Book Review…and a Gift for You…

Know a child who could use a heartening true-to-their-life story or two? Or… Maybe even yourself?





“We think it is safe to say that almost every kid is insecure about something, whether it is looks, or sports ability, or schoolwork, or friends, or clothing, or just knowing            what is cool…

That’s why we have made you this book…  You’ll read stories written by older kids and adults who… share their experiences with you so that you know you are not alone…”

            ~  Kevin Sorbo and Amy Newmark

CSS Think Positive for Kids front cover…My Review…

Sometimes an anthology can be a grab bag mix. But when the stories have you talking to yourself out loud, well, you know they’ve struck a chord in the best possible way.  (Either that, or maybe you are a bit stir crazy from being housebound a few weeks, cooped up with a broken wrist and an oversized pillow as your book holder…)  Closing the cover on this one recently, finishing so many difference-making stories, I just burst out to the Lord and no one else there, “This really is a collection I’m proud to be a part of! To anticipate all the ways it may uplift those who really need that nudge of hope...”

I sat back and ruminated over these stories as I always do with those that touch home, how they make me want to encourage children to know they aren’t alone in self-doubts and worries or in thinking they just aren’t smart or good enough or in their longing for friends of the heart and not knowing how to make them.  At one time or another, I’ve been each one of those.  

And because I see my old self, and even a little bit of my today self in each of these true recollections, they fill me with renewed heart to lift today’s kids — and yesterday’s (each of us!) — to aspiring to new dreams and following through on them.  To knowing no matter who we are, how old we are, where we’ve come from or where we are going — we each have so much to give.  That God has planted and purposed to shine only through us in ways that, similar to George Bailey, make us so vital to each life searching for a bit of wonderful…    

Think Positive for Kids covers every theme from

·        Trying something new,

·        Doing the right thing and developing self esteem


·        Accepting one another’s differences,

·        Handling bullies,

·        Making real friends, being responsible and being grateful.  

I told you about a few of these stories that caught my heart here:                          A Thanksgiving and Advent Dare.

But here’s another peek inside the pages…

I know this book will shine hope into children who read it, or whose parents share and discuss these stories with them.  And if you are like me, reading them as an adult may be like slipping a comforting arm round the child you used to be and a boost to all those dreams still percolating…

For they are…

  • Inspiring. Like the story of the boy who had been feeling pushed by family into participating in a year long school project for a History Day competition. Understanding he faced a ton of work, he’d conceded to pressure and decided on learning how to make a documentary. But his heart wasn’t in it until the day his parents took him to a benefit concert in New York…Through the Eyes of the Children: The Rwanda Project…  “It was a showing of photographs taken by orphans depicting Rwanda after the horrific genocide in 1994,” he wrote.   “The pictures and children were beautiful and uplifting.  I was moved by it.  I had found my documentary topic for my History Day journey…”  (Tucker Blandford, History in the Making)
  • Touching.   These are the ones ranging from first person accounts of children who persevered against difficult circumstances, or went forth and created something beautiful in music or art in ways they never thought possible — to the many tales recounting days of standing up to bullies on behalf of others, or wishing they had. In writing my own piece  for this anthology, my heart was to give confidence to kids to be true to their own values when they come up against peer pressures, and that feeling of “but what if they stop liking me?”  How I remember those struggles!   Maybe that’s why I loved reading stories like the one of the young girl who took a chance of being ostracized when she stood up for the classmate shunned by everyone else…“Each day in the cafeteria, Ricky ate alone,” she wrote.  “While he sat and picked the crust off his bologna sandwich, we shuffled past with our hot lunch trays. A boy walked up and swooped up Ricky’s bag of potato chips and a game of keep-away followed until tears left a white streak down Ricky’s dirt-stained cheeks.  ‘Cry baby,’ a boy called out before crushing the chips and tossing the bag back to him.  I wondered if Ricky cried because it was the only meal he would get that day.  Surprisingly, Ricky once found courage to sit with some boys at a different lunch table.  But once he sat down, all the boys moved to another table and left Ricky alone once again.  My heart ached for him in that moment, and I felt guilty for not joining him out of fear of being shunned.  The next day…I tried to walks past Ricky…but my feet just wouldn’t budge.  My moment of truth had arrived.  I stood before Ricky, and we made eye contact before I slid onto the bench… ”   (Cathi LaMarche, True Friendship)
  • Dare I even say – healing?  As I look back now, I see so many ways that even though I had some good friendships that carried me through, I was the victim of bullying.  Waylaid on my few blocks walking home by the would-be toughie who spat something gross all over me and reviled me for no reason I knew other than I wore glasses (4-eyes).  To the girls who openly ostracized and sneered at my uncool shoes or knee highs  or whatever the weekly jibe was. To those days of trying to fit in at lunch tables of a new school where others often slid away from me and laughed inane jokes about goody goodies behind their hands. (“How do they even know I am a goody goody,” I often wondered, “if they never even talk with me?”)  And wishing, wishing, wishing the bell would just ring to return to class. At the time, I begged my mom not to let teachers know about it — fearing they might make it worse.  Reading the stories that took me back to those days, I see with fresh eyes how wrong that was to try and shoulder it alone, not knowing how to change it…And it somehow uplifts me, takes me back full circle, to see in these stories an overcoming of the causes and effects of bullying taking place…one by one. How I would encourage a child now who may be in the midst of those similar situations… or see others who are and want to stand up and say no more

