We had the opportunity to review The Great Escape (Book #3) and Journey to Jericho (Book #4), which are the third and fourth books in the series, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls from the WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.
I enjoy reading and fortunately, my children enjoy reading too. When they were younger, the books they read were shorter and I had more time to read through each one before I handed them off to them to be read. As they have gotten older, the books are longer, and my time is shorter. Finding “safe books” (i.e. books where you don’t have to worry about reading through before you hand it off to your child) is not as easy when it comes to new books that are being published. We love classics and familiar literature, but there a lot of contemporary works to enjoyed.
Do you want to go on an adventure? Well, that is what will happen when your child starts flipping through the pages of a book in The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series. There are already five books in the series that include The Beginning, Race to the Ark, The Great Escape, Journey to Jericho and Book 5: The Shepherd’s Stone. We had the opportunity to review the third and fourth books, The Great Escape and Journey to Jericho.
The Hidden Scrolls series was created by a father who filled a niche when he could not find what he wanted for his son. I always love stories like that. With the encouragement of his son, Peter, author M.J. Thomas created what he was seeking: a book (now a series) that had the “right balance of faith, adventure and education”. Another goal was to create a book for young readers who are between the ages of six and 10. It is during these years that Thomas believes are a key period to share God’s word with our children.
Although we jumped into the series in book three and then four, we were not lost in the story. Each book begins with the same prologue, which introduces the characters and leads them into the story. The story in each book is an independent read from the other books.
The main characters are siblings, Peter and Mary, who are joined by their dog Hank as they are thrust into an adventure taken right from the Bible. Although the stories are not new, Thomas has presented the familiar stories from the Bible in a manner that appeal, entertain and educate children. What six through 10-year old does not love an adventure?
Peter, Mary and Hank are left to spend one month with their Great-Uncle Solomon, who is an archaeologist. What the siblings expect to be a boring stay, becomes one full of adventure as they discover the legends of the Hidden Scrolls and search for their secrets. Each adventure starts with a scroll, the roar of a lion and takes them to one of the many places we read about in the Bible.
In The great Escape, Peter and Mary take us to Egypt where we meet the Pharaoh. Their adventure lasts 14 days instead of the regular one week, because the Pharaoh is “stubborn.” Mary did a good job at protecting them from the snakes with a swift kick to the head of one.
In Journey to Jericho (Book #4), Peter (The Bear – strong and brave) and Mary (The Monkey – smart and curious) become spies, and acquire names, done attire (black) and get equipment (walkie talkies) necessary for their new adventure. They are in the city of Jericho where they meet real Israelite spies Caleb and Phineas. Of course Rahab comes into the picture and eventually hides all four spies, which later flee to safety in the mountains.
If you have read your Bible and the stories of Jericho and Egypt, you know how both stories end (or continue in the Bible . . .) Peter and Mary take young readers through the Bible and retell the stories with them as “active” participants in the many events that shaped Christian history. Although readers do not have the ability (and Peter and Mary are instructed not) to change the past, they get to “live through” the experiences.
Peter’s notes he writes in his adventure journal are ones readers will enjoy, since they are written from the perspective of a child their same age. The Hidden Scrolls series is a good one to introduce to your young reader and may prompt them to actually pick up the Bible and read the original story.
Read a sample of the first book to see if your child may enjoy the stories.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase The Great Escape (Book #3 and Journey to Jericho (Book #4) for as low as $6.99 each.