This year I’ve been trying to read books from a variety of genres.  This review is for a book in a genre that I do not typically read from.  However, based on this book, I may be reading more from this genre!

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Peggy Miracle Consolver’s book, Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer tells the story of Keshub, a thirteen year old Gibeonite shepherd who finds himself in a world of turmoil. At first his only concern is avoiding the neighborhood bully, but life quickly changes. Keshub becomes friends with the son of the king of the Amorites, and Keshub learns that not everyone has a happy home life as he, himself, does. He learns that the Amorite king is cruel and evil, and Keshub soon feels sorry for his new friend. But that is not the only concern for Keshub. The Hebrews are systematically attacking and destroying town after town, and Keshub and his family worry that Gibeon will be next. When the walls of Jericho come falling down and Keshub’s brother watches the destruction firsthand, Keshub’s father knows the time for action has come. But can the Gibeonites be saved?

While this book is a very good read on its own, Consolver has added some wonderful extra features. At the end of the novel, she includes 10 discussion questions for small groups. These questions attempt to further personalize the novel and the situations found within by asking questions such as, “What events in your own family history proved to be life changing?” and “Have you ever been the target of a bully? How did you react? Was the situation resolved? How?”

In addition, she also offers further study. At her personal website, Consolver has a 13 unit study guide that includes maps, YouTube video links, and research links to enhance the reading experience and increase readers’ knowledge of the storyline and Biblical events.

I enjoyed this book immensely. At 375 pages, it is a meaty read. Consolver’s writing skill brings Biblical events to life. How fascinating to hear the tale of the Hebrews’ advance from a young shepherd boy who is scared but trusting, first in his father, then in God. Keshub’s character development is enjoyable to witness. Consolver, who has taught Sunday school for 35 years and even participated in an archaeological dig and visited Gibeon, brings this story to life.

Most high school students and adults can enjoy this book. Whether it’s read for pleasure or as part of your child’s historical or religious education, this is a book that can’t be missed!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

This post was originally written for and published on The Old Schoolhouse.

Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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