Overall, this compilation of very real situations children face is heartwarming and laced with hope and a feeling of I can be and do that too!  It is a collection of stories about children from many walks of life…how they learn and grow and become in the midst of finding their strengths, pursuing hopes and overcoming self-doubts…discovering friends and confidence and fun in being exactly who they are.  There’s just something life-changing in finding out… you went through that too? And hearing how someone else has overcome or found success when they didn’t see how they would…just like us.

I was delighted as well to read how a major goal behind this compilation is to support what sounds like an excellent program for children, A World Fit for Kids – one where adults are role models to helping children develop their own strengths and follow their dreams.  All of Kevin Sorbo’s royalties from this, along with a share of Chicken Soup’s proceeds, will benefit children who need encouraging stories!

As the book cover says… this one is for Kids of All Ages!  🙂 

One of the things that is so fun about writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul is the day the UPS guy lugs a box of ten free contributor copies to leave upon my steps…a few weeks ahead of those arriving on store shelves.  (Note:  I’m a few weeks past the on sale date on this giveaway though since I was sidelined with my wrist…)

Kid Lit Blog HopAnd gives me the opportunity as part of offering thanks this season to present a copy for giveaway!  Linking to this KID LIT LINK I just noticed this book is being offered at Create With Joy blog as well…  the more opportunities to win the merrier! 🙂

At the moment, I have to limit this to nearby postal areas. If you live in the United States and would like to encourage someone through the pages of this book, simply leave me a comment here by December 3rd.  Include your name  and an email address where I can reach you if you are the winner!

DON’T FORGET YOUR COMMENT  and your Email address info TO ENTER!


Even if you don’t choose to enter this giveaway,                                           ’d love to hear your thoughts on this question:

If you could, what word of “look up” encouragement would you offer

that child you once were… today?

©   Pam Depoyan

Sharing with:

   Teaching What Is Good    Faithful Friday Blog Hop Party: 4 blogs - 1 party    Kid Lit Blog Hop   Unite @Rich Faith Rising

Tell Me a Story        whimsical-wednesdays_edited-1    Beauty in His Grip Button 

Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
This entry was posted in Book Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Book Review…and a Gift for You…

  1. Pam~
    My fingers froze on the keyboard~~~to type the words requires the Door to be opened wide as memories come flooding back. If there were one single word to use–it would be GOD… A child does not have the full spiritual realization of HIS love and protective hands–but when a child is completely alone–feeling lost and without hope, having sobbed out Tears that will no longer flow, a Warm Presence arrived–and the child somehow knew–It is Alright, I am With You.

