If you have a girl that is a tween or teen, then you probably saw the fantastic movie, “Soul Surfer” that was out earlier this year. The movie was based on the real-life experiences of Bethany Hamilton, a thirteen year old promising surfer that was attacked by a shark while surfing near her home in Hawaii. Her friends saved her life with their quick actions, but they were not able to save her from losing her arm. Bethany’s story is truly one of triumph over tragedy. It’s more than that, though. It’s also an amazing story of a teenager with a faith in God stronger than that of many grown women.
Bethany (along with writer and editor, Dois Rikkers) has recently released several Soul Surfer books published by Zondervan that also share her incredible faith and belief in one’s self, no matter what the challenge. My daughter, Alyssa, and I were lucky enough to review two of them.
Soul Surfer Book “Ask Bethany – FAQ: Surfing, Faith & Friends”
This book is a fun read, as both I and my daughter found out. It is filled with all sorts of questions that Bethany has been asked by her fans over the years. She answers questions like, “Did it hurt when the shark bit you?’ or “How do you button your clothes with just one arm?” She also answers more complex questions like, “Why does God let bad things like shark attacks happen to good people,” or “When my friends say mean or nasty things about me, what should I do?” or even “My parents won’t listen to me. How can I talk to them without them blowing up? Can you help?”
Bethany answers these questions clearly, often interjecting a bit of her Christian faith into her answers. And, although I would say that some of her beliefs differ from mine in that they are more conservative and more evangelical, I am thrilled that Alyssa enjoys this book. For me, the beauty of this book is an inspirational young woman sharing with her readers her positive attitude, her determination, and her belief that God is the center of her life.
Soul Surfer Book “Rise Above: A 90 Day Devotional”
There are lots of things I love about this neat tween/teen devotional.
Here are a few of my favs:
- Each devotion is only 2 pages long, so it keeps kids’ interest. It took Alyssa about 5 minutes to read and reflect on individual devotions–now that’s do-able, even on busy days!
- The devotions are short, but power-packed! Each devotion starts with Bethany sharing a personal story of everyday life: She then ties God into each of those stories, and supports her viewpoint with a pertinent bible verse. Also included is a “Chatting with God” section, which is a related two or three sentence prayer. Each devotion is finished up with a “Did you Know” section that mentions a word in the Hawaiian language that Bethany may have used in the preceeding devotion, tells a surfing fact, or the like.
- Bethany covers so many of the teen year concerns: relationships with friends and family, stress, taking good care of our bodies, being responsible, and of course, having a solid relationship with God. And with each topic, she shares upbeat inspiration on how to rise above life’s worldy temptations, and instead live the life God intended for us.
Summary of Both Soul Surfer Books
These books would make a great addition to any tween or teen girl’s library. Bethany is such a positive role model, unlike so many of today’s teen stars! I enjoyed these books not only for their content, but for the easy, meaningful discussions that they encouraged between my daughter and myself. On her way to forth grade, Alyssa is already reaching the age of self doubt and comparing herself to others. How wonderful that she can read books by a young woman whom she really admires, and can walk away feeling better about herself, and encouraged to be strong in her beliefs!
Buy Soul Surfer Books
You can buy these 2 faith-based books and more Soul Surfer series books on the Zondervan.com website. Soul Surfer Book “Ask Bethany – FAQ: Surfing, Faith & Friends” for just $9.99 and Soul Surfer Book “Rise Above: A 90 Day Devotional” for just $9.99.
These books would also make a wonderful birthday, first communion, or confirmation gift.
Win Soul Surfer Books (Cl0sed)
Updated: 7-6-11 Winners Announced: Stephanie Mago-Eagle and Connie
Zondervan has generously offered 2 sets of Soul Surfer Books to 2 AkronOhioMoms.com winners. Win the Soul Surfer Ask Bethany and the Soul Surfer Rise Above 90 Day Devotional. ($20)
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Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on June 28, 2011 when a winner will be drawn at random. I will notify the winners and they will have 36 hours to respond!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Zondervan who provided the products for review and giveaway.