Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent

When Tabitha's shepherd family rescues Jotham, a lost boy, little does she know this simple act of kindness will lead her on a whirl-wind adventure all the way to the stable where Jesus is born. Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent is written by Arnold Ytreeide and is designed to be a family story and devotional time during Advent.

Tabitha is the daughter of Eliakim, a shepherd in ancient Israel. She disdains her place in Jewish society. Because she's a girl, she's thought of as less worthy than her male peers. She looks for opportunities to prove that she's every bit as good as a boy. When Jotham shows up, lost and wounded, she has compassion on the young boy and befriends him. He seeks his family, from whom he became separated some time before. Despite Tabitha's uncle's insistence the boy is trouble, her father allows Jotham to remain with their caravan, but won't allow him to search for his family in the direction Jotham believes them to be.

When another caravan passes by, heading the way Jotham thinks his family went, the young boy leaves, believing he will soon be reunited with those he loves. However, within a day or so, Eliakim learns the caravan belonged to Decha of Megiddo, a thief and murderer. When this is discovered, Eliakim and his brothers vow to rescue the boy. Tabitha begs to go along to help find her friend.

Over the course of the book, Tabitha runs into, and is aided by, familiar Biblical men and women, including Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Anna. She even runs into Mary and Joseph, who are on their way to Bethlehem. Through many trials, including her father being arrested by Roman soldiers, being kidnapped herself, and having to disguise herself as a boy to go into Qumran, Tabitha eventually rescues her father and sees Jotham reunited with his family. The story ends with the angel delivering the news of Jesus' birth to the shepherd families, and the families visit the stable and Jesus' family.

What I Like: Tabitha's Travels is meant to be used as a family devotional time during the Christmas season. Every story has an accompanying reflection statement or question, often with supporting scripture, covering topics such as kindness, courage, and accepting Christ into your life. The stories are short, probably a ten or fifteen minute read. They're engaging not just to kids, but to the adults who will be reading along with them.

In the back of the book is a table that tells you for the next few decades when Advent begins so you can begin the book at the proper time to correlate with the end coming on Christmas day.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 9 - 12, but I feel kids both older and younger would enjoy the story.

Publisher Info: Kregel Publications, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-8254-4172-1; Paperback, 159 pages, $13.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $7.99

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $10.07.

Special Info: The companion books to Tabitha's Travels have been reviewed here. Also, while I think younger children may enjoy this story, parents should preview each day's chapter(s) for suitability for their own children. Some scenes may be a little scary, so you may want or need to gloss over some aspects to lessen the intensity.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: