Becoming an author is quite exciting and it is even more exciting when it is someone from “the family” – The Old Schoolhouse. Jarm Del Boccio is a teacher at SchoolhouseTeachers.com and now an author bringing us her debut book, The Heart Changer.
The Heart Changer walks us through 2 Kings Chapter 5 and tells the story of a “little maid” or servant girl who becomes enslaved. Although The Heart Changer is fiction, the premise of the story is historically-based following the story of Naaman and his wife, and the servant girl, who Jarm Del Boccio has named Miriam. The story, which opens with Miriam’s town being attacked by Commander Naaman’s Syrian army immediately engages the reader. Del Boccio creates a fictional reality of the life of the servant girl and has written an interesting and nice read for young people. It is geared towards readers in middle school grades. It is only 112 pages, so it could be a quick read for many.
Miriam has been ripped away from her family and her home, becomes captive and made a slave in Naaman’s home. If you have read the chapter in 2 Kings, the focus is more on Naaman and his healing. The Heart Changer focuses on Miriam and the experiences she goes through as a person with freedom and then one who is a slave. Her captivity, which God allowed to happen, has placed her in the company of people who do not know or worship God. Miriam experiences many challenges, from hatred to despair. I like how Del Boccio shows Miriam’s transformation – The Heart Changer. God uses each of us for His purpose and Miriam’s capture served His purpose of bringing others to Him and also has a powerful impact on her life.
The Teacher Guide is 12 pages long and there is a link to the free guide on the book website. It not only enhances the story with comprehension questions and research activities, but also includes a section for taking notes and Syrian recipes for readers to try. The guide also includes insight into the main character, Miriam, and a Q&A with Jarm (“J” is pronounced “Y”) Del Boccio. It was nice getting to know a bit more about Jarm, which you may also do on her website. Jarm gave me other extras with the book – promotional material, a bookmark with quotes from the story and information on how to book her for school visits or speaking engagements.
I must admit I was not as familiar with the story of Naaman, but can relate to the many emotions Miriam experienced. I too would have been filled with hate and am not certain I would have allowed The Heart Changer to work on me. I am thankful for God’s love and compassion.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Heart Changer currently available for $12.99. Visit The Heart Changer website for more resources.
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