Last year we were very blessed to receive the first two books of a new series for children ages 6-9, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. We loved the books and were very excited to see WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group on our vendor list for this year and that the two newest books in the series were now out. For our review we received paperback copies of:
The Great Escape (Book #3)
Journey to Jericho (Book #4)
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls books were written for beginning readers who are ready to read short chapter books, but the stories can be enjoyed by older or younger children as well. In the series, Peter, Mary, and their dog Hank go to stay with their Great Uncle Solomon who is an archeologist. Solomon discovered some ancient scrolls that have the ability to send who they choose back in time. Peter and Mary are chosen by the scrolls and in each book travel to a different time in Bible history. During their journeys they are helped along the way by the angel Michael. There are three rules they must follow on their adventure. They cannot tell people they are from the future, they cannot try to change the past, and if they don't solve the mystery on the scroll in a certain number of days (14 in books 3 and 4) they are stuck in that time period.
The Great Escape has 12 chapters and is 120 pages long. In this book, Peter, Mary, and Hank are whisked back in time to pharaohs palace in Ancient Egypt right at the same time that Moses arrives with a message from God to Let His People Go. There have to deal with pharaohs Great Magician, an attack by a panther, be accused of being thieves, and see the plagues as they are happening. In the home of Moses and Zipporah they await the angel of death passing over and later make an escape across the Red Sea. They manage to solve the secret of the scrolls and return back to Uncle Solomon's house.
Journey to Jericho has 13 chapters and is also 120 pages long. Peter Mary and Hank find themselves in the tabernacle in the desert right after Moses has died and Joshua is to lead the people into the promised land. The children and Hank go into the city of Jericho where a man is convincing its citizens that they are safe and the city will not fall. They tag along with Caleb and Phinehas as they are spying for Joshua and are hidden in the home of Rahab. They take refuge in the mountains and end up loosing track of Hank who later returns. They return to the Israelite camp and are there as they walk across the Jordan and take Jericho by following the Lord's command. They solve the secret of scroll and return to Solomon's library.
I read these books aloud to my 7,9,11, and 13 year olds. My 9 and up could have easily read them on their own, but we do a lot of reading aloud in our house. The books would have been challenging for my 7 year old beginning reader to read on her own. The really interesting thing about reading these books aloud was that even though I didn't plan it that way, they coincided with our history lessons perfectly. We are studying ancient history right now and the lessons go chronologically. The week we were looking at the plagues in Egypt in history we were reading The Great Escape. The day we read the lesson on the Tabernacle was the same day we started reading Journey to Jericho.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series is a wonderful mystery series for children based on great Biblical events with some fiction and fantasy thrown in. The stories allow children to put themselves in Peter and Mary's shoes and experience the events as they are happening, allowing them to better remember these stories. Each of the scrolls teach an important lesson. It can be hard to find great books for young children to read without having to worry about the content. There is nothing that parents have to be concerned about in these book. We love these books and cannot wait for future books to be released.
To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!