Thursday, April 6, 2017

Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer (REVIEW)

I'm always on the lookout for great books to add to our home library. We are a home full of book worms. M prefers sci fi, fantasy, or some sort of crime-mystery something. Mr B. prefers non-fiction and select fiction depending on the genre. And I prefer anything with pages and words. When I heard of Shepherd, Potter, Spy-- and the Star Namer  by Peggy Consolver-Author, I was instantly intrigued as to what the book could possibly be about. I knew it would  be a story that I would love, and I was fairly confident the overall genre would appeal to Mr. B, as well. 
Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}
What is the book about?

This book is about a 13 yr old Gibeonite boy named Keshub, and takes place in the last couple of years of desert wandering before the Israelites enter Canaan. Keshub lives with his family, who work as shepherds and potters. Keshub, who begins the story as shepherd, has a love for listening to the stories and accounts of the travelers in the caravans who go off to trade. Life as they know it is jeopardized when they hear the King of the Amorites has begun is reign, and his unloved son is running for his life. Keshub goes from simple shepherd boy, to spy, to defender-all in one book! 
Our Thoughts


I decided to do this as a nightly read aloud, and Mr. B kept asking to read just one more chapter, night after night! That should tell everyone what a great story this is! This book features Bible history in such a unique way. The book brings to life Joshua in the Old Testament, but from a different perspective. We get to peek inside the life of the Gibeonites, and we can see just what life was like back then. From the first few pages, Mr. B was drawn in. The book starts out with Keshub saving his cousin, and flock, from an attacking bear. He's 13! 13 and fighting off a bear! And doing so like he's done it 100 times! I look at Mr. B and I try to imagine him as a shepherd boy, fighting on a bear with nothing more that a staff...and WOW!

This book helps us see that the Bible is a history book, and we can learn a great deal of history just from reading the Bible. The amount of research that has gone into the writing is evident. We were drawn in and fascinated by the overall story.

At the end of the book, you will find a selection of discussion questions. In addition to that, there is a study guide that is available for purchase. We really liked the study guide. The guide brought out more from the book than we would have gained by just reading it. It is much more than guiding reading. It is more like a complete unit study with multiple subjects covered. Here is just a small screen snip of part of one page of the study guide to give you a better idea:

As Mr. B worked through the study guide, he would explore the topics even deeper than presented in the guide and book. The question about the Syrian Brown Bear led to an hour long research quest about other bears then other animals in Syria. That's just one example. There's another question that asked him to compare our life now to life during the Late Bronze Age. He talked for HOURS about the differences. Electricity, tools, the types of food we had to eat, no computers, etc.

Overall

For a "story book" (as Mr. B calls it, because it's a narrative) of 375 pages, we have sure packed in a LOT of learning! And you read that right, 375 pages. This is not a thin little book that can be read in a day. But the story is well paced, and so interesting that it isn't a dry or dull read at all. Overall, we LOVE it! 

Does Shepherd, Potter, Spy-- and the Star Namer Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?
1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?
This is a physical book that you read. So yes, you can set your own schedule.  

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

No hidden fees, but the study guide is a separate purchase. This book is intended for middle school-adult, but you can easily read this to younger students and they would enjoy it. The Study Guide is probably a little much for a younger student, but there are definitely some good discussion questions and activities within the guide that would be appropriate for younger kids. 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
Mr. B LOVES it, and the guide!  

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This would tie in to any Bible study you have, or even an Ancient history type study. 


Please check out the Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews! 
Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}
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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review and insights! Have a blessed day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are most welcome! And Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to do this review! I LOVE the study guide that goes with this!

    ReplyDelete