Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adventure Bible Handbook by Robin Schmitt & David Frees

book cover
Adventure Bible Handbook
Robin Schmitt
& David Frees

Illustrated by
Craig Philips

ISBN: 9780310725756
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: ZonderKids
Released: October 8, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher provided through BookSneeze.com.

Book Description, Modified from Booksneeze:
A fun and exciting journey through the Bible told in comic book style for kids ages 9-12. Companion to the bestselling Adventure Bible.

The Adventure Bible Handbook leads tween boys and girls across the Holy Land and back in time. Four siblings travel with their archaeologist father to the Holy Land. When he disappears, the children try to find him by joining an offbeat tour group. The group visits ancient cities, important geographical sites, and experiences biblical times firsthand—traveling back in time with the help of some RSPs (Really Smart Phones) and all sorts of wacky modes of transportation.

It’s a fast, fun adventure through some of the greatest Bible stories to learn what life is really all about.

My Review:
Adventure Bible Handbook is a Bible overview combined with some comic book, time-travel action. It's a companion to the Adventure Bible by Zondervan, which I think is a real Bible with kid-friendly study inserts. Since this book is mostly a summary of the Bible, I'm not certain why it's needed if the child has a kid's study Bible as well. It seemed more like a book to use to get a child who doesn't know the Bible interested in reading the full stories in the Bible.

The comic book part is a story about some kids trying to find their father by, of all things, taking a time-traveling tour of the Holy Land. Lucky for them, he's time-traveling, too. The main focus, though, seems to be their seeing events from the Bible so they will decide to follow Christ at the end.

As they travel through events taken from each book of the Bible, the reader is given a summary of that event or book in text above the comic section. Some events are illustrated using comic-book style and others by using pictures of modern-day remains or of paintings previously done of the event. There are some maps, Bible facts, and cultural background information, but mainly it's a summary of the main events of the Bible.

Despite the theme of traveling through time, they generally didn't mention dates. I think this was smart idea because a lot of dates are under dispute. They treated Genesis as real history, and this is one area where they didn't mention dates.

I did notice some minor errors, like page 26, "In Old Testament Times, the oldest son inherited everything." (The firstborn sons inherited a double portion, but not everything.) The information also seemed a bit simplistic. I'd think that church kids in their tweens would already understand what sin is or could tackle what the Ten Commandments really are instead of a modified, modernized version for young kids. But if you're looking for a fast summary of the Bible "spiced up" with the addition of a comic book adventure, then this does the job well enough.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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