Thursday, May 31, 2012

Featured Author - Kerri Fernandez

Featured Author - Kerri Fernandez, with a
Book Review of Bethany
  by Kerri Fernandez

I thought that a direct autobiography would be best....

"My name is Kerri Jo Parish Fernandez, but I answer to many different names: Mom, Sweetie, Mr. Joe’s Wife, Dennis and Karen’s Daughter, Aunt Kerri, Mrs. Fernandez, Mrs. Kerri, sometimes just Mrs. I have filled many different roles in my life which have all worked together to create the person I am today. First, I am the daughter of a minister and his wife, Dennis and Karen Parish. When I was in 4th grade my parents decided to pull my brother and me out of the public school system in order to home-school us. Over the next several years my mother began working with other families and we soon had small classes meeting in our home around our dining room table. Out of that, my parents formed what is now PCAL Christian School. Not long after I graduated - in 1997 - I began teaching at PCAL. I have been teaching there for 12 years. Next, I became Miss Parish when I registered for college. It was then that I began to fall in love with history. I had a history professor who always gave us 2 assignments to choose from for our homework: we could answer a list of questions, or write something using the facts we had disused in class and in our text. We had things like: pretend you are a colonist settling in Plymouth and write a letter home telling your family about the events that have happened - using specific details from the text. At that moment, sitting down to complete a simple college assignment, history came alive for me. I began to realize that our past is so much more than dates and facts; it is filled with men, women, and children who lived real lives, doing real things, that forever changed my future. While in college I met Joseph Fernandez and soon added Mrs. Fernandez to my list of names. The next name I added to my list was Mom. Joe and I have two boys: Joseph Ryan and John Luke. We found out a few weeks ago we will be adding one more to our family in October! There are many other roles I fill using the same names: bookkeeper for my husband’s company he started a few years ago, coordinator for our church’s Wednesday night programming, and Sunday school teacher, to name a few. We have an amazing support group of friends and family that we fill as much time with as possible. Somewhere in all of this I became Aunt Kerri for the first time. I now have five nieces and three nephews who call me Aunt Kerri. It is for my oldest niece, Bethany, that I wrote this book."

I volunteered to review this book for Kerri Fernandez.  She's a personal friend that I went to church with as a teen, and her parents were high school teachers of mine.  It was a great honor to have one of her first copies of her very first published book in my hands.  What a sacred moment, when you allow someone else to read your writing and wait to hear their thoughts and opinions.  Here's Kerri's personal synopsis of her first novel, Bethany.  
"Bethany is the story of a young, spirited girl living in Georgia during the Revolutionary War. The book begins with a troop of Red Coats marching toward Bethany’s home. Due to laws passed by a king and Parliament an ocean away Bethany is forced to open her home to these enemy soldiers. Her home is taken over and made into a make-shift hospital. Bethany was left to run the home and farm after her father and brother join the American Militia. With the help of two servants, Bethany is able to keep the farm and home operating smoothly, while acting as the assistant to the head medic who is actually someone from her past. Eventually, Bethany becomes a spy for the American troops. She struggles with her feelings toward God, who seems to be taking away the people she loves, and with the feelings she has toward Alexander, the medic in the red coat."
I really delighted in every chapter of this book.  Fernandez obviously knows history like the back of her hand.  The detail and thought that she put into this book is evident.  Her love for the characters and this era shows throughout the novels entirety.  I highly suggest this as a living book for 9th-12th grade students studying the Revolutionary War and culture and vantage point of that time.  Fernandez not only captures the moments from our nations history, but intermingles a substantial love story.  Pick up a copy today (they are priced perfectly) and dive into history. 

Crater Book Review

Book Review of Crater
  by Homer Hickam
"A Helium-3 Novel"

     Homer Hickam (author of best seller Rocket Boys / October Sky) has a new book out geared for teens and young adults.   The book is set in the 22nd century; and the moon is now being mined for Helium-3 by tough pioneers. Crater Trueblood, our protagonist, enjoys his orphaned life working on the moon in a frontier mining settlement.  Crater is already a seasoned Helium-3 miner who hopes to promote up the ranks.   But the man who owns the mine, has a different plan for him.  Of course, it's not a good one. Crater ends up in a life or death adventure across the moon. 
    I recommend this book for young readers, age 12-25.  It's an precarious story with twists, turns, love and the fight between good and evil.  Although, I didn't enjoy the book (only due to my lack of satisfaction for this genre) I believe that most young people would thoroughly like it.  Hickam is a skilled and fantastic writer, as everyone knows from his vast library of superb books.  Hickam always seems so fascinated with all things space-related, and his research on the subject shows in this novel. I think this would be a great graduation gift for a summer read.   

(I received this book free from as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Summer....
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (This will also be a GIVEAWAY!)