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

April 2021God’s Easter Miracles
In God’s Easter Miracles, award-winning author Lee Ann Mancini takes readers under the sea to learn a lesson in sharing and caring for friends. In this Easter tale, Miss Linda’s Sunday school class is faced with a dilemma after a student is injured, and an Easter egg hunt has an unfortunate ending.

Through this fanciful story, Mancini teaches a lesson about sharing, praying for the hurting, and how good God is to grant Easter miracles. Mancini has received 26 book awards throughout her career. 

God’s Easter Miracles is one of seven books in Mancini’s SeaKids series. For more information about her array of resources including DVDs, apps, and more, see the feature story here. Available at

Hannah Harrison

Promise Song
Stunning art fills every page of this engaging board book. Bears and butterflies, squirrels and skunks are among animals in the opening springtime scene. A summer tableau imagines a stairway to heaven. Colorful trees and distant purple mountains represent fall, and of course, winter is illustrated by a roaring fire, hot cocoa, and a Christmas tree.

The text of Promise Song is a simple poem by author Katrina Douglas. The poem plus Paul and Dee Gully’s art flow through the book celebrating the seasons. The book is sure to lead children to discuss the symbols and ask questions about the poetry and pictures, thus giving parents opportunity to teach truths of God’s Word. Douglas’ website carries aids such as appropriate questions to spark kids’ thinking along with word search puzzles and other activities to engage young readers. Available at

Randall Murphree

This Hallelujah Banquet
This Hallelujah Banquet
is a compilation of selected sermons by Eugene H. Peterson on ways the book of Revelation speaks to the mingling of anxiety and hope about the future. Peterson is best known as translator of The Message.

The author’s anecdotes expand understanding of the letters to the seven churches while encouraging repentance so readers might be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). His writing emphasizes training in the sacrificial life instead of having Jesus acting as an entertaining master of ceremonies for life.

Peterson shares that it is through the pressures of persecution, the sorrow of sadness, and the agony of anguish that we are captured by Christ’s siege of love, transformed by the Holy Spirit, and capable of saying with full gratitude, “Praise God” in the Hebrew form of the word hallelujah. Available at online and retail bookstores.

Robert Youngblood

Will They Stand
Biblical apologist and founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, gets personal in his latest book, Will They Stand: Parenting Kids to Face the Giants.

The book is “certainly different from anything I’ve written so far,” Ham said. It is part journal, part tribute, part devotional, and part ‘how to.’”

By sharing stories of his childhood and being reared by godly parents in a pagan culture, and using his life and ministry as an illustration of the lasting legacy a Christian family can leave behind, Ham hopes to inspire the current generation to take their role of discipling godly children seriously.

Throughout its 12 chapters, the book explores such topics as why the family is disintegrating, what a godly legacy is, God’s purpose for the family, Christian education, spousal roles, and much more.

A powerful wake-up call as well as a call to action, this book will serve families well as they endeavor to raise warriors to stand against the wicked giants of modern culture.

Available at,, and

Matthew White

Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing
Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing
was written by a mother in response to the lack of children’s books about loss, specifically loss of a home. Author Carrie Barnes and her family lost their Santa Rosa home during the Tubbs Fire of 2017, one of the most destructive wildfires in California history. Her oldest son suffered a great deal of trauma from the loss, and his emotional journey of healing is what inspired this book.

Though not a biblically based book, Home is written in a very simple yet moving tone in an effort to comfort children during a time of loss. The story is told through the eyes of a young boy who loses his family’s house to a fire, and fears for his safety. After much grief, heartache, and healing, he comes to realize what really makes a house a home.

Home is available from retail booksellers online.

Rebecca Davis

According to a LifeWay Research study, only 11% of Americans have read the entire Bible, and 10% have read none of it. With this in mind, the WORD and LIVINWORD Game creators produced a game allowing players to have fun while memorizing Scripture. The LIVINWORD Game is based on the 73 books of the Catholic Bible. Meanwhile, the WORD Game covers the 66 books of the Protestant Bible.

While traveling across a game board, players are faced with Scripture to quote, as they go through the “valley of life” or “desert” spaces. These spaces are meant to represent the seasons of life believers walk through.

To win the game, a player must correctly recite verses and make it from Genesis to Revelation. But the real intention of the game is to develop an interest in Scripture and verse memorization.

