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I love finding good book series for my kids in the early chapter book stage. It seems like there’s a lot of junk written for this age group.
We previously reviewed books 1 and 2 in this series. This was before my middle kids were reading chapter books well, so it was a bit tedious for my son. We read them together. This time, they were read independently. It’s amazing how much progress can be made in just a year and a half!
What Are These Books?
These books are fictional accounts of Biblical events. It’s important to remind your kids that they are just one author’s interpretation of the events, and NOT inspired texts.
The books feature nine-year-old Peter and his ten-year-old sister, Mary. They found hidden scrolls that allow them to travel through time and experience events in person.
How We Used These Books
I had my third-grade daughter read these books. She hadn’t read the first two, so she read those first.
These books are short (about 100 pages) and a quick read. She was able to read one or two chapters a day during our Quiet Reading Time (which is 15 minutes). She also read a bit in the car on a recent trip.
My fourth grade son also read book three. He reads at a bit of a slower pace, but these were still manageable for him. He will also read book four, but he did not do so during the review period.
These were just a fun addition to our reading time, and a way to spark discussion about the events in the books.
What My Daughter Thought of the Books
My daughter, Ellie, will add to this review. Here are her thoughts:
I liked the Secret of the Hidden Scroll books. Mary was my favorite character. She is brave.
My favorite part is when they were in the pyramids in book three. There was a scary cat, but the books weren’t scary.
I liked the pictures in the books. I like that they weren’t very hard to read. The journal that Peter keeps is neat. I like that it’s written in different letters (in a different font).
Number three is my very favorite of all four. I like how they cross the Red Sea, and that it’s about one of my favorite Bible stories. I hope they make more books like these.
What the Books Are About
The Great Escape (Book #3) is a fictionalized account of the plagues of Egypt through the parting of the Red Sea and the Israelites escaping from the Egyptian army.
Throughout the book, the Great Magician works to stop the events. He has a role in every book, though his name changes. He is Satan, always hard at work to try to prevent God’s work, but never succeeding.
There are some places that might be a bit scary for young readers, though my eight-year-old handled them well with some discussion. Just a heads up if you are reading aloud to younger kids, or having a sensitive child read them.
Journey to Jericho (Book #4) once again features Peter and Mary. This time, the scroll takes them to Joshua’s camp outside of Jericho.
Joshua thinks they are spies, until Mary writes the Hebrew name Y-H-W-H in the sand. This makes Joshua realize that they can be trusted. They meet Rahab, and the man in black – the person who represents Satan in this book.
The book ends with the falling of the walls around Jericho, and the children learning that God always keeps His promises.
What I Thought
These books are quick reads, and help students think more about events from the Old Testament. I like that they include a key truth, in each book the two kids have to solve the secret of the scroll. This secret is a phrase that’s written on the scrolls and they have to figure out what it is.
They are a clean, uplifting book for early chapter book readers. I recommend them, and hope they make more!
I was one of 60 reviewers of these books. To see what other families thought, please click on the banner below.