- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Kregel Publications; Original edition (December 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780825441714
- ISBN-13: 978-0825441714
- ASIN: 0825441714
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amon's Adventure: A Family Story for Easter Paperback – December 1, 2010
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About the Author
Arnold Ytreeide is a fine storyteller who cares deeply about spiritual growth in families. Ytreeide is the founder of Storyteller Productions and lives with his wife and two children in Nampa, Idaho.
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I read this aloud to two boys who were 12 and 10. They enjoyed the story. At first, I found it a bit difficult (tedious) to read. In fact, I tried it once before putting it away. I took it out a year later and decided to stick it out. I think that's because the first two or three chapters are long and slow in comparison to the rest of the book. The young male protagonist is initially upset that he will have a female house guest. I didn't find him appealing because he seemed to make such a big deal of it.
However, the story picks up after that and continues to move along at a nice clip. The boys enjoyed the story and always wanted to read additional chapters. (As a side note: they could have read it themselves but we like to enjoy some books together.) At first I had wondered if we (I) would make it through before Easter, since we began the book late. We also skipped some days when we were busy. We still made it through by combining some chapters every time we read.
The conflict here is pretty high stakes, which is engaging. There is essentially a mystery to solve. It is still fun for an adult or older reader who knows their Bible.
One interesting aspect is the detail given about the temple, especially in relation to the Fortress of Antonia.
Some real people are mixed in with the story but fictional elements are added to their lives. For example, an apostle is credited as having a daughter, but that is never mentioned in Scripture. Very young children may find that confusing.
From what I recall, characterization is good. The protagonist is the most well developed. His friends also have distinct and consistent personalities. The mother and brothers are shuttled to the side. For example, one of the boys is described as having a lying problem. That goes nowhere.
The editing could have been better. I told the boys that I didn't want them to read the book themselves because there are so many misplaced commas. There may have been other problems, but I don't remember them now.
I also don't know that we got a whole lot out of the devotional verse(s) and message at the end of each chapter. I thought some didn't quite fit with the chapter we had read.
Despite its flaws, we really enjoyed the story. I think many Christian families with enjoy. It made the boys want to read all the others in the series. I wish there were more Easter stories like this one.
When Good Friday came, however, the part of the story which I deem the most important -- the story of Christ's death and resurrection -- seemed to get lost in what I believe to be the back story -- the experiences of Amon's family. Christ's crucifixion was briefly mentioned, but the results of the earthquake pertaining to Amon were highlighted, and from there on, while the events of the next two days are not completely ignored, they didn't seem to be the primary emphasis of the story. Even the Resurrection felt downplayed. I don't think this was necessarily intentional, but it was a huge omission nonetheless.
In this I feel Mr. Ytreeide missed it. My children had been involved for nearly 40 days in this wonderful story and being young, they of course enjoyed even the ending. I had to explain to them, though, that we wouldn't be making Amon's Adventures an annual reading, as we've done with Jotham. The true story was lost and the climax was missed. While overall, an excellent book, this was a grievous error the part of the author, and I can't recommend it for an actual Lent reading, while it may be good as a supplemental reading or just a fun story.