Finding books for my kids during those transitional years between basic phonics readers and lengthy classic literature has always been a challenge. I was excited when we found out about Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing. I would say the perfect mix of fun and adventure, without talking down to a child’s intellect. For the purpose of this review we were sent a paperback copy to read for this review – the 110 pages (15 chapters) are similar in reading level and genre as The Magic Treehouse series, if you are familiar with those.
The books in the Imagine Series are clean reading for kids, which is refreshing in this day and age. The target audience is pre-teen, middle school aged kids. For this review I asked my 13 year old son to read and share his thoughts and opinions with you. Appropriate I think, not only because of his age but his name is Noah, too!
Noah was able to read through this story quickly, and even shared portions with his younger sister. Here are his thoughts:
Imagine. . .The Flood is about a modern-day boy named Corey. In the beginning of the book we find out his family is going to be moving and he is not happy about that. When he was at the park with his mom, their dog ran off and while looking for him, Corey hit his head and when he woke up he in the time of Noah, when there is too much evil in the world. Right off he meets Shem and comes face to face with two lions.
Corey met up with a lot of adventures and a lot characters who were out to make trouble, but in the end he learned that God is in control. Other characters in this story Elizar, a wizard and Nephilim (giants) and Ardad, a guy who helps Noah keep the bad guys away from the ark. The last character seemed like a good guy throughout the book but in the end he couldn’t be trusted either.
You will have to read it to find out if Corey makes it back home and if his family makes the move and how he feels about that. I don’t want to give away the ending!
I think this was a good book. It was written for younger kids, probably 9 years old. My 11 year old sister would like it. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate this a 9. It’s good to read a book that has a good lesson. The lesson learned in this story is – “Things change, but God doesn’t.”
Some of you may be wondering if this is an accurate portrayal of the Genesis account of Noah’s Flood. It is not, although it does use it as the backdrop for the story line. My children are fully aware that stories and fiction are not to be viewed as factual. If they were not able to discern this, we would likely wait until they could. They enjoy reading Biblical fiction for kids like this IMAGINE series. They enjoy a good adventure story now an then!
Historical fiction is just that – fiction. The setting, events, or even some characters may have been real life happenings, but the author is free to add in their own ideas about how events may have played out. I think having a good, solid foundation in the Biblical account of this catastrophic event is important. I would recommend reading that first, yourself and as a family, if your children are not familiar with the facts God shares in scripture. This lays a good background.
Rather than picking it all apart for having differences and adding things into the story, our family tends to discuss if the story line is plausible and compare it to scripture – the kids enjoy going to their Bibles to see how it really did play out and how much information we are actually given there. This helps them see the difference between fact and fiction and helps them be ready to discuss their thoughts and ideas as well as their faith.
And so, our family gives the Imagine series a thumbs up. It is nice to have a wholesome choice for our children to read. Our grandchildren just might receiving copies in the near future. Written by Matt Koceich, a Texas public school teacher, Imagine. . .The Great Flood is the first book in the Imagine Series. The second, Imagine… The Ten Plagues, is available on pre-order now, so you can get the first read and have the second sent to your door at release!
See what others think about Imagine by clicking on the image below – it will take you straight to the Homeschool Review Crew post and the link to everyone’s reviews.