I have an 8th grader who only a few years ago started being interested in reading, and these days it’s all he wants to do! We were happy to receive Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer for review. Peggy Consolver – Author has crafted an exceptional story for Christian young adults.
Book Review by Drew
This book is about Keshub, the son of a potter and he lives in the land of Gibeon with his father, mother, grandmother, and four siblings. It’s a fictional story about a Biblical historical time and event sequence.
Keshub becomes a man and two of his family members get married. The Hebrews are coming out of the desert! The Hebrews have not yet attacked Jericho, but are a day away travel time from Jericho. They are headed in the direction of Canaan, toward Keshub and his family. His people have been offered an alliance with the King of Jerusalem, an Ammorite.
As Keshub and his family deal with the oncoming Hebrews, they see it as a bad thing because the Hebrews are destroying all of the cities in their path. To prepare, they are hoarding water to last through the invasion. They expect the possibility of being killed. One of the soldiers is teaching the younger men how to fight. Each family has to decide whether to flee the Hebrews or to stay and fight.
So far, Drew’s favorite part is that every now and then is something from the Hebrew peoples’ perspective, such as the event from the Bible when the snakes all came and a bunch of people were bitten. Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole in the camp, and anyone who looked at it would be healed.
Drew says the Gibeonite people don’t really have a “god” but they do believe that someone created all of the stars and named each one of them. The North Star in their language means “the heretofore and the hereafter.” He says that the book doesn’t contain a lot of what the Gibeonites believe, that it’s sprinkled in here or there. He’s not sure it’s an entirely Christian book, just based on a Biblical event, though he thinks and hopes that Keshub and his family are converted to believing in the True God by the end. (He’s about 2/3 of the way through the book and stays interested in the story!)
There’s a study guide available, but it wasn’t part of what we received for review. I must admit to being disappointed about that, but my son is getting better aboutn arration so we are happy just to have the reading experience! I like for my kids to be exposed to a wide range of literature, and this book is well-written. I think probably it’s more Christian than my son seems to believe it is, and am happy to have an alternative like this to the general YA fiction that’s out there these days. We recommend this book!
You can connect with Peggy Consolver on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the Crew reviews!