I was drawn to the book, largely, due to the author’s bio. At just 17 years old, Sydney wrote her novel after “hearing how many moms were looking for fiction novels for girls that were both clean and Christian.”
This mission resonates so strongly with me. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have been discouraged by the content in books for children and young adults. Even books that are labeled “clean” often promote idolatry.
I was excited to see that Sydney (a young lady, herself) wanted to meet this pressing need for strong Christian literature, and I became even more excited as I began reading her book.
I was impressed with the quality of work by such a young person!
Faith and identity in Christ are integral to the book’s main theme.
“So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God, through faith…” Gal. 3:26
“When I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3)
I was so delighted with the amount of overt Christian content in this book. As the title suggests, the whole book is about Esther developing faith, through experiences of hardship.
Most of the characters in the book are Christians, themselves, and there is are many instances of fellowship and encouragement throughout the pages. Tons of quoted Scripture, as well.
I really appreciate that:
- The author footnotes Scriptures quoted, throughout the book
- The author capitalizes all pronouns referring to God
- Esther is such a great role model for readers! Likewise, her friends and family are awesome representations of community in the body of Jesus.
- There were some strong one-line points about trust and identity in Christ. Great truths that are worth coming back to!
This is another title that deserves a round of applause for family dynamics! Instead of the disrespectful attitudes so often portrayed in books for this age group, the children demonstrate strong respect for their parents. And the parents are actively raising up and discipling their children in the faith. Absolutely lovely!
This book differed from many Christian books in that the emphasis was on the spiritual journey, even more so than the physical journey. The faith theme was very clear and prevalent, throughout.
With that said, the book felt like a slightly “slower” read. However, I think it lends itself to a slower reading, especially with all of the (footnoted) Scripture references, throughout. There is definitely room to stop and reflect on the themes and Scriptures presented!
Recommended for fans of Mandie…
Psalm 53:6, referenced above, is also cited in A Journey to Unshakable Faith. This verse is also prominent in the Mandie book series, by Lois Gladys Leppard.
In several ways, the book reminded me of the Mandie books, and I feel that fans of these books will likely enjoy A Journey to Unshakable Faith. As in Mandie, the protagonist actively practices her faith and learns a lesson, with the help of her friends. While this is not a mystery, I feel that the plot-line/ pacing (a little on the milder side) is also about the same.
This book is one of the most innocent titles (yay!) I’ve read, in awhile. I really didn’t find any “questionable” content. One thing to be aware of is that there is a battle scene, but the violence is pretty tame— about the level of Adventures in Odyssey.
I would recommend this book to readers ages 8-12.