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Book reviews for "Young,_Alan" sorted by average review score:

Is God a Vegetarian?: Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights
Published in Paperback by Open Court Publishing Company (1998)
Authors: Richard Alan Young and Carol J. Adams
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He Answered My Questions
I read Linzey's book, "Animal Gospel," in which he laid a good theological basis for humane care of animals and the practice of vegetarianism. However, he did not adequately address certain issues which were pressing to me. These included God giving Noah permission to eat meat, God providing a garment of skin for Adam and Eve, the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, Jesus eating meat and Paul's arguments against vegetarianism. Richard Young does and excellent job addressing all of these and other issues. He approaches each issue and question with straight forward honesty. Frequently, I felt as if he brought up an issue with which there was not good vegetarian response. However, he would address how it is normally read, frequently in complete agreement with the traditional reading of the passage, but then very gently present a fresh perspective.

Some Christian vegetarian groups use dubious historical documents to "prove" that Jesus and/or his disciples were vegetarian. Young does nothing of the kind, in fact, he debunks those attempts. He is very honest and straightforward in presenting his case.

I would strongly recommend this book for the Christian who is struggling with animal rights and vegetarianism from a Biblical perspective. If a Christian is not struggling with these issues, perhaps they should and this book would be a good place to start.

Dr. Young is much more than a relevant contemporary Christian, he is also an exceptional theologian, scholar/teacher of the Greek New Testament, and lives very much what he teaches. He was my Greek professor nearly 20 years ago and I must say his literary work has taken on a distilled wisdom. Best wishes to all who read his work.

M. Williams

Utterly fantastic!
One of the most important things about this book is that it does NOT, I repeat NOT, try to reinvent Jesus as a vegetarian. There have been some attempts to try to "prove" Jesus was vegetarian, but the author finds the evidence for such reinventions to not be compelling. The author basically concludes that some consumption of meat is biblically acceptable, so long as the animal has been treated with care and compassion during its life. On the other hand, the author also concludes that vegetarian is preferred, and factory farming would have to be contemptable in God's eyes. By the way, I'm personally an agnostic, and one of the reasons why I have turned away from Christianity is that the Christian church, in general, does not see the obvious truth to the immorality of factory farming. This book is must reading.

Red Shift
Published in Paperback by Ballantine Books (1981)
Author: Alan Garner
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An encounter with Mow Cop
It was dark and I was lost driving home. I tried to take a shortcut across the Staffordshire Moorlands. Something said I should turn left to cross the ridge to the next valley. I climbed a hill, then silhouetted against the moonlit sky was a shape I knew from this book jacket: Mow Cop. I had to leave the car and venture on foot into the gloom, stomach turning, mouth dry. The point of Red Shift is, perhaps, that our destiny is in some part the essence of the soil under our feet. This book succeeds so well in implanting this feeling that words were not needed to create in me the emotion of meeting Mow Cop that night.

Ursula Le Guin described this as: "a bitter, complex, brilliant book".

I've nothing to add to that. Except this: try to find a copy at all costs. It is one of the best fantasies ever written. Oh, and if you're wondering: it's all of 155 pages long.

Entirely confusing yet ultimately rewarding
My review of this book will never be as articulate as the one written before mine, but I would like to express my opinion of "Red Shift". I have recommended it to so many friends who have all given up before they have reached 50 pages in. I must admit that I was tempted to do the same, though I cannot be more glad to have persevered. The story finds clarity in the last few pages (and in the wonderful encoded passage at the end!) If you have time to devote to this book, it is worth all the effort. Truly greater than "The Wierdstone".

Send 'Em South (Young Heroes of History, Book 1)
Published in Paperback by White Mane Publishing Co. (30 June, 2001)
Author: Alan N. Kay
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A great read for young people and their parents!
This book not only totally involves you with a great story, thoughtful writing, and a surprising amount of suspense, but begs the reader to further discuss and reflect on their own values and view of the impact of slavery on the American experience. I am a mother of grown sons, and wish I had this book to share with them as they were growing up.

