HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A Journey to Unshakable Faith
Author: Sydney Witbeck
Publisher: Book Baby, 2021
Related website(s): https://www.ajourneytounshakablefaith.com (book)
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 8-14
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Witbeck, Sydney. A Journey to Unshakable Faith (Published in 2021 by Book Baby). Fourteen year old Esther is a princess, the daughter of Pellingor and Ariana, king and invalid queen of Alvastia. Their castle is surrounded by enemy soldiers under General Ornus, leader of the northern army of Malon, the older brother of Pellingor, who was disinherited because of his rebellion against their father but has now returned to conquer Alvastia. For her own safety, the king and queen send Esther through a secret passageway exit to Talenthor, the homeland of her mother’s people. Caught by Malon’s scouts, she is secretly let go by a young soldier. At Talenthor, Esther is befriended by Reia, a girl her own age, and Reia’s family, with whom she stays. Will Esther ever be able to return home? What has happened to Alvastia and her parents? And why did that soldier in Malon’s troop allow her to escape?
A Journey to Unshakable Faith has a strong good versus evil theme firmly based on a Biblical worldview. Scriptures quoted throughout the book are footnoted. The main take away is trust in God, who is real, no matter what happens, as illustrated by Esther’s growth in both faith and courage. While author Sydney Witbeck, who is seventeen and homeschooled, says that the book is “the result of hearing how many moms were looking for fiction novels for girls that were both clean and Christian,” and the central character is a girl, a young man plays a vital role in the story, and there is enough excitement in the final battle scene, without being gory, to appease the appetite of any red-blooded American boy. I certainly enjoyed it. As one reviewer wrote, “I was really impressed by how clean this novel was.”