September 08, 2010

Some Overdue Reviews for You... and a Give Away!

I keep a little wicker basket on my book shelf that is filled with items which have been sent to me to review. Sometimes (rarely) the basket is empty - but most of the time it has a few things waiting for attention. Lately, because of the season I'm in right now (back to school, pregnancy, starting my photography business, fundraising for a conference next month, working on the Homeschool Blog Awards PR, etc)... it stays REALLY FULL. It is so full right now that it is stressing me out and I have actually been saying no to almost all the requests I get via email (and avoiding as much email as I can). Instead of eating chocolate in my self pity or having a panic attack over it, I'm going to get out a few things today and review them for you... and then, because I love you for putting up with me, I'm going to do another give-away!

So what does a crazy, pregnant, homeschooling, photography-addicted Texas mom blogger have in her 'review box'?

1. Movie: Extraordinary Measures by Sony Pictures (starring Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, and Keri Russell)

I'm always looking for movies that the entire family can watch. I really enjoyed this movie - even if it had a bit more cussing than I normally like the kids to hear. My movie-watching kids are older now (13 and 11). I felt that the story line - one that was inspired by a true story - was totally worth the language. It shows the passion and love that a father has for his chronically ill kids... and how far he's willing to go to create a world in which they can grow up and thrive. 

In the movie, Harrison Ford plays a really smart scientist that works on the cure for life-threatening illness. The main character (Brendan Fraser) is father to two children that have the illness and time is running out for him to raise the money and find a researcher and pharmaceutical company willing to help his kids survive.

View trailer here:

The book "The Cure" by Geeta Anand was the inspiration behind the movie, and the movie was so inspiring that it made me want to read Geeta's book to find out what the real story was behind this amazing film. My kids adored the little girl in this movie - she was so spunky!

I give it a thumbs up and suggest that you add it to your family's media collection for movie night!

2. Books: Robot Wars Series by Sigmund Brouwer (Tyndale)

"Life in an experimental community on Mars is filled with adventure, new discoveries, and questions. As 14-year-old virtual-reality specialist Tyce Sanders searches for the truth, he battles forces of evil - all while struggling to believe in God."

My son, the robot-loving 13 year old really enjoyed these books. He has only read a few of them, but wants the whole series now that Tyndale gave us Book #1 (which we didn't currently have). I love the fact that he's enjoying reading and I trust that the content is being presented in a Christian fashion due to the quality of the publisher. There are 5 books in the Robot Wars series (which previously went by the name 'Mars Diaries').

Sigmund Brouwer has published quite a few series of juvenile fiction and a number of novels. He has a website for those interested at

3. Books: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles by G.P. Taylor (Tyndale)

G.P. Taylor has been praised as "The new C.S. Lewis" by BBC's Heaven and Earth Show. The London Times has called Taylor "Hotter than Potter". I know that my two tween kids were fighting over these two first installment books that Tyndale sent - so I'm inclined to believe it! These books are not just regular books... they are the new trendy "Graphic Novels" with art, comic strip inserts, and really groovy font play to punch their message and make the story more interesting.

In book 1: 'The First Escape'... The story unfolds around fourteen-year-old identical twins named Sadie and Saskia Dopple. They attend Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children. When Saskia mysteriously gets adopted by a wealthy old woman, she discovers a plot against her life. Will the escaped trio of orphans (including Saskia's twin sister Sadie) be able to save her?

In Book 2, 'The Secret of Indigo Moon'... another perilous mystery begins...

I haven't read the books, but I love the artwork and my kids couldn't put them down. Every time they go in to Barnes & Noble, they ask the information desk lady if the third book has come out. Thankfully I was able to find out from my twitter friend at Tyndale House that the third installment of this series will be out next year. My kids would tell you to "GO BUY IT!"

Now if you read all the way through my reviews, I have something special for you here at the end of the post... a chance to win your own copy of Extraordinary Measures!