The best kind of book.
Many times books meant for young people don't have an interest for older adults - like the parents! This book is different. In fact this book begs to be read simultaneously by parents and kids, or read aloud by parents and their kids together. The wealth of opportunity for meaningful discussion of goals, opinions, values, and yes - history - should not be left unused. Send 'Em South is well written and surprisingly suspenseful and interesting. I am a mother with grown sons, but wish I had had this book to share with them as they were growing up.

excellent book
This was an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone. Its around a middle school reading level, but could easily be enjoyed by older students, or anyone interested in the Pre- Civil War. The book is well written, and keeps you wondering what will happen to Lisa and David, until the very end. This book shows that friendship goes beyond race, and but also shows just how cruel people can be to people of other races and nationalities. Overall, I loved the book. I give it a definite five stars.

When We Were Very Young
Published in Paperback by Yearling Books (1983)
Authors: Alan Alexander Milne and Ernest H. Shepard
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poems for childhood remembered
Forget the smoke-filled coffee shop, the microphone on the podium and the beatnicks huddled around their coffees. The real test of a reader's poetic prowess is A.A. Milne, the living room couch and a handful of kids waiting for your renderings of growling bears and timelessl human characters.

It takes an extraordinary book to capture children's attention on the strength of words alone.

It's not that there are no illustrations here, just that each poem has just one or two small, original ink drawings; delightful, but bowing appropriately to the genius of words that can hold children spellbound. For instance, Milne takes a subject like sidewalks and transforms it into the stuff of playacting in Lines and Squares - an irresistible cadence to chant on a walk (or a lumbering gait):

And the masses of bears
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat the sillies who tread on the lines of the street
And I say to them, "BEARS.....
Just look how I'm walking in ALL of the squares!"

As I read I can now recall the precise inflection and finger-shaking combination from Disobedience that it took to elicit giggles from my sisters and me, now working its comedy on my four-year-old son:

James James SAID to his mother, "Mother", he said, said he;
"You Must Never Go Down To The End Of Town If You Don't Go Down With ME!"

When We Were Very Young is a collection of poems for children, about childhood, and for those who wish to remember its special magic view on the world. This book is a beloved tradition in my family, starting with those cozy evenings on my Grandmother's couch as we all snuggled up to hear about the brownie that lives behind the curtain, Jonathan Jo (who had a mouth like an O), the three foxes and Christopher Robin, who couldn't stop his hoppity hop. Your family is sure to find its own traditions in reading these poems to each other, young and old alike.

It reminds me of Dad
My father died 10 years ago when I was nineteen. I know he used to read "when we were very young" to me when I was a child, but it wasn't until I began to read the poems as bedtime stories to my 2 year old, that I began to remember my dad's emphasis and inflections. As I read my favourites to my son, I can almost hear Dad reading them to me.

I am thrilled that my son asks for Christopher Robin as his bedtime stories and "Hoppity" and "Market Square" have become his favourites too. He is an avid reader and I am just beginning to introduce him to poetry, what better way than A A Milne - It makes me feel like a child again and connects a grandson and a grandfather who never met each other.

Like "A Child's Garden of Verses"
Like "A Child's Garden of Verses," the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, A.A. Milnes' "When We Were Very Young," collects and reminds us of childhood bliss. However, unlike Stevenson, Milne has the whimsy of Edward Lear's limericks and verse. Milne captures the joy and gentleness of youth.

For example, Milne has a poem with a refrain, "Jonathon Jo/has a mouth like an 'O'" It is fun to say, and it almost means something. Another poem talks about halfway up and down the stairs, getting a child to see the difference and sameness of the situation, great for critical thinking.

If you want pure silly humor, go buy Silverstein, but for great writing and solid bedtime reading to teach your child wit and poetry, buy this tiny book. There's a good chance you will like it as well.

