March 3, 2013

Trouble Blow West - Book Review

I like to teach some subjects more than others.  History I love, math... not so much.  Literature is fabulous, reading... eh.

Teaching my little angels about horrible things in this world has to be my least favorite subject.  It breaks my heart to have to teach them how to handle awful situations.

Monique Bucheger is a Latter-Day Saint author who has taken it upon herself to confront the difficult issues that face today's children head on.  In her books she tackles issues ranging from broken homes, abuse, and death of loved ones; to drug and alcohol abuse and more.

On the surface you wouldn't think it would be possible to address these issues with children but Monique does an extremely good job of it.

 TBW Cover

In her book Trouble Blows West, 12 year Ginnie West stands up to a bully named Charlie at school.  While she thinks she is being noble by protecting her twin brother, Ginnie quickly learns that her short fuse doesn't help anyone (including herself).  A quiet revenge seems to be the best way to settle things, once and for all.  The lives of the entire West family are turned upside down when Ginnie witnesses Charlie getting beaten by his own father.  Ginnie and her brother change gears faster than you can blink and instead of revenge, they plan a rescue... whether Charlie likes it or not.

In this book Monique delves into the evils that befall far too many people and teaches children how to recognize and respond to these types of situations in a safe and compassionate way.  The characters are good, salt of the earth kind of people who seem to always do what is right, even when what is right is so very hard.

You can often tell where someone's passions lie by what they write.  After reading her books I could tell that Monique felt very strongly about empowering children with knowledge and teaching them the skills that they will need to recognize and help when they see a need arise.  I felt she wanted to teach kids that life is hard and sometimes unfair, actions have consequences, and there is a right way and a wrong way to handle the trials that come your way.  After getting to know Monique a little better (very sweet woman by the way) I learned that she has been the foster mother of 120 children.  You can imagine with that kind of resume she has seen her fair share of abuse.

As a mother I couldn't put these books down.  While they may be written for middle grade children, I was not only entertained, but inspired.  These make wonderful books to read with your pre-teen children, and while I wouldn't necessarily exclude these books from a younger audience, they do deal with some difficult subject matter so make sure your child is ready to deal with these kinds of "facts of life" situations.  Be prepared to have many a conversation with your children, as well as feelings of overwhelming love.  I found myself holding them a little bit tighter and speaking a little bit softer.

Trouble Blows West is the second book in the Ginnie West Trilogy, but as a story it can stand on it's own.  You can read my review of The Secret Sister's Club here. I can assure you that all three are worth reading and each is filled with lessons that I want my children to learn.

SSC SMASHWORDS COVER TBW Cover Simply  cover Resize
{Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.}

Courtney is military wife and homeschooling mom.  She has been married to the greatest (and best looking) man for ten years and has loved nearly every minute of it.  She has two girls, ages nine and seven, and three boys ages five, two and three weeks.  Courtney knows it is selfish of her, but she feels that her children are entirely too much fun for someone else to enjoy their company all day.  Courtney apologizes if this post is long winded and rambling.  She tends to feel very passionately about things and has a hard time ever shutting up.  You can find more of her and her musings over at My Ordinary, Every Day, Happily Ever After.

2 comments - Add a comment below -:

Evelyn Curtis said...

Thanks for this review! These books look like they would be perfect for my girls! I have a question. What age range are these books good for? The character is 12, but what reading level are these books written for?

Courtney said...

I think a mature 9 or 10 would be able to understand, enjoy and learn from them easily! If you are at all concerned then you could read them first and decide (they are nice quick reads)