who is so entangled with her computer world that she rarely leaves her home, often forgetting to wash and eat. When her computer game suddenly goes down, and she hears a knock on the door, the world that has become her reality suddenly collapses. She is about to meet two Mormon missionaries who will introduce her to an alternate universe. The second story titled “Milly’s Gift” introduces the reader to a world that has recently been freed from the domination of alien invaders who had been in control for many years. Now the people called the renegades are shedding the trappings of domination and trying to find their own identities. Jerrin and Milly struggle to readjust and find a family to give them a sense of purpose and belonging. “Living Water” is the tale of an anthropology professor called Sean who is visiting the family of his mentor. Sean was born on Earth, but his mentor comes from another world about to celebrate their Nativity Festival. Sean is trying to explain Christmas to them. He will have an adventure with this family that will bring their two cultures closer together yet still leave them miles apart. Finally, in the last story named “Chosen Vessel” Shaalim, the Keeper of a lightship bringing the founders of a new civilization through outer space, faces a crisis when the ship is taken off course and forced to land on another planet. He is given a task by a heavenly messenger. The crew is divided about whether to use force to subdue the planet’s inhabitants; some of the planet’s citizens have been persecuted, while others have prospered. This sci-fi adventure takes many interesting twists and turns.

These stories are an interesting blend of Christianity, science fiction, holiday traditions, and cultural mores. They contain interesting plots and fairly well developed characters, considering the fact that all four stories take up less than 150 pages. Appropriate for tweens, teens and adults, they are a quick and pleasant holiday afternoon read.

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