Review of Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt


Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: The Silent Years

Highly Recommended!

In Alexandria, Egypt, Chava is a Jewish girl with a close relationship with the young Cleopatra, as her father is the royal tutor for the Ptolemy household. Believing God has destined her to be a blessing to Cleopatra when she becomes queen, Chava chooses not to marry, and seeks to serve Cleopatra at every possibility. However, this choice is more challenging than Chava could have anticipated, as Chava must choose between her faith and her position.

Angela Hunt is one of my favorite writers for Christian historical fiction. The historical details are smartly woven into the narrative, providing vivid insight into the worlds of Egypt and Rome, alongside an adventurous and heart-felt story of friendship, loyalty, godliness, and forgiveness.

This is not so much a story of Cleopatra, as it is of Chava’s sacrificial love for her friend. I love the depth of Chava’s character, and her determination to choose the difficult path of following God, rather than the comfort of marriage. While Chava’s life unravels very differently than she anticipates, God’s promises to her are met in surprising ways. The honesty of the story is encouraging, and well worth the read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book fromĀ Bethany House.


Review of The Character Builder’s Bible: 60 Character-Building Stories from the Bible by Agnes and Salem de Bezenac


Genre: Children’s Story Bible


Our family has several favorite children’s Bibles that we rotate through, and this is the one my kids are currently most excited about. The illustrations are perfect for young children, and the stories are simple enough that my seven-year-old can easily read them, and the perfect length to keep my five-year old’s attention.

Each Bible story is connected to a positive attribute (diligence, honesty, service, praise) or theme (peer pressure, salvation, Easter, Holy Spirit). The first two-page spread of each story includes a full-page illustration and concise biblical narrative, and the following two-pages provide the definition of the character trait or theme and a comic-style layout showing how the theme is relevant to children in daily life.

For instance, the story of Samuel hearing God’s voice is connected with “attentiveness,” with the everyday life illustration showing how to set aside quiet devotional time to hear God. The story of the friends carrying the paralyzed man to receive healing from Jesus emphasizes “friendship,” with the real life illustration portraying four examples of healthy friendship. And the story of Zacchaeus demonstrates an example of repentance: feeling sorry, asking for forgiveness, attempting to make it right, not repeating the wrong.

Some of the stories could be better connected with their theme, but have nevertheless provided opportunities for family discussion. Also, the emphasis of this book is on character-building through Bible stories, so this is probably not the best “Bible” for readers desiring a cohesive narrative of Scripture. Although there is a strong evangelical focus, with the basic details of the Gospel message presented in impressive directness and simplicity.

I most love the discussions that have come out of this book, especially of the various character traits. I also appreciate how it introduces new vocabulary, and enjoy that 43% of the stories (26 out of 60) come from the New Testament, as our family tends to spend more time in the Hebrew Bible.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Kids.