Friday, October 1, 2010
TOS Homeschool Crew Product Review ~ Foundlings, Book One of The Peleg Chronicles by Matthew Christian Harding
Ah, the joy I have today over the fact that I'm writing a review about a work of fiction! Homeschool moms spend SO MUCH TIME focusing on academia, they can forget the simple pleasure that comes from reading a piece of fiction. This product review has been like a breath of fresh air.
First I'd like to give a brief overview of The Peleg Chronicles and then I'll move on to my thoughts and the thoughts of my 16 year old daughter regarding the book. I'll wrap up with the product information.
The Foundlings is the first book in a series titled The Peleg Chronicles written by Matthew Christian Harding. The author and his wife homeschool their four children. As most homeschooling parents know, it can be tricky to find acceptable fiction reading for our children; Mr. Harding's intent in writing this series of books was to teach children to "align themselves with the Word of God, to not be a hearer only, but a doer" through Scripture-filled fiction. His willingness to take his parental responsibility to raise doers of the Word seriously has resulted in reading material that blesses other such parents. As is often the case, the decision to honor the Lord with his gifting has become a blessing to the Christian homeschool community as a whole. As the title implies, The Peleg Chronicles takes place in the time of Peleg, whose story can be found in Genesis 11 at the time of the Tower of Babel. Based on this premise, Mr. Harding weaves a fictional plot that includes dragons, giants, darkness and light, nobility and honor, chivalry, personal sacrifice and bravery wrapped neatly in 30 easy-to-read chapters. The book ends with a thorough explanation of the Gospel of Jesus - which serves as a witness to unbelievers who read the book & as a source of encouragement to those of us who know Jesus personally. I'm all for witnessing to the lost and all for encouraging the Body of Christ :)
As a mom, I have to say that I was relieved to find a book I can hand to my children with assurance that they are reading "well". While I myself do not much care for some of the "darker" elements in this book (i.e. the evil priests and their pagan sacrifices) the characters and elements themselves are handled with much integrity, reminding me of Tolkein's ability to bring the reality of a fallen world and the wretchedness of war into his books without graphic descriptions. Mr. Harding follows in Toklein's vein, calling evil what it is while avoiding the popular modern-day emphasis on "details". Paul wrote that there are some things we should not even speak of; I think the author of The Foundlings understands what Paul was teaching us. I also enjoyed the setting of the book - all the way back in Genesis man is portrayed as that which God made him to be - man, not cave-man. A hearty thanks to the author for honoring God's Word in details large and small!
My 16-year-old daughter shared these comments about The Foundlings: "When I first began reading this book, I felt Chapter 1 started off a little slow for my liking. As an avid reader, I like to be pulled in from the opening paragraph. To my delight, however, Chapter 2 was filled with action (realistic action, mind you) and I LOVED the way Scripture was incorporated! As a student of Jane Austen and a young author myself (I have written one novel and am working on my second) I must say the character development was excellent and very clean cut. Over all, it's an interesting read that makes God's Word applicable to all of life in a way that is anything but corny. I would highly recommend this book and will read it again myself ~ which, by the way, is the mark of a good book. C.S. Lewis said we ought not waste time reading once that which we would not read again and I very much agree. Read this book and it's follow-ups and you won't be disappointed!"
The final portion of this review consists of the product information ~ which is very important since I would like my readers to know how to get their hands on this book! The Peleg Chronicles are published by Behemoth Books/Zoe and Sozo Publishing and can be purchased at www.MatthewChristianHarding.com. Book One and Book Two are $11.95 each and a Chronology Chart (from Adam to Joseph) is also available for $7.50 laminated (or $5 non-laminated). You can read more about the books and the author at the website. Older children can read this on their own, as can adults; younger children could enjoy it as a read aloud at the parent's discretion. And as always, I received this product free of charge for review purposes as a member of the 2010 TOS Homeschool Crew.
Enjoy some fiction today and, as always, Be Encouraged!
Day 43 done :)
Jan L. Burt