If you peeked through my bookshelf (er, my Kindle homepage) you would see that I love historical fiction. I absolutely love imagining what life was like for people who lived in the past. It’s like going back in time! If I love historical fiction, I super love Biblical fiction. I know, it sounds like there’s some kind of sacrilege behind it. Putting words into Moses’s mouth? Making a fictional account of Joseph? Or even worse, Jesus?!
It all started when I was in High School and read Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. It is a beautiful love story of Mary and Joseph and made the story of Jesus’ birth come alive for me!
Then, in college I read The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers and could not put them down. When I finished the last chapter of the first book, I screamed, jumped out of the bed and ran to the bookcase (which was really a shelf in the kitchen of the trailer we rented when we first got married) to begin the second book right away.
And of course, my all time favorite Biblical fiction is the AD Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene. I think I’ve gushed about them many times. They literally draw my heart closer to Jesus with every reading.
I cannot wait till Lydia is old enough to read some of these books! For now, I’m waiting just another few months to read the Passages series by Paul McCusker to her. These are Biblical fiction for the 8 and up crowd. But it’s got a little more of a twist!
The stories are set in another world à la Narnia. The far-away world of Marus where kids are transported from our world to be prophets and pivotal characters in life-altering stories. Marus is part early 1800’s, part futuristic–but all adventure!
I picked up the first book, Darien’s Rise several years ago (ok, in 1999!) and devoured it. I am clearly, in the 8+ crowd because I loved it! Halfway through the story, I realize, “Hey, this story sounds kinda familiar. Wait a minute! This is the story of David and King Saul from the Bible!” Sure enough, every book in the Passages series is based on an actual historical event from the Bible. It’s just “dressed up” in this fictional world so your kids get to experience the story for “the first time” so to speak.
In the Note to Parents section in the front of Darien’s Rise, they quote CS Lewis when asked how fantasy can be a tool to promote the gospel, as he did in The Chronicles of Narnia, “by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday School associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency.”
I love this because, as a kid growing up around the Bible, it’s true–sometimes miracles don’t seem like miracles. They just seem like, well, how the story is supposed to be. Passages helps kids look at familiar stories through new eyes.
These books are definitely worthy of a family read-aloud so you can discuss the parallels and similarities to the original stories. They are a little scary–I mean, think about the real story of David and King Saul–battles, murder, father/son rivalry. So, I think the 8+ label is right on and it’s perfect for the all-boys in your family. In full disclosure, I’ve only read the first three books in the series and it was about 14 years ago, so use your own God-given common sense when reading!
I made a little widget with all the books for you because there are a few version and Amazon can make your eyes cross. You can get some of these for ONE PENNY, so grab ’em now!
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