Stories of Danger and Courage — “Bible Kidventures” Series
Stories of Danger and Courage by Jeanne Dennis and Sheila Seifert has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the third book in the “Bible Kidventures” series.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
This book is a compilation of four choose-your-own ending Bible stories:
Deadly Expedition The children of Israel are on the edge of the Red Sea, and Pharaoh’s army is moving toward them. As the main character, you, the reader, make choices. You get to decide whether you follow Moses, try to talk with Pharaoh’s army, find your own safe passage across the water or give up. From these choices and others, the reader delves into how God gave His children manna daily, helped them fight a battle against an enemy army, gave Moses the Ten Commandments, destroyed those who chose to serve a golden calf instead of God, and other day-to-day struggles that Israel faced after leaving captivity in Egypt. No matter your choices, you will learn about this historic expedition, as the Israelites headed toward a land promised to them by God.
Trapped! You, the reader, are a child in the city of Jericho, with an older brother, Talmai, and a baby brother, Onan. Rahab is your aunt. You and your older brother love to play spy games. Then one day as you are playing, you learn that there are real spies in Jericho. The spies come from a group of people called Israelites. Your Aunt Rahab lies to the soldiers of Jericho to keep these spies hidden. She tells you that Israel’s God is real and that He will give them victory over Jericho. As you make choices about who you will believe, and depending on which choices you make, you end up dying in Jericho, watching the Israelites cross the Jordan river on dry ground, help convince your whole family to go to Aunt Rahab’s during the attack or leave Jericho before the attack. Depending on your choices, not only can you be saved from the Israelite army, but your entire family as well.
Attack! You, the reader, are a shepherd who plays the kinnor near the border of Judah. You love music and hope that God uses you as He used King David many years earlier. Unfortunately, you have a big problem. Joash and his friends are bullies, and they steal your kinnor. As you try to prove to your family that Joash stole your instrument because they believe you lost it, you also learn that enemy armies are drawing near to Jerusalem and intend to destroy God’s people. Through your choices, you learn to face your fears, live a misunderstood life, find the Ammonite, Edomite and Moabite armies, die or make Joash your friend. King Jehoshaphat calls for a time of fasting and prayer as a nation. If you choose to follow your king and end up in Jerusalem, you have the opportunity to witness how God has chosen to destroy Israel’s enemies as you play your kinnor and go into battle.
Escape! You, the reader, are a child in a gang of thieves in Jerusalem. Beker is an amazing thief in your group, and Mahol is the leader of your gang. Though an orphan, you have learned to survive on the streets of Jerusalem with these teens, and also because you run really fast. You are in Jerusalem when Jesus is arrested and crucified. After reports emerge that Jesus has risen from the dead, there is a division between the Pharisees and the new sect of Jesus believers called Christians. Eventually a man named Saul causes a Christ follower named Stephen to be stoned to death. This story comes to its conclusion as you die or are imprisoned in Jerusalem or escape its walls. How you escape depends on whether you have chosen to become a Jesus follower or leave because the authorities are looking for you. The point of this story is to get out of Jerusalem before the law or Saul’s forces capture you.
In all of these, Bible stories are explored through the eyes of the reader, who plays the part of fictional children who could have been affected by what happened in the Bible story. And the outcome of each child’s story, not the Bible story, rests on the reader’s choices.
Each story of the four books within this compilation of four books has a backdrop of a Bible story: Exodus 14, Joshua 2, 2 Chronicles 20 and Acts 6. They reference the crossing of the Red Sea, the battle of Jericho, using worship against enemy armies and escaping Jerusalem during the days of the early church. The reader plays the part of a fictional main character, who interacts with each of these Bible stories to see them taking place from a number of different perspectives.
Other Belief Systems
The Egyptians believe in many gods, and some of the Israelites choose to worship a golden calf while Moses is on Mount Sinai. The people who live in Jericho, along with the Ammonites, Edomites and Moabites believe in many false gods. In the Jewish church, leaders like Saul believe they are doing God’s will by killing Christians.
When some choices are made in each story, the “you” main character dies. For example, it doesn’t turn out well when you as a child attack an enemy army or disobey the wisdom of the adults around you. None of these deaths are graphic, but they vary from falling off a high wall, being killed by an enemy or enemy army, dying from the infection of a leg injury, drowning or being judged by the law and dying.
Many thousands of people die because they choose to worship false gods instead of following Moses and the one, true God. Israel is threatened by enemies, such as Pharaoh’s army, the inhabitants of Jericho and the Ammonite, Edomite and Moabite armies. Leading Jews in Jerusalem want the new Christians to be killed. Stephen is stoned to death. The Romans in Jerusalem are not kind to thieves.
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Get pointers about dealing with bullies in Helping Kids Deal With Bullies.
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Readability Age Range
7 to 12
Jeanne Dennis and Sheila Seifert
A Focus on the Family book in association with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
2017 Golden Scroll Children’s Merit Award