Sunday, October 24, 2010

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

Son of Hamas: A gripping account of terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices.

by Mosab Hassan Yousef

From inside the front cover:

Before the age of twenty-one, Mosab Hassan Yousef saw things no one should ever see: Abject poverty, abuse of power, torture, and death.

He witnessed the behind-the-scenes dealings of top Middle Eastern leaders who make headlines around the world. He was trusted at the highest levels of Hamas and participated in the Intifada. He was held captive deep inside Israel's most feared prison facility. His dangerous choices and unlikely journey through dark places made him a traitor in the eyes of people he loves--and gave him access to extraordinary secrets. On the pages of this book he exposes events and processes that to this point have been known only by a handful of individuals. . .

Yousef is the son of the founding leader of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and responsible for countless suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israel. An intregal part of the movement, Mosab was imprisoned several times by the Israeli internal intelligence service. After a chance encounter with a British tourist, he started a six year quest that jeopardized Hamas, endangered his family, and threatened his life. He has since embraced the teachings of Jesus and sought political asylum in America.

(Asylum was granted just this summer after many people spoke up on his behalf.)

This is a true story that reads like a novel. It is well written, and very interesting. It told me many things that I'd never heard before and helped me to understand the conflict in the Middle East better.

Available at the library.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Terrorist Hunter by Anonymous

Terrorist Hunter--the extraordinary Story of a Woman Who went undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America.

"The remarkable memoir of an Iraqi woman who escaped from captivity in Baghdad and became America's leading undercover counter-terrorist expert."

From the front cover:

"Here is the story of an anonymous counterterrorism expert, who, in disguise, has penetrated front groups of anti-American terrorist organizations operating in this country. In this edge-of- the-seat memoir, she chronicles her escape from Iraq to Israel, following a great tragedy that befell her family at the hands of Saddam Hussein. She also details how she became involved in intelligence gathering for the United States. She was able to infiltrate and identify dangerous terrorist organizations and entities working undetected in the United States."

This book was very informative and scary. Our country is in danger from the radical Muslims in our country that are being allowed to do whatever they want AGAINST America. They build schools where they teach their children songs with lyrics that say "death to America." They build mosques where they preach "kill the infidels"--and they mean US! They rely on OUR laws that provide for freedom of speech, to say whatever they want to say, teaching their people to hate us--to kill us.

from page 86:

Having a good meal in their bellies seemed to cause the men to let down their guard and we began to speak. I talked only a little, very humbly, extremely cautious to make my cover story credible. There I was, sitting with members of Hamas, the terrorist organization that had claimed more innocent Israeli lives than any other. I, a Jew and an Israeli, a woman alone with fifteen men. Very dangerous game I was playing in this unbelievable scenario. . . .

Everyone should read this book just to be informed.

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson

Lisa Samson is one of my favorite Christian authors of fiction, and I highly recommend her books.

from the back of the book "Embrace Me":

"When a "lizard woman", a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster. . . and improbably close to grace."

"The Christy-award winning author of 19 books including the Women of Faith Novel of the Year "Quaker Summer", Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as a "talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks, and one of the most powerful voices in Christian fiction."

from page 37:

"If there's a smaller room than mine here at the hotel, the occupant must sleep standing up. I'm guessing mine served as a storage closet at one time. To the left of my bed the wooden floor forms a narrow aisle between my single bed and a grid of rough shelving that checkers the wall. Linen storage in the old days, maybe? Cleaning supplies as well? I could use some cleaning supplies. Today I'll find some, and I will scrub this place from floor to ceiling. Maid service is extra."

from page 107:

"I place a phone call to my father before he leaves for work the next day. "So where's Mom these days?"

He huffs his condescending laugh, but I hear the fear around the edges. "Have you gone a little crazy, son? You know as well as I do that your mother is dead."

As well versed as he is in political maneuverngs, I hear all the earmarks of keeping something under wraps: accuse the accuser, and employ the "everybody knows that" defense.

"Then dead people make phone calls." I tell him about the series of calls.

"Oh, Drew. It's just some crazy. You're on the air now. It could have been anybody."

"It was her voice."

"You were twelve when she died. How can you be so sure? Look, I'll meet you at Chapel Hill. I'll take you to her grave."

Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, Rafe Esquith

Teach like your hair's on fire--The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56, by Rafe Esquith

"In a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, there is an exceptional public school classroom called Room 56. The fifth graders inside are either immigrants or children of immigrants; most live in poverty and few speak English as his or her first language. They also play Vivaldi, perform unabridged plays by Shakespeare, and go on to attend the finest universities in the country. Rafe Esquith is the teacher who helps them achieve these accomplishments."

A fascinating story about a wonderful teacher we can all learn from! "Esquith gives any teacher and parent the tips, techniques, excercises, innovations and visionthat have made him one of the most celebrated teachers in the world." His students come to school at 6:30, voluntarily, and stay well after 5:00. They treat each other with respect and they work hard, learning to handle money, read great literature, tackling algebra, and learning to play instruments, in addition to their normal curriculum.

Esquith has written at least 4 books, and all of them are worth reading if you enjoy a good story and want encouragement in your relationships with the children in your life. Our country would be so different with hundreds of teachers like Esquith!

SLAVE My True Story by Mende Nazer

From the back cover:

"At age 12, Mende Nazer lost her childhood. It began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, setting fire to the village huts and murdering the adults. The raiders rounded up thirty-one young children, including Mende, who was eventually sold to a wealthy Arab family in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began Mende's seven dark years of enslavement. Normally, Mende's story never would have come to light, but when she was sent to work for another master--a diplomat working in London--she made a dramatic break for freedom."

I found this book completely unbelievable! I had no idea people were still being captured and sold into slavery. While I was reading this book, my Mom was reading a book called "Disposable People", a book that tells about the millions of people enslaved right now across our world. All unbelievable!

"Slave" is a very interesting, readable story. It starts out with Mende's childhood in the Nuba tribe in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, one of the remotest places on earth, where the people lived in mud huts and were hunters and farmers. The first 100 pages of the book tell about life in the village. The next 120 pages tell about Mende's 7 years as a slave, with the last 100 pages telling of her life after she escaped. ALL of it is interesting.

Available at the library.

Games for Math, Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye

These books are wonderful for the early elementary grades.

from the cover of Games for Math:

"These witty, imaginative and entertaining math games offer a welcome improvement over the counting drills and fill-in-the-blank workbooks that have bored children for generations. When children play a clapping game to learn about counting or a dice game to learn about multiplication, and bake brownies to learn about metrics, chances are good they'll develop mathophilia rather than mathophobia."

"The games are easy to follow and easy to play; A busy working parent can read a game in a few minutes and start to play right away--anytime and anywhere. Most require no materials at all, or only the simplest things--pennies and paperclips, cards, dice. And the games are helpful for all young children, whether they are having problems or not."

(The same holds true for the reading book. The games are simple, and require no preparation.)

The only problem with these games is taking the time to play them, but I think they are just as helpful, if not more so, than workbook pages. It's been awhile since I've needed to play them, since my children are teens now, but we did enjoy these books.