Almost a year ago, Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young was on the top of my reading stack. Having met the Youngs personally, I had no doubt that the book would be a source of practical information based firmly on scripture and experience. When a new book from the Young’s publishing company, Great Waters Press was a review possibility, my interest was piqued. No surprise for our book loving family, right?
A Cry from Egypt was written by Hope Auer. Miss Auer is a homeschool graduate that loves the Lord and seeks to honor Him in her writing. As she studied, a love of history and telling stories has led to The Promised Land Series. Miss Auer also works with children in other areas such as children’s theater and teaching piano.
A Cry from Egypt tells the story of Jarah, a young Israelite girl enslaved by the Egyptians. As the pages unfold we meet her family, friends and the world she lives in. Jarah is struggling in her faith in the God of Abraham as her family is divided; her father worships the God of Abraham and her mother lives in fear of the Egyptian gods. Carrying out her daily tasks of delivering linen to the palace or gathering straw for bricks, Jarah faces many dangers. Like the other slaves, Jarah is at the whims of the Egyptian overseers.
The Israelites are living in captivity with thoughts of freedom that seem impossible. Suddenly Moses returns to led the Israelites to freedom. Following the events of scripture, we see through Jarah’s eyes the plagues that come over Egypt. We see the devastation it brings to the Egyptians and the protection over the Israelites. While the arrival of Moses brings hope to some, it also brings about more hardship. The Egyptians are facing plague after plague; great devastation and loss. This causes many Egyptians to treat the slaves with suspicion and harsher punishment.
Jarah, struggling in her faith in the God of Abraham, is challenged through the course of these events. Will she trust and put her faith in God? Will she live in fear of the Egyptians and their gods? Who will she seek and follow? Like many young people, Jarah has to decide how to live out her faith.
Our Thoughts on A Cry from Egypt:
When I encounter a book set in biblical times, I am always a bit hesitant. Often we find the people of scripture fictionalized and I believe there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. We can so easily stray from God’s Word. Knowing the publishers, I wasn’t overly concerned about A Cry from Egypt but chose to use it as a read aloud. A wise choice as I had several children who all wanted to take it to his/her favorite spot and devour it before anyone else! It had been a highly anticipated delivery.
Miss Auer did an excellent job of following the events of scripture while bringing us into the lives of Jarah and those around her. Miss Auer devoted years of study of the time period A Cry from Egypt was set in and does a great job of creating Jarah’s world while still honoring God’s Word.
I read this book aloud to all of my children. We often read it during lunch or before bedtime. It was enjoyed by my children aged 6 -13. They were always requesting I read one more chapter in spite of the lunch dishes that were demanding to be washed. No sooner had I closed the book at the end, everyone was asking if they could read it on his/her own. They also enjoyed a sneak peek at the next book in The Promised Land Series that is provided at the back of the A Cry from Egypt.
A Cry from Egypt is recommended for ages 8 and older. If reading aloud, as seen in our home, you can definitely go a bit younger. As an adult, I enjoyed the story of Jarah as well. It could serve as a great family read aloud; especially if you are studying this time period in history. There may be some concern with the content of the book in regards to treatment of the slaves and such. Miss Auer depicts events in this books such as Jarah being beaten by an Egyptian overseer to the point of near death. While this occurrence is tragic and sad to read, it is in no way graphic. Miss Auer balances showing us the hardships without being grotesque. As a parent you know the level of sensitivity your children may have with such issues and should act accordingly in the reading of this book.
Purchasing A Cry from Egypt:
Advanced copies of A Cry from Egypt can be purchased for $12.50 with free shipping directly from the publisher.
Great Waters Press had another book, Children in Church, that was reviewed by some members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Be sure to read what other crew members had to say about A Cry from Egypt and Children in Church.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. No compensation was made. The thoughts/opinions expressed in this post are my own.