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Joanna of Jerusalem Review by Dawn Oaks

By Edith E. Cutting
Tate Publishing
127 E. Trade Center Terrace
Mustang, Oklahoma 73064

Do your kids love a great story? Do you wish there were a way to really communicate the culture of life in Bible times in our high-tech industrialized society? If you can answer both of these questions with a resounding yes, you will not be disappointed with Joanna of Jerusalem by Edith Cutting.

This is the adventure of a teenage Jewish girl as she is kidnapped while attempting to protect her family's business. She must fight to get reunited with her family. The journey brings not only adventure but a stirring of Joanna's soul. An internal struggle ensues surrounding whether she will honor past traditions of her culture or what she comes to realize that her heart desires. The strength of her relationship with her family and her respect for them makes the decision all the more difficult.

Our family enjoyed this book on many levels. It gave us a bird's-eye view of the Jewish custom of being betrothed and all that it meant to a young girl and her family. The adventure and romance throughout the story creates an allure for the tweens, teens, and even adults in your home. There are many twists in the plot that keeps your attention throughout.

On a more concrete level, the text is a bit larger, making it an inviting tale for middle to older elementary children to pick up and read on their own. An added benefit of purchasing Joanna of Jerusalem is that it, like many other books by Tate Publishing, comes with a special download code. This wonderful perk enables you to download an audio version of the book from the publisher's website completely free of charge. As a homeschooling family on the go, this means easy listening in the car by the whole family. It can also mean a way of entertaining a younger child by letting him listen on an MP3 player while the older kids finish school. It is also a way to make this adventure available to your auditory learner or struggling reader. This feature made an already wonderful book become a true winner in our home.

Product review by Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2011