Perfect for Sunday school teachers or parents encouraging children to memorize Scripture, this game is available online at

Hannah Harrison

Never Forsaken
In this gripping World War II biography, author Cindy Scott uses her mother’s first-person accounts. Thus the main body of the book paints a vivid self portrait of a young girl and her large family who were, from the virtual standpoint, prisoners of war in the Philippines. Marion Ghent Jose Lau, Scott’s mother, spent 15 years writing her wartime memoirs.

The Ghents spent years living in terror, hiding in forests, sleeping on the ground or in abandoned buildings, and nearing starvation, sometimes barely escaping capture by the Japanese. The narrative has the endearing tone of a young girl’s diary, but clearly portrays a young lady who was forced to grow up too soon, too suddenly.

A crowning jewel of Never Forsaken is Scott’s 40-page section of appendices that give historical context to the period, e.g., the Spanish-American War, General Douglas MacArthur, and the Battle of Bataan. Available at online booksellers. Caution: There are multiple books by the same title.

Randall Murphree

While There’s Still Time
Many in the American church would agree that the direction our nation is currently headed in is a perilous one. However, an important question always arises: What can I do? In response to this question, Joel R. Stroud wrote While There’s Still Time: An Urgent Call to Pray for America.

“We are in a national crisis,” Stroud writes. “The building blocks of our society are slowly but steadily being dismantled and cast aside. The Bible, on which our government and legal system are based, and the Christian faith, that makes our form of government work, have been discarded as outdated and unreliable.”

Stroud advocates that repentance and healing are necessary in our nation today. He supplies the reader with five actions that are necessary to bring about biblical healing as well as extensive scriptural evidence of the necessity of repentance in the eyes of God. As the title suggests, Stroud vehemently urges believers in America to pray for the nation. Available at online bookstores.

Mason Beasler

Psalm 91 
Psalm 91 is a chapter of the Bible associated with God’s power and protection over those He loves. With the desire to showcase this powerful chapter of Scripture, Peggy Joyce Ruth wrote Psalm 91: Real-life Stories of God’s Shield of Protection. In it, Ruth includes real-life testimonies of how God’s shield has protected those who have utilized Psalm 91’s power.

These encouraging stories show the hearts of soldiers, moms, and church members who have prayed Psalm 91 and seen direct results. Ruth tackles each verse in this Scripture passage and inspires readers to invite God’s hedge of protection into their lives.

Earlier this year, Ruth released a new edition of Psalm 91 dedicated to front-line workers and first responders. Both are available for purchase at online retailers.

Hannah Harrison

What Now?
Alzheimer’s!? When her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Deb Terry had questions – lots of them. After her family’s journey through the valley of the shadow of death, she realized others coming behind them must wrestle with the same questions. And maybe she could help them.

Her friend Pastor Jim Henry had walked that same path caring for his wife, also an Alzheimer’s victim. So the duo consulted together and co-authored Alzheimer’s. Dementia. What Now?

“Some of life’s greatest lessons can be learned in our deepest pain,” Terry said.

A subtitle clarifies the book’s purpose: Help and Hope for Caregivers, Family, and Friends. It fulfills its purpose beyond what the reader might hope for.

Both writers share stirring anecdotes, and their transparency will encourage and strengthen others who are traveling toward the death of a loved one.

Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, commends the book: “From his pastor’s heart, Jim Henry anchors this excellent book with passages from God’s Word … and offers heartfelt prayers of dependency upon the God of all comfort.”

It is truly a practical handbook for caregivers. For a 20% discount, order from and use the code AFA20 at checkout (valid through May 31).

Randall Murphree

Faith Under Fire
In a gripping opening scene, firefighters rescue a young girl from a flaming inferno. In the second scene, Tom, one of the firefighters, enters a Sunday worship service and begins shouting at Pastor Dan Underwood, who gently confronts Tom. But Tom’s response is a fist to the pastor’s face. The main conflict in the film swirls around the tension between these two.

Dean Cain plays Pastor Dan, and Nick Vlassopoulos plays Tom Hatcher. Tom’s behavior is rooted in his grief over the cancer deaths of his wife and his young daughter. Kevin Sorbo plays Dr. Robinson, the Hatchers’ physician, an outspoken Christian. He and Pastor Dan both have big impact on Tom during his season of deep grief.

The storyline is solid, the acting excellent, and the filmography tops. There are no offensive elements, but the weighty subject takes Faith Under Fire out of the family-friendly genre, especially for young viewers. Available through online streaming services. Caution: More than one movie carries this title.

Randall Murphree