Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

Above, Barry Westmoreland and Angie Camp at a Hell’s Bend book signing

July-August 2016 – First book offers well-written, redemptive story
In Hell’s Bend, a debut novel from Angie Camp, Ross Kelly and Jake Adams had been best friends since childhood. They dreamed of high school graduation when Jake’s father Mitch would hand down the 1979 Trans-Am he had spent years restoring to perfection in the barn behind the house. Mitch decided to hand over the key earlier than expected – during Jake’s senior year. That decision proved to be disastrous.

Jake’s irresponsible behavior led to tragedy that could not be undone.

Loosely based on Camp’s real life experience with her own son, the story incorporates spiritual principles throughout. Emphasis is placed on hard-hitting eternal consequences while also offering far reaching redemptive elements. Hell’s Bend is a well written story that has the potential to impact adults and youth alike in life-changing ways.
Anne Reed

undefinedWhen Calls the Heart – Troubled Hearts
Inspired by a novel from Jeanette Oke, author of the the Love Comes Softly Series, Troubled Hearts is the second movie installment in the third season of When Calls the Heart, an adventurous and romantic series about pioneer life in a small frontier town.

Troubled Hearts continues the series’ multiple plot lines. Elizabeth moves into a house of her own; Rosemary takes over Lee’s sawmill; Cody has trouble at school; a young drifter in town reveals information from Pastor Frank’s past; and there is a gang on the outskirts of town threatening trouble.

The film is engaging and leaves viewers wondering what happens next. It handles relational elements of divorce and deceit as well as scenes with flirting and kissing with restraint, but parents should be aware.
Rebecca Davis

undefinedLiving Hope
South Africa has the highest infection rate of AIDS in the world. In the city of Cape Town, one in three young women and one in four young men have HIV/AIDS. The average life span is less than 50 years. Drug abuse, prostitution, and poverty are rampant.

The challenges of addressing those problems are astronomical, but King of Kings Baptist Church has found success – with Jesus as the focus of its ministry called Living Hope. As the documentary titled Living Hope demonstrates, it is not enough to serve the poor, if you have not come to love Jesus. But if you have come to love Jesus, you will find Him in the poor.

The film chronicles the history of the ministry, begun by pastor John Thomas, who is joined by other local and international missionaries to lead four branches of Living Hope’s ministry: caring for the sick and dying, rehabilitating drug addicts and homeless, training the jobless, and teaching HIV prevention.

Living Hope is eye-opening and compelling, stirring compassion for the lost and desperate as well as praise and glory to God. For the mission-minded, it provides instruction and inspiration for ministry. Parents should be aware that sex, prostitution, and rape are mentioned in regard to the many abuses that take place among those who are lost and trapped in a sin-filled environment.
Stacy Long

undefinedGray Rainbow Journey
Dena Youngblood, a Native American nursing student in her early 20s, found her mother Cheha’s journals under a mattress. Cheha had disappeared without a trace from the reservation, and Dena is desperate to find answers. The journal entries reveal eerie clues to a dark and shadowy puzzle.

Gray Rainbow Journey, K.B. Schaller’s first novel, will keep readers on edge while bringing awareness to struggles specific to American Indians who find themselves in a tug-of-war between good and evil. The coming-of-age story reveals realities of identity struggles, battles in the spiritual realm, the power of prayer, and God’s faithfulness and love for Native people. The dark nature of spiritual occurrences and a few references to relational sin alert the reader to exercise caution with children.
Anne Reed

undefinedThe Glimmer Girls
Multi-Grammy nominated singer Natalie Grant has released three of four books in a new series titled The Glimmer Girls. Each book follows 10-year-old twins Mia and Maddie and their little sister, Lulu, as they travel the world with their mom, Gloria Glimmer, on her singing tours.

Each book offers a new adventure and mystery to solve, along with life lessons about friendship, putting others first, telling the truth, self-worth, and more, all from a biblical perspective.

Grant describes her desire for the books this way: “Glimmer is a light that is never extinguished. Sometimes it may glimmer a little bit lighter and sometimes a little bit dimmer, but it never goes out. That’s the message I want girls to get from these books. You don’t always have to be shining bright; some days will be more difficult than others, but Jesus has put a light inside of you that will never go out.”

This series is a great one for pre-teens.
Debbie Fischer

 

undefinedThe Fragment
One of today’s most highly acclaimed Christian novelists has released The Fragment.

In Davis Bunn’s new novel, World War I has recently ended, and the Spanish Flu epidemic has run its course. Although Paris has been hit hard by both events, the people are hopeful and filled with joy.

Enter 23-year-old Muriel Ross. It is her first time ever to be away from home in Virginia. As a researcher with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., she has been asked by U.S. Senator Tom Bryan to travel to France to document antiques that the senator acquires. However, once she arrives in Paris, she discovers her assignment is much greater than she thought and could potentially be life threatening.

The fast-paced story is packed with history and intrigue, making it come alive. Bunn artfully weaves mystery, action, hope, and faith throughout the story.
Debbie Fischer

All titles above are available at online and traditional DVD and book retailers.