Hope Auer, the author of the book A Cry From Egypt, is a homeschool graduate who began work on this project when her family was studying ancient history. Her writing progressed from an interest in Egyptian history to a full-blown book. And she continues to work on future books ~ A Cry From Egypt is the first in Ms. Auer's Promised Land Series.
The book contains a preface, 16 chapters, a research section, and a preview of the second book in the series. The artwork in the book, as well as the cover, were done by Mike Slaton (also a homeschool graduate).
A Cry From Egypt deals with the time period just prior to the Israelite's exodus from Egypt, at the end of their long era of slavery. But the story line isn't about Moses, Aaron and Miriam. The setting is in Moses' day, but the tale is not his story at all!
I began reading the book right away, before giving it to my children to read. I typically try and read whatever they are reading, since you can't be too careful when it comes to works of fiction. Even the stuff you find in your local Christian book store can often seem like a secular book with a few Bible verses and references to God thrown in. I was pleased with the content in A Cry From Egypt, as it really is the kind of book my children can read without me worrying what they'll be exposed to. While I am sure people of all ages will enjoy the story, I felt it was better suited for younger readers in our family. I am a self-proclaimed book-a-holic, and I began reading to my children before they were born. We often read books aloud as a family, and my children were listening to Tolkein, Shakespeare, Dickens and the like from their earliest years. I realize that we are odd ducks, and most people don't enjoy such rigorous reading material from a young age; but in our case, we found this book to be a very fast read that didn't always have a strong grip on my kid's attention span. Let me end this personal disclaimer with one important note: if my daughter produced this work of fiction, I would be tickled pink. Ms. Auer has done a wonderful job, and I am very impressed with her diligence. (To see more about her writing, and to learn about the world of publishing, see her website ~ www.ACryFromEgypt.com).
The main character in the book, Jarah, is a young Israelite girl who has grown up as a slave in Egypt. Her consistent personality, combined with the imagery used in the book, make her believable. (Solid character development are a hallmark of Hope Auer's writing.) The outlying characters have just the right amount of detail provided, while the main cast of characters have real depth. The author does a good job of focusing on the major characters once the plot begins to thicken.
I don't want to give away what takes place in this book, but I can tell you that Jarah faces struggles, danger, and even opposition within her own family. Ms. Auer makes certain to include a variety of circumstances that probably did play out during this time in ancient history. For example, Jarah's mother worships the Egyptian gods, while her father worships the One True God. That is a scenario that likely happened within Israelite families. She also explains how the ten plagues were directly related to different Egyptian gods ~ which is something many young readers may not already know. And she really does a great job at keeping the main point of conflict going, even while each of the plagues brings about it's own source of rising conflict. The book ends with a solution to the primary problem, while creating an interest in the next problem looming on the horizon...
I would like to add that I am grateful that A Cry From Egypt is not yet another fictional account of the life of Moses. Truly, you never once think this book is about him - which is pretty amazing since it's a book about the exodus! You really see things from the perspective of a hard-working slave-girl and her family as they try to make sense of the only life they've ever known being turned upside down.
My daughter's have studied ancient Egypt in-depth during previous school years, so I used this as literature. But if we were studying this time period, I would have used it as a part of our history studies. Historical fiction is a great way to spark interest and enhance learning about any era of history. I think this book would make a nice addition to a study of the ancient world, or to a study of the Israelites prior to the exodus.
Published by Great Waters Press, the book A Cry From Egypt sells for an advance reader price of $12.95. You can order it HERE. And you can learn more about Great Waters Press at www.RaisingRealMen.com.
To read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members have to say, click HERE.
(Disclaimer ~ I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions shared here are solely my own.)
Be blessed as you homeschool for His glory!
Day 227 done :)
Jan L. Burt