All I can say is "Wow!" Our whole family was captivated from the 5 year old to Grandma. We're going to read it after dinner this season. Talk about accomplishing the impossible, I actually found motivation to get dinner on the table :)
I'm posting this after the first day, because on the one hand you'd think wait until it's finished, but on the other, I could always come back and write, and others have that covered. I wanted to capture our first reaction, because for a family Advent experience you need momentum and motivation. This gave us both. It also put patience (waiting) on the front burner, because I wanted to keep reading! I haven't felt that kind of excitement since I was a kid. Thank you Jotham's Journey!
My family loved this book. We didn't want to stop each night because we wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I also purchased the next 2 books in this series and I am sure they will be just as good. We may not wait until next Advent season to read them!
A well crafted tale with thoughtful questions/conversation starters. My husband and son (9 yrs) really enjoyed listening to the readings every night. We were left hanging every night, eager to hear what would happen next. My daughter (4 yrs) was afraid of some of the characters and suspense. Although the age recommendations are for 4 and up, I would advise caution for younger children and those who may be sensitive. That said, we are looking forward to reading the next book in the series next year.
Wow, I REALLY wanted to love this book. It does have some wonderful biblical truths tied from the devotional part to the story. BUT, those truths can be taught without this story! I am in SHOCK how violent and scary this book is....a children's book. It has cliffhangers that are inappropriate to send kids to bed with if they are to have sweet dreams, but also the story itself is based on parental abandonment, and an incredibly evil man chasing and wanting to kill the 10 year old boy. There is also a very scary encounter in the boys dream with a jackal. There is so much fear taught in this book in way too vivid of a way for children. I am so glad I paged through this book before handing it to my 10yo son to use as his personal advent devotional. It immediately raised flags, so I began reading it front to back. Yes, it was a fine read as an adult...but I would never read this to a child. 12 is the absolute YOUNGEST that this could be appropriate for. Children have enough to fear in this world, and do not need fuel added to that fire in order to learn the bibilical truths in this story such as obedience, the value of friendship, love etc... I am shocked that this book receives so many rave reviews with the content being so violent, gruesome and scarey. My only guess is the desensitation that is occuring in our culture. Please prayerfully preread this book before reading this to your children. I really beleive there are better stories to be reading to our children that can have the same benefits without instilling these horrible thoughts into our children's minds. This is one of the most night-mare causing children's books I have ever previewed....and it is to teach biblical truths....shocking!
I thought it might be good to type out what some of my older kids had to say about this story.
13YO- An enthralling story of love and obedience filled with adventure and Messianic prophecies, for the whole family.
10YO- Can love and obedience be learnt through an action packed adventure? Join Jotham on his journey and learn about the Messiah and how it all happened that first Christmas. This great story helps you understand how the birth of Jesus happened.
12YO- As Jotham gets separated from his family, he tries desperately to reunite with them. I loved the breathtaking moments in every chapter and this book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I like stories that have unexpected elements and are unpredictable, I will always remember Decha's evil laugh resonating through the dark, gloomy cave. It is a story that helps you think about why it is important to be obedient.
8YO I didn't like missing chapters when I went to stay with my Grandma, so I read them to catch up.