This year, my boys and I started studying ancient history for the first time. When we began homeschooling, we started our history stories with the medeival time period because, well, I thought knights and castles would be a LOT more interesting to my two young boys. While I find the study of ancient history very exciting, I have always been worried about tackling this topic with my kids. How can I make something that happened so long ago seem entertaining?? Won’t they just be bored??? And what about the stories of all the gods people worshipped long ago? How do I handle that?
Fortunately, our study of the ancients is going much better than expected!! And, the book I got to read with my kids for this review, was both interesting and exciting. Hal and Melanie Young, the authors of Raising Real Men, have their own publishing company called Great Waters Press. Through this company, they work to publish books that “make biblical family life practical”. One of these books is A Cry From Egypt, written by Hope Auer (a homeschool graduate :)) and illustrated by Mike Slaton (another homeschool graduate!!).
The story focuses on Jarah, an Israelite slave in Egypt before the Exodus, and the struggles she and her family face. They are torn between remaining loyal to the God they know, in the face of all the Egyptian gods. Jarah witnesses firsthand the brutality the slaves faced, but she also witnesses the saving hand and the awesome power of God as the plagues come to Egypt. (below is a picture of the author, Hope Auer)
I don’t want to tell you too much about the story, because you really need to read it for yourself. I will tell you that I was very impressed with how well this book was written (and the fact that it was written by a homeschooler didn’t escape my notice 🙂 ). Hope began writing this novel when she was 13, and she has worked on it ever since. What I love most about this book is that the biblical and historical details fit in so well with the story. Sometimes, when reading historical fiction, some of the “history” can seem like it’s “forced” into the book. That is not the case with A Cry From Egypt. The story fits together seamlessly, making it very easy to read!
I used this as a read-aloud with my 6th grade son, to complement the ancient history program we are already using. He could have read it on his own, but after looking it over when I received it, I knew I wanted to read it too!! My older son is also studying the same time period, but with a different program. However, I discovered he often found a way to be nearby when we were doing our read-aloud, because he wanted to hear the story too!!
Most of the chapters were easily read in one sitting, and it was really cool when my boys would make the connection between the story, and the things we were reading in Bible and History for school that day/week. It’s like the book helped to bring the facts to life for them, which is AWESOME, in my opinion!! This book is the first in the “Promised Land” series, so I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the books!
Great Waters Press also has other books available that you might want to check out. A Cry From Egypt costs $12.50, and I think it is worth it. On top of being a great story, the illustrations and cover art are gorgeous, and the book itself has nice thick pages and is well put together (that’s important around my house, because books get carried everywhere, and we need ones that are going to stay together!!).
For more information, check out the website here:
To see what other members of the crew had to say about this book, and the other one we received from Raising Real Men, click here:
**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.