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The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz, Book One) Paperback – September 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Award winning author Jenny L. Cote developed an early passion for God, history, and young people and beautifully blends these passions together in her two fantasy fiction series The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz and Epic Order of the Seven (September 2010). When not writing herself, she teaches the art of creative writing to students in schools and universities across the country with fun, highly interactive workshops. She lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband Casey, and son Alex.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Living Ink Books (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899571980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899571980
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud," is a clever and imaginative tale based on the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. The animals come to Noah from all parts of the world, thousands of them. These beasts and fowl are called by the "Maker" to follow the "fire cloud", a cloud in the sky that glows with the brightness of fire. The animals reach the ark safely, after many trials along the way, but things don't go smoothly while they are all aboard. There is "dissension among the troups". How things are resolved is both amusing and thought-provoking.

We start the story with Max, a Scottish Terrier, (Maximillan Braveheart the Bruce) traveling by himself. He soon meets up with Al, a cat. Then, they are joined by a pair of gulls, another cat, etc. Much of the first part of the story deals with their adventures and exploits, but as the story continues, we are introduced to other characters from other parts of the world. Max, and a cat named Liz, becomes the leaders of all the animals. The reed, which is carried by Max, plays an integral part in the story.

Many of the animals have some type of quirk - A dog afraid of water; a giraffe afraid of heights; a horse that "runs in his sleep"; a rhino with "anger management" issues; etc. And, of course, each animal has its own personality.

The animals come from many countries and speak many languages. Although the book is written in English, the characters manage to interject phrases from their respective countries into the dialogue. The reader is thus treated to snippets of Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, and Russian, among others. This enhances the storyline and educates the reader, as well.
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Format: Paperback
Jenny L. Cote captures the imagination of the juvenile reader in "The Ark, the Reed, & the Fire Cloud." Fantasy and allegory reminiscent of C. S. Lewis help the young reader understand God's provision and preservation through this fresh interpretation of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. Max a young Scott Terrier and Liz a petite black cat from France follow the call of the Maker to "Come to Me." During their journey across Europe to the Middle East they become leaders of a menagerie of worldwide animals, arriving on time to meet Noah and board his Ark before the rains came.

The story takes a unique twist after the landing of the ark. Cote comes through with an ominous plot to kill Noah, the discovery of a stowaway on the ark, and an encounter with Charlatan, the Evil One.

Cotes has created a winner in "The Ark, the Reed, & the Fire Cloud." I am sure we will hear more of the magical adventure tales of Max and Liz in the near future.
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Format: Paperback
One misty dawn Max the Scottish terrier left his burrow and trotted to the loch, where he heard a strange humming in the reeds: COME. COME TO ME. FOLLOW THE FIRE CLOUD. Startled, Max climbed the Glen for advice from his wise friend Gillamon, an ancient and well traveled goat. Gillamon pondered a while and told Max that he was being called by the Maker and had to accept the challenge. Max, brave but humble, took a reed from the loch and struck out on his epic journey.

The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz, Book One) is the tale of Max the terrier and Liz, the sleek black cat from France, who lead a swelling progress of animals around the world to join Noah in his epic water journey. Their party includes Al, a big orange Irish cat, and the wee terrier Kate, also from Scotland; seagulls Bethoo and Crinan; and Craddock the whale. Animals from all parts of the world join them, each called to follow the fire cloud.

Snippets of Noah's trials are woven through the story. Noah and his family spent one hundred years building the ark at God's direction, undeterred by the ridicule of the surrounding population. Finally the two stories intersect, the animals board the wondrous ark, and the rains begin. The trials of Max and Liz are by no means over because the ark contains the seed of the same wickedness God is purging with the floods. Can the two brave friends contain and overcome the threat? What will be their reward for courage and faith? What's at the heart of the magnificent fire cloud that inspires and leads this unlikely crew?

Clearly the themes of religion and morality underpin this fantasy adventure.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the story of Noah's Ark from the perspective of the animals. Whether or not you believe the story of Noah's Ark really did take place, the story is thought provoking and interesting and when written as Jenny L. Cote has, also fun at times. (Well for those spared at least.)

You can also find out more about the book at the website, [...]. Throughout the site there are three different YouTube videos.

This book was written with ages 8-12 in mind but I don't know many 8 year olds who could read this on their own. I think younger than 9 would need to read it with a parent or by a parent. It's a biggie with 432 pages. It is most definitely a book for teens and adults too, especially if you love animals. We have no way for sure to know what animals would say if they could talk but I'm sure what Jenny wrote them as saying is as close as we could get. All the talking is believable.

Since the animals come from all over the world, one would imagine they would speak different languages. While it would be impossible to have each animal speak a different language completely (how would they talk amongst themselves?) the author made sure to include common saying and words from the different languages. You can see all of them listed by country in the back of the book. For example the African animals say Moffie to mean wimpy and Isit? to mean Really? The Australian animals may say G'day for Hello and Sheila for a woman while the Scottish animals say Bonnie to mean Pretty and Ta to mean To. I found myself reading with an accent in my head!

More than the first half of the book is the journey of the animals to the ark. At first thought, you may think 200 pages is way too much for just a journey to the ark but you would be wrong.
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