We read this devotional to our girls (ages 6 & 8) this year prior to Easter and they LOVED it. There are some difficult topics that may require discussion with younger kids but overall it was a great opportunity to hear a fictional "first hand" account of the events leading up to Easter. We're now looking at using one of the related books at Christmas this year as they want to hear more about Tabitha, Bartholomew and Jotham.
Ytreeide is such an excellent story teller that my kids always ask for "one more chapter"! We are reading aloud for Easter and many times I have been in tears as I have met New Testament characters and read aloud their story. The faith challenge at the end of every chapter cuts to the heart and will do so for the new Christian as well as those who have been raised in the church. PLEASE don't pass up putting this in your library...and don't loan it out because you will NEVER get it back!
This is our second Arnold Ytreeide book we have read in the last 6 months and we love them both. My kids (ages 8 and 10) and my husband gather around to hear a chapter every night before bed! They beg for more! I really like how the books make them think back through their knowledge of the Bible and tie people and stories together with this book. It makes us all think!
This series is a pleasure to read. It stretches credulity, and contains a few historical errors. E.G., chocolate was not known in the eastern hemisphere until the 16th century conquest of the Americas. But the pace is non-stop, with every dangerous situation leading to another, perfect for elementary and middle school children. Overall, gives great background of the culture and history of first-century Palestine. Appealing, sympathetic moral characters that invite the reader to identify with them. The evangelical moralizing in between the story chapters was not to my taste, but the story just reads itself with no resistance.
This is another excellent book that has helped us prepare for the upcoming Easter celebration, like his others do to lead us through the Advent season. We have all 4 of his books now and they are favorites, getting read over again year after year -- even by my now teens! (We started them as read alouds when they were small.) I can't recommend them highly enough. You won't regret this purchase.