Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CREW Review- A Cry From Egypt

Hal and Melanie Young, authors of the book and website Raising Real Men, are also the workhorses behind Great Waters Press, a publishing company dedicated to focusing on "Making Biblical Family Life Practical."  They have done this well in the past and have recently introduced a new fictional book to their lineup- A Cry From Egypt, by Hope Auer.

This is Hope!  She has been writing since she was a young child and has now begun a new Biblical, Historic fiction series called The Promised Land.  A Cry From Egypt, started when she was just 13 and as a homeschool assignment, is the first book to be published in that series. 

I love when young people follow a dream, and that is what Hope has done.  Homeschooled, and encouraged by her mom and dad, she put her love for words down on paper, caught the attention of Hal and Melanie Young, and got her book published.  No small feat for any young person.

This is Hope's book!  Geared for ages 8 and up, A Cry From Egypt follows a young slave in Egypt named Jarah.  The story is set during the return of Moses to plead with Pharaoh to set God's people free.  The plot takes many twists and turns throughout the story and kept us on the edge of our seat.  There is adventure, romance and lots of biblical information sprinkled throughout.  Like did you know that each of the 10 plagues were directly related to an Egyptian belief or superstition?
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book as a parent was that Hope did an excellent job of focusing on her story, while staying true to the Biblical account of the plagues in Egypt.  She allowed the Bible to speak for itself with the details she presented, neither adding nor subtracting from it.  Moses and Aaron were mentioned, but were carefully treated as minor characters, not presenting the need to make up additional information for them that the Bible does not supply.  Instead, one could enjoy the fictional characters Hope created and the adventures that they encountered.
My two cautions or concerns.  There are several scenes that I felt were a little brutal for younger children.  When people were beaten, I cringed.  For that reason, we did not use this book as a read out loud for my family as I had originally intended.  Instead my 14 year old daughter read it alone, and now my 10 year old son and I will read it together.  My second concern was the presentation of the relationship between the mother and father in the story.  It was tense at best, the father being a believer and the mother not.  It is a necessary part of Hope's story, but I was uncomfortable several times in the story with the disrespectful way the mother spoke to the father.  Again, while it is important to the story, we teach our children in this house about women Biblically submitting to their husbands and the importance of respect in the family.  The obvious contempt and disagreements between husband and wife bothered me, and will definitely be a point I bring up when reading and discussing it with my son.
That being said- did we like the book?  Yes!  It was maybe a little young for the 14 year old, but it was an encouragement to her to see a fellow homeschooler publish a book, something she would really like to do in the future.  I am excited about reading with my son next! I recommend it for those of you that enjoy bringing history to life with reading books.  I applaud Hope for her efforts and commend her on a job well done.  I encourage you to check out her website as well, A Cry From Egypt, as she is currently writing a series on how to write and publish a book.  I love how she is taking her God given talent and using it to help and teach others, and I am thrilled that Hal and Melanie Young saw something special in her and gave her a chance!
You can buy A Cry From Egypt for $12.50 from Raising Young Men.
To read what fellow CREW mates had to say about this about and several other's published by the Youngs click on the banner below.
Disclaimer- I received a copy of A Cry From Egypt in exchange for my honest review.  Opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by the publisher in any way.

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