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Seekers of the Lost Boy Kindle Edition
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Taryn Hayes begins with a message in a bottle and through skillful storytelling delves into the tragedy of apartheid and one boy's journey from despair to faith. Along the way, we meet a homeschooling family and experience with them the discovery of not only the one who sent the message, but the One who invites us to discover Him.
The story is full of great characters and dialogue that rings true in any family setting, whether in South Africa or middle America. And for extra credit--the ending had a few twists and turns I didn't expect! Seekers of the Lost Boy left me story-satisfied and hoping for more from Taryn in the future.
Haven't we all imagined finding our very own bottle whilst on holiday? Well this book didn't let us down. There was enough intrigue to hold our attention throughout the journey. My daughter, age 9, loved the book so much that she asked, on several occasions, if there was to be more adventures with this homeschooled family. Being homeschooled herself she could identify with the children in the story. The Wards have a secret which brought me to tears and inspired several deep conversations in our home.
Initially I was concerned that the religious content of the book would feel alien to us, not being active Christians. However it just served to teach us how people may be converted into the Christian faith. It also made sense in the context of the story.
The historical setting was fascinating. Addressing the damaging effects Apartheid had on the majority of South Africans. Seen through the eyes of someone who had lived through forced relocation and segregation laws, made it all the more realistic.
All in all a realistic adventure filled with wonderful educational nuggets. We can't wait for the next book in the series.
Taryn sets up the characters well in the first few chapters, but it's only when the Ward family track down Joseph that her wonderful story-telling ability really starts to shine. I found myself compelled to read on, despite the lateness of the hour, getting quite choked up at times. I think she pitches it very well at her intended age-group (I already have a pile ready to give to my God-children, nephews, nieces and other friends' children!), but the book also has the potential to impact a lot of parents with the gospel, if they read the story along with their kids.
My only (very small) criticism would be the omission of a Ward family outing to a World Cup soccer match - painted faces, vuvuzelas, fan-walk and all - given the timing of the story in the winter of 2010! But this may well have distracted from the building tension of the unfolding narrative, so I won't deduct any stars for this! Fantastic work, Taryn!