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Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Hot Chocolate with God: Just Me & Who God Created Me To Be by Camryn Kelly with Jill and Erin Kelly

The book dedication by Camryn Kelly in Hot Chocolate with God: Just Me & Who God Created Me To Be is a great summary in and of itself. It reads, ” …to all the girls out there who want to live a life that honors God…by just being who God created them to be.” The daughter of bestselling author Jill Kelly and former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills, this young lady has a firm grasp on what it means to be a daughter—a princess, of the living King. It’s this understanding that will captivate every tween in search of discovering herself and who God has created her to be. Through a series of random, interactive Q&As, word puzzles, video clips, and Bible verses, Cam helps girls explore and expound on every aspect of life that is the tween believer.

Hot Chocolate with God begins with “100 of the Best Questions in the Entire World…” Questions from your full name to your favorite cereal—Camryn encourages the reader to explore all sorts of facts, figures, habits, likes and dislikes, etc. that make each one unique. She repeats this type of Q&A throughout the subsequent chapters, which gets progressively deeper in their subject matter—delving into such issues as, “Are any of your family members, relatives, or friends sick with a disease such as cancer, or any type of sickness?”, “Who do you know that’s in Heaven right now?”, and “Do you believe God hears you when you pray?”. This in-depth inquiry allows the reader to examine herself and see through God’s eyes how she is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Written in true-to-form tween lingo, complete with rabbit trails and t.l.a.’s (three letter acronyms), Hot Chocolate With God speaks to young girls at their own level. The quirky video clips, a.k.a. Cam Clips, that you can access via the Web site, bring the reader right into Cam’s world and offer the opportunity to connect on a more personal level with fun and captivating visuals relative to the topic at hand. My favorite elements however are the Sweet Truths—bits and pieces of God’s written word that bring this message of encouragement to life.

As the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, I believe this style of connection is a great way for young girls to feel encouraged, hopeful, and confident in whom they are in Christ. I was relieved to know this book is the first in an upcoming series, because the introspection in this volume is just the tip of the spiritual growth iceberg. I am anxious to see how Camryn’s writing evolves as she matures and experiences more that life throws at her, and how her dependency on God is reflected through her teen years.

While this may not be a book traditionally eyed by librarians, with its interactive nature, it definitely deserves a spot on your shelves. As demand at all ages for Christian fiction continues to grow, it’s only safe to say Christian nonfiction should have a space, as well, and this is the perfect book to stock for tweens to begin conversations with their parents.

~Lori

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