Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Amon's Adventures - A Family Easter Story

Following in the footsteps of his widely popular Advent series--"Jotham's Journey," "Bartholomew's Passage," and "Tabitha's Travels"--well-known author Arnold Ytreeide presents a captivating story to take families through the season of Lent, culminating on Easter Sunday.

Amon's Adventure: A Family Story For Easter [Paperback]
Thirteen-year-old Amon, the son of Jotham and Tabitha, enjoys playing with his friends but is also ready to join his father in the temple court where only men are allowed. Eager to be considered a man, Amon struggles to divide his time betweenhis friends and his duties to family and faith. But when Jotham is falsely accused of a terrible crime, Amon willingly sacrifices his childhood ways in order to save his father's life. Along the way, he sees the jubilant crowds that gathered on Palm Sunday, outwits the Roman soldiers that planned to kill both his father and Jesus, hears the Messiah address the angry crowds, is present during the daring betrayal of Judas Iscariot, and witnesses the ultimate sacrifice made on Good Friday.
With short, exciting chapters, reflections for family devotions, and advice for making Lent a meaningful experience, "Amon's Adventure" will help families discover anew the spiritual power of the resurrection story.
You can get yours at Deeper Shopping
My Take:
I purchased this book after enjoying one of the others by this author last year during Advent. I usually don't do much for Lent or the period of days leading up to Easter with the kids, but this year I really wanted to put more emphasis on what is really important this time of year. And not just on Easter Sunday. This book is used for that purpose. 
There are not quite forty chapters leading up to Easter, but close. You can read several times a week or read every day counting back as many days as chapters from Easter. Each chapter is part of the story as a whole and ends with a cliffhanger so the kids always want to read the next chapter. There is also a small paragraph for meditation at the end, with questions and thoughts to consider as well as point us to Jesus and the work he is doing in our lives.
Amon is a teenage boy in Jerusalem. His father and mother are both mentioned in previous books written for the Advent season. Amon has just officially become a man by Jewish tradition and is very zealous for the things of God, until his father is unjustly accused of a crime. With that accusation and seemingly no hope for release, Amon struggles with his faith. In the meantime, Jesus, a rabbi with strange new teachings comes to town. Amon despises him at first, then comes close to changing his mind, only to totally lose hope when Jesus is arrested and crucified. 
The main focus of the book is Amon's quest to prove his father's innocence. His quest is difficult and often brings more questions than answers, as well as, confusion about his faith, truth, and the conduct of those religious leaders in positions of authority. It's a well written tale. 
We really enjoyed reading this together in the evenings before bed. We used it as part of our family devotions. I think it would have been nice (in hindsight) to have had passages included from Scripture that dealt with certain things mentioned in the both the Bible and the story - such as the man healed by the pool of Bethesda, Jesus turning the tables in the temple, and his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. But that is just an added thought. You can also make the story more relational by going to the website and looking at the photos and maps of the area. 
I would definitely recommend this book. My kids loved it!

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