In a house full of readers, it is always an exciting day when a book arrives in the mail. My eleven-year-old daughter was very pleased to find out that she had the privilege of reading and reviewing The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio, Author before anyone else in the house.
We received the paperback version of this book; it has an engaging cover that draws the reader into the book. It was a relatively short book at only 111 pages including the epilogue. My daughter read it over the course of about a week and once she was finished I sat down one evening to begin reading it and read the entire book in one sitting.
I felt that this story helped bring a part of the Bible to life through the eyes of a young girl who plays a major role in the healing of Naaman but is not named with-in the Biblical text. This is the story of the servant girl, called Miriam in the book, who tells Naaman about the prophet Elisha and how he can help cure him of his leprosy through the power of God. The Biblical story focused on the power of God and the obedience of Naaman but this book tells the story from the perspective of the servant girl. I loved how it made me look at it in a whole new light and think about how important the obedience of this unnamed servant girl was to the way the story unfolded.
Another thing I really appreciated about this story is that at the end of the book the author explains which part of the book are Biblical and which parts she used her imagination to expand upon the story.
Reading Biblical events in this format makes it really easy to connect to the characters and get a better understanding of what happened and how it affected the people involved. I really enjoyed the opportunity to read this book and I’m so glad that my daughter was also able to read it and discuss it with me.
The author has also included a free downloadable study guide on her website that gives some great discussion questions. It also shares more information about the author and why she chose to write this book. The questions were written in such a way as to help the reader not only think about Miriam and her story, but also to delve deeper into what they learned and how it could affect their own lives.
There are also some great ideas for researching and understanding more about the setting for the story of Naaman. Understanding what it meant to have leprosy in those times and the story of why Israel was taken captive. Finally, the guide finishes with some devotional suggestions to help you take what you learned even further.
I felt like the The Heart Changer was a great book especially for young girls (8-12) and would also be a good book for a mother/daughter to read together or as a family read aloud. It had a compelling story that makes you really think further about a real event from the Bible and how the lessons learned apply to our lives today. Be sure to click on the graphic below and check out the other Crew Reviews.
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