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

March 2019 – The League and the Legend
With an epic adventure already under their belts, middle-schoolers Jake, TJ, and Lucy are anticipating a fairly normal fall semester. But then Jake’s uncle Gabe, a secret agent (for an undercover group called The League), summons the three kids in, and the young protagonists find themselves escaping down an elevator shaft and off on another high-speed, high-stakes caper through Chicago.

In this follow up to Brian Wells’s debut novel, The League and the Lantern, readers can expect the same clean, quippy action that parents and kids alike will enjoy. From page one, the mysteries deepen as Jake and company race to crack a code that is steeped in American Civil War history. New and old foes will rise as the trio use their wits and knowledge to discover the secret of The League and The Legend.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy this series for its fast pace, fun characters, surprise twists, and historical relevance. It’s good clean fun with no language or suggestive themes. Available at retail and online booksellers.

Canada Burns

A Constitution is Born
This brief history of the formation of our nation emphasizes the irrefutable influence of the Bible in that process.

Authors and educators Norma Swanson and Barbara Aud have gathered and interpreted writings, quotes, landmark court decisions, and articles that build a rock solid case for the undeniable Christian moorings of America.

The 265-page volume is a rich resource for young and old students of American history.

A Constitution is Born is dedicated to AFA founder Donald E. Wildmon and is available at afastore.net or 877-927-4917.

Rusty Benson

Child Proof
Child Proof offers insights that will comfort, convict, and convince Christian parents – if they haven’t figured it out already – that parenting is not a cause and effect undertaking.

Author Julie Lowe, a faculty member at Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (ccef.org) and adoptive and foster mom, gives Christian parents a valuable gift in her new book, subtitled Parenting by Faith not Formula.

Lowe contends that there are no “10 steps to raising good kids.” Rather, Christian parenting calls for ministering God’s wisdom to each child’s unique needs and personality.

The author wisely applies the Scriptures both to general parenting issues as well as special situations such as difficult or anxious children, or those with special needs. Available at online booksellers.

Rusty Benson

The Prayer Box
Thirteen-year-old Wesley begins secretly emptying the church’s prayer request box and taking it on himself to see that the requests are fulfilled. He hopes that by doing so, he will gain God’s attention and have his own prayer answered: to have his little sister healed from cancer.

The Prayer Box is a heart-touching movie. However, in addition to questionable theological aspects, parents should be aware that the pastor character is depicted in quite a negative light, seemingly indifferent to Wesley’s struggles and even displaying animosity.

Also, Wesley often speaks and behaves disrespectfully toward adults. Finally, Wesley is seen in a school fight, as well as walking into a bar to deliver a message.

Stacy Singh

Unexpected Blessings
With candor and compassion, author Sandra Peoples discusses the reality of life for special-needs families in her new book, Unexpected Blessings. Peoples is well-qualified to speak with such truth and hope, as her sister has Down syndrome, and her son has suffered with autism.

She uses her experience and anecdotes from others to describe both the challenges and the blessings facing special-needs families. In order to reap those blessings, Peoples writes that Christian parents must let go of false beliefs, work through grief, focus on healthy routines, rebuild faith in God, and create real support systems.

She urges Christian parents to approach the demands of life with a special-needs child as a personal, God-given mission field offering an ongoing opportunity to share Christ with others. Available at online and retail booksellers.

Joy Lucius

Operation Jeremiah’s Jar
Operation Jeremiah’s Jar is book three in Mark Alan Leslie’s Thrill of the Hunt series. Leslie again takes readers on a thrilling global adventure with protagonists archaeologist Kat Cardova and black-ops veteran Max Braxton.

The biblical backstory revisits the prophet Jeremiah obediently purchasing a worthless piece of land during a time of captivity and famine. Fast forward to modern day when Kat and Max become embroiled in a fast-paced hunt to find Jeremiah’s ancient deed since the property is now a valuable and politically significant piece of land.

Leslie delves into current Middle Eastern politics. Though written before President Donald Trump was elected, Leslie’s fictional president moves the American embassy to Jerusalem.

While jihadists plot against the Jewish nation, Kat and Max find themselves in the middle of a politically and spiritually explosive drama. Available at online and retail booksellers.

Joy Lucius

Face to Face
In Face To Face with Jesus: Seeing Him as He Really Is, bestselling author Randy Alcorn provides 200 bite-sized meditations on Scriptures that are perfect for daily devotions or casual reading. With an emphasis on getting to know who Jesus really is, Alcorn focuses on verses about Jesus’s ministry on earth as well as references to Him throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Each page features a Bible verse, a short meditation on the subject matter, and a quote from a prominent Christian author or leader. Each of Alcorn’s devotionals is a straightforward and refreshing commentary that encourages the reader to focus on a relationship with Christ. He makes his focus broad in an effort to portray Christ in all aspects of His character. Available at online and retail booksellers.

Canada Burns

The Golden Thread
As a renowned songwriter and worship leader, Darlene Zschech has led countless Christians in passionate worship around the world for decades. Though her face, her voice, and her lyrics are well-known, her recent struggle with cancer may be news to many of her followers. Zschech documents that battle and other life changes in The Golden Thread: Experiencing God’s Presence in Every Season of Life.

Laced with Zschech’s hallmark passion and intensity, the book gracefully traces God’s loving kindness throughout her cancer battle as well as her adventure of moving to another city and helping her husband found a church. Carefully interweaving her own story with Scripture, Zschech encourages readers to trust God in all situations. The Golden Thread is available at online and retail bookstores.

Joy Lucius