The story really had interesting aspects that would keep independent readers (ages 8 - 12) engaged, focusing on the Roman occupation at the time of Jesus's birth. The paperback binding was weak, though, for the book size. I hope it holds up, but I'm not too optimistic.
I was very excited about getting this book for our Advent celebration this year. This series had come highly recommended by someone who's opinion I trust. However, I was disappointed. I appreciate that the author is trying to use this story to teach about how things were during the days before Christ's birth, however some of the parts to this tale were quite disturbing, even to me as an adult whose seen a few things. To the author's credit, he did include a warning at the beginning telling the reader that there could be content that would disturb sensitive children, but that most children over the age of 7 had been exposed to far worse violence in media than would be found in this book. I emphatically beg to differ. If your children are seeing body parts being chopped off of people in their cartoons everyday, then you might want to consider a different cartoon. I have never been considered an overly sensitive person, but there were several parts to this story that weighed quite heavily on my heart and I decided that I would no longer allow my children to hear this story. I also had several disagreements with the author on what he was teaching, but my main issue was the body mutilation that occurred.
This is such a captivating story! Each day we look forward to reading about what will happen next. It is descriptive and gives a feel for what it may have been like during the time of Jesus birth. A great way to keep the focus on Jesus during this busy season.
This book is book 3 of 3 in the Jotham's Journey series. The best Advent books for families ever. In these daily readings during the Christmas Season, you and your family will be rivited by the story line each night, while being blessed by the daily spiritual lessons being taught. I could not recommend more highly a book series than this one; with the exception of the Bible itself. I read one of these 3 books each year, the 40 days leading up to Christmas; in a 3 year rotation.
After 8 years my 4 boys still love these adventures and they add to our advent season. I highly recommend them and I always give them as gifts to my family and friends. Faith, edge of your seat excitement, and historical fiction all add up to this series. I wish the author would write more. We have also enjoy his adventure for Lent with all the same main characters.