Here's how you can win it (each comment worth 1 entry, limit 4 besides tweets):
1. Leave me a comment telling me what your top 5 favorite family movies you have seen in the past few years are.
2. Tweet about this post:
3. Subscribe to my blog's RSS or email feed.
4. Add your pretty face to my Google Friend Box

Comments will be accepted through Sunday night at midnight. Winner will be chosen and announced next week! If you don't leave me an email address, it is really hard for me to notify you that you won (this happened in a recent give-away I had). If you don't claim your prize in a week, I'll have to pass it on to the next person in line!

*Popcorn, candy and drinks not included.


Ms. Anita said...

My top 5 favorite family movies that I've seen in the past few years? (Do I have to have seen them at the theatre? Hope not!)

in random order:

1) Despicable Me
2) Toy Story 3
3) VeggieTales Pistachio
4) Barbie and the Three Muskateers
5) Madeline's Greatest Adventures

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Ms. Anita said...

I tweeted...

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Ms. Anita said...

My butterfly is added to your Google Friend Box, does that count? :)

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Ms. Anita said...

I'm a subscriber. :)

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

p.s. do we get an extra entry each day if we tweet again ea. day?

Jennifer said...

I'm now on your GFC.

Jennifer said...

recent movies, hum

We all liked Enchanted

The girls and I watched Sound of Music, but it wasn't a hit with the guys in the family

Anne of Green Gables (bump to the #1 spot on the list)

Anne continuing story

Anne the third title escapes me

SaraMinerva said...

I'm not trying to win anything, but I had to suggest some movies.

1-Toy Stoy 3
2-Despicable Me. Steve Carrell can do no wrong with any character he gives life to.
3-Ponyo. This movie is GORGEOUS. Liam Neeson voices the "bad guy" that turns into a "goodish guy". Anything with Liam Neeson is sure to be worth your time.

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Our top 5 movies:
Secondhand Lions
Princess Bride
Night at the Museum

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

I already subscribe, of course. :-)

Kym said...

Our favorite family movies include:

Despicable Me
Toy Story (all three!)
The Princess Bride
Night at the Museum
National Treasure
Secondhand Lions

I know that's more than 5... LOL

kymtmd (at) gmail

Gwen T said...

1. Facing the Giants
2. Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution
3. Secrets of Jonathan Sperry
4. Ben Hur
5. Cedarmont Kids (for my younger ones)

texastolivers (at) gmail (dot) com

Gwen T said...

I'm a subscriber!

Gwen T said...

I'm on your Google connect :)

Anonymous said...

In no particular order:

1. Mary Poppins
2. Sense and Sensibility
3. Persuasion
4. Chitty Bang-Bang
5. Nanny McPhee Returns



Ms. Anita said...

here's another tweet...

thanks, Heather!
roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Julie said...

We don't watch too many movies so our list may be

The Blind Side
Huck Finn
Sound of Music
Mary Poppins

chickfilamom AT comcast DOT net

Homeschool Blog Parade said...

We have a lot in common! I'm glad you mentioned the Harrison Ford movie-I forgot about that one. I remember seeing the real life family on a news program and felt for their situation.

I'd love for you to join the Homeschool Blog Parade!

Sprittibee said...

Sorry about the delay, guys... winner being picked now!



Some posts on this blog contain affiliate links or sponsored links. I receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through an affiliate link. Sponsored links are paid for by a company who wishes to improve their Google ranking, but I always check to make sure these are reputable sites and never allow any links that are questionable to be placed.

The links in my "Sweet Linkage" section are either sponsored links or personal links that I find interesting (including the links to the blogs that both of my teen children run).

I occasionally run ads on my blog in exchange for money or traded advertising, or receive products in exchange for a review or giveaway posts. I also participate in campaigns by brands that offer to pay me to write about their products after using them. Any post that is sponsored will be noted as such. All opinions expressed on are my own, and any review, give-away, sponsored post, graphic ad, or product that I mention or link to are ones that I believe are reputable and worthy companies.


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