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Jude's Gentle Giants Review by Melissa Batai

Les Graham
BRITCHIN BOOKS from Colfax Publishing
616 270th Ave NW Suite G
New London, MN 56273

Jude’s Gentle Giants, by Les Graham, is a story of one boy’s coming of age while raising two Percheron horses and remaining true to his Christian beliefs. This story is 207 pages long, and the book itself is 215 pages long. (There is an excerpt of the sequel to this book, Surrendering the Reins, at the end of the book.) The book retails for $14.95.

This book is a good read for young adults, ages 9 and up. Homeschoolers, as well as traditionally educated children, can appreciate this story, especially if they love horses, are Christian, or both!

My son (age 11) and I read this book together, for about 20 minutes a day, over the course of six weeks. We both enjoyed the book and appreciated the wholesome aspect of it. Even though the plot revolved around high school students, the protagonist, Jude Bonner, and his friends stayed on a straight and narrow path. Whenever Jude felt angry or jealous about some bullies in school, his dad was always quick to remind him that a Christian approach was best. In addition, the artist hid a small cross in every drawing at the beginning of each chapter, so we had fun looking for those.

While we enjoyed the book overall, my son was squeamish about some parts of the story such as Jude and his friends’ rat hunting expedition. Also, some parts of farm life and raising horses were not explained thoroughly, so if you didn’t have that knowledge (and we don’t) the book can be a bit challenging to fully understand in some parts.

If you’re looking for a wholesome book about horses and a boy’s coming of age, this may be the perfect book for your child. While Jude occasionally struggles with behaving in a Christian fashion, his parents are always available to gently steer him back on track. We should all hope to have children who are so strongly rooted in their faith as Jude is.

--Product Review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2015