A Package Arrives
I was recently sent complimentary copies of two of WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group‘s The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series. We received books three and four in exchange for an honest review. As soon as the package arrived, my boys were all over it. “What is it?” “Is it for me?” “May we open it?” “Can I have it?” They had no idea these books were coming but were eager to discover what had arrived.
I allowed them to open the package and a chorus of “Oh, cool, more books!” rang through the living room. My older son promptly flopped in front of the fire and started reading, then looked up and whispered, “It’s okay that I read this, right?” I nodded and he got lost in the book, again. He devoured the book in a few hours and then grabbed volume four.
Getting Thirsty for More
At this point, he realized that they were book #3 and book #4, so between pages for the rest of his read of book #4, he kept asking, “Could you get us the rest of the series??” I asked him what he liked about the books, and he responded, “It’s just like ‘Jack and Annie’ except they have a scroll instead of a book and it’s Christian! They go back in time and learn about the past. So, will you get us the other ones, now? Please!”
My younger son wanted to get in on the action and decided to “read” the books himself and proclaimed that they were indeed very cool and just like his favorite ‘Jack and Annie.” He promptly tucked them in a very special place for safe keeping and future “reading.”
Their Little Friends
Oh, Jack and Annie—my boys are captivated by them, me not so much. I was happy to have found something that excited them as much as those tree climbing adventurers and perhaps without the some of the elements that honestly drive me nuts! Let me first be clear, we are a history loving family. My husband and I both minored in history in college. Our book shelves are teaming with history books, primary sources, and historical fiction. So, I want to like “Jack and Annie” but I can’t because it isn’t historical, it’s really fanatasy.
I decided to read the books myself since my older son had come down with a cold and when I tried pumping him for details for this review, I could only get one word answers and blank stares. I quickly realized, they are JUST like “Jack and Annie” only Christian. So, these are an excellent alternative for those in love with the treehouse who want to avoid some of the magic.
The Good and the Beautiful
Both books have solid Christian messages of trust in the LORD and hope in desperate times. I appreciated that as it is important that children, even in fanatsy reading, remember who is really in control of it all. Also, Michael the Archangel has replaced the Camelot-like guides of the other series. We have a love for St Michael, and so this felt comforting. My favorite Michael moment was in Journey to Jericho (book #4) when he swoops in with his blazing sword and tells Peter and Mary (the adventures of the series) that he is assembling the angel armies to fight the battle for Jericho.
The messages of spritual warfare and good versus evil is refreshing. Each book features Satan taking on the form of the adversary in that story and being defeated by the Words and Works of God. This also pleased me, because while the rest of the world is busy denying or celebrating dark forces, it is vital for our families to be congnicent of the real threats of evil, but to never forget that God will always win!
Annacranism a Plenty
These are fun, fast paced reads. Perfect for a day snowed in or on school break. The easy read and fast paced story is very endearing to younger children and these can easily be enjoyed by even the youngest family member when read aloud. There are chases, whispered conversations, peeks into forbidden spots, intriguing dilemnas, and magical moments.
That said, annacranism prevails. It isn’t that fantasy is bad, everyone is entitled to their own choice of genre. (Growing up mine were biographies and the dictionary!) I would just appreciate a fantasical history based series that was truer to the time periods it explore.
The Plot Thickens
This book deals with the Hebrews escape from Egypt and the palgues that finallly convinced Pharoah to let them go. After some prompting by a suit of armor, Peter and Mary stumble upon a sarcophagus in their ecentric archeologist uncle’s basement. This leads them to race to the library, which promptly melts away only to drop them in the Sahara desert.
They get rescued from the Nile, a nod to Moses’ past, by an Egyptian princess, and get to experience life in the palace. They live in the lap of lluxury until they decide to tell the Truth during a school lesson about the gods. Peter proclaims that there is only one true God and a chase ensues that leads to them narrowly escaping. Michael appears to rescue them and give them some more information about their mission.
For their own safety, the children flee to Goshen to join the Israelites. They are walking for hours and the dark engulfs them. Just as they are about to give up, Michael once again appears with his flaming sword proving that God always provides and light will conquer the darkness.
Peter and Mary arrive at the home of Moses just in time for him to paint the lentil with lamb’s blood. The children partake in the first Passover meal and wait within Moses’ home for the angel of death to arrive. Suddenly there is a great wind and then rejoicing throughout Goshen. The Isrealites have been spared, however across the desert, the cries of the Egyptians can be heard.
Peter and Mary continue with the Israelites in their escape until just before the waters of the Red Sea come crashing onto Pharoahs armies. They appear once again in Uncle Solomon’s home who is eagerly awaiting the details of their adventure.
Peter and Mary are once again exploring Uncle Solomon’s house when they discover a secret room. Uncle Solomon then discovers the children in his secret room and instead of reprimanding them, reveals that he was, in fact, a spy before becoming an archeologist. He gives each of the children code name and fills Peter’s sack with supplies for their own spy mission.
The children grab the scroll which wisks them into a large, dark tent. Smoke begins to below around them and a voice booms. They find their way out only to be seized by Joshua who had been meeting with God. The children learn that the tent they had been in was actually the Tabernacle of the LORD.
The children help the Israelites prepare for battle with Jericho and join in on a recognizence mission. Within the walls of Jericho, a dark man is encouraging the people to not fight back. He continues to tell them that God’s army cannot win. It is later reveiled that this dark man is Satan who recognizes the children from past adventures and vows to beat them this time.
The children of Israel march and march around the walls for six days. On the seventh day, Peter and Mary sneak into the city to rescue Rahab and her family before the wall collapes. They have a face off with Satan who is stunned by Mary’s karate kick and then vanquished by the scroll that reads “God always keeps His promises.” The literal light of truth sets the children and familiy free in the nick of time.
For more reviews, please visit the Review Crew!