Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Blog by Sonja Herbert/Carnival Girl

Guest Blog by Sonja Herbert:

As a young girl, my half-Jewish mother hid from the Nazis in a circus. The rightful owner saw her and fell in love with her. After the war, they were married. Because of the lack of food for the artists and the animals, my father lost the circus. So he raised his family in a tiny carnival, traveling the small towns in central Germany to keep his rapidly growing family fed.
I was the second child of six. Even though I can’t remember the war, I remember the devastation, both physical and spiritual, which the German people lived with afterward. Ruins and unexploded bombs littered the cities, and lost and orphaned children overwhelmed the orphanages. Food was hard to come by, and education was almost non-existent, especially for us carnival children, since we traveled from town to town every week or two.
My mother, emotionally burned and disillusioned, rejected any kind of religion and never taught her children about God. However, when I was eight, I had a vision and developed a strong desire to be in a church, to live in a house and to have God love and approve of me. I had to hide such feelings from my family, because they made fun of them.
As I grew older, Germany, along with our family, became more prosperous. At fourteen, I met the LDS missionaries. Against my family’s ridicule and the overwhelming odds of living in a traveling carnival and having to work every Sunday, I converted.
A year later, my parents divorced, and through the divorce God’s loving hand worked the miracle I needed to reach my goal of living in a real house and being able to go to church on Sundays instead of having to run a carnival attraction.
However, I did see my father regularly when he came to our town and in the winters. He met my American fiancée, a GI stationed in Germany, and they became good friends, in spite of the religious differences. My father passed away two years after I followed my husband to the U. S. My mother, however is still going strong at 91, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Can you envision living that way? Read Carnival Girl, and you’ll discover a new world!

Sonja Herbert and her five siblings were raised in a caravan, traveling the carnival circuit from town to town in post-WWII Germany.
Sonja converted to the LDS Church, served a mission, married an American soldier, and immigrated to the USA. She received a BA at SUU in Cedar City, and an MA in Language Acquisition from Brigham Young University, taught high school, German, and ESL for many years, and is now a full time writer. A mother of six and grandmother of thirteen, she resides in Provo, Utah. Contact her at,, or

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Charlie's Girl/Mary Helen&Daniel Foxx


   "Fourteen-year-old Rosalind has always been a foster girl without a past, until she’s sent to live with a long-lost grandmother in a house full of memories—and secrets. Soon Rosalind discovers that there’s more to her family history than she ever dreamed. Set in 1960s South Carolina, this unforgettable story of family, friendship, and faith is perfect for readers of all ages."


   Rosalind became an orphan when she was still a baby after being in a car crash that killed both her parents. Going from foster home to foster home until at age 14, her grandmother Grace finally is able to find her and bring her back to where her father grew up in South Carolina.
  Grace, having lost her son (Charlie) and her husband (Sam) the same day, brings her into shock and depression. Finally after 11 years of loss she realizes she still has her granddaughter Rosalind. On first meeting, Grace is disapointed to see that Rosalind looks nothing like her dear Charlie but exactly like her sons wife Nellie. She never really liked Nellie, and thought she was leading her son away from her and their beliefs.
   This book shows a mother's loss, but also a granddaughters gain. They need each other, even though at first it is difficult.  Rosalind, with the help of Grace and her new friend Emily are able to find information on her family, through a geneology assignment at school.
   If you are a fan of Geneology will will enjoy this book! I was sad when it ended where it did, it left me wondering about Rosalind's mother and her family.....Maybe there will be a sequel called Nellie's Girl??! All the way through it tugged at my heart strings. The love of a family is so important especially when hearts need healing. The Author's brought love, hope, friendship, sadness, heartache, and faith all in one. It was a sweet and enduring book. I know I want to delve more into my family history now!