    I had a very short Childhood~~~but by HIS grace and love~~~I have found the way through so many of life’s ups and downs. Yes—my one word is GOD……

    a thought-provoking post Pam—and one that knocked hard on my Door. Blessings to you my friend on this Thanksgiving.

    • How true that is, Martha! Whether our childhoods were mostly happy or too short, there is always healing needed that only He brings… living in an awareness of His Presence growing deeper in our own awareness through the years. There are children I know briefly who are so sad and feeling alone… and I wish I had more part in their lives so I could share Him in a way that would put their hands in His, make them know they are not alone, He will take their fears and open doors… I was blessed to be taught to pray as a child in ways that included Him in moment to moment living… praying for His wisdom on tests etc. I think of children who don’t have that assurance and how hard it must be to think they are all alone. Thanks for sharing your answer to that question! I love to share about the stories of our lives with heart and that have made us who we are… even those long ago chapters of life. To share insight into our lives…

  2. laura says:

    Congratulations on being a part of such a lovely collection! My one word? Hmmm. That is a hard one, Pam. I think it might be…”play.” I was such an anxious little thing, always the little grown up. God wants our trust like a little child’s. You’ve made me think tonight.

    • Thanks Laura… Just makes me thankful to know this is a book that really will encourage children all the way through. I am loving writing for anthologies, but of course it’s different from having any control over what the whole book will be… so it means a lot to see so many great stories I know will uplift. It can be a tough world out there for kids as we all know… I can understand what you mean about “play.” I lived far from kids that I went to grade school with, and seemed to always be doing homework or reading books for pleasure… (Reading has always been one of my “hobbies,” making me more “serious” in some ways too.) And some serious times growing up made me more that way too, I guess… But “serious” – mmm… maybe it’s made us more thoughtful (in terms of being thinkers, people who look for the metaphors around us). I see such beauty in your thoughtful writing… 🙂

  3. How exciting! I would want to see – He knows all and loves you so much that someday you are going to rise above all of the pain and He will fill your heart with joy beyond what you can imagine. He will be your treasure and you will be HIs. 😉

  4. Pingback: Ebenezer Stone Wednesday…especially for you on Thanksgiving Eve | Writing… Apples of Gold

  5. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for your sweet book review here at “tell Me a Story.” This book tells many stories that speak to our hearts as we often see ourselves in the eyes of the writer.

  6. Mary Gemmill says:

    Pam- thanks for the story from Vittoria Cottage- I loved it.
    Now to your question, what word of encouragement would I offer my childhood self:
    Mary- you see yourself as so alone, and you long to be held, to be loved. Although you cannot see Him, Jesus is right there with you, surrounding you with such love. He knows all that you have stored up in your childish heart, and He longs to take your burdens and replace them with His love and joy and peace. Hang in there, Mary. You will meet Jesus when you are seven, and life from there on will be much happier for you.

    • A beautiful, most heartening word, Mary! O that we could envelop so many children with that truth. I’m sorry your earliest years seemed so alone, but so grateful that He transformed you with His Heart. Thank you for sharing that! And I will enter you in the giveaway! 🙂 Thanks for leaving your email…

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that excerpt too! I keep ordering D.E. Stevenson books from the library (they send away to others for me) because I’m smitten with her writing 🙂 since discovering her on a Barnes and Noble shelf this summer…

  7. Bonnie Way says:

    Sounds like a good book! I just read one of their other new books and enjoyed it. I like the stories because they feel like they are from someone like me, so if they got through it then so can I. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I’m dropping by from Essential Fridays…

    • Thanks Bonnie. I think you would enjoy this one too. 🙂 I just finished reading the Christmas book by them too and I enjoy the stories for the same reason you mentioned. Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts too! Wish I could manage Canada, but maybe next time I do a giveaway… 🙂

  8. Great review here.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s