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The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes Review by Maggi BeardsleyBy Dan Liberto
Wine Press Publishing Kids
Do you remember the story of Ruth? Have you ever thought about its impact on a child? What is the message for children inside the book of Ruth? The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes is an 80-page paperback book that will help you answer that question. The story is written for children ages 6 to 13.
The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes is an interactive story that is best read side-by-side with a child. The book is divided into five parts: a prologue, a story, the harvest, God's plan or Naomi's plan, and redemption. It opens with an 8-year-old girl named Ruth fighting with her brother over her doll. He wants it, but she doesn't want to give it up. Mom comes in to break up the fight and says, "Do you realize that God has a plan for you far greater than this doll and all of your toys?" (page xvii). From there, Mom slowly unravels the story of Ruth. The story focuses on the context of the mother-daughter relationship.
Chapter one in The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes is about Ruth chapter 1. There are small pictures throughout the chapter as well as verses from other parts of the Bible. The girl Ruth interjects at the perfect times. For example, when Mom reads about Mara, the girl Ruth asks who Mara was. It was a question my own daughter stopped to ask me because she thought only Ruth and Naomi were the characters in the story. The author then has the mom retell a family story that her daughter can recall and relate to the Bible story. Slowly, Ruth is able to see God's plan for her. At the end of each chapter, there are questions that a parent can ask a child. There is also a page where the child can reflect about how the story relates to his or her own life.
I read this to my 7-year-old daughter. While she could have read it herself, I do think that this book is best used as a read-aloud. It could be read to a group of children or just one child. I think that it would be most effective in a one-on-one setting with a parent and child. My daughter had heard the story of Ruth in Sunday school, but like the girl in the story she didn't understand how it related to her. Each night I would read a new chapter to her. She eagerly awaited the next chapter each day. There were plenty of spots for us to stop and ponder together or for me to interject part of my daughter's history into the story. There are great opportunities to talk about individual faith. Using The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes, I had an opportunity to share stories of my own faith with my daughter.
The book's website is worth a visit. The story of the author's journey to write about Ruth is interesting. There is a giving program that raises money through contests, and students will enjoy the thought-provoking blog too. The Story of Ruth Through a Child's Eyes is a book worth reading with your children. It will create a bridge of living faith between you, them, and God.