Crossmatics: A Challenging Collection of Cross-Number Puzzles: Grades 7-12
Published in Paperback by Dale Seymour Publications (1997)
Author: Alan Dudley
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I'm in 6th Grade and I love Crossmatics it's so fun!!!

A Wake Up Your Brain
Is your brain tired of the same old math? Well, Crossmatics will wake it up. Have your brain twisted and turned figuring the answers to these puzzles. A good challenge for a bored brain.

How to Make a Chemical Volcano: And Other Mysterious Experiments
Published in Paperback by Bookwright Pr (1991)
Authors: Alan Kramer and Paul Harvey
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A note from the author:
Hi, I'm Alan, the author of How to Make a Chemical Volcano and Other Mysterious Experiments. The book is aimed at children in 4th - 8th grades; however, I've received mail from readers between the ages of 5 and 15. The book contains many experiments that can be done at home--with items commonly found around the house. Each experiment is preceeded by a short mystery story to entice the reader to perform the experiment, because the experiment solves the mystery!

For the story about how I wound up having a published book at the ripe old age of 13, or to have your copy autographed please e-mail me at the address above.

A message from the author:
Hi, I'm Alan, the author of How to Make a Chemical Volcano and Other Mysterious Experiments. The book is aimed at children in 4th - 8th grades; however, I've received mail from readers between the ages of 5 and 15. The book contains many experiments that can be done at home--with items commonly found around the house. Each experiment is preceeded by a short mystery story to entice the reader to perform the experiment, because the experiment solves the mystery!

For the story about how I wound up having a published book at the ripe old age of 13, or to have your copy autographed please e-mail me at the address above.

Faeries: 25th Anniversary Edition
Published in Hardcover by Abrams Books for Young Readers (2003)
Authors: Brian Froud, Alan Lee, and David Larkin
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one of a kind book :)
Do you believe in faeries? After reading this you'll want to. There are plenty of books about faeries out there - what makes this one unique is that it is written as a field guide and it is full of beautiful (and I do mean beautiful) paintings and drawings of the creatures described. The book is titled Faeries, but it also contains goblins, witches, selkies and the like. Not only is it fun to read and look at, but if you draw, it's a great artistic reference. (Many of the illustrations in Faeries are used as tattoos today.) Brian Froud is an amazing artist himself and he helped design the creatures in movies such as the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Buy this book if you loved fairy tales as a kid.

I can't find the words to describe it...
If you thought you liked Lady C's Pressed Fairy Book (now out of print), then you'll LOVE this one!! It is the best faerie book i have ever seen, and read. It not only tells you the history of faeries, but it also gives you an idea where Faerie -the land of faeries- is, it gives you detailed information about all the wee folk! If you thought faeries were the pretty winged Tinkerbell likes, think again, and read this book! You'll get surprised on how many faerie types there is!!

The book is beautifully illustrated, and a must for every one interested in faeries, and art! This one should be in the bookshelf in every home! Buy it for yourself, for your mom, your kid and for your best friend!! It makes a great present!

Definately worth the money, i'd pay the double price if i had to, it's that great!

Beautiful, enchanting, surreal and exquisite.
This was the book where I first encountered the artists Froud and Lee, and also where I discovered that faeries are indeed either ugly or beautiful, old and young; everything I had ever hoped and imagined, and more. Froud and Lee's breathtaking and altogether masterly portrayal of the intrinsic, metamorphic world of fantasy forever hovering at our fingertips, is truly masterly, and I have never encountered another yet which rates quite as highly as this. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who loves faeries, and/or queries the 'pretty' flower-faeries we tend to be bombarded with today. s This book has all my dreams, nightmares and fantasies woven together in it's intricate, detailed illustrations, the thick, scrawling lead pencil script... I cannot find the words to speak highly enough of this simply unique, marvellous book. I am an avid admirer of Froud and Lee's works, the faery-kingdom, faery poetry, stories, tales, photographs, illustrations, and can never have enough information on that mystical kingdom where people such as Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin vanish to, where a cup of wine can bind you a prisoner, where the young are old, and the old are yound, where anything is possible whether you believe or not. I for one, do strongly believe in faeries, and wish that I could see one. This book is - where are the words to describe it? Magnificent/Fabulous/Beautiful/Moving/Terrifying/Fantastic/Eye-opening - they are only some... I would like to congratulate Lee and Froud on their admirable skill for illustrations, the publishers for - well - publishing this book, and all the readers out there who fell in love with this book, which is a gift from faeryland itself.

