Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Deborah Saves the Day

There are more than 100 titles in the Arch Books library. Deborah Saves the Day, written by Eric Rottmann, uses rhyming verse to retell the story of this prophetess as found in Judges 4-5.

The Canaanite Sisera ruled over the people of Israel. God sent Deborah as an answer to the people's prayers. Barak, a mighty warrior, was afraid to fight Sisera, so Deborah promised to go with him. Side by side they would defeat the cruel leader. Sisera sought safety in the Jael's tent. Once he fell asleep, Jael killed him. Deborah sang praises to God when the victory was won.

The book continues by correlating this story to our lives today. Just as God gave Deborah to Barak in his time of doubt, God has given us Jesus Christ. God also gives us other people to care for us and angels to guide and watch over us.

The final page is a letter to parents. It encourages them to use this story to quell children's fears and reassure them that God always provides for us, even in uncertain times. The author quotes Psalm 23:1, 4; Romans 8:31; and Hebrews 13:5.

The illustrations by Stephen Marchesi offer realistic impressions and lots of color. The paintings appear to possess a texture. This softens the edges and emits a warm feel.

What I Like: Deborah is not often covered in children's literature! I like that the author makes a clear application of this story for us today. The letter to parents is exceptional. I really like the inclusion of additional Scripture passages. And the price! You can't beat Arch books for value.

What I Dislike: The back of the book claims this story is presented in a "fun-to-read way children ages 5-9 will understand and remember." My daughter is 6 and she didn't find this book fun or understandable. She liked the story, but kept asking "What does that mean?" After I explained it to her in my own words, then she understood and now can repeat the essence of the story in her own words. I feel the rhyming text detracts from the story, inhibiting reader's comprehension.

This isn't a huge deal, but I also felt the book minimized Barak's role in this story. According to Scripture, Deborah and Jael were only given credit for victory because of Barak's lack of faith. Yet this retelling really pushes him to the side, giving him a very minor role indeed.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 5-9

Publisher Info: Concordia Publishing House, 2008; ISBN: 0758614578; Paperback; $2.49

Buy it Now at for $1.99!

Special Info: Jesus is pictured on one page, though his face is not clearly shown. See our reviews of other Arch books.

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