For the past month I have been enjoying my opportunity to read (and review) a great, historical fiction book written by Peggy Consolver – Author. Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer is a biblically-based novel that tells the story of Joshua through the eyes of a thirteen year old Canaanite boy name Keshub. During this story, Keshub goes from being a young shepherd to having numerous adventures as a spy in the Jordan Valley. As you continue reading this post, I definitely want you to grasp the importance of author’s concept, attention to detail, and meticulous research, as well as the other resources offered. I believe this is a story that the whole family will enjoy so, let’s dive in!
The first thing that I noticed about this book is that it portrayed the story of Joshua with such imagery and detail that it made me want to go to the word and verify what I was reading. I found myself looking at maps and doing my own research to learn more about the character’s surroundings. This book is based off of scripture from Joshua and Numbers, along with several passages from Genesis to Psalms. I enjoyed the provided Bible passages list that coincided with the background and each section of the story. You can tell that time was taken to ensure history was told correctly through Keshub’s point of view. AsI was reading, I could easily refer to the characters and relationships list in the book, which briefly explains each person in the story, to remember meanings of names, family history, character traits, and occupations.
Mrs. Peggy Consolver has also created an accompanying study guide called Digging Deeper into HIStory, which features research links and discussion questions, along with additional opportunities to learn more about the history of the characters and timeline of events. Direct links and several videos are provided for detailed explanation or to provide examples of portions of the book, which makes the words jump off the page all the more. This study guide is available for purchase in a Kindle or physical version; however, there is a sample available on her website that you can look over. The book also has small group discussion questions located in the back.
Overall, I think this is a great read for small groups or families, as long as they will make the time to read the scriptures. I’m adamant that as you read this you should study Joshua’s story in the bible. I’d also suggest this as a homeschool study where the student reads this and subsequently provides a written description as to whether it correctly portrays scripture. With this option, I suggest the students be in middle school or high school due to the length of the book. You can also include an opportunity to have your child recreate some of the mentioned battles or places through artwork. A diorama or map will be great way to showcase different scenes as well. In Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer, Peggy Consolver – Author, did a great job of telling Keshub’s story while maintaining the integrity of God’s word.
Make this week phenomenal,