9/21/12

Crew Review: Book Review: A Cry from Egypt by Hope Auer

When I first saw the vendor name Raising Real Men, I thought, well that leaves me out since I only have girls.  Little did I know their association with Great Waters Press.  Hal & Melanie Young, authors of the book, Raising Real Men, are the chief publishers at Great Waters Press.  They offered the Schoolhouse Review Crew the opportunity to review one of two books: Children in the Church or A Cry from Egypt.

As a literature loving, history loving home educating family, we jump at the chance to read historical fiction.  After reading a description of the book, and the short bio of author Hope Auer, the girls all said “YES, we want to read this book!”

Thought provoking and moving, A Cry from Egypt brings history to life.  In the this first book from The Promised Land series we meet Jarah and her family.  Though primarily told through the eyes of Jarah, we get glimpses of the thoughts and feelings of other characters including the Queen.

Jarah is a 12 year old girl who struggles with her own fears and doubts as to whether or not the Hebrew God is real and true.  She wants the peace she sees in her father.  As readers, we experience the plagues through the eyes of the Israelites.  We feel their wonder at the destruction of Egypt but the salvation of Goshen.  Jarah is at the river when Moses and Aaron come and turn it to blood.  She is at the Palace working when the frogs emerge from the river. We journey from doubt and fear to love and trust with Jarah. Ms. Hope Auer brings a new perspective to a very old “story” and shows the reader the humanity of both the Hebrew slaves and their Egyptian captors.

A Word of Caution: We were told the recommended age for this book was 8 and up.  With my girls, I can usually lower that age by reading the book aloud. I recommend this book for ages 12 and up as a read alone and perhaps as a read aloud for ages 10 and up.  There are some intense scenes where Egyptians whip or beat a slave.  I did not have a problem with my 3 “big girls” reading it themselves but I’ve decided not to read it aloud to Supergirl.

What did my children think? They enjoyed the book.  I’ve included their thoughts below.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “I don’t usually read books like the books from Raising Real Men, but this one is an exception. I loved the story. I LOVE the fact that although she put her own beliefs in there, it was relatively fitting with the storyline! I wouldn’t put this on my read a million times a month list, but I would suggest it to my friends!”

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 15): “The story was gripping, and it brought the 7 plagues to life, especially for the Egyptians. It really showed that the Egyptians were real people, with hopes, thoughts, and fears. When I reached the part of the death of the firstborn sons, I cried. The author made the events very real to me. The one thing I did not like about the book was the way some of the characters talked about God. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t match my understanding of Jewish culture. Overall, it was an excellent book. I highly recommend it.”

Thoughts from BooBear (Age 17): “It was a very compelling story, and not a difficult read, though thought provoking. It was also very moving at moments. We have all read the story of Exodus, but this book really made it real. I don’t think it was real for me before. It was hard for me to grasp just how devastating things were back then for Israelites and Egyptians.There were several points that made me want to cry.”

My Bottom Line: I think this is an excellent book for enhancing a study of Egypt for children ages 12 and up (to read alone) or as a read aloud for children ages 10 and up.  This is book is an excellent reminder that the the events of Exodus happened to real people with real emotions.  I know I won’t be reading the book of Exodus in the same old detached way I used to. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Currently there are a limited number of advanced reader copies available for $12.50.

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about A Cry from Egypt or Children in Church.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

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