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Foundlings (Book One of the Peleg Chronicles) Review by Krystin CorneilsonBy Matthew Christian Harding
Zoe & Sozo Publishing
3034 Millers Landing Road
Gloucester, Virginia 23061
With the cover of the book proudly proclaiming "No Magic," "No Evolution," and "No Humanism,"Foundlings is an adventure novel in the spirit of Lord of the Rings. There are dragons, dwarfs, giants, and other creatures in this tale geared to 'tweens and above. The good guys are Christians (referred to as those who believe in Noah's God), and the bad guys are fire-breathing dragons, chief priests gone wrong, and other power-hungry characters. It is set in the days of Peleg, after the Great Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the dispersion of man, "when beasts were more numerous than men." It is a dramatization of how man fought back to regain control of the earth. Scripture is prevalent in the story, both plainly spoken and deftly woven into the description of events. The book includes a section in the back of Scriptural references for such truths as "Jesus Created Us," "Jesus Redeemed Us," and "The Schoolmaster/Law," which also includes questions to the reader for deeper understanding.
In a homeschool setting, this book could be used as literature to study, as part of a Bible study, or simply as pleasure reading. It could be used as a read-aloud, which would probably be preferable for younger kids who may have questions about the content. Perhaps an even grander use for the book is to offer it to kids who may not yet have a relationship with Jesus Christ. It certainly makes the time period come alive and shows how only God could have enabled humans to survive in such a dark world.
Pros: This is an exciting Christian alternative to novels with wizards, witches, and magic. I am pleased to offer my boys a book that will satisfy their fascination with dragons as well as help them visualize the power of God. Reading God's Word throughout the novel is just another way to help them absorb it in their hearts.
Cons: Although the website indicates Foundlings is for ages 10 and up, my avidly reading 10-year-old son had a hard time with it and eventually gave up. I think he'll want to read it in a year or two. I too found it difficult to immerse myself in that world, but I believe that many, if not most, teenage boys would have no problem jumping right in. Once I adapted to the writing style and figured out who was who, I couldn't wait to see what happened. The details are rich and vivid. Of course, being Book One, it has a cliffhanger ending.
I would certainly recommend this book, especially to families with teen to young adult boys. I look forward to gathering the other books in the series as they are released so I can find out what happens!
Product review by Krystin Corneilson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2009