HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Jonathan Park: A Startling Discovery
Author: John J. Horn with Pat and Sandy Roy
Cover Illustrator: Daniel Prislovsky
Publisher: Vision Forum, 2013
Related websites: http://www.jonathanpark.com (series), http://www.visionforum.org (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8-12 but suitable for everyone
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Horn, John J., with Roy, Pat and Sandy. Jonathan Park: A Startling Discovery (published in 2013 by Vision Forum Ministries, 4719 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, TX 78212). Eleven year old Jonathan Park lives with his dad Dr. Kendall Park, his mom Angela, his older sister Katie, and his grandfather Benjamin Park, in Santa Fe, NM. Dr. Park was a respected paleontologist who worked at a museum in Montana, but when he began to find evidence which showed that creationism fits the known facts better than evolution, he was fired and returned to his father’s home in Santa Fe. One night, when he and Jonathan are on their way to Ghost Ranch to obtain a fossil that will give evidence for creation, they are stopped by a flood at Abiquiu, NM, and take refuge in a cave on a ranch owned by Jim Brenan who, with his wife Martha, and ten year old daughter Jessie, also seeks to escape the flood in the care. The Brenan’s five year old son Ryan is with his grandmother. The two families find common bonds and strike up a friendship.
While in the cave, Jonathan and Jessie discover a Coelophysis fossil. As a result, the Brenans and Parks decide a few days later to build a creation museum on the ranch. However, someone else named Simon Addleman wants the Brenans’ land too, and he’ll do anything to get it. Why does he want it? Will Jim Brenan be able to save his ranch? And what can Jonathan and Jessie do to help? A Startling Discovery, which is Book 1 in the “Jonathan Park Adventure Fiction” series, is adapted from the Jonathan Park radio episodes 1-4 in the audio album Jonathan Park Volume I: The Adventure Begins. As I understand it, Pat and Sandy Roy wrote the original radio drama, and John Horn adapted it for the book. I had heard of the Jonathan Park radio adventures for years—they began in 1998–and even listened to a few random episodes while driving. So when I saw these books, I immediately purchased them.
However, before I had a chance to read them, some friends of ours loaned us the first two albums of Jonathan Park compact discs so that we could listen to them while on a trip. We really enjoyed them, and the books are every bit as good. The Jonathan Park project provides children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God. Furthermore, the stories illustrate godly attitudes and actions in dealing with various relationships and situations. The young people are not always pictured as “ipsy-pipsy perfect.” They occasionally make bad decisions and sometimes display wrong dispositions, as children often do, but they are learning from their mistakes as they are being trained in the ways of the Lord. The picture of family is both Biblical and refreshing. Besides, the action makes for very exciting reading. As Dr. Park says, “This is our Father’s world. God created it. We can explore it. So, live the adventure!”