Monday, November 29, 2010

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Jotham, a shepherd boy, gets angry with his father for not letting him go to Hebron with his older brothers. He gets so angry, he runs away. He keeps running until he can’t run anymore. He finds himself in a cold, lonely spot, and he’s tired and hungry, but he won’t go home. He hears his father and brothers calling his name as they go looking for him, but he still won’t budge. His pride has been hurt.

The next morning, after spending the night alone, he heads back to where his father has left their caravan. Only problem is, when he gets there, everyone has gone. There’s no trace of anyone’s having been there, except for a pile of rocks with his name on it, signifying that his family thinks he’s dead.

Now, Jotham sets on a journey, his quest to find his family and make things right. Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent, written by Arnold Ytreeide, is set back in Biblical times, just a few days before Jesus’ birth. Jotham is eventually reunited with his family, but not before he encounters many characters, some good, some bad, with one in particular who wants to kill him and tries doing so on several occasions. Before he discovers his family, he learns things about his family: He finds he not only has a family connection to the man who wants him dead, he also is related to Mary and Joseph.

Like other Advent stories written by this author, this one is meant to be read and shared during the Advent season. It is broken down into chapters, one for each day of Advent. At the end of each chapter, the author has included discussion questions and ideas about that particular chapter. Most of them include Bible reference verses; some do not. The author also included, at the beginning of the book, an introduction about Advent, how it started and some modern-day customs.

What I Like: Everything.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 9-12.

Publisher Info: Kregel Publications, 2008; ISBN: 9780825441745; Paperback, 165 pages,

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Special Info: Read our reviews of other books by Arnold Ytreeide.

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