HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Prophet’s Kid
Author: Jim Ware
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers, 2001
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ware, Jim. The Prophet’s Kid (published in 2001 for Focus on the Family by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Bethany Fellowship International, 11400 Hampshire Ave. S., Bloomington, MN 55438). It is c. 740-730 B. C., and Ahaz is King in Jerusalem. Three young boys, Ezra, She’ar-Yashub, known as Shub, and Hezekiah are best friends. Ezra’s father is Tola, a scribe. Shub’s father is the prophet Isaiah. And Hezekiah’s father is King Ahaz. Unfortunately, Ahaz has allowed the cult of the pagan deity Molech to rise in Judah. Even Ezra’s mother Jehudith has been influenced. Although both Tola and Isaiah have warned the boys about the danger of Molech worship, Ezra thinks that if his mother is involved then it can’t be all that bad and feels that he must see for himself. So he talks Shub and Hezekiah into going with him. How does Ezra’s disobedience put Hezekiah in special danger? What will happen to the boys? Will they be able to escape?
The Prophet’s Kid, which is Book #8 of 8 in the KidWitness Tales Series from the Heritage Builders of Focus on the Family, is Biblical historical fiction. While some of the characters, especially Ezra and his family, and the plot’s specific story line are fictional, many of the individuals, such as Isaiah, She’ar-Yashub, Ahaz, and Hezekiah are all mentioned in the Bible, and the events in which they engage are in harmony with the Scriptural record of their lives and characters. This is an exciting, action-packed adventure tale that will keep kids turning the pages. An added benefit is the Biblical information related to the historical background. And young readers can learn some important lessons from the mistakes that Ezra and his friends make.
One public library reviewer did not care for the book (probably not a big surprise here), saying that the author and publishers “have done their best to make the children sound like young people of today, and succeed all too well–the youngsters are not convincingly a part of their historical time frame. Transporting 21st-century attitudes and behaviors into the past results in stories that ultimately fail to convince or engage.” The fact is that kids will be kids in all generations, and I’m sure that the same kinds of rebellious attitudes that we often see in children today existed in Biblical times as well. Furthermore, one point that we Bible-believers always try to make is that the stories of the Bible, even fictionalized as in this book, can be applied to problems that are relevant to today’s youth. I picked up The Prophet’s Kid at a homeschool conference and highly recommend it.