Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Cry From Egypt (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

The other day, Addison and I were discussing historical fiction books. I don't know if there's an official delineation amongst historical fiction works, but we've divided them into two categories. We first talked about stories that focus on the story and are also set in a particular time. On the other end of the spectrum are the historical fiction books that focus on bringing historical events to life. These books don't just take place during a particular historical period; the books tell the story of the time. The details are fictionalized, but the events stay true to the historical record. I'd put A Cry From Egypt by Hope Auer in the latter category -- a book that brings history to life.

Hope Auer is a homeschool graduate with a passion for history and a love for telling stories. What once started as a simple writing assignment during a study of Ancient Egypt is now an outstanding book bringing the lives of the Israelite slaves in Egypt to life. A Cry for Egypt tells the story of a young Israelite girl living in Goshen when Moses and Aaron approach Pharaoh asking for the Israelites' freedom.

Throughout the story we walk beside Jarah as she works gathering straw to make bricks, washes clothes in the Nile, and befriends a young Egyptian girl. I could feel the exhaustion and desperation of the Hebrew slaves as they struggled to meet the demands of the overseers, and I could feel their hope as they saw the miracles Moses worked. The book stays true to the events recorded in Exodus, but the story I've heard so many times takes on a new meaning when I imagine what it must have been like to be living there during such a turbulent time.  I read the story as a read-aloud with Brennan, and eventually I got to a point where I was so drawn into the story that I read ahead on my own to see how the book ended.

Not only was A Cry From Egypt a great story, it was also a great example of a excellent writing skills. When I was reading, I often stopped to point out instances when the author chose strong verbs or descriptive adjectives to bring the story to life. We noticed how the characters rarely just said something. Instead they "replied cooly, though with evident pride," "commanded," or "sighed despondently."

A Cry From Egypt is written at a level suitable for middle school or older students, but I think adults would also enjoy this deeper look at the Exodus story. I highly recommend it for all families -- families that enjoy engaging read-alouds, students wanting to take a closer look at the story of the Israelites' redemption from Egyptian bondage, or homeschoolers looking to add a greater depth of understanding to their Biblical history studies.

A Cry From Egypt is been published by Great Waters Press, the same company that published the award winning book Raising Real Men and more recently Children in Church. You can purchase an advance reader copy of the book for $12.50 by visiting the A Cry From Egypt website.

If you'd like to read more about either A Cry From Egypt or Children in Church, you can find other reviews on the Schoolhouse Crew blog (click the banner below to go directly to this review).

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of A Cry From Egypt as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...