Monday, January 11, 2010
Race with Midnight, is adapted from the Children's Bible Hour broadcast, written by Agnes Livezey. In this evangelistic story, Becky goes to visit her cousin, Sarah, on her ranch in Montana. Becky is excited about taking the train with her dad, and she can't wait to learn to ride horses with Sarah. As Becky is leaving, her mom reminds her Sarah and her parents haven't accepted Jesus as their Savior yet. She suggests Becky look for opportunities to share her faith with Sarah.
As Becky learns to ride Midnight, she points out the beauty of God's creation to Sarah, and explains how to become a Christian. Sarah is interested, but it isn't until Becky and Sarah lose Midnight and get lost that she realizes she needs God in her life. As the girls trust Sarah's horse, Pal, to find the way home, Becky compares Sara's trust in Pal to her own trust in God. When they reach home safely, Sarah tells her parents she has decided to trust in Jesus. Becky is delighted, because, "She loved everyone around the table so much. She wanted them all to feel a love far greater than she could ever give-the love of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
The book includes a page at the back explaining how to admit your sin; believe in Jesus; and choose to trust Jesus for forgiveness. It also comes with an audio CD, in which the story is read aloud by "Uncle Charlie"and set to subtle background music.
Robert Sauber's colorful, realistic watercolors give a beautiful picture of mountains, landscapes, wildflowers, and sky found on a Montana ranch.
What I Like: I like the clarity of the gospel message, and the way Becky works it into everyday conversation. We can all recognize the beauty of creation, and this is a non-threatening way to introduce the topic of God. I also like seeing Becky pray and ask God for an opportunity to share her faith with Sarah and her parents.
The watercolors truly are spectacular and transport you to a Montana ranch in summer. The sky alone is breathtaking, and the horses are strong and well-proportioned. The girls look friendly and inviting, and Sauber does a good job matching their facial expressions to the situations they are in.
What I Dislike: I felt like Becky's mom placed quite a burden on her to share the gospel with her cousin's family. She says, "You know, they haven't trusted Jesus as their Savior yet, but maybe you can tell them about Jesus." I realize the book is short and couldn't go into detail about the two families, but I wondered whether Becky's mom had ever shared her faith with them, and why she felt Becky should be the one to tell them. Becky's mom did say she would be praying for all of them, but I still felt like Becky had a huge responsibility.
It seems a little odd to have an older gentleman reading the story on CD when so much of the book is dialogue between Becky and Sarah.
Overall Rating: Very Good
Age Appeal: unlisted, but I would say 6-12
Publisher Info: CBH Ministries, 2009; ISBN: 978-0-9825120-0-5; Paperback, $10.00
Buy it at Amazon.com for $10.00.