5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars, Slaves of Spiegel, the Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, the Last Guru, Young Adult Novel
Published in Paperback by Farrar Straus & Giroux (Juv) (1997)
Authors: Daniel Manus Pinkwater and Jules Feiffer
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I was going to write that Pinkwater is not your normal young adult author and then I got to thinking--what is your normal young adult author? Lewis Carroll had his thing for photographing young girls, C.S. Lewis was a bit of a hermit, Roald Dahl played with perversity (if you think his children fiction are dark, try some of his adult stuff, which I couldn't finish). The women might be sane, for I've never heard a nasty story about Madeline L'Engle, Diana Wynne Jones, or E. Nesbit (well, she was a bit of a socialist radical). It does not matter. Pinkwater is akin to all of these in that no one else could quite copy the things that he writes.

This is a collection of Pinkwater novels that have been out of print for years (the original copyrights on these range from 1978 to 1982), but not out of mind. Alan Mendelsohn, in particular, seems to be well-loved and is often mentioned as a favorite of the younger set. I'm glad to finally have this opportunity to read it, for it is indeed a fun book, full of exceedingly strange twists and turns. You aren't sure if Alan is from Mars, or if he's just playing, and then you are sure, and then you aren't. It's Philip K. Dick lite, but it's fun.

Slaves of Spiegel and The Last Guru are much more simple (I would even think that they are meant for less mature readers than for the other three in this book), but like the best children's literature, they have something for everyone. I chuckled through Slaves of Spiegel, finding the contest quite amusing, especially the description of some of the delicacies concocted in the name of food, and I thought the satire, while obvious, in The Last Guru quite effective.

The Snarkout Boys resembles Alan Mendelsohn in its convoluted plot, but it seems much more grounded in reality, if a particularly eccentric reality, at least until the last quarter of the book. Its depiction of high school is stiletto sharp, but nothing as cutting as in Young Adult Novel. All the books have a jaundiced view of school, noting the common problems of cliques, moribund teachers, and the energy of youth (yes, that last is a problem--hey, you didn't think, as a teacher, that I would side totally for the kids, did you?). All of these novels were fun, and I would recommend them to your local dissident youth.

What if HE'S the sane one?
I loved Pinkwater when I was eleven and I love him at least as much now. He treats his readers with respect, rather than talking down to them, and he is one of the funniest writers I've ever read, for any audience. His characters are some of the best in fiction, and his ideas are far-fetched enough to make anyone wonder a little about the fine line between brilliance and insanity. Having five novels in one volume was almost more excitement than I could handle. A warning to kids: you may want to keep two copies of this one around, because you'll never pry this book out of the hands of the adults around you. A warning to adults: once children are introduced to Pinkwater, there are reading flashlights to be confiscated in the middle of the night. One last note: Pinkwater has written for all ages, from some wonderful picture books to at least one book of essays for us grown-up folk who have loved him on NPR. Try them all.

