I LOVE it even more when it's something I am completely unaware of and have no preconceived notions about it. An open slate.
I triple LOVE it when I finish a book/movie and have my faith strengthened and encouraged.
ALONE, YET NOT ALONE---delivered!
Here I am, a mom that is quickly rolling into the end of her 30s and in the 45 minutes it took me to read a novel geared towards upper elementary, early Jr. High kids...I felt completely transported into the story, emotionally invested and YES crying like a baby by the end.
So, I'm sappy. No big surprise there!
ALONE, YET NOT ALONE (Their faith become their freedom) by Tracy Leininger Craven is a zonderkidz book that takes place beginning in 1755 in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. It tells the story of two sisters that are kidnapped by Allegheny warriors and how their faith becomes their true freedom. It is based on a true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War.
My thoughts on the book: inspirational, engaging, gut-wrenching and FULL of faith!
As I first began the book, I was immediately swept up in the faith of the family described. It has a feel of "Little House on the Prairie" and I'm such a huge fan of those books and shows. I LOVED the faith enriching moments that the parents shared with their family of four.
For example, the father with tender earnestness said, "Each of you will have times of testing in your life. But you must always remember---no matter how difficult the trial or how dense the wilderness---God will never leave you. If your hearts remain true, God promises endless blessings."
Could have stopped right there and I would have been a fan of the book! Don't we ALL need these reminders whether we are 10 years old (like the book is targeted for) or 40!?
After the girls were kidnapped and the story took on a much more intense atmosphere, I loved reading how she remembered her family reading Scripture and how their faith became the anchor to help them survive such an ordeal in front of them. One of the girls said, "Surely this trial is just for a season. All I need is the strength to endure---to see through the darkness of winter to the promise of spring," and remembered the calming voice of her father reading scripture and the teachings of her mother.
The entire story is woven together by the words of a beautiful German Hymn "Alone, Yet Not Alone". I'd love to tell you how impactful the words of this hymn became and what an AMAZING part of the story it plays....
You'll have to buy the book and read it! Seriously. I think it would be a disservice to retell the story without reading the book!
From the viewpoint of a parent: the ending left tears rolling down my face, but it also left me greatly encouraged in my life today. This true story shows the impact that lovingly (not drilling!) teaching our children scripture, hymns of worship, and by embracing teachable moments that strengthen faith! It reminded me of what may seem like a "little" thing we do, can truly have a GREAT impact.
My 11 year old son is currently reading the book. His first response was extremely positive. Keep in mind this is coming from an 11 year old boy! :) He hasn't even got to the "meat" of the story, the most engaging parts, and he's already talking about things in the book. I love that he's getting a glimpse into history and I'm praying that some of the more deep parts of faith penetrate his heart.
ALONE, YET NOT ALONE is also coming out in movie form September 27th. The movie itself has received the Dove Seal of approval (FIVE doves for ages 12 and up!) Due to the content nature (it is based on a true story during the French and Indian War which includes battles, kidnapping, murder, etc...) it will be rated PG-13, therefore our entire family won't be able to watch it, but I do look forward to sharing it with our older children!
Watch the Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n0TORpISk8
Movie Twitter: https://twitter.com/AYNAthemovie
Movie Website: http://www.aloneyetnotalone.com
A copy of the book is available for ONE reader (US and Canada only). To be entered to win, simply comment on this post (or facebook link). One reader will be chosen at random on September 6th (comment must be received by noon CST). Be sure to leave a contact email! Book is recommended for ages 8 and up (though I'd say 10 would be a better age!)----but even as an adult...I LOVE it.
*"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."*