Monday, September 24, 2012

Schoolhouse Review: Raising Real Men's A Cry From Egypt


There are so many wonderful things for me to share with you about A Cry From Egypt by Hope Auer.  The newest book in my library of EXCELLENT read-alouds, Hope has written a wonderful story for families of all ages (recommended for children 8 and older, but could easily be enjoyed by younger children as a read-aloud with a few edits from mom).  The first of hopefully many to come in "The Promised Land" series,  A Cry From Egypt had me staying up late to finish reading, but wishing it did not have to end.  I simply can't wait for the next installment to see what happens to 12-year-old Jarah and the rest of her family and friends as they escape Pharaoh and head out into the land they have been promised -- and neither can my children.

PhotobucketThis 195-page softcover book is the fictional first-hand retelling of the Biblical account of Moses securing the release of the Israelites and it will will make you fall in love with Yahweh all over again.  I was overwhelmed by the details in the familiar story as I read through each of the plagues that were wrought upon the Egyptians due to Pharaoh's stubborn heart.  What WAS he thinking?

We were filled with wonder at the idea that as the Egyptians were tormented with flies, locusts, darkness and death, the Israelites were left untouched.  Although I have read and studied this familiar story countless times, I had never really thought about it like this.  No bloody water, no dead cattle, no thick darkness for the Israelites.  Of course GOD would put protective barriers around HIS people -- just like HE wants to do today for all who call upon HIS NAME.  {Isn't that a beautiful picture of love and grace?  Oh, how I want to be hidden and protected by HIM.}

Talk about bringing the plagues to life.  A Cry From Egypt does more than bring the plagues visited upon the Egyptians to life -- it makes them so very REAL -- to the extent that you can actually feel them as you read.  I don't like frogs (thanks to my little brother who used to chase me with them or hide them in the mailbox for me to find when I collected our mail -- UGH, the very memory still makes me shiver).  As I read through the plague of the frogs arrival,  I could feel them and see them and smell them and hear them.  Talk about YUCK.  The descriptions of the frogs that kept on coming -- their size and shape and number -- and the slime trails that they left behind was almost too much for me.  That ONE plague would have been enough for me.  And yet Pharaoh kept changing his mind.

Now, mind you, I know how the story turns out -- but it was eye-opening to read it again with fresh eyes.  (Reading aloud the chapter on the Passover made my heart ache but the preparations for the Exodus were full of joy.)   I can't wait to read what "happens next" and to find out if Jarah's Egyptian friend is found safe.  I want to travel alongside the families as they make their way to their new home and celebrate with them at births and weddings to come.

I was especially touched when reading Hope's heart as she shared why she wrote A Cry From Egypt. Here's what she had to say:
My goal in writing this book was to give others a glimpse into the lives of people who were impacted by GOD's awesome power -- for good or for bad -- and to encourage others in their faith.  . . . I pray that as you read this book you will see this Bible story in ways that you've never seen it before.  . . .  I also tried to show the heart of GOD and the nature of man:  how GOD sees things that we don't see, and how GOD is constantly asking us to draw near to HIM.
I've said it before and I must say it again.  This is my heart's desire -- to see my children draw near to our HEAVENLY FATHER.  I want them to KNOW the power of GOD and FEEL HIS LOVE for them.  A Cry From Egypt helps us do just that.

One of my favorite passages from our reading was after Jarah had been beaten by an Egyptian guard for a minor infraction.  (This was a severe beating and I found it hard to continue reading.  BUT I am so glad that I did.)  During the beating, Jarah prays to Yahweh to give her strength and she begs the guard to stop.  She looks up at him and this is what he sees:
Jarah's face was full of pain and sorrow, but yet, he saw something else in her eyes -- something he had never, ever seen before.  He saw love in her eyes.  Love for her brother, and love for . . . him.
That is such a beautiful picture of love to me -- GOD's love.  The guard sees love for the very first time through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl and I am reminded that I need to show love to others in just this same way.  JESUS loved me enough to take my pain and sin and shame with HIM to the cross.  I need to make a point to shower others with grace and pour HIS LOVE out to them.  May others see the light of JESUS in my eyes.

You can read an excerpt from the book AND purchase an advance reader copy for $12.50.  What a great way to help your children understand GOD's WORD as they see the story of GOD's mercy come to life and step right off of the pages.  (And what a neat thing to know that you are supporting a homeschooling graduate when you do so.  I really like the fact that author Hope Auer is one of us.)   Historical Fiction at its finest, Hope has even included her research notes about ancient Egypt, pharaohs and the timeline surrounding the Exodus in the final pages of A Cry From Egypt.   Your family can dig deeper into their study when they check out the referenced websites.

Published by Great Waters Press, a labor of love of Hal and Melanie Young of Raising Real Men, A Cry From Egypt will make a great addition to your library.  I also whole-heartedly recommend Hal and Melanie's book Raising Real Men:  Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys.  It has been an excellent resource for me as I attempt to nurture the heart of my son.



~Disclaimer:  I was given the opportunity to read A Cry From Egypt as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I received the book in exchange for my honest review. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of both A Cry From Egypt and Children in Church:  nurturing hearts of worship by Great Waters Press.~

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1 comment:

  1. Frogs- ooh! Funny how the incidents like that from childhood have such an impact still.

    This was a great book. I'm ready for more from this author already.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!