This book is being sold for nine dollars??
The price would be a bargain just for one of the books it contains. Some of these books (and a lot of Pinkwater's others) start out with ordinary kids or teenagers who have adventures and slowly find things getting weirder and weirder. Others just start out weird and never let up. _Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars_ is probably the best of these five. It makes surviving high school sound almost fun; Alan Mendelsohn brightens up a dull day by tripping people, telling his history class about Ben Franklin's sex life, and telling the whole school he's a Martian. He's my new role model. _The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death_ is similar in that it's about high school boys who make their lives more interesting -- by sneaking out at night to the Snark Theater and making friends with avacado-obsessed movie-lovers. _Young Adult Novel_ is delightfully clever, absurd, and ironic, and _The Last Guru_ is pretty good as well. (I haven't finished _Slaves of Spiegel_ yet.) If you like Pinkwater at all, it's hard to go wrong with the funny, fascinating books in this collection.

Powerful Prayers
Published in Audio Download by ()
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A must-read for inspiration
Unlike most "religious" category books, this book lacks the preachy quality that causes most readers to not absorb the text. This book insightfully breaks down barriers between different religious beliefs and simply brings forth the universal belief in a higher power. The people that Larry King and Rabbi Katsof chose to interview are made more personable and are made more tangible through their everyday prayers, which are similar to ours, and their quest to be closer to God. This book would make a fabulous holiday gift that is sure to please a recipient of any religious background.

Simply Powerful
Mr. King delved into the foundation of Spirituality and Religion and made simple an otherwise complex and controversial issue. The book focuses on the individual and his or her communication with God, while setting aside religious beliefs. I would like to recommend to friends who are too formal about prayers and to those who maybe agnostic such as Larry King in his book.

Powerful Prayer a Must Read
Powerful Prayers is a Must Read Reading Powerful Prayers provides you amazingly simple examples of commuincating with God through personal everyday prayer. It opens the door to an otherwise complex arena of thought. The discussion between Larry King and Rabbi Katsof is sensitive and thought provoking. The interviews add incredible depth to the discussion. They also legitimize informal prayer, and the many different ways people have found to communicate with their respective spiritual beings. I recommend this book to everyone who is open to exlporing their individual communication with God. It is a must read. It has changed my entire understanding or paradigm in regards to my relationship with God outside of a house of worship.

Ramona the Brave
Published in Paperback by Camelot (1995)
Authors: Beverly Cleary and Alan Tiegreen
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Ramona the Brave promotes self-esteem in children
More so than with any of the other Ramona books, Cleary weaves intense emotionality into Ramona the Brave without slowing down the action. This allows her to create the story of a six-year-old's struggle to grow up (and survive first grade).

Along the way, Ramona learns how to make "the girl in the mirror like her." Children who identify with Ramona will find themselves more able to achieve the same goal after reading this book, especially after discovering how Ramona resolves her problems.

A great book with a lot of memories intact
In first grade, our language arts teacher decided to start us off with an ice-breaker the first day. She said she knew how scared we were and maybe some of us weren't scared, we just didn't think it was the same as kindergarten. While everyone waited to see what the ice-breaker was, it turned out to be a Dell Yearling 1985 paperback copy of Bev Cleary's "Ramona the Brave".

Here was a child we could sympathize with, along with laugh at when she did her normal six-year-old things that we all did. Our teacher would stop at some points and make little jokes, saying that it was lucky we didn't have Ms. Griggs, Ramona's unsympathetic teacher, as a language arts teacher, instead we had the most sympathetic one of all, herself. We wrote our own sequels to Ramona the Brave and rearranged parts to make it our own book; what we once read "Ramona the Brave", was changed to "Katie the Brave", "Abby the Brave", or "Anastasia the Brave". I was no longer scared of first grade with this book. Thank you, Beverly, for getting rid of a "large" fear, and thanks to Mrs. Smith, the best language arts teacher ever.

Nothing is fair in the first grade-- a true-to-life story
Boy, Bev knows what she's talking about! This book is very realistic. I remember reading it in 3rd grade a long time ago (the Ramona series were the first chapter books I ever read! ) Reading it and about all the injustices Ramona suffered, I could really identify with her! First grade was not easy for me, I was always in trouble for things I didn't start, and felt so picked on and misunderstood! Poor Ramona, I felt so bad for her and knew exactly how she felt!

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